By Elizabeth Raines Beeler
August 12, 2008
Built to Last
Jean Allsopp

Builders James Adams Jr., Scott Gurganus, and Lee Johnson ofWatermark Homes partnered with local contractors and artisans tocreate a home with superior craftsmanship. "From a residentialstandpoint, this house represents the highest level of constructionavailable today," says co-owner James Adams. The house is fullycustom, from the cabinetry and built-ins to the staircase,paneling, and molding. "At this level, your framer must also be atrim carpenter, your trim carpenter should be able to build customcabinetry, and your cabinet-maker needs the expertise to craftpianos," says co-owner Scott Gurganus. The team worked especiallyhard to find environmentally sensitive building products that needlittle maintenance.

Roof: The builders chose a standing-seam product from MetalRoofing Alliance because it promises a life span of 40 to 60 years(twice the term of a regular roof). Metal roofing withstands gustsof up to 140 mph, which can occur in coastal areas. Made partiallyfrom recycled materials, these roofs are an environmentallyconscious choice, as well.

Siding: "James Hardie HardiePlank is absolutely superior inits industry," says James Adams. "Not only is it designed to last,but it's also available in about 50 different prefinished colors,eliminating the need to paint. Even though it's a resilientcomposite product, it looks and feels like wood."

HVAC: The builders chose a Signature Series heating andcooling unit from Lennox Industries. With full-scale climatecontrol and a touch-pad thermostat, the quiet unit provides bothcomfort and ease. It's fuel-efficient and saves hundreds of dollarsannually on heating and cooling bills.

Trim: AZEK trim materials maintain the qualities of realwood without the drawbacks. The PVC-based product has all of thedensity of white pine. Easily milled, it resists warping androtting, and it doesn't have to be painted.

IIS: An AMX integrated information system with low-voltagewiring provides the most up-to-date technology. "It's a smarthouse-about 10 years ahead of its time," Scott says. Fullyintegrated with touch-panel control, the system operates the houseboth inside and out.

Lock system: An electronic Schlage touch-pad lock meanshomeowners receive the highest level of security while allowingaccess for those who wish to leave their keys behind.

Central vacuum: The house contains a powerful central-vacuumsystem from NuTone, which provides clean, mold-free air. The vacuumservices the entire house from one location, eliminating the choreof lugging a heavy vacuum cleaner between floors. The unit'sinternal sound system makes it virtually noise-free.

Sink: The sink's the hub of activity in our Idea Housekitchen, so we chose a low-maintenance Franke EuroPro sink in toughstainless steel.

Countertops: With the performance benefits of a nonporousmaterial, the Cambria quartz surfaces in the guest bath andthird-floor wet bar are stain-resistant and twice as strong asgranite.