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2011 Chatham, Orange, Durham NC Parade of Homes Entry

It’s that time of year – the 2011 Parade of Homes! If you are in the area please come visit our 2011 Parade Entry in The Estates of Chapel Ridge. Judging was today – the awards are given Tuesday. We are anxiously awaiting the results and hope we can add an award to our 2009 and 2010 gold medals!

This year’s Parade home was built just under $130/square foot and includes Energy Star certification, spray foam insulation, gourmet kitchen with fireplace, stainless steel appliances, custom designed pantry and closets, granite in kitchen, all bathrooms and laundry room, 4″ plank red oak floors, steam shower, screened porch, floor to ceiling stone 2nd fireplace, custom cabinets – many beautiful options.

Parade days and times are October, 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 from 12-5. If you would like more information on our homes and can’t make the Parade please contact us at 919-929-1057 or Look forward to hearing from you!

Another Silk Hope Home Completed!

We had the joy of working with very creative homeowners when building this beautiful home in the Silk

Hope area. We had been working with the homeowners for over a year in detailing the plans, specifications and allowances.  The homeowners were out of state which added a bit of a challenge, but one we’ve worked through on many occasions.  See full photo album of this Country Retreat in our Gallery.

“We selected Absolute Construction as our builder for a variety of reasons, but after visiting the homes that Nelu built, we were sold! The craftsmanship, style and attention to detail were exactly what we were looking for and our new home can now be added to the list of beautiful homes in Chatham County.

Living out of state for the entire building process could have been a significant disadvantage and we were concerned about it at the beginning. However, Lisa and Nelu were diligent about keeping us informed of the construction progress and expenses. We received electronic photos regularly which thrilled us to no end. When we were able to visit, Nelu arranged meetings with contractors according to our schedules and they were generous with their time and attention to us. 

Nelu and Lisa are a complete package and an effective team throughout the process. Lisa’s attention to detail in all things financial is something that cannot be overlooked. She acted as a liaison with the vendors, intervening on our behalf when necessary and settling any potential conflicts. They are both true to their word and honored all commitments to us. 

Our new home is really a life–long dream come true and we are so happy with the end product. We believe that Lisa and Nelu were the main reason that we had an overall fantastic experience. Their flexibility, integrity and skill make them a solid and smart choice for anyone considering building a home.” 

Debra and Eloisa, Silk Hope

Just Completed – Silk Hope Custom Home

The icing on the cake when building a home is having a truly happy client at the end of the project.  We spend a lot of time prior to writing the contract working with our clients to ensure that we are developing the specifications that they desire while staying within their budget so there aren’t any financial surprises.

“Thank you for building me a beautifully constructed home. Everyone who has seen my house, both in

its early stages and in its completed state, has been captivated by the workmanship, care and professionalism exhibited.The quantative evidence of this is the 72 Energy Star rating: energy efficiency must be below 86 to qualify for Energy Star status.

I am also grateful to you both for working with me from the beginning, when I was very much in doubt whether this project could be done, through the difficult financing process. You understood that I had a tight budget and worked with me so well that I had money left to cover  the cost of permits and other such expenses I thought I would have to pay out-of-pocket (and which you graciously paid up front).

All in all it was a fun experience, at least for me. Thank you for helping my dream come true in such a wonderful and gorgeous fashion. I wish you both much happiness in the future.”

                                        C. Phillips, Silk Hope

Beyond Pricing-Punch List Process?

I touched a little earlier on the need to look beyond just a builder’s price:

  • What are the line item allowances
  • What is the change order process
  • How is the 1-year punch list process handled/managed?

In this day and age, especially with a tough market, some builders are trying to cut profit margins by pricing each job out with different suppliers and trade vendors. But what does that do to the overall loyalty and customer service for each client?  More often than not, you hear horror stories from homeowners, both high and low-end, running into problems after they move into the house that they can’t get resolved.  Our theory is that this is mainly due to a lack of mutual loyalty and respect between the builder and suppliers/trades.  If the builder is shopping around and responding to the lowest vendor, what is the likelihood of that vendor being accessible – or even in business –  in the year after the homeowners have moved in?  We tell people all the time that the 1-year period after moving in as almost as important as the 6-month building process. I would suggest to any homeowner that they need to add the following questions to their qualifying process:

Do you use the same suppliers/trade vendors? How long have you worked with them?

What is the likelihood that they will still be in business the year after our house is built?

Are they local vendors to be able to service urgent needs – such as plumbing leaks or the AC going out in the middle of summer?

Are they accessible 24/7 vs. Mon-Fri, 9-5?

A benefit to using the same vendors, in addition to the accessibility they tend to offer during the 1-year punch list period, is that they tend to work well together and have open communication when building your home. This can minimize any “trade conflict” (such as low voltage interfering with high voltage wiring). All of these factors should be addressed when interviewing builders.

At Absolute Construction and Development, LLC we have used the same suppliers/trades since we started building in NC.  We feel that by giving them our loyalty we in turn receive exceptional workmanship, customer service and the knowledge that they will go above and beyond to meet our expectations. There have been times where we’ve called one of them at 8:00pm on a Saturday and have had them at the home by 10:00am the very next day.  You don’t get that kind of service and loyalty when you are constantly swapping out trade vendors.

  “We were lucky: Our home building process went smoothly due to Lisa and Nelu’s amazing communication and attention to detail. Perhaps the most interactive portion of the process for us came after we moved in. The punch list seemed a little overwhelming at first but Lisa and Nelu really made it easy. All of the things that make them successful were so obvious to us while we worked together on the punch list. The first one wraps up all the details of the build and ensures that your brand new house is shiny and perfect. But, a lot happens in that first year of your new home – with each passing season, your home settles, swells and moves just a little – cabinet doors crack, hardwood floors separate and nail pops need fixed and repainted. Almost a year after you move in, you might expect your builder to care just a little less about your home but this couldn’t be further from the truth with Absolute Construction. Our happiness and satisfaction were just as important to them at that one year mark as it was when we were negotiating the contract. I think that’s amazing and I would recommend Absolute Construction to anyone.”  Michael and Brianne K., Pittsboro, NC