Real Estate News

Homebuilders hand out annual awards

The light of excellence shown on the Lowcountry's bestbuilders at the annual LightHouse Awards on Nov. 12.More than 200 people attended the 11th annual awardsgala to learn which companies judges chose as the Lowcountry'smost talented builders. Put on by the Hilton Head Area HomeBuilders Association and presented by SunTrust Mortgage, the galatook place at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa."The amount of talent and craftsmanship our area builders have putforward to compete in this year's LightHouse Awards is remarkable,especially after coming off of one of the hardest economic years in ourindustry's history," said Ashley Feaster, the association's executive officer.

First held in 1999, the LightHouse Awards areannually presented to builder members of theHilton Head Area Home Builders Associationfor the demonstration of quality craftsmanshipand design excellence in the constructionof homes throughout the Lowcountry.

Twenty-three builders, including remodelers,custom builders, green builders and semicustombuilders, submitted 51 entries andcompeted for five construction awards: bestbath, best kitchen, best exterior, best detail featureand best overall home or remodel. Newlyadded to last year's LightHouse Awards, thisyear's program expanded awards categoriesfor best overall green home and best overallpartial remodel.

"Just when you think you've seen the mostmagnificent homes you'll ever lay your eyeson, the following year of this competitionproves you wrong," Feaster said.

The construction cost of each remodeledor newly built home entered in the competitionranged from $12,000 to more than$2.7 million. Each award was subdivided intocategories so that homes in similar price rangesand construction types competed against oneanother.

Six judges were brought to Hilton Head Islandto inspect the construction quality of each homeentered. The 2010 LightHouse Awards judgingpanel included builders, remodelers, architectsand other industry professionals from Georgia,North Carolina and South Carolina. Split intotwo teams, the judges spent two days visitingentries. In many instances, the separation betweenrunner-up and winning scores was oneor two points.

Master of ceremony Monty Jett announcedaward winners as attendees watched a slideshow featuring the homes entered in thecompetition and their detailed features.The many skilled subcontractors and supplierswho participated in the design andconstruction of each competing homewere also recognized at the gala. Winnersreceived marble obelisk trophies representinglighthouses.

"The LightHouse Awards is like the AcademyAwards for our local building industry. It givesbuilders the opportunity to be recognized forthe hard work, talent and vision they put forwardin building some of the most remarkablehomes found in this area and beyond," said DanMonroe, chairman of the LightHouse Awardsprogram since its inception.

Led by Monroe, the 2010 LightHouse AwardsCommittee included Chris Cleland, ClelandSite Prep; Shirley Frampton, Peacock Cabinetry;Deborah Karambelas, KarambelasEnterprises; Deborah Monroe, LowCountryHome Magazine; Ed Pitoniak, SunTrust Mortgage;and Scott Pleimann, Sea Island Kitchens,Inc.

In addition to the title sponsor SunTrustMortgage, other sponsors included DistinctiveGranite & Marble; J. Banks Design;LowCountry Home Magazine; PalmettoElectric Cooperative; PURE; StoneWorks; SuperiorHeating & Air; and The Island Packetand The Beaufort Gazette. Special thanks alsowent to Click Event Productions; Custom AudioVideo; Hilton Head Automotive; MontyJett; Ocean Woods Landscaping ; SavannahBlueprint Company; Savannah Hardscapes;and Show Services.