As the trees came down on Lot Four in East Lake subdivision, Landmark Builders’ Maribeth Wolfe held her breath. “A wooded lot may look flat to begin with so you should always expect the elevation change to be greater,” she says. “We expect the worst, but hope for the best.” While Tyler Roland of Roland Construction carefully cleared and graded the space for East Alabama Living’s 2013 Showcase Home, Maribeth’s uneasiness settled. “Tyler is attentive to our vision for the home and makes suggestions on how to achieve proper drainage and elevation changes that we desire,” she says. “He always does what it takes to get the job done.” It helps too that lots in East Lake are particularly level, which is a rarity in the Auburn area. “The term Loveliest Village on the Plains can be misleading,” says Maribeth. Auburn sits on the fall line, at the juncture of the Piedmont Plateau and the Coastal Plain, according to the city’s CompPlan 2030 document on auburnal.org. The Appalachian Mountains’ last foothill is in Auburn’s Chewacla State Park, so many subdivisions in Auburn battle this rolling terrain.
Roland Construction is just one of the many talented subcontractors that Landmark will use throughout this project. “We use true artisans,” says Maribeth, “people who are really good at what they do.” Shortly after the lot was graded, Ridge Runner Construction began implementing a raised concrete slab foundation. “Owner Craig Wolfe uses state-of-the-art technology to accurately place and dig the footers,” says Maribeth. “As the name implies, it is a foundation consisting of a slab of concrete, poured on a raised perimeter.” Michael Gleaton of Michael’s Masonry creates this perimeter with cement blocks, producing an extremely solid foundation.
Details, like the foundation, are thought out in advance by Landmark owners Craig and Maribeth Wolfe. “The planning stage is critical,” says Wolfe. “And this initial step in homebuilding is most often hurried through. We want to know exactly what each home will look like when it is complete.” Maribeth can walk through each room in her mind before the first tree comes down. “Through thoughtful, intuitive planning what started as an idea can become a welcoming haven, and a well-functioning design takes time to develop,” she says. Many builders make decisions at the moment they are required to be made. But Landmark doesn’t base choices on the electrician coming tomorrow. They have a plan for everything in advance. “We aren’t riding around in a truck with a telephone calling our client and asking them what color they want in the dining room,” says Maribeth. “I hold their hand the whole time since we’re building a home that people hope to stay in forever.”
Through this process, Landmark builds relationships as they build homes. “You: Our customer, Our Partner” is a tagline they stand by. And they always respect clients’ budgets and place their priorities first. “As our client, we work for you; as our partner, we work with you,” says Maribeth. And even though Landmark’s team consists of experienced industry leaders and master craftspeople, they believe that their clients are the experts of their own dreams. “We make your priorities our own and your vision our mission.”
Landmark hopes to create landmarks. And their motto is: You dream, we plan. You envision, we design. You aspire, we budget. You await, we create. “While every home we craft is as unique as its owner, some things come standard with all Landmark Builders’ projects: superior architectural integrity, professional project management, attentive client service and adherence to strict budgets and timelines,” says Maribeth. “Our goal is to be the most professional and ethical builder, only as successful as our clients are happy.”
One way Landmark creates these landmarks is by the incredible amount of research they do to keep the homes current. “Technology, new energy-efficient products and sustainable resources are all sought out to help us produce homes that are timeless, but that keep up with the times,” says Maribeth. Landmark Builders recently toured the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, which consists of 60 showrooms offering 1,200 new product lines including furniture, fabric, rugs, lighting, accessories, floor and wall coverings, kitchen and bath essentials, tile, stone, and home theater products.
Also in October, Maribeth attended a symposium in Atlanta called Trend Spotting with Atlanta’s Top Design Bloggers. These designers discussed what’s in, out and hot for homes across America. Design blogs represented included BluLabel Bungalow, Charm Home, Design Indulgence, High Gloss Blue, With a Southern Twist and Whitehaven. “It was really interesting to sit and hear from the gurus of design and discuss things with them like the roofing material of a home,” says Maribeth. “We talked about how bright colors and wallpaper are coming back and how things are going back to a sense of tradition.” Maribeth told Whitehaven blog author Helen Young that her House of the Week feature inspired Landmark’s East Alabama Living showcase home. “She was really excited and is going to include it on her blog,” says Maribeth. Landmark took away many tips from the symposium, one of which is the use of color. “We’ll have wallpaper. and that will carry a lot of the color,” says Maribeth, “and colorful tile and cabinets too. Oh, it’s just going to be beautiful.”
In a few months we’ll get a sneak peak of these fun colors, but for now, bundle up and take a stroll by the showcase home to check out its progress. You’ll see framing, window installation and the beginnings of the exterior finish. Also, check out the home’s evolvement in the next two issues of East Alabama Living and landmarkbuildersllc.biz.