Accredited Master Builder and Master Certified Green Professional, Chad D. Collins of Collins Design-Build, showcases his award winning homes in the Fox Hill Farm neighborhood in Hillsborough, NC. Just outside of Durham, Chapel Hill and Wake County. This Orange County, NC neighborhood serves Duke, UNC and the Research Triangle Park.
The recipient of the Durham, Orange & Chatham County Home Builders Association’s Parade of Homes Special Feature Award, Collins Design-Build closed their first home in Fox Hill Farm in 2007–their award winning floor plan, The Courtland 3-car on Farm Gate Drive, Hillsborough NC.
Later that year in December 2007, Collins Design-Build hosted A Taste of Hillsborough in its Fox Hill Farm award winning Parade of Homes Entry, The Master Down Chalet Floor Plan. A Taste of Hillsborough served as the year-end Holiday Party and Award Ceremony for the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Award winning Chefs and local restaurants came together and served their best recipes and dishes. A record setting event by attendance standards, the streets of Fox Hill Farm were lined with CEO’s and business leaders all wanting to tour the award winning Collins Design-Build custom home.
In 2008 Collins Design-Build was awarded the Triangle Sales and Marketing Council’s (TSMC), Building Company Of the Year, for the second year in a row. The TSMC is an award winning joint Council between the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange & Chatham and the Home Builders Association of Raleigh/ Wake County–the largest HBA in the Nation. “Our Fox Hill Farm custom built home plans and our Fox Hill Farm customer testimonials are a large part of us receiving this award tonight.” Collins Design-Build President Chad Collins stated. “We are proud of our advanced green building techniques and relevant floor plans but humbled by our glowing Fox Hill Farm homebuyer testimonials.”
This the same year Collins Design-Build peaked in the neighborhood with three Parade of Home entries in Fox Hill Farm. Collins Design-Build was awarded the Bronze Award for a sales price under $650,000. To this date, no other builder has entered more than two homes in a single year in Fox Hill Farm neighborhood. Chad’s three Parade of Home entries in 2008 brought REALTORS and home buyers to the neighborhood’s newly opened phases. 2008 was the second year in a row that Collins Design-Build entered multiple custom built home in the Parade of Homes, both being honored with special feature awards.
Collins Design-Build received rave reviews for their Fox Hill Farm custom built home, The Kingston. This all brick estate home was built for Collins Design-Build President, Chad Collins, who still resides in the Fox Hill Farm community to this day. The Kingston plan is a stunning custom-built home situated perfectly on a 1+ acre private wooded lot certified Natural Wildlife Habitat by The National Wildlife Federation. Breathtaking handsome walnut stained study, roomy first-floor guest retreat with a full bath, gourmet chefs kitchen with center island, granite counter tops and stainless steel Bosch appliances. Standard features also include an enormous screen porch with stain grade bead board ceilings, three car side entry garage and exterior landscape lighting. The master retreat is gorgeous with double tray ceilings, sitting area and luxury bath with jetted tub, walk-in exotic tile shower with seat and classic fixtures. The spacious bonus media room features custom built cabinetry and egg shell paint. The abundance of space in the third floor walkup attic is instantly appreciated.
2009 saw the height of the Great Recession in home building but Collins Design-Build spent the year making existing homes in Fox Hill Farm more relevant with improvements such as painting exteriors with quality Duron paint and building decks with the desired Cox pressure treated lumber. “Adding value to existing homes in the Fox Hill Farm neighborhood was rewarding for me,” Collins said. “My fellow Fox Hill Farm neighbors thought enough of me to keep me busy and I was able to update homes in my own neighborhood. That was a blessing.”
2010 was the beginning of a new era in home building for Collins Design-Build. On Fox Hill Farm Drive, Collins Design-Build constructed a pre-sale home. But this was no ordinary home. This was an NGBS Green Certified by Home Innovation Research Labs. It was also an ENERGY STAR qualified home scoring a 59 HERS index. A 59 score on a home with 3311 square feet is almost unheard of without using renewables such as solar power. Entered in the Parade of Homes, The Ronan plan was the first home in Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties to be certified Green under NAHB.
Our customers brought us a set of plans and a wish list. This list included the usual customer wants such as crown moldings and hardwood flooring. At the bottom of the list read the words ENERGY STAR Certified. Never built a Green home nor certified one with ENERGY STAR, we were ready to see what Green was all about.
Not eluding to the fact that we had never certified a home Green, we focused on the opposite. We joined Green Home Builders of the Triangle (GHBT), became a NAHB Certified Green Professional and became an ENERGY STAR Partner. We surpassed ENERGY STAR qualifications and made improvements to qualify for NAHB’s stringent Green certification process.
A complete redesign of the structural engineering and soliciting insight from ENERGY STAR’s 2009 Partner of the Year, we started with a residential energy analysis. Striving to gain more points at zero extra cost, the RESNET pin pointed the low hanging fruit and easiest points to obtain.
Proud of our Green accomplishments, we entered the home into the Parade of Homes of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties to market to other potential customers our new addiction to Green. We proudly showcased our green features such as our sealed spray foam closed cell crawl space, indigenous building materials & landscaping and our onsite recycling methods of the construction debris.
The Ronan featured a conditioned sealed crawl space and a walk up attic. Green features included Low VOC paints, direct vent fireplace and exterior vented kitchen range hood to improve indoor air quality. We primarily used spray foam insulation for energy efficiency and sound buffering. Non porous quartz countertops with natural stone kitchen backsplash, tankless on-demand water heater, central vacuum and landscaping that includes indigenous plants local to North Carolina are just a few features that collectively qualify this home with a HERS Index rating of 59.
The Ronan was recognized across the county as the new standard in Green Home Building. Entered into the North Carolina Home Builders Association’s STARS Awards, and the Triangle Sales and Marketing Council’s MAME Awards (Major Achievements In Marketing Excellence), Collins Design-Build was awarded the Best Green Built Home in the State of North Carolina–the first award of its kind.
In 2012, Collins Design-Build started construction on another pre-sale that featured a basement in the Fox Hill Farm neighborhood. The basement walls consisted of poured concrete twined with steel #5 rebar and a warrantied water proofing membrane. Constructed on the main road that runs through Fox Hill Farm, much planning and supervision was given to keep Fox Hill Farm Drive clean from construction activity. “We wanted to preserve the shoulders of the road and not track mud or dirt onto the road surface,” Chad Collins noted. “Ending construction activity promptly at 6:00PM during the weekdays and 12:00 noon on Saturdays allows the families of Fox Hill Farm to enjoy their evenings and walk about the community while their children ride their bikes safely and without the sounds of construction.”
On New Year’s Eve of 2011 we received an e-mail from our clients who were living in Athens, Georgia and were looking to build a Certified Green custom home in our area. We asked them to send us a sample floor plan of what they were looking for. Our jaws dropped when we opened the file and discovered they had sent me a drawing of a similar home plan of which Collins Design-Build’s very own Accredited Master Builder, Chad Collins personally resides. What are the odds?
Separated by 325 miles we organized a list of standard specifications solely via e-mail and telephone. Having previously built a very similar floor plan we offered some simple improvements to maximize the livable square footage. We quickly came together on pricing which led to a fast-track path to construction start.
Our clients wanted to keep with their traditional southern colonial look. A hand tumbled brick was selected for the exterior with a light mortar color to complement the exterior tan paint colors.
The interior is very open and bright. As you walk in the front door you are immediately greeted with southern colonial stained hardwood, flowing staircases adorned with wrought iron railings and a paint color palette worthy of a magazine cover.
The Greenwich plan boasted a 3000 ft.² unfinished walkout basement, was Certified Green and qualified for the stringent guidelines of ENERGY STAR’s new 3.0 program. With a HERS Index rating of 62 this home should net an annual energy savings of $2032.
Building the largest home on the street, a Parade of Homes participant, a Certified Green Home, an ENERGY STAR Qualified home, a nominee for NCHBA’s Best Single Family Home in the State of North Carolina, Collins Design-Build had a busy year in Fox Hill Farm in 2012.
Just under ten years of construction activity in the Fox Hill Farm community, seven custom built homes, three speculative, four custom built pre-sales, a few major renovations with six Parade of Home Entries and enough awards, certifications, and designations to fill a shelf, Collins Design-Build is proud to call Fox Hill Farm home.
Chad D. Collins, Accredited Master Builder
An area native, NC Licensed General Contractor, National Association of Home Builders Master Certified Green ProfessionalTM, and Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, Chad is one of less than 50 Accredited Master Builders in the state. He achieved this professional designations after years of experience and numerous hours of coursework via the NC Builder Institute. Chad has been an active member of the building industry since the early 1990’s. He joined the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties in 2005. Chad was soon named HBA Recruiter of the Year and he subsequently chaired various HBA committees. Chad is a Licensed Home Inspector, as well as, a Licensed Lead Abatement professional.
In addition to industry awards in recognition of excellence in home building and remodeling, Collins Design-Build has twice been named Building Company of the Year via the HBA’s Triangle Sales and Marketing Council MAME (Major Achievements in Marketing Excellence) Awards. The company has also received a Best Green Built Home STARS Award from the NCHBA. Currently, Chad serves as 1st Vice President of the HBADOC, and recently completed one of Durham’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) residential projects. LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, projects must satisfy pre-requisites and earn points to achieve various levels of achievement.
In 2014 Chad was selected as the HBADOC 2014 Builder of the Year and recently honored at The International Builders Show in Las Vegas as the NAHB’s Certified Green Home Professional of the Year.
Tags: Fox Hill Farm
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This post was written by Chad Collins