Located in a breezy beach community along Florida's northwest coast, this 3,544-square-foot idea house has just about every thoughtful detail an empty-nester could wish for—generous display shelving for art and collectibles, built-in bunks for grandchildren, tactile indulgences such as reclaimed wood floors, and a dedicated “work room” off the kitchen, complete with storage cubbies, a pet feeding station, and an island for dropping off groceries.

Who would guess it's a modular dwelling by Haven Custom Homes that arrived on site 80 percent complete? In fact, all of the home's electrical, plumbing, HVAC mechanicals, stair systems, kitchen and bath finishes, flooring, siding, and roofing materials were pre-installed at the factory.

The exhaustive prep work alleviated the need for heavy construction equipment on the jobsite, which made for easy compliance with the community's stringent habitat and tree preservation standards.

Once the home's foundation was laid, the kit of parts was delivered and assembled in a day, after which the process became a simple matter of “buttoning things up” with little more than a few ladders and hand tools.

“This house is a great testament that it doesn't have to look modular to be modular,” says architect Carson Looney, whose firm designed the livable abode with its homespun, coastal vernacular.

And the construction process yielded less than one dumpster of jobsite waste.

See all 2007 Builder's Choice Award Winners

Category: Production/Semi-custom, more than 3,000 square feet;

Entrant/Architect/Interior designer: Looney Ricks Kiss Architects, Memphis, Tenn.;

Builders: Haven Custom Homes, Ridge-land, S.C.; The St. Joe Co., WaterSound, Fla.;

Developer: The St. Joe Co., Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.;

Land planner: Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates, Atlanta;

Landscape architect: Alan D. Holt, Panama City, Fla.;

Project sponsor:Southern Living, Birmingham, Ala.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA, Orlando, FL.