Mark Scheurer
Mark Scheurer

Almost since the day he founded his firm in 1991, Mark Scheurer (pronounced “shire”) has been a fixture on the Builder's Choice leader board, winning 19 of the awards for custom homes, production detached and attached units, and community design, including the 2002 Project of the Year for The Sentinels. But collecting hardware is hardly a motivation behind his work. Rather, Scheurer and his staff strive to exceed the expectations of their clients, which include some of the most design-savvy builders around, among them fellow inductee Taylor Woodrow Homes, in addition to homeowners. “I have people come up to me and ask where they can buy a Scheurer home,” he says. “That tells me someone knows the difference.”

Though never claiming to create anything unique (“If you study history, everything's been done,” he says), Scheurer has interpreted several design truisms for production housing, from split two-and-one garages and varying lot sizes for varying footprints to the motor-court cluster approach at Trovare (a 1994 Builder's Choice Grand Award winner) to the triplex town-house designs for Sailhouse (a 2002 Grand Award winner). The firm is also steadfast in its commitment to authenticity, if not historical replicas, and site-specific design. “We don't design something and then find a site for it,” Scheurer says. “Everything we've done is in response to what needed to be on that site.”

Despite the fact that Scheurer eschews his production-builder clients' market reports in favor of his own, more personal research efforts, his homes and communities have always made money while stretching the design envelope. “From day one, we believed that design could make a difference,” he says.

Rich Binsacca is a contributing editor to Builder.