New Ways to Sell If some builders and sales professionals view The New American Home 2004 as a tough sell to the mainstream, they're probably right. "This is a custom home, no doubt," says Borsanyi. "It's an edgy house. For production, you'd have to take off some of the edges."

But for a narrow niche of mature, affluent, and sophisticated couples in Las Vegas (or any major market), Borsanyi and the design/build team are convinced that demand exists for something a bit off-center. "We are unique," she says. "There's nothing else out there that is as handsomely done and as good a product in the custom market."

That distinction is what Borsanyi predicts will separate this house in a market with a two-year backlog of seven-figure-plus homes. "We had to be very specifically targeted to make buyers see the lifestyle differentiation," she says. "We want them to say, 'This is my lifestyle,' when they see this home in relation to five other million-dollar homes that all look the same."

As for the mainstream appeal of the loft concept, Borsanyi and the design/build team believe it has legs as well. "The loft allows a more spacious house on smaller lots," says van Straten. "It enables buyers to get the 'big space' they want."

That said, all agree that a loft design requires an upscale context (ideally on a golf course or a waterfront lot for better resale value) supported by and accessible to mature infrastructure and services, among other site considerations. "It's a combination of forces that bear on the marketability of this house," says Borsanyi.

Meanwhile, the Jones brothers are seeing increasing interest in energy efficiency and usable, light-filled basement space among upper echelon buyers, albeit with a twist. "They may not care about saving $100 a month on their energy bills, but they like the idea of being socially responsible when it comes to energy use and resource efficiency," says Steven Jones, thus encouraging the design/build team to look for more opportunities to build with ICFs, SIPs, steel framing, mold-resistant drywall, and other products and systems that satisfy that desire.

The use of dual garage doors and translucent panels reduces the mass of the two-car garage on the elevation.
James F. Wilson The use of dual garage doors and translucent panels reduces the mass of the two-car garage on the elevation.

Product Specs: Garage Specs

* A pair of garage doors (and automatic openers) from Overhead Door feature steel-framed, translucent panels that provide light into and out of the garage.

* A storage system from Gladiator offers efficient, secure, and durable storage for a variety of seasonal and outdoor gear, as well as tools.

* Square D provided the home's load center, with the main panel located in the garage.

* Crews and subcontractors used a variety of power and pneumatic tools from Hilti.

New Ways to Collaborate

Tucker Bernard (left), senior director of the NAHB's NCHI/Supplier 100, stands with TNAH '04 task force chairman John Ted Mahoney III, president of Windjammer Construction Corp. in Bridgewater, Mass.
James F. Wilson Tucker Bernard (left), senior director of the NAHB's NCHI/Supplier 100, stands with TNAH '04 task force chairman John Ted Mahoney III, president of Windjammer Construction Corp. in Bridgewater, Mass.

In addition to showcasing new ideas in suburban single-family design and next-generation building systems and energy efficiency, The New American Home 2004 team exemplified uncommon collaboration from the start.

Before signing on for this project, the builder, the architectural consultant, and the interior merchandiser had already worked together to design, build, and market upscale single-family loft homes in Las Vegas--a cooperative effort that replaced the linear approach that is traditionally taken in residential development. "If you share knowledge and experiences from the start, that integration leads to a better product," says architectural consultant Lex van Straten. "It seems like coordination happens too late on most projects."

The builder agrees. "It was like magic watching this team work together," says Steven Jones, extending credit to the trade partners and suppliers. "It's amazing what you can get done with quality people."

James F. Wilson

Team effort: The New American Home 2004 design/build team: Standing (l-r): Dennis Moulton, executive vice president of corporate development and marketing, Jiun Ho Inc.; Greg Marshall, electronics design consultant, Creative Home Theatre; Dale Beck Jr., superintendent, Merlin Contracting & Developing; Matt Farmer, operations manager, Merlin Contracting & Developing; Tom Martojo, associate, Food for Buildings; Seated (l-r): Allisanne Frew, interior merchandiser, Source Francaise; Jiun Ho, interior merchandiser/furniture and lighting designer, Jiun Ho Inc.; Bart Jones, vice president, Merlin Contracting & Developing; Steven Jones, founder/owner, Merlin Contracting & Developing; W.A. "Lex" van Straten, architectural consultant, Food for Buildings. Not pictured: Willem Kymmell, architect of record, Willem Kymmell Architect.

Sponsors * Sponsor: National Council of the Housing Industry, the NAHB, Washington

* Builder: Merlin Contracting & Developing, Las Vegas

* Architectural consultant: Food for Buildings, Den Haag, Holland

* Architect of record: Willem Kymmell Architect, Oregon House, Calif.

* Interior merchandisers: Source Francaise, Oregon House, and Jiun Ho Inc., San Francisco

* Media: Hanley Wood, LLC (BUILDER magazine, Washington, and Home Planners, Tucson, Ariz.)

The New American Home Part I
Part II
Part III

Project Contributors The New American Home 2004 would not be possible without the generous support of the members of the National Council of the Housing Industry (NCHI)/Supplier 100 and other contributors, suppliers, trade partners, and consultants.

NCHI Member Contributors

* American Gas Association (consulting and technical services)
* Armstrong World Industries (wood flooring and cabinets)
* Builder magazine (editorial support and tour coordination)
* Copper Development Association (roofing, fascias, venting, plumbing system, and railings/louvers)
* Cutler-Hammer/Eaton Electrical (structured wiring system, protection panel, and electrical components)
* Daltile Corp. (ceramic tile)
* Davis Colors (concrete pigment)
* DuPont Co. (Zodiaq quartz surfaces)
* General Electric
* GE Consumer Products (lighting consulting and light bulbs)
* GE Modular Space (construction site trailer)
* Georgia-Pacific Corp./G-P Gypsum (DensArmor Plus wallboard and DensShield tile backer board)
* Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (consulting services)
* HGTV Network (television coverage)
* Hilti (power tools and fasteners)
* Honeywell (climate controls, energy recovery ventilator, and HEPA air filters)
* In-Sink-Erator Division/Emerson Electric Co. (food waste disposers and hot water dispensers)
* Johns Manville (formaldehyde-free insulation)
* Kohler Co. (plumbing fixtures and fittings; bath vanities and countertops)
* Kwikset Corp./division of Black & Decker Co. (interior locksets and hardware)
* Lennox Industries (HVAC equipment and fireplaces)
* Loewen (exterior doors and windows)
* Lutron Electronics (design services and lighting and home automation controls)
* Masco Corp.
* Behr Process Corp. (paints and coatings)
* Brass Craft (plumbing connectors, valves, and shutoffs)
* Hot Spring (hot tub)
* Masonite International Corp. (interior doors)
* National Renewable Energy Laboratory (energy codes program and consulting)
* Old Castle/APG West (stonework and hardscapes)
* Overhead Door Corp. (garage doors and openers)
* Portland Cement Association (consulting services and product coordination)
* Shaw Industries (area rugs, carpet, and underlayment)
* Simpson Strong-Tie Co. (framing connectors and fasteners)
* Square D Co. (load center)
* Steel Framing Alliance (consulting services and product coordination)
* 2-10 Home Buyer Warranty (home warranty products)
* Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance/GAMA
* A.O. Smith Water Products Co. (hot water heater)
* Desa International (patio heaters)
* Empire Comfort Systems (stainless steel outdoor grill)
* Whirlpool Corp.
* Gladiator (garage storage system)
* KitchenAid (major and small appliances)
* Whirlpool (laundry equipment and Personal Valet)

About the Program
Celebrating its 21st year in conjunction with the annual International Builders' Show, The New American Home program is a partnership between BUILDER and the NAHB's Supplier 100, facilitated by a task force including the partners, a hand-picked design/build team, and building product manufacturers. A for-sale home constructed by a local builder, Merlin Contracting & Developing, The New American Home presents a collection of design ideas, products, and systems that building industry professionals are encouraged to apply in the homes they design, build, and sell. The 2004 house will debut and be open for free guided tours during the International Builders' Show. See below for additional details and a list of valued sponsors and contributors.

Other Contributors, Suppliers, Trade Partners, and Consultants
* Abbott Plumbing (plumbing installation)
* Accent Awning (exterior shading system design and installation)
* AFM/Associated Foam Manufacturing (SIPs panels)
* Alpha-Vision (computer-generated renderings and marketing consulting)
* American Access Systems/Lebi (elevator and installation)
* Apex Saunas & Wine Cellars (wine cellar and racking)
* Appian Way Sales (courtyard pedestal system)
* Archie Held Studio (fountain sculptures and accessories)
* Arxx Building Products (insulated concrete forms)
* Beardon Stucco (stucco installation)
* Bernardaud (china and linens)
* Big Pagoda (furnishings and accessories)
* Bomanite Corp. (concrete wash materials)
* Boyd Lighting (light fixtures)
* Boys Hope Girls Hope (charitable beneficiary of local tours)
* Breezeaire (self-contained wine cellar refrigerator)
* Brian's Masterpiece (wood flooring installation)
* CA Cement Promotion Council (concrete supply/installation coordination and consulting)
* California Closet Co. (closet storage systems)
* Calply (steel framing)
* Castel Fabrics (fabrics)
* CAT MBX (home theater design and installation, including:
* ADA Audio Design Technologies (home theater design)
* California Audio Technologies (audio system supplier and installer)
* Creative Home Theatre (low-voltage wiring and home theater systems)
* Monster Cable (low-voltage and other cable)
* Runco (projector supplier)
* Stewart (film screen)
* Xplore Solutions (Internet consultant)
* Cemco (steel wall framing)
* Cemex (stucco cement)
* Cheyenne Steel (structural steel supply and installation)
* Christofle Silver (silver, crystal, and table linens)
* Christopher Hyland Inc. (fabrics)
* The Concord Group (marketing consulting and analysis)
* CVC Coating (protective film for exposed glass during construction)
* Decorative Arts Center (fabrics)
* Design Concrete (structural and decorative flatwork installation)
* Design Within Reach (exterior and interior furnishings)
* Dietrich Industries (steel floor framing system)
* Donghia (furnishings, lamps, and accessories)
* Eagle Precast (precast-concrete deck)
* Econ Appliances (kitchen range hood installation)
* Energy Inspectors (HVAC system testing and energy audit)
* Excel Glass (exterior glass panels)
* Farmer Brothers Development (lifting equipment)
* GeoTek (construction/engineering consulting)
* Glassic Art (custom glass artwork)
* Great Western Survey (surveying services)
* GT Stoneworks (wall and floor tile installation)
* The Hammock Source (outside furniture)
* Harbour Excavation (excavating services)
* Horner and Co. (drapery fabrication)
* IBACOS Consortium (energy consulting, monitoring, and analysis)
* Icon Health & Fitness (fitness equipment)
* Indus Valley Arts (Buddah and Asian reproduction statuary)
* Interstil/Stroheim & Romann (curtain hardware)
* Interwest-Tempe Arizona (kitchen range hood)
* Jiun Ho Inc. (interior merchandising, furnishings, and rugs)
* Kelly's Pipe and Supply (rough plumbing supplier)
* Lakes at West Sahara Association (consulting/support)
* Landaco (hardscape microtopping, staining, and exposed aggregate installation)
* Las Vegas Wrought Iron (fences and gate)
* Lynx Grills (outdoor grill)
* Marble Granite & Tile (stone veneer specialty cuts and pool coping installation)
* Maya Romanoff Corp. (wallpaper)
* MistMaster (evaporative misting system installation)
* Moberg Fireplaces (consulting/design and master suite fireplace)
* Muse Group (bed linens, towels, and drapery fabric)
* Nevada Sources/Jay Pleggenkuhle (landscape design and installation)
* Nevamar Decorative Surfaces (elevator cab finishes)
* New Creation Masonry (stone veneer and block installation)
* Ahern Rental (equipment)
* Construction Sealants & Supply (sealants)
* Tri Delta (masonry supplier)
* Night Shift (interior wall surface finishes)
* Noorda Sheet Metal (copper louvers design, fabrication, and installation)
* Nora Lighting (light fixtures)
* Panasonic (home theater film screen)
* Pioneer Electronics (high-definition TVs)
* Plantworks (interior plants)
* Plycon Van Lines (shipping)
* Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (precast-concrete deck)
* Prestige Pools (pools)
* Prestige Roofing (copper roof and fascia installation)
* Red Rock Insulation (insulation supply and installation)
* Renaissance Vineyard and Winery (wine cellar supplies)
* Sawbuck (moldings and door jambs)
* Seating Innovations (exterior suspended seating)
* Somfy Systems (motors and controls for exterior awnings)
* Sonance (home theater speakers)
* Source Francaise (interior merchandising)
* Southern Nevada Concrete and Aggregate Association (concrete supply/installation coordination and consulting)
* Southern Nevada Ready Mix (concrete supply)
* Southwest Gas (consulting and technical services)
* Spas by Renee (spa supply)
* Star Nursery (xeriscape plants and trees)
* Stepstone (courtyard pavers)
* Stratton Electric (electrical system services and installation)
* The Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPs consulting and information)
* Sunrise Mechanical (mechanical systems installation)
* Tansu Design (antique accessories and furniture)
* 3G Mermet Corp. (exterior shading fabric)
* Tufenkian Carpets (area rugs)
* TXI Riverside (white pool plaster cement)
* United Green Mark (irrigation system and lighting)
* Universal Brass (stair railing installation)
* Valli & Valli (cabinet hardware and entry-door lockset)
* Vulcraft (suspended-ceiling system)
* The Wicker Works (furniture)
* Windochine (bed and window drapery and treatments)
* Wright Engineering (engineering consulting)

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Las Vegas, NV, Phoenix, AZ, Los Angeles, CA.