« Go Back Designed by: Khalil Hamady | 1997 | Ivy, VA
With a Southern Living plan as a starting point, this Texas family created a classically elegant home amidst towering oaks in a conservation community near the city of Charlottesville.
Other builders wanted to build me the home that they wanted me to have. Smith & Robertson built me the home that I wanted.
When other builders said they could not build the house I wanted for the money I wanted to spend, Glenn Robertson was the only builder who said, 'We will find a way,' beams Tina.
Tina and Carl Moje were looking for a builder, and looking for land, from Dallas, TX. They started out with reading a brochure from the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association entitled, "How to Find the Best Builder." Tina called three of them, and mailed these builders copies of her Southern Living plan.
Tina had picked the Crabapple Cottage from the Southern Living Magazine about 5 years before, telling Carl, "If we ever build a house again, that's the house I want." Carl knows she'll be patient, no matter how long it takes. She tore out the article and filed it long before their plans to move. But as the years passed, Carl and Tina decided they wanted to move back to the east coast, where they were raised, and began to settle on location. Charlottesville was a natural choice as it offered their top 5 criteria: culture, good temperature, airport, good health care and a major University.
After speaking on the phone with the builders, Tina was surprised to hear one say, "If I were going to build a custom house, I would use Smith & Robertson." So she called Glenn, and liked him from the start on phone. He was the last builder she interviewed. And Glenn was the one who had a "can do" attitude to get her into the house design she wanted, explaining to her there might be areas to change/modify to fit their budget, rather than steering her to an entirely new plan in a builder portfolio of plans.
And even better, Glenn helped the Moje's find their beautiful land in Ivy, Virginia. Carl fell instantly in love with the site, with towering trees. The preferred house site was confined by these mature trees. "Glenn recognized the fact that given the topo of the land, the large footprint house plan we had may not exactly fit as drawn, so we changed the direction of the "L", and we love it," says Carl Moje. "It's much more attractive."
The Moje's stayed in Dallas during construction, returning every 2-3 months. But long before start of construction, Smith & Robertson had instilled a sense of trust-worthiness, so the Moje's were content to build long distance. Ahead of time, when they went to see some of their other homes, "we felt that Glenn's houses had a soul. We weren't in just a house, we were in a home. You could feel the warmth in them," remembers Tina. So the process was smooth, phone calls were made for every custom detail.
Another aspect of Smith & Robertson that drew Carl was "Glenn and Ron have a sense of preserving the environment. They knew how important it was for me to preserve these magnificent trees, so they hired an arborist to feed the trees. They also used a cement pump, rather than a heavy cement truck which would damage the root systems, to pour the foundation, knowing how I felt about the trees. All of them survived."
Carl and Tina still get the unsolicited, "Wow! What a beautiful home you have!" And that sure makes the move to Charlottesville worth while.