Lake Norman Builder Customizes 7,500 Square Foot Home With Classically Detailed Exterior & Open Floor Plan Interior

Posted on | May 3, 2016 | No Comments

When you have a home built, you are literally placing your biggest investment in someone else’s hands. Today’s featured home, a gorgeous, 7,500 square foot Lake Norman new build, exemplifies what can be accomplished when homeowners put their faith in the right builder. Lake Norman custom home builder and remodeler Rob Passarelli, owner of Passarelli Custom Homes, is known for his expert craftsmanship, and for going above and beyond to make every home an ideal fit for his clients – no matter how challenging that might be. He was gracious enough to tell North Carolina Design this home’s unique story.

Images Courtesy of Passarelli Custom Homes ©

The homeowners were a couple from New York who decided to partially retire in North Carolina. “They were invited to visit the area by friends,” recounts Rob. “They fell in love with it. They purchased a lot, but they didn’t know where to turn for a builder. Their lender recommended us, yet the clients didn’t know us personally – and they weren’t familiar with our work. The project was even more of a leap of faith because they lived in another state and wouldn’t be there during the build.”

The homeowners had embraced the North Carolina style, but wanted to take a traditional plan and put a modern feel to it. They purchased a template that had the historic look, flow and general design that they wanted. However, it did fall a little short when it came to both form and function. Fortunately, Rob was able to help the couple tweak the template into something that was absolutely perfect for them.

“Templates can be great, especially if you work with a good custom builder who can adjust them to fit your needs,” Rob notes. “A custom builder can see issues and problems in plans that you might not, and they can find creative solutions that are perfect for you. In this case, the template was perhaps a little too historic for my clients. It had fluted columns, dental moulding – lots of embellishments that didn’t quite suit their tastes. The rooms were also a bit too closed off.”

“We took out walls and created an open floor plan with a great flow from room to room. We simplified the design to create a more streamlined and clean look. We created a big, sweeping archway in the kitchen area, and we enlarged the sunroom, the master bedroom and the garage. We also gave them a spot for entertaining right off the kitchen, complete with a full bar and a pool table in place of a dining table.”

Rob also gave the homeowners an incredible pool, which presented its own challenges. “The topography of the land didn’t easily support a pool,” he affirms. “We had to use steps to create different levels. And the fireplace actually doubles as a retaining wall.”

The homeowners only made a handful of visits to the property during the build, leaving Rob to handle a great deal of the day-to-day decisions. “So much of it was out of their hands,” he reflects. “They couldn’t investigate the vendors who were doing the painting or the stone work. They couldn’t look over every selection as it came in. It was hard for them to visualize everything. They really had to rely on my judgment and my understanding of what they wanted.”

While the added responsibility might have weighed a bit on Rob, having long-distance clients made the final ‘reveal’ of the home that much more exciting and rewarding. “They really were seeing the house, as a whole, for the first time,” he says. “It was a pretty significant moment. I felt anxious, hoping it was all exactly what they wanted, but at the same time I was excited and couldn’t wait for them to see how it all turned out.”

Rob needn’t have worried at all. “They were like kids in a candy store,” he recounts. “At every turn, they were saying ‘Wow, look at this!’ They loved everything – it all went above and beyond anything they had expected. It was so gratifying. Their faith in us was justified. We understood their vision, we used our best judgement and it all came together in a really amazing way.”

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