Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation with nearly one million people moving into the area over the past decade alone. A booming job market and economy, excellent schools, and an environment loaded with multiple quality of life amenities are only a few of the benefits that placed Charlotte second among the fastest growing U.S. cities according to the Census from 2010 – 2013.
Considered an affluent suburb of Charlotte, the Marvin area of Union County, which is about 20 miles from uptown Charlotte, has continued to leverage the region’s surge with the introduction of luxury communities set in serene, scenic locales surrounded by walking trails, shops, restaurants, parks, and numerous other forms of recreation and entertainment.
Rosecliff is one such development, featuring beautiful, customizable home designs with extensive architectural details, energy efficiency, and luxurious interiors rich with upscale finishes. Featured by Traton Homes, the 45-lot site opened in the spring of 2015 with its initial 3,400 to 5,000 sq. ft. offerings ranging from $600,000 to $800,000.
“The grand opening of this luxury lot was highly anticipated among those looking to move into the quiet countryside outside of Charlotte, while still having a 45-minute city commute,” says Trey Williams, a project manager at Traton Homes. “Quality and comfort were main concerns. Architectural beauty backed by low-maintenance was our goal the entire way. These homes were built for people who work hard and then want to enjoy every free moment without having to worry about constant improvements or upgrades.”
According to Jane Ann Simon, the former director of design for Traton Homes and now owner and president of Jane Ann Designs, another objective was to feature luxury design at a relatively reasonable price. In this position, she was responsible for the entire development’s overall visual look — choosing each of the items featured in the Traton Homes Design Center — and with helping homebuyers and builders throughout the specification process.
“Cost, style and function were all concerns for the contractors, who wanted to offer the best possible product within a very specific price range,” explains Simon. “Maintenance and warranty issues across the board were important as well. No one wants problems once the job is done. But, if an issue does arise, they all wanted to be on board with manufacturers that firmly backed their products.”
As a contrast to the many white-framed windows used throughout the complex, Simon and Traton Homes chose MI Window’s bronze-colored 3500 single-hung and 1556 double-hung windows for use in several Rosecliff projects. This included the design and construction of a five-bedroom, four-bath, 4,400 sq. ft home selling for approximately $700,000. The windows in bronze were chosen for their ability to “pop” against the home’s light-brown brick, stucco and sided exterior.
“After researching numerous options, MI products were chosen because a bronze-colored window at a reasonable price was exactly what the neighborhood needed,” said Williams. “This was a $600K-and-up neighborhood and our target market was savvy, move-up buyers, who wanted upgrades in the exterior and interior of the home. Against a sea of white windows, the rich bronze tones really helped these homes stand out from the crowd. It provided the exact look we wanted and at a price and quality level our builders demanded.”
According to Simon, homeowners are also increasingly looking for new ways to express themselves. Adding color is one of the most noticeable ways of enhancing ambiance, especially in areas that have been defined by a single color — white — for decades.
As a result, many manufacturers have responded to this new trend with technologies that are now adding color to outdoor features that in years past were only available in white or other neutral decors. While only two percent of the vinyl windows sold in 2014 had painted exteriors, recent estimates predict that this amount will increase to 16 percent by 2019 to provide another layer of customization to both new building and renovation projects.
Some of the latest advancement to the world of colored windows comes in the form of coatings. This state-of-the-art technology combines heat-reflective coatings with adhesion-promoting additives and oven-baked application to ensure the paint will maintain color and flexibility while preventing peeling, blistering, and flaking. Vinyl windows are painted after assembly, which allows the manufacturer to offer a variety of colors without having to inventory additional materials.
“Colored-window frames certainly make you look twice,” adds Simon. “The concept is just so new that it takes you by surprise and really makes a statement. Affordable luxury and the ability to transform the norm with style and little effort is exciting to many buyers. It actually adds a touch of artistry to a place where it’s least expected. In fact, this trial project worked so well that we recently introduced the concept to other builders, some of whom are now planning new developments with homes starting at about $1 million.”