When Barnette Crabtree started developing neighborhoods in North Carolina, the 1972 Duke University graduate began in Durham. Several of the citys finest neighborhoods bear his signature, including American Village, Hardscrabble Plantation, Hopewell, Lennox, Marydell Estates, Snow Hill Preserve, Surrey Green, Stephens Woods and Vantage Pointe.
In the early 1990s, the North Carolina licensed general contractor and real estate broker saw a need for young families to have affordable homes. He created Sun River Builders Inc. to specialize in developing land and floor plans that would appeal to first-time homebuyers.
Over the years, he perfected the floor plans, and he now has five plans ranging from 1,206 to 1,668 square feet. Prices start at $99,900 and go up to $140,000 or more, depending on square footage and building products desired.
The GoGreen Cottage floor plans are almost identical (see them at www.thegogreencottage.com) the main differences being size of rooms more than layout, except for the second story, where all but the smallest plan has a bathroom to service the second-story bedroom (loft).
Crabtree, who has built many size and types of homes over his long career, says he can adjust any GoGreen floor plan to buyers needs. For example, some buyers want photovoltaic solar panels, instant hot water heaters, and desire a basement or boat dock due to site configurations.
In 2009, his company and building partners in the construction industry built the smallest GoGreen plan on site at The Streets at Southpoint for the Home Builders Associations annual spring Green Home Tour. Interest in the home was so great that it stayed up a month longer than originally planned.
This year, for the HBA Parade of Homes, Crabtree built the 1,310-square-foot GoGreen floor plan at 1512 Sassafras Hill Street in Durham. The house, with its many upgrades in a desirable location near Little River Lake Regional Park and Natural Area and Durham Technical Community Colleges north campus, is being offered at $159,900, Crabtree said.
The GoGreen Cottage on Parade this year won a red ribbon for its spacious 20-foot wrap-around deck that will allow new owners to enjoy the beauty of the woods at the back of the house. Granite counters, a metal roof and Craftsman-styled front door are just a few of the amenities that will make living in this house a joy.
Our GoGreen Cottage not only appeals to young singles and young families, Crabtree said, about half of our parade traffic was empty nesters who had raised their families and were ready to downsize. With over 10,000 people turning 65 every day in America, this represents a huge market. They love the real, random-width oak hardwoods milled in southern Virginia, as well as the real maple cabinets. Of course, the fiber cement siding by Nichiha was a big hit as well.
Over the past two years, according to Crabtree, Sun River Builders Inc has built the GoGreen Cottage for people all over central North Carolina Alamance, Chatham, Durham, Orange and Person counties and even at Ocean Isle Beach in Brunswick County. Crabtree says he is currently building a GoGreen Cottage on Lake Gaston for some folks from Chapel Hill.
During the past couple of years the company has built the GoGreen Cottage for clients (not including land, utilities or site work) for as low as $107,739 (for 1,206 square feet) to $189,536 (for 1,839 square feet plus a lot of site work and utilities), according to Crabtree.
We have actually improved our energy specifications even more to include the closed-cell spray foam insulation, Crabtree said. We also do a lot of metal roofs now. We customize each and every one of our cottages, but I think we could build a one-bath version today, including all of the energy upgrades, for as low as $99,900, not including land, utilities or site work.
Crabtree said that more than 150 people come through the GoGreen Cottage during this years three-weekend Parade of Homes.
Most people said Wow! when they walked through the front door, Crabtree said. They could not believe you could get so much livable space in our cottage.
They liked the 2-by-6 walls, which allowed combination of closed-cell spray foam insulation and formaldehyde-free fiberglass Crabtree said. Also, on the underside of the roof, Sun River Builders Inc installs 2.5 inches of closed-cell spray foam insulation before installing nine inches of fiberglass, the combination of which provides an R-45 air-tight envelope.
This provides draft-free comfort for our homeowners with total utility bills for heating, cooling, hot water, cooking & lighting in the range of $50 to $60 per month, Crabtree said.
GoGreen Cottages are Energy-Star Certified by a third party engineer, Crabtree said.
For more information about building a GoGreen Cottage, contact Crabtree at 919-291-1913 or email him at BarnetteCrabtree@gmail.com or write to Sun River Builders Signature Homes, Inc, 5102 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd., Suite 205, Durham, NC 27707.