Focus Builders wins Good Hood Award


In recognition for restoring and improving the built environment of the neighborhood, Seth Argo and Focus Builders were awarded the Good Hood Award by the Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association for their recent work building 204 Elmington. The award is one of two that was given, and the only one for residential in the area with a strict historic overlay.

“You have to meet pretty specific criteria in order to rebuild a new house in a historic neighborhood,” Argo says.

Some of the details Argo used on the 4,300 square foot, two-story bungalow that honored the neighborhood include hand-laying full-depth, cut limestone around the water table and chimneys, and using premiere Hardie-brand artisan siding with mitered corners rather than corner boards.

“We wanted to use real stone,” Argo says. “The siding we used was a much more expensive siding, but it’s thicker, so it’s more authentic to the way that siding was made 80 or 100 years ago.”

From the time they bought the lot, got all of the approvals needed and finished construction, the total time spent on the project was close to one year. And what other people might have found challenging, Argo took in stride, aided by architect Preston Shea of P. Shea Designs, a member of the historic council in downtown Franklin.

“You just don’t get many of these opportunities, really,” Argo says. “There’s just not many houses in these neighborhoods that have this non-conforming status.”

The bungalow fits in with the architecture style of the neighborhood, though some inspiration for the build came from South Carolina’s Habersham, an award-winning development with oak-lined streets and residential parks known for pulling architectural inspiration from its nearby historic cities of Beaufort, Charleston and Savannah.

Argo also pulled from a recent project on Paris Avenue in the 12 South neighborhood that wasn’t deemed historic, but just west of the neighborhood was and so the owner wanted to really stick to very historically accurate architecture.

“That one was a good precursor to this because it gave us a chance to do a lot of research, and figure out which products were going to work the best – make it look really authentic, but at the same time get what you want out of a new build, which is high-efficiency, low-maintenance materials,” Argo says.

Photography by: Showcase Photographers

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