New Schumacher Homes' Design Center
Story and People Photos by LEAH SHAPIRO | Photos by ROSS LYNN
While whizzing down I-26 east from Asheville, you can’t help but take a passing peek at the beautiful model home sitting just off the road. This “Blue Ridge” design from the Schumacher Homes’ Earnhardt Collection is actually a fully-functional design center for people wanting a new home and the freedom to customize it from the ground up. This new Asheville design center with the technologically-advanced Real-Time Design means that local potential homebuyers can turn their visions into realities in an instant.
For twenty years, the Schumacher family has completed the construction of over 10,000 custom nationwide near design locations in Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states. They have earned several prestigious awards including the Diamond Builder Award, #1 Design Center in America Award, Best in American Living Award, and Dream Home Builder Award presented by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“We started this from a white piece of paper,” explains founder Paul Schumacher, “We wanted to feature unique architecture that is not already on the market.” After attending Cornell University in South Carolina, he tried his hand at buying and renovating fixer-uppers in Canton, Ohio, his hometown. After succeeding at this career, he told his mother Mary, “Now, I want to be a builder.” She replied, “Paul, that’s wonderful, but you’ve never built a home. You’ll have to learn.” Today she adds, “And he did learn. Twenty years later, we’re America’s largest custom homebuilders.”
From 800 square feet to over 8,000, the Schumacher Homes’ collection contains about 250 designs with various styles. “Everything is built around the idea of the home as retreat,” Paul says, "Just warm, comfortable, relaxed living.” Through a partnership with René and Kerry Earnhardt, 22 of the homes have been designed for those who want to bring the excitement and beauty of nature inside. In this model home, a large screen-in porch allows for your relaxation and breath of fresh mountain air. High ceilings provide wide, open spaces.
From small decisions like lighting fixtures to paint colors to larger ones like additional closet space and rooms, the Schumachers have experienced homebuilding success from their enthusiasm for customization. “It’s all about you. You can get whatever you want,” explains Paul. “No settling.”
Although each Schumacher home is energy efficient from the get go, certain additions can earn the home energy star certification.
High performance windows, effective insulation, and energy-efficient healing and cooling equipment mean less energy and, ultimately, less monthly costs. Tim Fleishour, the Asheville design center’s general manager, discusses the benefits of the solarnomics’ option: “We put the panels on the roof [to produce solar electricity] and wires it into the main electrical system and if it uses less power than it produces, it will sell the power back to the power company. A check comes to the homeowner, so it’s a great system.”
From styles in American tradition to eco-contemporary to coastal, the Schumacher Homes’ home design inventory is extensive and the customizable options are limitless. Since Paul began the idea in 1992, his family members have also come on board. Pictured above (from left to right) is Kerry and René Earnhardt, Paul Schumacher and wife Nicole, and Paul’s sister Mary Becker. (Paul’s mother Mary, father John, and two other brothers John and Bill are not pictured.) Mary (pictured left) laughs, “People say to us, ‘Do you all really get along?’ We do. We never squabble,” she says. “People don’t work for us, they work with us.”
No two homebuyers are alike; no two homes are alike. And they shouldn’t have to be. Contact Schumacher Homes today to get a jumpstart on your new start.
The Schumacher Model Home and Design Center is located at 98 Dogwood Avenue in Asheville. For more information on Schumacher Homes, visit online at schumacherhomes.com or call 828.684.8863.