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The Concrete Chateau: High Style Meets High Strength

One of the newest concrete residences on the North Carolina scene has been described as “Quiet Elegance.” The Chateau, a French-country-style home built by Jon Rufty, and designed by Davenport Architecture + Design, Inc. (current CHC member) achieves exquisite style, superior class and enough resilience to withstand the most threatening elements.

An experienced custom home builder, Rufty has completed five concrete residences to date. The most recent of which is the Chateau, a three-story, 7,345-square-foot, luxury home located on 4.9 acres in Durham, North Carolina.

This magnificent estate home was built without a buyer in line. This may seem unusual, being that it is a concrete home with a price tag just above $2.25 million, but for Rufty, building luxury spec homes is all in a day’s work. “The reason we continue to build spec concrete homes is we truly believe that cast-in-place, using removable forms, concrete homes create a superior quality home,” Rufty says.

It is obvious upon stepping foot on the property that Rufty had a vision in mind when he planned this quality home. Chateau visitors cross the four-car, concrete cobblestone motor court before entering the oversized mahogany doorway and gazing down at the magnificent 24″x 24″ limestone floors. As you enter the game room, you are immediately impacted with acid etched concrete floors. These are just a few of the special features that place this house in a class by itself.

This Chateau is located in The Hills of Rosemont subdivision, which is just 10 miles south of I-40 near the rapidly developing area that encompasses a multitude of residential and commercial growth, including the new Streets of Southpoint shopping mall. Not only is the home exquisite in design with the exceptionally private setting, it is also conveniently located.

The property boasts five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and three half bathrooms. Rufty says that he wants each room to have a suite-like feel and he therefore includes a private bathroom with each bedroom, as well as a walk-in closet. Other extras Rufty opted to include in the design are a recreation room, an exercise room, a home-automated-lighting system, a media room and a four-car garage. To complete the house’s perfect combination of amenities, he also installed a large, rectangular-shaped pool, complete with hot tub, waterfall, tanning shelf and two fountains. The Chateau’s picturesque backyard is framed by a man-made pond with a large fountain in its center. The home also backs up to hundreds of acres of dedicated open space.

In all of these rooms and areas in the home, Rufty used concrete and natural materials for design purposes and to carry the theme of the home’s concrete structure throughout. A stacked-stone grotto frames the kitchen’s range and oven. Earthy ceramic tiles, in a range of sizes and shades, encase the garden tub and give the floor and shower a natural ambience. In many places the concrete walls are thickened to make the already solid walls visually wider. These design elements are not only aesthetically appealing; they are also reminders of the Chateau’s solid composition.

“Because of the monolithic pouring of the walls and ceilings, the home is essentially a sleek reinforced concrete cube,” Rufty says. “Concrete homes make it so that you can’t hear the footsteps on the floor above you and the china in the dining room doesn’t rattle when you walk by.”

A virtually soundproof environment is just one of the bonuses associated with concrete construction, but Rufty hopes to educate the public on the vast number of benefits. Fire resistance, reduced energy consumption, healthier environment, increased durability and lower maintenance are some of the main advantages that attract Rufty to build these concrete homes.

Rufty’s first ventures in cast-in-place concrete construction using removable forms were townhomes in Raleigh and Topsail Island and a 10,000-square-foot custom home in Birklands that has been used as a model home for the developer for the past three years. Part of Rufty’s concrete success is working with an experienced concrete contractor. Curt Fields and his team at Tri-City Contractors are no strangers to concrete home construction and Fields candidly admits that the Chateau is his favorite home of all of his past projects.

“It is the most dynamic house I have participated in the construction of in the last 30 years,” Fields says. “Rufty is extremely innovative and we’re glad that he’s building concrete homes in our market.”

by Rachel Zwerneman, Op5 Creative, Inc.
Rachel Zwerneman is a project coordinator for Op5 Creative, Inc. in Atlanta, Ga. She is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in magazine journalism.

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