Garman Homes builds green in Briar Chapel

06/23/2014 12:02 PM

06/23/2014 12:05 PM

Garman Homes is using green building techniques and sustainable building products to create efficiently-designed, three- and four-bedroom homes in Briar Chapel with cozy yards and detached, two-car garages with back-alley parking for two more cars.

Homes in Briar Chapel have access to approximately 900 acres of open space and 24 miles of hiking and biking trails. There is a spacious clubhouse with fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, and multiple parks —one with an amphitheater, some with open fields, some with gazebo/pergola type structures and others with boulder outcrops. The neighborhood parks include two community gardens, a dog park, a discovery park with a fossil dig area and hammocks, and a children’s playground near the pool.

This fall a new 5-acre park, Great Meadow, will open and be the center of what will eventually be another 600-home neighborhood in Briar Chapel, according to Shannon McSwiney, marketing director for Newland Communities, the developer of Briar Chapel. The Margaret Pollard Middle School can be seen in the distance from some of the knolls in this area of Briar Chapel, as can an old tobacco barn that is being restored by Newland Communities.

Children living in Briar Chapel would attend Chatham County Schools: Perry Harrison Elementary School at 2655 Hamlets Chapel Road, Pittsboro; Northwood High School at 310 Northwood School Road, Pittsboro; and Margaret Pollard Middle School, which is located on the back side of Briar Chapel off of Andrews Store Road (SR 1528) at 185 Granite Mill Blvd. Like all Briar Chapel homes, the school has a Chapel Hill mailing address, but is located in Chatham County. Woods Charter School is a K-12 public charter school located at Woodland Grove Lane, less than a half-mile down Andrews Store Road from Margaret B. Pollard Middle School.

Briar Chapel partnered with Chatham County Arts Council and local schools “to create and incorporate original sculpture and artwork along the trails to enrich the landscape and provide a uniquely artful experience around every bend,” according to the BriarChapelNC website. To see examples of the art along the trails, go to

Like all home builders in Briar Chapel, Garman Homes is building to at least the Bronze level of National Green Building Standards. At Briar Chapel, Garman Homes is using a ZIP wall exterior system that prevents water damage when correctly installed and radiant barrier sheathing in the attic to reduce radiant heat gain.  A few other green features include WaterSense toilets, low-flow faucets and tankless water heaters.

Jill Thomas Bone says that she loves her new, two-story Garman home in the first neighborhood of Briar Chapel that is loosely centered off major spokes of the traffic circle Earth Castings Park: Briar Chapel Parkway and Great Ridge Parkway. There are 10 neighborhood parks scattered throughout this first neighborhood and several key amenities, including the Briar Chapel Clubhouse, Fitness Center, outdoor swimming center and playground (

Bone says that Briar Chapel is closer to her work as a teacher at Northwood High School, and she says her kids like the bike-friendly trails winding throughout the community.

“What I like about Garman Homes is they have a little personality,” Bone said. “They are a moderate-size builder, but their homes look different than just a change in paint color. They are clever, crafty, a little bit off-beat, and I like that.”

“The house has a lot of character,” Bone said. “We have nicknamed it the Hacienda.”

Bone said that Briar Chapel is a genuinely great community, too. She had lived in Southern Village for 15 years and really liked the New Urbanism of small yards, large community spaces and good schools. She wanted to keep the practicality she sees in new urban communities, but shrink her cost-of-living and expand into the diversity she sees in Chatham County.

Garman homes in Briar Chapel start in the $270,000s and range from 1,950- to 2,200 square feet. Move-in ready homes with higher-end finishes are listed on the Garman website in the $300,000-plus range. Garman Homes has move-in ready homes as well as pre-sale opportunities available at Briar Chapel, according to Maggie Douglas, a sales manager for Garman Homes.

The collection of homes is referred to as the “Mix Tape” collection because all of the elevation names were inspired by lyrics from some of the Garman team’s favorite songs, Douglas said. Elevation names include: “South-bound Train,” “Castle in Brooklyn,” “Classy Kind of Sassy,” and “Impossible is Possible.” Garman offers four unique floor plans with an emphasis being on outdoor living space, Douglas said.

“Music makes us feel things the same way a great space in a cool house inspires a dream for the future,” Money said.

Garman’s model home, now available for sale, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Call Garman’s on-site representatives Janice Nesbitt or Katie O’Quin at 800-560-1160 for more information.

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