Every time they do a custom home, for Melissa and Scott Powell — the power couple behind New Leaf Custom Homes — it’s a chance to make someone’s dream a reality. 

“With custom home building, almost everybody has a learning curve,” Melissa said as we enjoyed the early spring sunlight pouring through the wall of windows in her family’s modern home. “A lot of it is accommodating ideas from clients, and then finding the right craftsman or subcontractor to do those creative, edgy things.” 

That’s a common theme for New Leaf Custom Homes — a CandysDirt.com Approved Builder — and the Powells. The brand is so client-focused that each home is a completely new vision and the results are a category by themselves. 

But the family’s personal home, which is definitely worth the shuttle ride during this weekend’s White Rock Home Tour, was an exercise in stepping out of their comfort zone.

Not only did Scott and Melissa build their dream home, but they did it in a way that was easy on the environment without sacrificing style. It’s definitely an inspiration, from the suspended-slab foundation to the floor-to-ceiling windows to the reclaimed wood siding to the solar panel array. 

You can still score your tickets for this weekend’s tour, which not only features the Powells’ personal home on Forest Trail, but another beautiful build from New Leaf on the same street. 

The 14th annual White Rock Home Tour is this weekend, April 27-28, and tour-goers will get a close-up look at two Midcentury Modern homes and five new modern homes, each of which offers can’t miss details and design. Discounted early bird tickets are on sale now for $15 each at whiterockhometour.org. During tour weekend, tickets are $20 each and will be on sale at Hexter Elementary (9720 Waterview Rd.) starting at 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., as well as each tour home from noon to 4:45 p.m. (tour closes at 5 p.m. sharp). All proceeds from the 14th annual White Rock Home Tour benefit DISD’s Hexter Elementary. The 2018 WRHT raised $61,400 for students and teachers.

You can also try your luck to win a pair of tickets from CandysDirt.com — the official media sponsor of this year’s tour. Keep reading for more!

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Home is LEED Platinum Certified

4500 Westridge Avenue No. 20 is a 1,500-square-foot, single-story townhome designed by John Wesley Jones. (photos: Trey Freeze Media)

What is a LEED certified home and why should you care?

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a designation from the U.S. Green Building Council to promote and encourage home builders and owners to be environmentally responsible and efficient with their home. But what does that really mean?  Well it means this is an uber energy-efficient home filled with sustainable materials from nearby areas that not only are eco-friendly, they’re really cool as well.

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Dallas earned a gold star for green building! A new report by Abodo.com ranks the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex tops for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified residential building. In fact, Texas leads the nation with the most LEED-certified residential construction projects by a substantial margin. With 6,945 LEED-certified residential projects underway in Texas, more than half of them – 3,797, to be precise – are located in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington. California comes in second with 5,255. Nice work, Big D.

But before we get too excited about our achievements in sustainability, there are other statistics we ought to consider. Abodo cites data from the US Census Bureau showing that in July of 2017 alone, there were 1.16 million residential project starts. Of those, a measly 38,350 are designed to LEED standards.

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USGBC’s 2015 Green Building Economic Impact report found that the residential green construction market is expected to grow from $55 million in 2015 to $100.4 million in 2018, representing a year-over-year growth of 24.5 percent.

If you’re passing off eco-friendly home building as a trend that’s not worth the up-front investment, you might need to think again.

The University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Green Building Council released a report finding that, not only are green homes worth more in resale, new homes in Texas built to LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) command an 8 percent premium. Homes built to other green standards also sell at higher prices – 6 percent higher than conventional homes.

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