Bluffs of Weiss


Southern Living Showcase Home

There are similarities between the latest Rome-based Southern Living Custom Builder Program Showcase Home and others which you may have visited. Of course, it will be distinctly Southern Living and you will soon be able to find this unique house plan in the gallery of plans offered by the magazine’s home plans group. And it will feature products from some of the Program’s premier building products sponsors such as Lennox, Jeld-Wen, Sherwin-Williams, Sunbrella and Belgard. Some of your favorite Rome charities will benefit from this Showcase Home, just as in the past.

Bluffs Southern Living Showcase Home Front Elevation

However, the similarities probably end there. Let me explain!

Location:  While we consider this Showcase Home to be Rome-based, the better characterization of its location might be a “Rome bedroom community---with benefits.” It is located 25 miles west of Rome, in Cedar Bluff, Alabama in a gated development called The Bluffs ( The short drive accommodates those who work and shop in Rome while enjoying the many benefits of living in a scenic, peaceful and cost-efficient setting. The topography of the development is truly unique---positioned on a mountain peninsula which extends into Weiss Lake, almost entirely surrounded by water. Every lot has dramatic water views and almost all have additional views of the surrounding mountain range. The Showcase Home’s 200 degree water view is exemplary of many other home sites at The Bluffs.

The 2011 Southern Living CBP Showcase Home at The Bluffs

This classic “Alabama Farm House” design features three distinct segments. First, the main living quarters consist of a family room; dining area; two-part kitchen (a front area for serving and a scullery for preparation); a master suite with oversized walk-in closets; and a sleeping porch off the master.  

Second, the Bunk House is under the same roof as the main living quarters, but separated by a “dogtrot.” For those not familiar with the term, the dogtrot is an open breezeway, positioned to capture the almost continuous airflow up the mountain from the lake. The Bunk House has two bunk rooms, a recreation room, a guest bedroom and two full baths.

A separate cottage features a large community conference room (with a drop-dead lake view) for executive meetings, civic gatherings, and other functions that bring guests to The Bluffs. The cottage also has an office for the business of The Bluffs and a guest bedroom for lot owners.

Click this link to follow the construction of ths Weiss Lake Property Southern Living Showcase Home

Energy Conservation Throughout This Southern Living Showcase Home

Perhaps the most interesting design element of this Showcase Home is the attention given to energy conservation and future maintenance costs. These unique design features and the associated construction techniques may be the main reason you would want a guided tour while the Showcase Home is under construction---and then again for the Open House.

Some of the energy conservation and environmental considerations include:

  1. One-room-deep layout, thus enabling cross ventilation...the ultimate in passive design;
  2. Heating and cooling with a ground-source heat exchange system (sometimes referred to as a geothermal system);
  3. Hot water heating using by-product heat from the geothermal system;
  4. House orientation, porches and overhangs designed to minimize summer sun on windows and doors and maximize solar energy;
  5. 10.5 inch thick walls, allowing for the latest insulation techniques to prevent heat and cold transfer into the building envelope;
  6. Use of reclaimed early 1900’s brick for dogtrot and porch floors and wormwood maple from an historic pepper curing barn for accent walls;
  7. Stone used for fireplaces and exterior to be harvested from the property;
  8. Use of James Hardie’s Artisan (extra thick concrete) product for exterior walls, to minimize future maintenance;
  9. Porous river rock drives and parking areas to minimize water runoff;
  10. Capture of rain water for irrigation and water feature;
  11. Open breezeway to separate portions of the house and harvest cooling breezes off the lake;
  12. Paint colors, roof material and color schemes consistent with heating and cooling efficiency; and,
  13. Energy saving household appliances, windows and doors.

Those involved in presenting this Southern Living Showcase Home include:

Developers: John & Patsy Hyatt of The Bluffs Development, Inc.

Designer: Lew Oliver, an Atlanta-based home and community planner with an international reputation for designing entire neighborhoods around a theme of upscale living in an efficient and energy-conscious fashion. Lew specializes in homes of classic design, which emphasize environmental consciousness with quality materials and craftsmanship.

Builder: Wade Chappell, a Georgia Tech grad and the managing principal of Chappell Construction Group, Inc. Wade has built dozens of homes designed by Atlanta’s best architecture & design firms. Chappell Construction prides itself on accurately implementing quality designs in an efficient fashion.

Decorator: Avis Everett, a Georgia-based interior designer. Avis has a reputation for classic and functional design and d├ęcor and will demonstrate that expertise with this Showcase Home.

Marketing Agency: Advertising Dynamics, Inc. in Rome.

To minimize construction disruption and avoid the potential hazards of a building site, tours will be allowed only with the accompaniment of a representative of The Bluffs. You may call 404 421-6946 or 256 523-8522 to schedule your tour or enter your request on our contact page.