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Tag: smith lake

The Appeal of the Semi-Custom Home

semi-custom homes

semi-custom homes

We love to show off just how much you can accomplish working with great architectural talent. But not everyone has the patience for that process. Which is part of the reason we spend so much time developing communities full of semi-custom or even turnkey options. Wondering what that means for your options? We asked Louis Nequette, of Nequette Architecture and Design, to explain this particular design process.

If you come in early in the process, he notes, you’ll have more customization options. But you don’t have to do that to have a home that feels special. The key, as Louis describes it, is to create enough designs that we avoid constant repetition. “We want them to have the individuality and identity of custom homes,” he says, but with a more streamlined process.

“What’s been happening mostly is someone has come in as it’s getting built and slightly customized it,” he says. “And some of the happiest people buy it after it’s done.” That’s especially true in our Smith Lake communities, Silverock Cove and Hawk’s Nest.

“Because let’s face it, those kind of second home purchases are impulse, somewhat. They’re emotional, as they should be. And when you see it and you like it, you’d love to be able to use it.”

We want you to be able to get away from it all, including design decisions. But that doesn’t mean you should accept a sub-par space just to enjoy it as-is. We know there’s another way, and we’d be happy to show it to you.

As Louis explains it, we try “to always be completing unsold houses so that someone has that opportunity to buy it and move right in.” It’s a perspective that works perfectly with Nequette Architecture & Design’s creative process: “We imagine that family before they even exist and try to create the right living environment so that they can step right in and have a good time.”



Smith Lake by H2: Defined by Nature, Designed for “Connection”

hawk's nest on smith lake

What do you look for when you’re buying a lake home? Other than geography and enough rooms, what is it that makes a lake home feel right? One man who knows those answers is Louis Nequette, owner of Nequette Architecture and Design. The firm has worked with us to design our two Smith Lake communities — Silverock Cove and Hawk’s Nest — so they’re well-versed in what works for lake living.

Defined by nature

The biggest design difference on the lake, says Nequette, is that there’s no real backyard. Instead of one grand entry point, a lake house has two: the lake and the road. The lake is the hands-down winner in the contest, he says, and “the houses should be designed to front the lake instead of back up to the lake.”


“You don’t really get to get away with that being the only front because we still arrive by car, and we want a sense of arrival and a sense of a front door on that side as well.”

That two-entrance perspective isn’t the only way a lake house differs in attitude, according to Nequette. As a second home, it doesn’t have to do the work of closeting your entire wardrobe. It can shed “some of the gratuitous square footage” of your main home, so you don’t spend valuable lake time tidying.

“It needs to stay simple. It needs to stay airy and open. It needs to have materials that make you feel like you’re at the lake, not at your city house,” Nequette says.

It needs “to blur the lines between the inside and the out,” he says. “So let the outdoor environment and the indoor space come together.” In other words, the lake house’s job is to let nature take care of the grandeur.

Designed for “connection”

But those homes are part of a larger community. Fortunately, community is also a Nequette specialty. “At Hawk’s Nest we took the typical kind of sequencing of your dock connecting to the house and we allowed this boardwalk to cross all of those and become the waterfront sidewalk that any of the residences can use,” he says.

“So that if I’m at my dock, and my neighbor’s at his, it’s an easy way for me to go say hello and visit, take a walk at night along the waterfront–because that’s where you want to be–and give that opportunity for community connection and growth.”

Like entrances, community space operates on multiple fronts: “Once you accomplish that kind of rustic connection to the outdoors and sense of community, what we’ve done is provided and allowed all those to wrap around a central green,” Nequette says. “Because what most lake communities don’t offer is that open-air place that’s not on the water.”


Looking for your place on Smith Lake? Check out our Silverock Cove and Hawk’s Nest communities.

Smith Lake by H2: Lookout for the Views

hawk's nest watchtower

If you’ve spent any time at our Silverock Cove community on Smith Lake, you know how we feel about the nature. It’s one of the key reasons to escape the city for a little lake living, after all, so we work hard to preserve it. We love finding inspired ways to build around it so our communities feel less like a lakeside suburb and more like a lakefront escape.

All of which sounds great until you buy a property — like our Hawk’s Nest community — that’s already largely cleared. The challenge then is to take advantage of open space without losing lakeside charm.

Working with our friends at Nequette Architecture & Design — design geniuses, those folks — we came up with a plan to turn a bare field into a community amenity. Our solution? Create a generous common lawn, add an eye-catching crescent of a pool, punctuate it with a watchtower.

Covered in stone and topped with an open-air platform, the Hawk’s Nest watchtower is a functional emblem of the community. It takes advantage of the community center to give residents the one thing lakefront living almost never can: sweeping, panoramic views.

We’ve tried to create a balance between personal escape and community spirit. Lake fronts and private docks give you space to get away; our pool and lawn areas give you a place to connect. They’re nice amenities for a lakeside community, offered here with a singular style.

If Silverock Cove’s sprawling trail network reminds us of a luxury summer camp, Hawk’s Nest feels like a family compound. Situated on a single peninsula around a circle of road, it’s designed to be a completely different experience from our other Smith Lake development. Not better; not worse. Just a thoroughly alternative option.

You go to Smith Lake for the quiet, naturalist atmosphere, for homes that are close to the land. But what our communities can add — either with lakeside trails at Silverock or our inventive little lookout at Hawk’s Nest — is a wide lake view.

Lake Life Spotlight: Silverock Cove

silverock exterior


Imagine spending your weekends in a place that combines all the rustic charm of a lakeside camp with some serious amenities. A place that balances the yearning for a simple retreat and the conveniences that keep life simple. Silverock Cove, our premier Smith Lake community, is designed to offer the perfect combination of lakefront nostalgia and modern luxury.

Lots at Silverock are tiered to maximize each home’s lake views. Wooden boardwalks keep the community’s natural setting at the forefront, and exterior features — classic peaked roofs, wood siding in earthy colors, and stone accents — fit the lake’s tree root- and boulder-dotted shoreline. But beautifully designed docks and architectural details offer subtle reminders that this is not your average lake living.


silverock interior


Interiors are bright and open, full of windows, light paint, and natural-toned wood for a modern take on the cabin feel. Kitchens may combine rustic open shelving and classic cabinetry, balancing easy reach staples and neat, closed storage. Details like subway tile and shiplap and simple corbel trim evoke classic American charm, while modern fixtures also fit more contemporary furnishing styles.

Of course, no self-respecting lake house would ignore outdoor space. That’s why many Silverock homes include features like outdoor living areas, screened porches, and even built-in grills. Within the community, walking trails abound, and a boat concierge service makes getting out on the water that much easier. There are even two community pools, along with a pool house that’s received an architecture award.

The calming natural setting makes a perfect weekend home for folks from Birmingham and Huntsville, as well as surrounding Southeastern states. With 110 homes in the $350,000-750,000 range, why not make it your family getaway too?