Story By Heather Lowery

Photography By G. Frank Hart

Gene and Ann Paschold have long had a love affair with SunsetBeach. The splendor, tranquility and relaxed atmosphere attracted the couple from the very first moment they were introduced to the island.

Sunset Beach was dear to their hearts, and they knew that it would be a perfect location for their dream house at the beach. The thought of building was scary at first, but much to their surprise, building their home couldn’t have been easier.

Both Gene and Ann are North Carolina natives from the Piedmont area. Since 1974 they have lived in Winston-Salem, where Gene continues to be a practicing oncologist.

The couple’s affection for SunsetBeach began in 1992 when they were first brought there by friends, who owned a duplex on this quaint island.

“SunsetBeach is beautiful and we love the quietness of it and the laid-back feel,” says Gene.

Since that first vacation, the Pascholds returned to the island year after year with family and friends. In 2000 they bought an approximately one-acre waterfront property that held a small, circa 1985 cottage. The property was a site to behold with its generous amount of old live oaks adorning much of the front yard and an expanse of green leading down to the Intracoastal Waterway.

The Pascholds loved vacationing at their own beach cottage, but with two sons and their families (including a total of five grandsons), they always wished that the home was bigger.

Gene and Ann looked into expanding the existing cottage, but structurally it just wouldn’t work, so they finally decided to demolish the house and completely rebuild. This new endeavor was uncharted waters for the Pascholds.

“This was our first building experience and we were quite nervous, at first,” says Ann. The first thing the Pascholds needed was a design and floor plan. They wanted the home to have the look of an old Florida cottage.

“We chose a local design company,” says Ann. “We told them what kind of design we wanted and they created a custom plan for us.”

The design process culminated in a 3,400-square-foot, three-story, reverse floor plan home with four bedrooms and four and a half baths. Special design features included an elevator, an exercise room and three garages. Water views were given special consideration by adding two screened porches on the third floor and two full length porches on the second floor, one on each side of the house.

The beige Hardie Plank shake-style siding on the outside, along with a metal roof, captured the Florida cottage look they were seeking. The picture was complete with a pier and gazebo leading to a private dock.

Once the plans were complete, it was time to select a builder.

“We met with three builders and there was no doubt who we were going to go with,” Ann says. “We chose Blue Sky Building Company owned by Luke and Sandy Perisich in Shallotte.”

They were extremely impressed with the company.

“Luke is progressive,” says Ann. “He had a website where we would log-on to communicate and view a calendar showing us when things would be completed. Plus, pictures were posted regularly so we could see the building in progress.”

Through Blue Sky Building Company’s website, the Paschold’s viewed their construction and selection schedule, as well as photos of the progress of their project. This ability to work long distance decreased the need for long car trips to deal with the ever-common construction questions. In fact things went so smoothly that the Pascholds only needed to visit the site twice during construction.

Construction smoothly began right after Labor Day and by mid April of 2009, the house was complete.

Gene and Ann put much thought into the exterior and interior design of their beach home. Well-thought-out touches are found at every turn. Thanks to the Internet and help from their builder, they were able to find companies close by that provided the distinctive finishes they desired.

“Robin Campbell from Ferguson Enterprises in Shallotte was priceless in helping us pick out our appliances, lighting and plumbing,” Ann says. “We were so pleased with all of the resources that were available to us from the area. We even got our granite from Calabash and tile from Shallotte.”

The Pascholds’ pride and joy in the home is the kitchen cabinets. To keep with the Floridacottage  theme, Ann found a company in Shallotte called Creative Cabinetry, Inc., owned by Kirk Riffel, to fulfill her wish.

“I wanted the cabinets made out of pecky cypress wood that is reclaimed out of swampy areas of Florida, just like the old cottages used to have,” says Ann, “and Kirk did a beautiful job.”

Another feature worthy of the home’s coastal style is the unique fireplace-surround made from coquina coral rock.

The Pascholds were amazed with the efficiency, quality and professionalism of the people with whom they conducted business.

“We can’t tell you how easy the entire process was … it was a wonderful experience!” says Ann.

The Pascholds anticipate spending a great deal of time at their beach house.

“When Gene retires, we will spend even more time here,” Ann says.

The home will be plenty busy with family and friends, where many new memories are sure to be made.

Where’s the most obvious spot to find Ann and Gene in their new beach home? Their screened porch overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, of course.

In addition to being just what the doctor ordered for their coastal getaway, the home won Blue Sky Building Company the 2009 North Carolina Builder’s Association Best Single Family Home in its price category. It’s a special home for everyone involved. “For us, there couldn’t be a more special place on earth,” says Ann.