Greening the Plateau

05 Feb 2024

Green Mountain Builders does its part one fine home at a time



Remodeling a home can be a bit like playing a game of telephone tag. If the homeowner isn’t sure whom to call, they may first contact their realtor, who then recommends an architect, who then recommends a builder, who then recommends an interior designer. Hopefully, of course, the result will be the first person and the last person connecting clearly, putting into motion the homeowner’s dream.
The order of things may have been a little different for homeowner Robin Roberts, but the resulting remodel built by Steve Abranyi of Green Mountain Builders closely mirrored the dream Robin had for his in-town Highlands property. For the Florida resident and company CEO, real estate is more than just a place to live. It’s a well-honed hobby and passion.

“I developed a waterfront property in Pensacola, built two homes there and sold both,” says Robin. “I have another home I am currently renovating in Pensacola and recently bought a property in Cashiers I’m renovating with my oldest daughter and my son-in-law.”

Robin’s daughter and son-in-law live in the Chattanooga area, and they decided to purchase a small house in Highlands a few years ago. In 2020, they invited Robin to visit, knowing he had a propensity for investing in real estate, and suggested he consider purchasing property in the area.

“At first,” explains Robin, “I was not impressed with anything, considering location and cost vs. value, but my realtor, Rick Harrison of Pat Allen Realty Group, said he had a new property hitting the market that might be of interest. That’s when I found a three-bedroom, three-bathroom home on 5th Street, built in 1998. I made an offer that day and had a deal the following Monday. The convenient location to town and proximity to the creek sold me.”

With an eye on expanding the existing home, Robin called designer Corbin Tucker of Inside-Outside Architects & Designers to help with the re-design. “I had an idea the property could be much more than what it was when I purchased it, and Corbin put the concept to paper,” says Robin.

Corbin then recommended Steve Abranyi of Green Mountain Builders (GMB) to bring her design to life, expanding the home an additional 1,500 sq. ft. by adding a second story within the same footprint. The expanded space boasts seven bedrooms, seven and a half bathrooms, three laundry rooms and two kitchens.

Some of the home’s delightful new ideas include a bunk room for kids; two sleek kitchens, one located on the main floor and one in the newly remodeled apartment space; shiplap throughout the home and bathrooms all boasting new hardware and tile. Glass floor-to-ceiling barn doors slide open to reveal the main living area and the creek below.

One of Robin’s favorite features is the all glass panoramic garage door that opens from the living room and overlooks the stream. The home’s interior was reimagined by designer Melanie Rowan of Melanie Rowan Interiors, Mobile, AL, who assisted in choosing the new flooring, bathroom and kitchen tiles, color selections, fixtures and furnishings.

And no home remodel is truly complete without the addition of beautiful new landscaping. Kaleena Keener with Bloom Designs and Services designed the extensive landscaping and hardscaping, and Landon Gibson with Gibson Grading Inc. implemented the design.

Builder Steve Abranyi explains some of the challenges to the project. “We spent a fair amount of time reorganizing the interior spaces in the home since there was no ability to add due to the setbacks of the property lines, the setbacks of the trout stream and the allowable build-upon area in a watershed under NC law. We also added another story to the house. Corbin did a fantastic job modifying the existing space to make it flow and to achieve what Robin wanted.”

And Robin concurs that the resulting home was what he envisioned. “Steve and Corbin worked well together to make the concept a reality. I was not active in the day-to-day activities of the project but absolutely trusted them as a team. I think the final product speaks well for their abilities.”

Strong Alliances with Colleagues and Lasting Relationships with Clients

Founded 22 years ago, GMB is committed to incorporating the concepts of Green Building in its projects to lessen the impact on the environment, create energy-efficient buildings, and produce homes and businesses that are healthy to live and work in.
Owner Steve Abranyi left North Carolina armed with a degree in natural resources management, and moved to Colorado, then Oregon and then California, honing his skills as a carpenter. He moved back to NC in 2001, got his contractor’s license in 2002 and has been building homes in the area ever since.

He is certified through and has participated in the Healthy Built Homes program in Asheville and has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2008.

“I would say about a quarter of my clients are interested in green building,” says Steve. “We strive to incorporate green building techniques and energy efficiency into all of our projects, like high-efficiency HVAC systems, spray foam insulation, radiant floor heating and other green material selections as much as possible.”

Steve and his team of craftsmen are devoted to personally overseeing all aspects of construction.

“Throughout every step of the building process, and long after, our team is available to guide clients through the maze of technical decisions that often arise when building a home in the mountains,” says Steve. “We enjoy getting to know each client and understanding their needs and desires for creating a home that accurately matches their lifestyle, budget and future plans.”

About Green Mountain Builders


Craftsman is a venerable title that is earned, not bestowed. A true craftsman possesses passion for beauty, dedication to detail, and virtuosity unparalleled. His/her quality workmanship is refined over a lifetime. The results speak of mastery, artistry, and exquisite expertise. Don't settle for ordinary. Demand legendary.

Sustainable PRACTICES

Doing our part to preserve the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau is our priority. We use the finest, regionally sourced materials. We skillfully marry your land to your home. Our choices are green, and we follow environmentally safe, sustainable practices. We raised the bar for the industry and challenge others to match that standard for the land we all cherish.


We take pride in making ourselves available to our valued clients. We create a strong partnership with Highlands' home owners - who are not always in town - by making our staff accessible, our communication frequent, and our exchanges by computer, phone, or text prompt and easy. Need an updated photo? You got it. Need to talk to Steve? You got him. We care. That’s why we’re always there for you.

What WE DO

Green Mountain Builders has over 20 years’ experience constructing fine custom homes on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. In that time, we've built strong relationships with talented subcontractors and local craftsmen to bring well over 100 new homes and renovations to the area. In addition to custom-built homes, we've had the pleasure of working with clients on a plethora of home renovations - small and large - and commercial builds. We take pride in each and every project.

Green Mountain Builders

439 Laurel Street

Highlands, NC  28741

(828) 787-2297


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