The News & Observer, By Iris June Vinegar

PARADE #281, THE ROCK- $1,380,000

Dan and Dee Miller didn’t set out to buy a concrete masonry house; they merely wanted an attractive well-built home that could accommodate their growing family.

But the couple fell in love with The Rock and bought the three-story stucco and fieldstone transitional home in Preston’s Crabtree Crossings Estates, Cary. The concrete masonry-framed house built by Bost Construction Company measures 6,800 square feet with an additional 1,000 square feet of unfinished space.

Set on an acre of land at the 4th hole of Preston’s Highlands Golf Course, The Rock affords a magnificent view of rolling turf and 12 golf holes from two masonry porches and a solid concrete balcony.

“When we saw this house, it was gorgeous and it didn’t hurt that it was rock-solid too,” said Dan Miller, vice-president of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “Gorgeous and colossal.“

This transitional home with 10-feet trey ceilings and five to seven bedrooms also has two masonry patios- each with its own waterfall. There’s a third-floor theatre room measuring 32 feet by 24 feet, carriage house with an unfinished apartment above, and a four-car garage and golf bay. Of course, the whole house is wired way into the next millennium with automation and computer local area network (LAN) capabilities.

It’s obvious why Bost Construction president Rex Bost dubbed it The Rock. The house was framed with concrete blocks and has eight-inch thick walls reinforced with concrete and steel. It’s a place where termites would starve.

“With our recent violent weather, unstable lumber prices, cladding failures and termite problems, concrete masonry just makes good sense,” notes Bost, who comes from a family of masons and worked in the trade for several years before owning his own construction company.

Professor J. Patrick Rand agrees.

“Concrete masonry construction offers many advantages in terms of termite resistance, thermal mass, sound attenuation and fire resistance,” says Rand, who teaches at the North Carolina State University School of Architecture.

Moreover, it’s not much more expensive than wood. According to Bost, a concrete masonry-framed home costs only about four percent more than a comparable one framed with wood.

Bost points out that the three little pigs learned the hard way that masonry construction is the way to go. So, as far as The Rock is concerned, the big bad wolf can hold his breath.