BALA Awards Season will be Starting Soon – Are You Ready?

Now in its 39th year, the Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA Awards) is the building industry’s premier residential design awards program. The BALA Awards spotlight the most creative and talented building industry professionals who have redefined design excellence for homes and communities across North America. Winning projects showcase what building industry professionals need to know to set their product apart and hit the right mark with today’s highly educated and discerning home buyers.

Although the entry portal doesn’t open until July 11, it’s not too early to start thinking about which projects to submit and gathering the necessary documents for an award-winning application. Because a good entry takes time and a little advanced planning, will highlight different aspects of the BALA Awards submission process over the next several weeks to help you get ready to submit projects that will hopefully wow the judges and showcase your best design ideas.

Tips for award-winning entries:

  • Select homes and projects that have a good story. What makes it special or unique?  What challenges were overcome? How it is different from every other project the judges will see?
  • Tell the story through photography. When planning and selecting photos, scout the project first to identify the best shots and lighting; staging may be required to move or remove unwanted distractions or add props; choose the right angle to tell the story; and add ambiance to make the pictures pop.
  • Tell the story through clean, easy to read presentation drawings. Start with a simple black and white floor plan. Remove all identifying information, add color and other enhancements, such as furniture to add scale, realistic floor finishes and landscaping.  Be sure to identify the spaces with room names. Do NOT submit working drawings.
  • Tell the story through the description/design statement. Consider a series of bullet points that reveal the key components of the story instead of a run-on paragraph. Avoid overused phrases such as “blur the lines between inside and out” and flowery adjectives. Make it easy for the judges to identify special features and the character of the project.

Surely, you have done something unique and award worthy. Start planning your 2022 BALA entries now, because your projects can only win if you enter.

Contact Sherin Sameh by email at or Kiera Gulley by email at for any questions.

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