BALA Awards – Get Ready: Category Overview

NAHB’s Best in American Living Awards (BALA) celebrate residential design excellence across a range of categories. Entries are accepted in eight broad categories:

  • Single-family production or builder spec homes;
  • Custom homes;
  • Multifamily;
  • Affordable;
  • Remodeling;
  • Communities;
  • Interior design; and
  • Specialty (unique categories, such as design detail and healthy home).

For the 2022 awards, the 2021 categories have been retained. One new category has been added for single family for-rent communities, and the community facility category has been broken into divisions based on the number of units it serves. See categories/explanations.

Importantly, the same project may be entered for awards in multiple categories. For example, a home can be entered in both the single-family custom and specialty room categories. The application process makes it easy via the “duplicate” function. The only information needed for the additional room is a design statement that is specific to that room – e.g., why the kitchen within the 5,000-square-foot custom home deserves to win its own award.

If you are unsure which category is best suited for your project, please contact Sherin Sameh by email at or Kiera Gulley by email at or by phone at (202)266-8245. If the judges feel your project belongs in another category, they will move it during judging. (Your entry will not be penalized.) If you would like to change your entry to a different category after submitting, you can do so until the deadline by contacting either staff member mentioned above.

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