A custom home costing more than $450,000 and town houses and condominiums in the $75,000 price range were among winners this week in the metropolitan Washington area's Finest for Family Living Awards competition.

Saluted for innovative functional designs, attention to detail and dramatic touches, the winning housing units represented a cross section of styles. The annual competition is sponsored by the Northern Virginia, Suburban Maryland and District of Columbia builders' associations.

The top honors announced during ceremonies Tuesday night were the awards of excellence. Other designations were awards of merit and honorable mention.

Entries were judged on the basis of their marketing target, their design and construction, energy conservation and value comparison. "That means how much quality housing a builder is offering for the consumer dollars spent," according to a spokesman for the competition.

Capturing the award of excellence in the custom-homes $450,000-and-above category was a custom-designed home in Potomac Falls built by Monroe Development Corp. and designed by Worland Associates.

A simple but dramatic impression is made by the exterior of the award-winning home in the $300,000-to-$450,000 class, judges concluded. The French chateau combines what contest judges called "high drama with strong function and an incredible entry" (entrance hall). Designed by Sutton and Associates and built by National Development Corp., the house is part of an exclusive development under construction on lots that once were part of a historic, well-known McLean estate for which the whole development is named -- Ballantrae.

No award of excellence was given in the single-family $250,000-andabove category, but a merit award was given to Martens-Edward Development Co. for its Haddonfield model at Amberleigh in Darnestown, Md. The house was designed by Worland Associates.

In the $190,000-to-$250,000 price range -- considered a primary move-up market for suburban Washington executives and professional families -- awards of excellence, merit and honorable mention were given, ending several weeks of tough competition.

Stanley Martin Cos. won the award of excellence for its Rosewell model in Oakton Mill Estates. The two-story home on a wooded lot was designed by CHK Architects and Planners. Judges said the model was "a terrific value, with a floor plan that has everything the move-up consumer is looking for." In the same price range, William L. Berry & Co. won the merit award for its Juniper model at Fallsberry in Potomac. Architects were Robert B. Jordan and Bill Sutton, Sutton & Associates.

Honorable mention winners were the Promontory model at Daventry, designed by Burke, Smith & Associates for Miller & Smith Inc. in Springfield, and the Potomac House model, designed and built by Long Homes of Virginia Inc. at Lake Ridge in Woodbridge.

In the $150,000-to-$190,000 range, the award of excellence went to Cross Builders for its Cambridge model at South Run at Fairfax Station. The country-style house has an excellent floor plan embellished with a strong master suite, cathedral ceilings and skylights, judges said. The award of merit went to Porten Sullivan Corp.'s Castle Glen home at Argyle Village in Silver Spring. Honorable mention honors went to Williamsburg Builders for its John Bracken model, designed by Columbia Design Collectives, at the Dickinson Development in Columbia.

Competition was extremely tough for homes in the $100,000-to-$150,000 range and in categories below $100,000, according to contest sponsors.

Winners in the $125,000-to-$150,000 range were:

Award of excellence, the Carlton, designed by Burke, Smith & Associates for Centex Homes for its Chantilly Farms Estate series in Herndon.

Award of merit, the Adams model at Afton Glen in Springfield, designed by Worland & Associates for Foster Brothers. Honorable mention, the Williamsburg at Countryside in Loudoun County for Pulte Home Corp.

Winners in the $100,000-to-$125,000 category were:

Award of excellence, the Elmsley model at Chantilly Farms in Herndon, designed by The Martin Organization for Centex Homes. That house was hailed by the judges as "the only house that had all the features consumers are looking for."

Award of merit, The Chesterfield, designed by Burke, Smith & Associates for Costain Washington Inc.'s Lee's Crossing Development in Chantilly, and theBristol model, designed by CHK Architects for Potomac Housing Corp.'s Oak Hills Development in Burtonsville.

In the $100,000-or-less category, the Columbia at Seneca Chase in Loudoun County, built and designed by Ryan Homes, won the award of excellence because of its innovative split-level features. Two homes tied for award of merit honors: The Buttonwood at Montclair Fairfield Garden Homes at Dumfries was designed by the Architectural Design Group for Fairfield Homes Inc., and the Whittier at Victorial Hills in Largo. Designed by Bucher & Myers, the house was built by Intercontinental Construction Corp.

In the attached-housing, $200,000-and-above category, Porten Sullivan Corp. captured the award of excellence for its Franklin at Cloisters West in Georgetown. Architects for the project were Lockman and Associates.

In the $120,000-to-$150,000 attached-housing range, the Woodlake at The Island in Dumfries won the award of excellence. It was designed by The Martin Organization. No other awards were given in this class.

In the $90,000-to-$120,000 range, Capital Homes Inc. took top honors for its Fallsworth model designed by Columbia Design Collectives at its Springfield Oaks project. The merit award went to the Milton Co. for its Oxford model at Middlewood at Daventry in Springfield. It was designed by CHK Architects. The honorable mention award went to Ryland Homes for its Georgetowne at Old Keene Mill Village in Springfield.

In the $75,000-to-$90,000 range, the award of excellence went to Potomac Housing Corp. for its Baldwin model, designed by CHK Architects, at Oak Hills in Burtonsville. Award of merit went to The Artery Organization Inc. for the Cabot at Townes of Gloucester in Silver Spring. Honorable mention went to the Fallsworth II at Aspenwood in Jessup, Md., built by Capital Homes.

In the $75,000-or-less range, the award of excellence went to the Garrett, designed by Columbia Design Collectives for Capital Homes at Aspenwood. The award of merit winner was Kettler and Scott Inc. for its Springbrook model designed by Maleady, Roy & O'Brian at Sunset Ridge in Centreville. Honorable mention went to Signature Communities Inc. for the Ainsley, designed by The Martin Organization for the Villages of Mount Vernon in Alexandria.

Condominiums and co-op apartments also were honored. In the condo/co-op $150,000-and-above range, the award of excellence went to Majestic Builders Corp. for a model designed by Holle, Lin and Shogren Architects for Porto Vecchio in Alexandria. There were no other awards in that class.

In the $120,000-to-$150,000 range, the award of excellence went to Clover Development Corp. for its Astoria H. model, designed by CHK Architects. Regina Construction Co.'s Flagship model, designed by Maleady, Roy & O'Brian, at Harbor Point in Reston, won the merit award. In the $90,000-to-$120,000 range, Clover Development also won the top award.

In the $70,000-to-$90,000 range, the Calibre Cos. won the award of excellence for its Claridge model, designed by The Martin Organization for Windbrook at Gaithersburg. The merit award went to NVHomes for its Gentry Loft at Essex House in Alexandria. The loft was designed by Sutton & Associates.

The Calibre Cos. also won the award of excellence for condos/co-ops priced less than $70,000 for its Dorchester model at the Windbrook project.

The builders group also passed out other honors.

Village Court Associates was honored for its conversion of condominiums and apartments in the $65,000-to-$85,000 range at Seminary Walk in Alexandria.

The community planning award went to Kettler Brothers Inc. for the New Town of Montgomery Village, Gaithersburg.

The Neighborhood Concept award went to Fairfield Homes Inc. for Old Westbury at Reston.

The Quality of Life award went to Ridge Development Corp. for Tackett's Mill at Lake Ridge.

A special award for innovative concepts in energy conservation was won by Monroe Development Corp., while William L. Berry & Co. won a special award for energy conservation marketing. CAPTION: Picture 1, Woodlake model at The Island in Dumfries, built by Fairfield Homes. Picture 2, French chateau by National Development Corp. in Ballantrae in McLean won custom homes award of excellence. Picture 3, Centex Homes' Elmsley model at Chantilly Farms in Herndon won in the $100,000-to-$125,000 price range. Picture 4, The Cambridge model at South Run in Fairfax Station won in the $150,000-to-&190,000 category. Picture 5, Ryan Homes' Columbia model at Seneca Chase in Loudoun County was cited as an innovative split-level house. Picture 6, Tackett's Mill in Lake Ridge, Va., won a quality-of-life award. Picture 7, Calibre Cos.' Claridge model won for co-ops in the $70,000-to-$90,000 range.