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Ask Your Builder

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Soda Mountain Construction is a local design-build firm known for their creativity and craftsmanship.  Travis Mathey, Design Principle, answers a few burning questions.

How do I make the space under my deck usable, preferably for four seasons?

 A couple of key elements can turn this space into a retreat.

 1) functional updates to the overhead deck

  2) creating usable spaces that fit your lifestyle

  3) tying the design into the house. 

In this photo, a mountain cabana concept brings life to this space.  A new waterproof deck above now prevents snow and rain from dripping down to the space below and three distinct functions create livable space:  inground spa, outdoor fireplace with seating and a ping pong table with hanging chair lift seats; and the concrete slab is now faced with an outdoor tile that integrates with the adjacent interior bar space.

We want to build a fairly large house, but how do we make it more intimate?

 When designing these large spaces, I recommend adding warmth to the room through colors, varying textures and natural materials.  Design features, such as dropped “architectural clouds” or timber trusses, begin to help change the vertical scale of a space and integrating lighting treatments with these architectural features brings to life the vertical layering of these spaces.  Tip: connect your interior and lighting designers early in the process.

What are some cost-saving tips to have the house of our dreams without breaking the bank?

I would encourage everyone to consider the benefits of the design/build process. A typical process brings the builder in after the design is finished, but a design/build process allows us to value-engineer during each phase and consult with our subcontractors earlier to discover ways to save money, improve efficiency and listen to their creative ideas.

Why do local builders cost more? Why wouldn’t I just go with a builder from the front range?

I would pare it down to two reasons: 1) Building a custom home is about the details, and these details come only from the experience of living and working in this mountain environment for many years.  2) Established subcontractor relationships are key to keeping your project on schedule and delivering quality craftsmanship.

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