At the base of Blackmere Trail on Emerald Mountain, Aleka and David Scott have turned their Fairview home into a sunny, bright and airy haven; but it wasn’t always this way. The original house, purchased by David in the 80s, had a steep, pitched roof which created the feeling of a smaller, darker living space. It wasn’t until 2019 that the couple would embark on what Aleka refers to as a “rebuild” rather than a remodel.
The goal of the rebuild was to create more livable space; so while the home didn’t gain much in square footage, it took on a completely new feel with a higher ceiling on the third floor, a lighter and brighter color scheme and the addition of livable outdoor space in the form of a large deck. The Scotts worked with Vertical Arts and Fair & Square Construction to execute their vision.
“It was a typical remodel in the fact that not a lot of structural changes really happened, other than the front deck,” explained Fair & Square construction manager Brian Arel. “But all aspects of the house were upgraded; the windows, we tore off the wall sheeting, the siding, the insulation…we raised the roof on the upstairs by lowering the angle of the pitch to make it more livable.”
One of the bigger changes to come out of the rebuild was the upgrade to the decks – there are three – which provide each room with incredible views and exterior space. Standing on each one, it seems as though there is no place in Steamboat that can’t be seen from the Scott house.
The east deck is off of the open concept living room which also includes the dining room and kitchen. Before the rebuild, a steeply pitched roof made much of the space in the living room unusable – including about six feet of the deck.
“The old deck was so small, you could barely fit a table out there,” recalls Aleka. “Everyone would come up on the 4th of July to watch the fireworks over Howelsen Hill and there was no room. We had to get on the roof instead, on blankets.”
With such magnificent views, David and Aleka realized that it seemed silly not to expand the deck. During the rebuild process, which took just under a year – conveniently, it was finished right at the start of the pandemic – the old deck got a facelift.
Now it includes almost 400 square feet of livable space with a table and chairs, a seating area with a plush couch and chairs around a firepit, a grill, Aleka’s collection of potted plants in the summer and even an outdoor shower.
Glass railings allow for a seamless transition from inside to outside and not one speck of the view gets lost.
“We pretty much just live out there in the summer,” said Aleka.
The couple, often times with visiting friends or family, eats meals outside, lounges on the couch to read a book and even showers out there. Aleka – who says an outdoor shower is “the most lovely thing in the world” – requested plumbing with both hot and cold water outside during the initial stages of the rebuild. She rigged up a shower curtain using a clothing display rack as the frame with a shower curtain attached to it, which she sewed magnets in to in order to keep it closed.
“After mountain biking, it’s great to come home and rinse off in that shower,” she says. “You’re still outside.”
In the evening, the propane firepit – sourced locally from ACE – gets turned on as the couple sits down to relax while watching the town wind down from above.
Sunsets, however, are viewed from the west deck, on the other side of the house, just off of the office.
“We switch from deck to deck throughout the day,” says David. “We have chairs on the west deck for watching the sunset and a side table for drinks and peanuts. If the party is on the east deck, we herd everyone over to the west deck for the sunset.”
Spectacular views of Sleeping Giant on that side of the house make for even more spectacular sunsets.
Below the west deck is another deck, attached to their long-term tenant’s rental unit. These two decks feature wire railings, rather than glass, as the wind is often very strong, especially on this side of the house.
Hanging birdfeeders invite sparrows, goldfinch and pine siskin, and a hummingbird feeder outside the master bedroom provides morning entertainment for Aleka, lying in bed watching the fierce little birds vie for food.
Back on the east deck, a large umbrella provides shade as needed throughout the day. Aleka’s collection of potted plants and herbs line the glass and mountain bikers shoot down the trail past the house. A baseball game begins on the field below and shrieks echo up to the house.
“I feel incredibly lucky and fortunate to have such a fantastic spot to drink coffee, nap and share with friends,” said Aleka. “I feel very happy and peaceful. It’s like a dream come true.”
Photos: Burgesco Photo