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house

The long house

A number of years ago we worked on a project in Boulder that held a number of challenges, not the least of which was a long narrow lot with severe building restrictions.  My client's property was 50' wide by 188' long, but because of its corner location, both street-facing sides of the lot require a 25' wide setback from the street.  That setback along with additional side and rear yard setbacks made the building envelope 20' wide by 128' long, a 6 1/2 : 1 length to width ratio

The Great Gear Dilemma

Boulder is known as an outdoor enthusiast's kind of town.  Almost everyone I know has a plethora of outdoor gear - multiple bikes, skis, helmets of every configuration, packs and bags, tents, stoves, and the occasional kayak and canoe.  Largely this equipment has usurped the car from its usual haunt in the garage.  It is a rare Boulderite who can actually fit their car in their garage because of the ever-expanding collection of bikes if nothing else.

Palisade Farmhouse project update, June 2018

We are getting ready to start construction on the Palisade Farmhouse.  The old house will be demolished in the next week or so and the excavation for the new project will follow immediately afterward.

Palisade Farmhouse model image 01.jpg

After a number of interviews, the Owners selected McPherson Custom Builders as the General contractor.  They have extensive experience in the area and their quality of construction is excellent.   

Palisade Farmhouse sketch plan 01.jpg

The costs of construction in the Grand Junction area are considerable less than along Colorado's Front Range.  However, like all projects, the budget is stressed as we try to optimize all the materials selections, balancing long- and short-term costs.

Palisade sunset.JPG

Palisade is a magical place and we are really excited to move to the construction phase.  The lush green valley floor is dramatically surrounded by dry, rugged mesas.  This multi-generational farmhouse will be the anchor for the family peach farm and hopefully contribute a small instance of human scale to this starkly beautiful landscape.

The Great Gear Dilemma

mudroom_garage

mudroom_garage

Boulder is known as an outdoor enthusiast's kind of town.  Almost everyone I know has a plethora of outdoor gear - multiple bikes, skis, helmets of every configuration, packs and bags, tents, stoves, and the occasional kayak and canoe.  Largely this equipment has usurped the car from its usual haunt in the garage.  It is a rare Boulderite who can actually fit their car in their garage because of the ever-expanding collection of bikes if nothing else.

Inevitably all this gear starts to overwhelm the garage and starts to slowly make its way into the house.  It starts with a few pairs of ski boots in the mudroom, which is already choked with daypacks, dog leashes and coats and jackets in every configuration of breathable, wicking, wind-stopping fabrics.  This is especially true for families with school-age children and their additional collections of school packs, musical instrument cases, sports gear bags and the odd science fair project that can't find a home.

For additions and renovations we are always directly engaged with providing space and corralling all this gear and making not so much a mudroom as a tack room.  The Colorado mudroom is minimally 10' x 15' and consequently larger than some bedrooms.  It certainly is not the quaint little niche just inside the door of a Midwestern house designed to hold a pair or two of wet galoshes.

All of this however does not save the garage and we increasingly are discussing with clients the real function of these spaces.  You can store a lot of bikes in a garage but you certainly can't get to the townie when you want to take a quick trip to the store because it is buried behind a peloton-worth of other cycles.  We are talking about adding doors to garages, lots of doors, on every side of the space, to access all the stuff.  And, for that matter, really changing the nature of the room from a garage-converted-to-gear space to its own dedicated room with its own requirements.   This room can access outdoors in a couple of locations, is probably heated, certainly has a floor drain and most likely a work sink.

If we can get this all figured out for each homeowner and accommodate the average 2.5 bikes/person storage requirement, we might even be able to give the garage back to the car.  As long as you still remember you have the bikes on the roof before you try to pull inside.

after the fire - Sunshine Canyon house completed

SZ LR 01

SZ LR 01

Eighteen months after the devastating Fourmile Fire swept away so many houses in the western foothills of Boulder, we have finally completed construction on a new home for Lynn and John Stasz.  Like all projects it has been an exciting, frustrating and time-consuming task for everyone involved.  This has been especially true for Lynn and John who did not decide they wanted a new house, but rather that decision was forced upon them.

These images are just some recent snapshots I have taken, not the professional photographs that lends so much to the look and feel of the house.  However, the photos do reveal much of the intentions of the project - to make a home again in the mountains that is simultaneously open and protective, light and airy but also firmly rooted to the earth and sheltered under the sky.

SZ Master Bathroom 03

SZ Master Bathroom 03

A couple of weeks ago Lynn and John were able to spend their first nights sleeping up at the house, in the landscape that they have called home for 27 years.  We are really pleased to have been a part of making that happen and look forward to sharing a beer with them on the terrace.  Much thanks as well to Cottonwood Custom Builders.  Marc Anderson, Jeff Hindman and all their crew have taken the care and concern to make a nicely detailed, solidly built house and made the work of me, the architect, a little easier along the way.

SZ Master Bedroom 02

SZ Master Bedroom 02

Congratulations Lynn and John and welcome home.