The house was originally built in 1973. When we bought it in February 2010 it was habitable but in need of a lot of repairs. We always intended to remodel the house, but after a year of planning and discovering underlying problems the remodel project turned into a rebuild project. We lived in the house from February 2010 to May 2011, and the demolition started in June. We chose Gies Architects to design the plans and Vail Custom Builders to manage the construction.
We demolished the house down to the floor of the main level, and tore out the entire basement. So, all we were left with was the foundations and exterior frame of the basement. We gave away for reuse about 80% of the materials that we removed. Somewhere, probably nearby, there are other houses using our old doors, windows, framing and siding.
The house was designed with a self-contained “lock-off” residence in the lower-level. When you have a house in Vail, it’s amazing how often you get visitors! The lock-off divides the house into a 5-bedroom 2-floor main house, with a 2-bedroom lower residence, separated by a lockable door. Ideal for extended stays for friends and relatives, or as a second vacation rental in our case.
Our vision for the house was “mountain modern”. We wanted contemporary lines and materials such as steel and glass, but blended with natural materials such as stone and wood. The original house had a wall of south-facing windows in the living room, which we loved for the view, but the front of the house was bow-shaped which really dated it. So, we decided to straighten out the wall and designed an almost industrial style of windows with thin frames to maximize the view of the mountains opposite. We added an additional floor with a large master bedroom suite and additional bedroom. We clad the house in solid cedar with very few knots to give it a natural but contemporary feel. The decks are also solid cedar, and look beautiful against the steel wire fences topped with cedar.
We always intended for the lodge to be our dream home, so we wanted it to be luxurious, cozy and convenient. Inside the main house we have blended the beauty of wood floors in the shared areas with the cozy warmth and comfort of carpet in the bedrooms. The Great Room has a modern horizontal gas fireplace set in a natural stone floor-to-ceiling surround. In the main house we have integrated a high-tech entertainment system with 3 large HDTV’s, streaming media from NetFlix, and the capability to easily play media from portable devices. In the mountains fire safety is important, and we have included a house-wide sprinkler system that automatically calls the fire department if activated. And, of course, a private outdoor hot tub is a must for any luxury mountain home!
The lower residence benefits from high-end features such as granite slab kitchen countertops, custom wood carpentry, it’s own washer and dryer, cozy carpets and recessed lighting.
The construction was finished in March 2012, and interior decor was completed in April. We are delighted to have had many very satisfied guests stay in the house already.