Trends: smaller, more friendly

Trends: smaller, more friendly

We are starting to see some real estate deals pop up here and there – nothing too major but an indication of signs of life again. The few clients we have this year are focusing wisely on smaller, high end, energy efficient, mountain style/log and timber construction. Our clients aren’t interested in speculating these days, but rather want a home or cabin they can enjoy. The common trend seems to be a move away from the mega home and towards smaller homes that are environmentally and economically friendly and best of all don’t require a map to find the bathroom.

The theme? Don’t over do it, but even in these tight times there is much to enjoy. As my grandpa always said, “If you die with money in the bank, you haven’t budgeted very well.”

Get outside and enjoy it before it’s too late.

iPhone home automation control

Would you like to control your home automation system from the convenience of your cell phone?

Far beyond just the music opportunities, the iPhone application represents a major development in digital platforms across the residential platform, controlling music is just one element. If people can mute a room from their iPhone, why not dim the lights and turn up the temperature a few degrees too?

Lutron agrees. The lighting-control company recently launched an iPhone/iPod Touch application that’s available for free from the Apple Web site, although consumers likely will have to pay a nominal programming fee to have the application integrated with their HomeWorks lighting-control system.

Read the full article from Builder Magazine

Geothermal Heating

Geothermal energy has been used to heat and air condition buildings for several decades, and, during that time, these geothermal systems have been called many different things. Some of the more popular variations include geo-thermal, geoexchange, ground-water, ground-water assisted, ground-water-source, water-to-water, as well as water furnace heating and cooling.

Geothermal heat pumps use the relatively constant temperature of the ground or water several feet below the earth’s surface as source of heating and cooling. Geothermal heat pumps are appropriate for retrofit or new homes, where both heating and cooling are desired. In addition to heating and cooling, geothermal heat pumps can provide domestic hot water. They can be used for virtually any size home or lot in any region of the U.S.

The ground is able to maintain a higher rate of temperature consistency because it absorbs 47% of the suns energy (heat) as it hits the Earth’s surface. Geothermal systems are able to tap into this free energy with an earth loop. This technology is then used to provide your home or office with central heating and cooling.

A geothermal heat pump system consists of indoor heat pump equipment, a ground loop, and a flow center to connect the indoor and outdoor equipment. The heat pump equipment works like a reversible refrigerator by removing heat from one location and depositing it in another location. The ground loop, which is invisible after installation, allows the exchange of heat between the earth and the heat pump.

Geothermal heat pumps can be open- or closed-loop. Open-loop systems draw well water for use as the heat source or heat sink, and after use, return the well water to a drainage field or another well. Closed-loop or earth-coupled systems use a water and antifreeze solution, circulated in a ground loop of pipe to extract heat from the earth.

Ground loops can be installed in a vertical well or a horizontal loop. Vertical wells are usually more expensive and used where space is limited. The length of loop pipe required will vary with soil type, loop configuration, and system capacity. Loop length can range from 250 to 1,000 feet per ton of capacity

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Ski in and stay a while

This home is located slope side in the Diamond Hitch development of Moonlight Basin.

A custom home built for the the true ski enthusiast.  One of our favorite projects, designed by Van Bryan of Studio Architects, considered to be one of the areas finest architects.

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Powder Ridge Cabins

The sun has long since set and the rosy glow on Lone Mountain is giving way to a smoldering purple as I sink into my club chair and gather my thoughts to write this letter.

A fresh snowfall blanketed the ski slopes yesterday and the only audible sounds are the crackle of seasoned pine on the fire and the occasional clink of ice as I tip my glass. If it’s true that how we spend an afternoon is how we spend our lives, then our place of retreat – our shelter – surely must reflect that which we value and hold most dear.

For me, living in a log home is about more than the romance of living simply or the beauty of artistry in wood. For me, it is about appreciating where I am and recognizing how I got here. These walls were trees that were hand-scribed by someone who recognized and appreciated every curve, every knot. There is a tradition of craftsmanship visible in every stone detail, in the ubiquitous joinery, and in the way that the rooms flow into one another seamlessly. Day or night, the amber hue of the logs illuminates the room, creating a radiance that only Mother Nature can duplicate. I have chosen to dwell at the edge of a forest underneath the big sky. My home, my walls, reinforce that decision every day. And I am grateful.

The Powder Ridge Cabins are log home living at its best. Each one is handcrafted in a tradition that dates back centuries with details that reveal both inspiration and ingenuity. And yet, the modern amenities are unparalleled – from the chef’s style kitchen to the remarkable thermal efficiency of log and the hot tub beckoning off the back porch. With ski-in ski-out access, the Cabins are available in four different floor plans, ranging from 1,500-3,500 square feet, and three to five bedrooms.

Perhaps my own bias for log comes from years of enjoying the solitude and artistry of my own home. Or maybe it is my lifelong passion to handcraft heirloom properties. Either way, the fire is roaring. The beverage is poured. You are welcome here … come see for yourself.

Chad Rothacher, Founder and Owner of RMR Group

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10 Must have home features

Americans want smaller houses and they are willing to strip some of yesterday’s most popular rooms — such as home theaters — from them in order to accommodate changing lifestyles, consumer experts told audiences at the International Builders Show here this week.

From Yahoo market watch – Buyers today want cost-effective architecture, plans that focus on spaces and not rooms and homes that are designed ‘green’ from the outset,” she said. The key for home builders is “finding the balance between what buyers want and the price point.”

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