When hiring an architect for your new luxury home build, it is important to understand what services and expert knowledge they provide. Not only does an architect oversee your entire new build, but they ensure that timelines, budgets, and owner requests are followed and preserved. However, an exceptional architect can provide even more value to the process and design of your mountain dream home.
At KH Webb Architects, we have years of experience working in the Vail Valley. Below we’ve provided a list of the top 5 reasons why it is crucial to collaborate with a talented mountain architect when you are looking to build a luxury home in the Colorado Rockies.
What Makes a Mountain Architect Indispensable?
Siting the Property for Best Advantage
An architect that is familiar with the terrain of your new build, can quickly discover the most appropriate place to break ground. Their expert knowledge allows them to easily determine the optimal location for utility connections, entry and exit points, views, and countless other important factors that a contractor may not realize.
This expertise is even more necessary in the Vail Valley, where an experienced mountain architect has the knowledge and experience to work with uneven and seasonally changing terrain – not against it. Thoughtful architectural design can ensure success of the build itself, but also provide a connection to the natural surroundings and environment.
Entrusting these matters to a licensed mountain architect will save you invaluable time and energy and provide insurance on one of the biggest investments of your life.
Scope and Vision
Keeping a discerning eye on the overall scope of the project will guarantee that homeowner expectations are followed and met. Often, clients have unrealistic expectations of timeline and budget, but thorough communication and a well strategized plan can provide peace of mind. Likewise, if an unforeseen issue should arise, an experienced architect can analyze the challenge and provide the best solution and path forward.
Mountain architects also have invaluable insights into how different terrains can change with the seasons. For example, the combination of shade, snowmelt, water runoff, and freezing cycles contribute to extended periods of ice patches. Such an ice patch could wind up right where you had envisioned a driveway. By incorporating environmental, seasonal, and terrain-specific factors into the design process, a harmonious connection between landscape and design is forged.
Similarly, architecture design in Colorado is advancing the application of renewable, on-site energy production methods. Assessing the property’s resources can inform decisions such as the precise angle of the roof, passive solar heating options, or where on the land the wind is perpetually at its strongest.
A well-coordinated design and construction process requires precise team management, a deep understanding of the schedule, and strong reverence for a set budget. Though there’s always a need for flexibility, an oversight in any one of these areas can cause negative repercussions throughout an entire phase of construction.
It is important to keep a watchful eye on the entire project. It’s the bird’s-eye view of a qualified Colorado architect that balances the complexity of luxury-home construction into a frictionless experience all around.
Although home design is a collaborative process, an architect can provide recommendations to ensure a home’s efficiency in terms of comfort, energy, and sustainability. Many clients are attracted to the high Colorado Rockies for the fresh air – but if an HVAC system is relied on for 100% of heating needs, the quality of indoor air goes down accordingly (and the need for cleaning and maintenance goes up). By integrating natural methods of heating your living spaces, windows can be opened more often with less of a pendulum effect on the indoor temperature.
Similarly, increasing natural light often sacrifices insulation. Fine-tuning the window design itself (including the angles, materials, and coatings) makes it possible to optimize the window for maximum natural light and heat retention.
A highly qualified architect in Colorado can share insights into sustainability for your home and property ensuring life-long cost savings, but also better health and comfort.
True luxury-home masterpieces require an ongoing relationship between the designer and the property owner. A skilled and experienced mountain architect guarantees the quality of the work, the efficiency of the building, and the homeowner’s satisfaction by continually maintaining frequent and open communication.
Many clients wish to be a part of the design and building process every step of the way. Therefore, we invite them into our collaborative process at their leisure to influence design choices and clarify their needs and expectations.