We are grateful for the string of modern home designs we have been trusted to work on over the years and now the modern house on the mountain is taking shape. Surrounded by a stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this modern home takes advantage of the magnificent views and is designed for family living. In addition to the modern aesthetic, the homeowner plans to build a few custom details (not in place yet, but we are excited to share these later.) Some of the other modern homes we designed can be found here, here, here, and here.
Charles recently visited the site on a foggy day as the foundation went in. It was great to see the closed-cell foam vapor barrier installed below the basement slab. This will keep the basement efficient and comfortable once construction is finished.
The framing is well underway and the form of the house is starting to take shape. This home along with the next-door home we designed, has spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The design of the home frames the views while providing distinct spaces for the life these clients want to live in this place. Many of the design elements are centered around spending time together as a family, enjoying their hobbies, and appreciating the surrounding landscape.
The clients have specific uses planned for this detached garage that will enable them to thrive in this space.
Amongst the many activities that will take place in this room, the clients will be able to soak in these beautiful vistas.
Of course, this room feels like you are floating in the trees, can you imagine sitting here and reading as the sun sets?
The vaulted ceilings with exposed beams offer warmth and bounce the light deep into the space.
As the house continues to take shape, we love how it fits on the site and captures the views.
Our first house in Elk Rock Meadow has made some great progress since our post about the framing being in progress HERE. The Blue Ridge Mountain Home update shows that the cabinets are set, insulation fills the walls, and the roughed-in HVAC system is installed. These photos from a few weeks ago show an important stage of construction. First, you can see that the house wrap is installed allowing vapor to move through the walls. This particular house wrap has a very high permeability rating which is very important in our climate to maintain durability over a long time. With our multiple vapor drive seasons in this mixed humid climate, we want walls to be able to dry both to the inside and outside. We spend a lot of time thinking through this building science challenge.
This is also the perfect time to check out how the ductwork is installed and just as important, protected. You can see that there is mastic at all joints allowing the air these clients are paying to heat or cool to get to the room it is designed to go to make it more efficient. I was also pleased to find the ductwork sealed to prevent drywall dust from entering the ductwork. This extra step is critical for a healthy and durable HVAC system when the system is turned on post construction.
We were also able to see the insulation installation. This is just as critical as the house wrap in a total building science system. A complete installation fills and fits all gaps and cracks to prevent air leakage.
Finally, it was a great chance to see the cabinet installation in progress. The fit and finish of the cabinetry show the quality and care that Herr and Company put into their projects. Of course. the other items listed above also highlight the quality of construction being provided to these clients.
The Elk Rock Meadow Farmhouse has started to take shape. I visited the top of Afton Mountain yesterday to see how things were going and to enjoy the views. Herr and Companyhave started their work with site layout for this majestic farmhouse project that will capture views across the Appalachian Trail of the Blue Ridge. This new neighborhood has a couple of houses already and the addition of this farmhouse continues the tradition of beautiful homes.
The challenges of the last year have been well documented. We were forced in a very short amount of time to adapt our business to a virtual world with remote workers. I met with these clients on a regular basis using zoom, text, and phone calls. We exchanged ideas as they told me their dreams of living in this beautiful place close to family. We sketched, erased, changed, and modified to develop the finished product. The Elk Rock Meadow Farmhouse will sit near the entrance of the neighborhood and fits just right into the topography of the site.
Working with clients online and remote was a challenge. It makes it harder to read body language, or to point at items on the screen, and communicate desires. We had to learn from each other through the process to be better at communicating and the process has made us stronger designers. We achieved Architectural Board Approval for the design with no modifications – a difficult challenge for any neighborhood. The house has a sophisticated style and one that will fit well in the neighborhood. The interior layout will enhance livability for this family, I hope for many generations. The house is custom just for them and is designed withaging-in-place features, durability, and of course healthy indoor air in mind. I cannot wait to see it take shape.