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COMPLIMENTARY Publication of the Gunnison Country Times

New lease on life Historic Gunnison carriage house goes modern

Keeping tabs Accountants show how to tackle a major remodel and stay on budget

Go green, and save ORE details incentive programs HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

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The good olʼ days Remember when banking was about personal relationships? Your local loan officer sat across a desk and helped you work out the loan that was right for you and your personal situation? They looked you in the eye and could help you determine what you could afford, how much the home you were buying was really worth, and exactly how your mortgage would work and what you’d be paying. And, they were there to help you if your situation changed.

Janice English, Vice President Gunnison

Shandy Kibler, Sr. Loan Officer Gunnison

Well, weʼre still doing business that way. Sure, we have and use all of the latest in banking technology; but after several years of “creative financing,” online mortgages, and virtually anonymous, unregulated mortgage brokering, the Brenda Alagna, Loan Officer markets are finally seeing what we’ve known all Crested Butte along: there’s no substitute for sound, basic real-estate lending practices. Gunnison Savings & Loan is the Gunnison Countryʼs Number One Mortgage lender. Stop in and see for yourself what experience and personal service can do for you, because Craig Bryant, Sr. Vice President Crested Butte

the way things used to be is the way theyʼve always been

at GUNNISON SAVINGS & LOAN. www.gunnisonsl.com

Each depositor insured to at least $100,000

e-mail: gslloan@gunnisonsl.com gslcb@gunnisonsl.com

2

Backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation=www.fdic.gov

HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008


A

bout the Cover: Paul Duba and Karen Immerso had what is not all that uncommon in Gunnison — and old, dilapidated "carriage house." They decided to do what few — if any — have done, however, and turn it into a modern, ultra efficient structure, while keeping with its historic-looking exterior. Graphic designer Ben Dennee captured this still work-in-progress with an illustration that encompasses actual elements of the project along with some of its design plans.

GCP

PRICE DRASTICALLY REDUCED to $525,000 on this Gunnison River home across from the golf course; trees, hardwood floors, loft office, 3 bdrm/4 bath, new paint, sunroom; 732 Camino Del Rio

NEW LISTING: Hardwood floors, new windows throughout, great neighborhood, garage w/ storage, 2 bdrm/1 bath, all appliances, fireplace, patio, trees, gardens; 308 S. Colorado $225,000

QUALITY & CRAFTSMANSHIP describe this 4732sf home on 60 acres, creek, horse pasture, built in 2008, hot tub, 4 bdrm/5 bath, interior & exterior fireplace; 43495 CR 18VV; $1,400,000

PRICE REDUCED to $288,000 on this 3 bdrm home in Ohio City at 100 Broadway; close to Quartz & Gold Creeks, log home, fenced yard, gardens, guest house, huge 2 car garage, fenced yard

4 BDRM HOME w/ creek frontage, nearly 4 acres, horse pasture, lg barn/garage, no covenants, views of Carbon Peak, backs up to ranchlands, low utilities; 2375 CR 10; $415,000

WHY PAY RENT, when you can own a 3 bdrm/2 bath home on lg in-town lot at 913 N 14th? Huge 2 car garage, fenced yard, new carpet, paint, roof, deck, office/art studio/ hobby room; $244,000

HOME WITH APARTMENT in great condition at 295 N 3rd for $295,000; 3 bdrm/2 bath home w/ 1 bdrm apt, lg 2 car garage w/ storage, fenced yard, trees, large kitchen, views of W Mtn

WELL PRICED HOME at 607 N. 7th for $249,500; 3 bdrm (could be 4), 2 bath, 2 car attached garage, deck, formal dining rm + eat-in kitchen and vaulted ceiling.

OHIO CREEK FRONTAGE home at 133 Spring Meadows Tr for $568,500; 4 bdrm/3 bath, 1 acre, custom home w/ maple cabinets & decorative turret, 2 car gar., quality construction, lg mud room

STORE ALL YOUR TOYS IN THE 4 CAR GARAGE of this Cape Cod home on over 1 country acre at 96 Yucca Ct; 3 bdrm/3 bath, yard & gardens, remodeled interior, excellent condition; $345,000

BEAUTIFUL 3 BDRM HOME ON 1/3 ACRE in Gold Basin Meadows at 78 Cottonwood Trail for $329,000; loft office, modern kitchen, covered porch, 2 car garage, trees, metal roof

SOLAR FEATURES are included in this 3 bdrm home on 1 acre at 107 Tomichi Ln; Private patio, new 2 car garage w/ storage & workshop, deck, no covenants, xeriscaping, bonus room; $345,000

BEAUTIFUL HOME on Ohio Creek at 107 Mallard Pt Dr; park like setting, 4 bdrm plus bonus room, trees, perennial gardens, decks, quality handcrafted construction, sunroom; $595,000

THIS HOME IS A MUST SEE! Showhome w/ rental apartment, lg 2 car garage, 4 bdrm + office/nursery, exercise rm, lg mstr bdrm suite w/ fireplace, fenced yard, trees; 513 N. 14th; $450,000

ENJOY THE REMODELING & OPEN FEELING OF THIS 3 bdrm/3 bath home for $255,000; Hwy visibility could allow for commercial business, or home & business combo, lg deck, hot tub; 1402 Hwy 135

THREE CAR GARAGE, 3 BDRM/3 BATH HOME w/ great southern exposure, deck, creek frontage, 1 landscaped acre, office, lg utility rm, huge mstr bdrm; 181 Spring Meadows Tr; $390,000

PRICE REDUCED/ MOTIVATED SELLER 3 bdrm, neat & clean brick home w/ hardwood floors at 10 Dorchester for $255,000; Lg pine trees, fenced yard, 1 car garage, stainless steel appliances

MINUTES FROM GUNNISON FHA financing available w/ low down pymt, 3 bdrm/2 bath home w/ heated 2 car garage & 220 electric ,no covenants, top notch condition; 1345 CR 17; $248,000

ONE OF A KIND VIEWS of the Ohio Creek Valley from this nearly new stucco home for $598,000; ash cabinets, 6+ acres, oak floors, full basement, wine cellar hot tub; 100 Mountainside Dr

4 BDRM/3 BATH IN-TOWN HOME at 904 N. Pine for $289,999; new carpet & paint, large fenced yard, 2 living rooms, lg utility room, 1 car garage, lg lot. Call Cathie for details.

CASTLE MTN HOME at 577 Pashuta, 6.24 acres, horse pasture/ irrigated hay meadow, 2 car garage, active solar system, 3 bdrm/2 bath, lg living rm & formal dining rm; $499,995

TOMICHI CREEK FRONTAGE 35 private acres, 3 bdrm/2 bath, great fishing, 15 minutes east of town at 5411 CR 43 in Parlin, $600,000, 2 car attached garage, no covenants

NEW PAINT, 1 ACRE, corner lot, 4 bdrm/2 bath home, plenty of room to build a barn or shop building, south facing deck, storage, shed, garage; 15 Tomichi Lane, bargain priced at $239,000

PRICE REDUCED by nearly $200,000 on this 4 bdrm custom log home 30 minutes from Gunnison at 16555 Hwy 149; borders BLM, no covenants, close to fishing & hunting; $495,000

Gunnison Country Publications, LLC

Publisher

Stephen J. Pierotti

Managing Editor

Chris Dickey

Editorial

Michelle Burkhart,

Will Shoemaker, Bill Nesbitt, Kendall Kahl, Jerry Kowal, Dawn Del Vecchio Advertising

Drew Nelson

Production Manager

Benjamin Dennee

Layout/Ad Design Online

Jennie Wren www.gunnisontimes.com

For more information regarding this publication or other special publications of the Gunnison Country Publications, call 970.641.1414, or write ads@gunnisontimes.com Copyright© No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publishers. Copyright© 2008. No part may be transmitted in any form by any means including electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without permission of the publisher. Any work (written, photographic or graphic) which the publishers “hired-out” becomes the property of the publisher. Publisher accepts no liability for solicited or unsolicited materials lost, damaged or otherwise. HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

241 N. Main, Gunnison

970-641-0511 cathie@clarkeagency.net VISIT MORE LISTINGS AT:

www.clarkeagency.net 3


After working around the house... Let us do the cooking for you Serving steak, seafood, chicken, salad bar and homemade soups. Also offering a full service bar. Open every day 7 a.m. -9 p.m. • Breakfast 7 a.m. - 11 a.m. • Lunch 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. • Dinner 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Located downtown Gunnison at 139 N Main St • (970) 641-5153 red in Featu Living ome Log H gazine. Ma

4

HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008


*MRHMXJEWXEditorial

Index s#/.$/34/7.(/-%3s

ORE outlines energy incentives ........................ 10 Tax pros take remodeling to the limit.............. 13 Carriage house gets new lease on life............. 22 Many aspects to home solar ‘system’ .............. 26 Living in the round............................................. 34

*MRHMXJEWX Advertisers Gunnison Savings & Loan

2

Index Mountain Windows

44

Clarke Agency

3, 5

National City Mortgage

9

Blue Moose Realty

12

Office for Resource Efficiency

32

Bulldog Remodeling / B2 Builders

11

Ol Miner

4

Cabin Collectibles

24

Peak Properties

31

Charles A. Peterson & Associates

37

Premier Mountain Properties

23

Chucks Glass

21

Ptarmigan Contractors, Inc

18

Colorado BW Insurance

25

Quick Draw Carpet Cleaning

17

Colorado Glass & Shower

12

Rocky Mountain Real Estate

36

Concrete Systems, Inc

15

Rose Petal

39

Farmers Insurance Group

35

Shed City USA

41

Great Escape Landscape

37

State Farm Insurance

38

Greatland Engineering

38

Streamside Development

42

Greatland Log Homes

4

Sun Sports Unlimited

32

Gunnison Bank & Trust

43

Take 5 Massage

31

Gunnison Glass

20

The Main St T-Shirt Company

9

Gunnison Real Estate & Rentals

30

Today Realty

40

Henry's Radio & TV

11

United Companies

6

High Country Garage Door

35

Valley Concrete Pumping

15

Hillbilly Fabrication

7

Viles Electronics

19

Insurance Center

8

Wardcraft Homes

24

Interiors

28

Western Lumber

27

M.C. Painting

39

Western Sky Drywall

19

HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

Ground level Willows condo at 212 S. 11th for $129,000; priced under appraised value, 2 bdrm/1 bath, appliances, southern exposure, pets allowed. Fully furnished golf course condo on the front nine; 2 bdrm/2 bath, new furnishings, excellent condition; Water Wheel #3; $148,900 Gold Basin Condo, great price per sq ft, 3 level, nice paint & flooring, covered parking, yard, decks; 217 W. Rio Grande $155,000 Motivated Seller: Fairway Condo just a chip shot away from the golf course, garage, top notch condition, furniture package available; B8 $169,500 Cottonwood Condo at 1202 W. New York for $174,900; 1 car detached garage w/ storage, 2 bdrm/2 bath, all appliances included, fenced yard, low dues Van Tuyl Village Townhomes at 304 Van Tuyl Circle Dr with garage or carport, 2 bdrm/2 bath, brand new; prices start at $189,000 Brand new townhome at 314 S. 11th for $219,000; seller will pay $4,000 of buyer’s closing costs, 3 bdrm/3 bath, appliances, hickory cabinets

s"53).%33%3#/--%2#)!,s Mobile home park: Investment/income property on the corner of S. 14th & W. Gunnison; 3 city lots w/ 3 mobile homes; $199,000 Such a deal!! Zoned CBD, this 2 bdrm home can also be used as residential. Covered porch, hardwood floors, woodstove; 107 S. Iowa; $235,000 Industrial zoned lots on the corner of S. 12th & Bidwell; 7 lots for $390,000

s6!#!.4,!.$s 40 acres, no covenants, just 10 minutes west of town off CR 17, owner financing available; $99,500 Steuben Creek homesite for $144,000; borders public lands, 6.64 acres, no covenants, close to fishing & boating Multi-family lots for sale w/ prices starting around $145,000; get details at www.clarkeagency.net Steuben Creek ribbons through this gorgeous building site w/ trees; nearly 2 acres; $162,000 Golf Course building site, 1/3 acre on the back nine, tap fees paid; $220,000 Little Gray Home in the West: Ranch w/ 2 homes, water rights, springs ,horse pasture, barns; 16431 Hwy 149; $795,000 Tomichi Creek meanders through this 106 acre parcel of land that borders BLM on 2 sites & conservation easement protected property on another side; Parlin area, horse pasture, possible owner financing; $920,000 Odom Ranch south on Gold Basin Rd; 637 acres, ranch house, water rights, irrigated hay meadow; $1,700,000

241 N. Main, Gunnison

970-641-0511 cathie@clarkeagency.net

View other area listings at www.clarkeagency.net

Celebrating 28 Years in Real Estate

5


Timing could be right ...

to buy

by Bill Nesbitt With a national crisis hitting the stock market, some people may think the real

estate market is a shaky investment right now, too. That’s not necessarily the case. In fact, in my opinion now is a great time to find some very solid Gunnison County

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real estate investments. A little history might be helpful. We’ve had hiccups in the economy before. Like the 1980s. Back then, a house I owned on North Colorado St. sold for $64,000. That same property sold for $125,000 in 1996. In 2006, it went for $278,000. When my partner Bill Yanaki and I were building in the late ’70s and early ’80s, we were offered lots in Crested Butte South for $4,000. I didn’t like it because I thought there were inconsistencies in their development plan. Guess I outsmarted myself. A Crested Butte South lot today would easily fetch a hundred thousand dollars or better. Real estate values in Gunnison have climbed significantly even since the ’90s. By way of example, back then a Gunnison condo sold for $22,000 and it included enough vacant land in back to put up four modular homes. That’s five rental units today at, say, $900 a month. So, $4,500 a month? Easily covers debt service and is a good wealth generator if you are willing to be patient. Also, I think we will see a resurgence of owner-carried mortgages. And why not? If the banks are only paying three percent (or thereabouts) on a five year CD, why not carry a note at 5 1/2 to 6 percent with the property as collateral? With 20 percent down on a $200,000 or $250,000 loan, what is the likelihood of someone walking away? Limited, in my opinion and experience. Gunnison County only has 17 to 18 percent private land holdings due to various government agencies holding the other 83 percent. So, automatically, we have a higher value because of the limited supply. We are a great value because we have clean air, clean water, and a generally healthy populace in the financial, medical, political/social (low violent crime) and spiritual sense. There will always be some bumps in the road. But over the long term, we will prevail. ■

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HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008


Your design or mine. No project is too big or too small.

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HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

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Winter heating help available +VIK+IIV

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We all have reason to be concerned about the prospect of energy costs increasing our heating bills by as much as 20 percent or greater this winter, due to rising fuel prices. Because the health and safety of Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s citizens is my top concern, I want to ensure you are informed and ready for this winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cold. The State of Colorado offers a number of ways to receive assistance as well as weatherization programs to cut your heating bills. The most preventable costs result from heat escaping at the seams of your house and old furnaces not operating efficiently. Below are tips on how to affordably and effectively weatherize your home for the winter. There are agencies in place through the state and your utility company that offer options on appliance repair or replacement, tax credits, as well as energy audits of your home. Please review the information provided below and familiarize yourself with the best way to stay safe and warm while saving money in the coming months. Weatherization tips During the heating season, keep the curtains and shades on your southfacing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to warm your home, and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. You can save as much as 10 percent a year on your heating bills by simply turning the thermostat down a few degrees for eight hours. Try keeping your thermostat at 70 degrees or lower and layer clothes if you get chilly. An average of 14 percent of your energy bill goes towards heating water. Take short showers, run dishwasher and washing machines only when they are fully loaded. Install a programmable thermostat. It helps you save money and automatically adjusts your temperature settings when you are asleep or away. Seal your heating and cooling ducts. Decrease fireplace costs by doing an

annual fireplace inspection. Space heaters are risky, but if you must use one, make sure your space heater has been approved by an independent test lab like US, CSA or ETL. Also, be aware that in some cases using a space heater may actually increase your electric bill. For more information, visit: www. colorado.gov/energy/residential/incomeupgrades-agencies.asp Funds available Over $2 million in federal and state funds are allocated to help qualified homes this year. One program is the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). Visit www.cdhs.state.co.us/leap or call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435). How to Participate: Apply for the 2008-09 LEAP program from Nov. 1, 2008 through April 30, 2009. If you are applying for LEAP assistance you should continue to pay your home heating bill. Mail applications to your local county LEAP office. In Gunnison, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 225 N Pine St #A, Gunnison, CO 81230; fax, 970-641-3738 Approximately $2,096,250 in federal and state funds have also been allocated to communities in central Colorado through GEOs Energy Saving Partners Program. Approximately 344 income qualified homes will receive cost effective energy saving upgrades. The energy savings is anticipated to be a total savings of $158,941 this year of customer gas and electric bills. This equals over 979 tons of carbon per year from the atmosphere. For more information on this program, visit www.colorado.gov/energy/ residential/income-upgrades-agencies. ASP. â&#x2013; (Gail Schwartz is a Colorado State Senator representing Gunnison and several other counties. She can be reached at 303-866-4871 or gail.schwartz.senate@ gmail.com.) HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008


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What you wear between Sundays. The Main St T-Shirt Company â&#x20AC;˘ 126 N. Main St â&#x20AC;˘ Gunnison â&#x20AC;˘ 641-2445

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| FALL 2008

9


Energy incentives aplenty

by Kendall Kahl

The Office for Resource Efficiency (ORE) has compiled details of the many energy efficiency and renewable energy incentive programs currently available to Gunnison Valley residents and businesses to assist in making smart energy related investments. This includes programs provided through the federal and state governments, as well as unique incentives available to the Gunnison Valley. ORE encourages people to take advantage of these programs to help reduce your energy needs and save on energy costs. It is advised to first improve energy efficiency of a building before installing renewable energy systems â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in order to reduce the overall energy load required to power the building. One can begin with an Energy Efficient Building Audit. ORE is partnered with local energy consultant, B2 Building Science, to provide subsidized auditing services. gy assessment Energy An Energy Assessment is the most basic audit, starting at $175 for building space of 2,500 square feet or less. This will include energy efficiency, moisture management, indoor air quality consultation and air leakage analysis using a blower

10

door test. There are also options for a more detailed Home Energy Analysis or a full E-Star Energy Rating. A high E-Star rating can significantly improve the resale value of your home. ORE will provide a $50 rebate for recommended energy efficient building upgrades of at least $100 to a home that has been audited. Contact ORE for more information, 3499673, or www.resourceefficiency.org.

Insulation incentive The Insulate Colorado program is an opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of your home. The towns of Mt. Crested Butte and Crested Butte, GCEA and the City of Gunnison have partnered with the Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Energy Office (GEO) to offer the matching grant program. Rebates are available to qualifying homeowners for the installation of either attic or exterior wall insulation and basic recommended air sealing measures. Properly insulating and air sealing a home p reduce increasingg heatingg will not onlyy help and cooling costs, but also make the home more comfortable. Participating municipalities are offering a 20 percent contractor job cost rebate, or $300 maximum per home, whichever amount is

less. Rebates will be awarded on a firstcome, first-serve basis until program funding is exhausted. Interested homeowners can contact an approved contractor directly: Accurate Insulation (970-641-7367), B2 Building Science (970-349-1835), CB Coatings (970-349-7070), Heron Construction LLC/ Mountain Solar Design (970-641-3567), and Straw & Timber Craftsmen (970-6413898). For rebate information within the City of Gunnison contact Lisa Starkebaum, Public Works Department, at 641-8020 or lisa@cityofgunnison-co.gov.

Renewable energy tax credits Once improvements are made to improve efficiency it is then more cost effective to invest in renewable energy production systems. The federal government is offering renewable energy tax credits for businesses and residents for systems placed in service between Jan. 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2008. Residents can receive a 30 percent tax credit up to $2,000 for the purchase of any phog g or concentratingg tovoltaic, solar lighting, solar power system. Additionally, residents can receive a separate 30 percent tax credit for solar hot water systems, still capped at $2,000. Businesses are given an even wider range of incentives, as they can receive a 30 percent tax credit with no cap for

HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008


The Area’s Premier Green Building Group Energy Efficient Retrofits Green Remodeling installation of solar hot water, solar space heat, solar thermal electric, photovoltaics and solar hybrid lighting. There is also a 10 percent tax credit available for microturbines with a $200 per kw cap, and a 10 percent credit for geothermal electric or direct use systems with no cap. Fuel cell systems can also receive a 30 percent credit but capped at $500 per 0.5 kw. For more information go to www.dsireusa.org/ and click on Federal Incentives.

Moisture and Mold Mitigation

Contractors: Build smart, and save Two federal Energy Efficiency Tax Incentive programs were extended through the end of 2008. For contractors, a tax credit of $2,000 is available for homes built that save at least 50 percent of the heating and cooling energy needs of a comparable home that meets the standards of the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code. Also, a $1,000 tax credit is available to manufactured home producers for models that save 30 percent of energy needs or that qualify for the federal Energy Star Homes program. For commercial buildings, a person or organization that pays for construction is eligible for a tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot of the new or remodeled commercial building that will save at least 50 percent of heating, cooling, ventilation, water heating and interior lighting energy costs of a building that meets ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001. These tax credits for contractors and tax deductions on commercial buildings are available for projects placed in service between Jan. 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2008. For more information, see www.energytaxincentives.org. These programs present a more affordable opportunity for Gunnison Valley residents to begin investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades. Change happens one step at a time—start by taking advantage of one of these programs that is most suitable to your living situation. For more information contact ORE at 349-9673, or www.resourceefficiency.org. For building specific questions, call ORE’s Building Director Andris Zobs at andris@resourceefficiency.org. ■

970.349.1835

HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

Energy Auditing Green Building and Energy Efficient Consulting

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United Country is the only national franchise system specializing in real estate throughout the small towns and cities of rural America. With a heritage dating back to 1925, United Country Real Estate has offices from coast-to-coast and we’re on the grow. For more than 80 years, we’ve helped America rediscover a dream that’s as old as America itself; love of the land, and the dream of owning property. If you’re searching for residential real estate, farms and ranches, recreational property or business and income opportunities—if it’s country, United Country Real Estate is your best source for rural real estate.

Find Your Freedomsm

You’re invited to contact United Country Blue Moose Realty in Lake City, Colorado. We can save you time and money in locating Lake City real estate for sale throughout Lake City, Hinsdale County and Southwest Colorado. We offer a fi ne selection of homes, mountain property, hunting land, investment property and small businesses.

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HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008


Right place, right time and right price Accountants prove that economical, yet attractive, remodel in central Gunnison is still possible

by Will Shoemaker The house was dark, dreary, small and surprisingly original. More antique than awesome. Built in 1958 and owned by the same family for almost 50 years, the ranch-style house at 607 N. 14th St. in Gunnison was destined to be a fixer-upper when Boyd and Sharalee Pederson purchased it in May 2007. It wasn’t something they could — or wanted — to live in, Sharalee says. The washer and dryer were in the kitchen, the other appliances were outdated. “It was a nice, original 1950s house,” she recalls, politely. Space, too, was tight. The house’s three bedrooms were tiny, and the ceiling was low enough to reach up and touch. Like many young families turning to Gunnison as their preferred place of residence, the Pedersons had sought out an older home at a reasonable price within the city’s central grid. They planned to remodel the house to suit their needs and had hopes of finishing with an attractive product that still matches the older, surrounding neighborhood. They had ideas. First, they thought a remodeled existing space would work — if they converted what was the garage on the south side of the house into living space. Additionally, they realized it wouldn’t cost much more to add a garage on the north side of the house, with an addition above it. continued page 14 HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

The Pedersons — Sharalee, Boyd, Griffin, 5, Noah, 2, and Faith, 1 — have plenty of space in, and outside of, their new home (top photo). Below, Boyd stnds in what would become a family room. 13


A friend, Shannon Renick, co-owner of Alpine Dwellings, drew the plans. She recounts that the Pedersons’ project meant “a big undertaking.” A single-car, oversized garage would be added on the home’s north side. Above it would be three bedrooms for the kids, a family room and bathroom. Downstairs, the previously existing garage would be opened to make a great room — with a vaulted ceiling — adjoining the kitchen. Six large windows would be added on the south side to maximize solar gain. “When you’re living in Gunnison, that was something we wanted to do,” Boyd recalls. The master bedroom and laundry and mud room would be situated on the first floor. Ultimately, they’d take the term “remodel” to its limits. But by the time the project got underway, the Pedersons — both accountants — were in the full swing of tax season. So, the goal was to take as much of a hands-off approach as possible. And like any family with three kids under the age of 5 and a dog, staying within budget was a top priority.

continued page 15 14

The former ranch-style home received a new "truss package," allowing for a steeper-pitched roof, and vaulted ceiling, on the first story. Below, what could be saved was saved, but wiring, plumbing and some framing in the 1950s home were replaced to meet current building codes. HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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••• The Pedersons embarked on the remodel because they were ready for a home of their own. The family of five simply needed more space than what they had grown accustomed to. “We’ve been married for 12 years, and for the last 10, we’ve lived in either a condo or a duplex,” Sharalee attests. Because of the new baby, Faith, and the project falling in the midst of tax season, timing was a concern and one more reason that finding a good builder was key. They wanted to find someone they knew they could trust enough to make some decisions themselves. The Pedersons selected Chief Construction, owned by Jeff Wilkinson, as the contractor. “There’s people you always hear good things about and Jeff is one,” Sharalee says. The builders began gutting the home last fall, replacing wiring, plumbing, framing and insulation to meet current building codes. “We saved as much of the old structure as we could,” Wilkinson explains. They installed a much-improved, “super” insulation package, consisting entirely of foam in the exterior walls, he adds. A new truss package allowed for the vaulted ceilings, and steeper-pitched roof. Choice of some materials was left up to Wilkinson. “Jeff was the kind of builder that he’d call and say this paint color doesn’t match the tile,” Sharalee says. “I’d just had a brand new baby and I was in tax season.” She went with his advice.

continued page 16 HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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••• A theme prevailed throughout the project: “Make it reasonable,” Sharalee says, and simple. “We didn’t come into this project with a lot of money.” The Pedersons achieved the goal by cutting back on custom and costly additions. They found an affordable line of light fixtures that, in total, cost $800 for the house. They went with forced air heating, and used pine trim, which is less costly. Still, the builders mimicked older, Victorian homes with some finishings, “to make the home look like it belonged in an older neighborhood,” Wilkinson explains. To keep it economical, the builders recycled and re-used as much material — such as lumber and roof sheeting — from the demolition as possible. The exterior was covered with “cementitious siding,” which holds paint better than most products and doesn’t swell, warp or crack. The south facing wall of windows was another, more long-term, cost savings 16

strategy. Wilkinson includes the design in many of the homes he builds. Because of the passive solar design, on the longest day of the year no sun enters through the windows. Yet, in the winter, the great room receives direct sun.

The Pedersons even utilized the home’s existing hardwood floors. “It was in very rough shape,” Wilkincontinued page 18 HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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17


The home's new garage takes shape. Above it, three bedrooms were added.

son recalls. Parts of the original floor had been covered in linoleum and tile, but the builders were able to sand out the imperfections — most of them, anyway. “It’s wavy and we love it,” Boyd says. The formerly drab 1,200-square-foot ranch-style is now a spacious 2,500 square feet. ••• After six months of living the home,

the Pedersons love the space, the simple design — and the big yard. Because the house, zoned R2, sits on four city lots, they’re considering a garage in the back yard with an apartment above in the future. But in the mean time, they’re just enjoying their new home. “I think it’s turned out to be a fantastic project,” Renick attests. “It’s totally different.”

Boyd says he particularly likes the central location in town — allowing for convenience, ease of travel by bicycle and close proximity to activities for the kids. “With the cost of gas these days,” he expects, “I’m sure it will be a more and more desirable place to live.” ■ (Photos courtesy and by Will Shoemaker)

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The List: • 16-oz curved-claw nail hammer with a rubber grip handle • Basic screwdriver set that contains both flat blades as well as Phillips • Cross-cut hand saw • Cordless ordless or corded power drill with a variety of bits • C-Clamps things mps to hold thing you’re trying secure rying to sec

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21


house getting a

Historic carriage

modern makeover

Top photo: Designer and builder Travis Scheefer (back) and owner Paul Duba point out the original wood of the carriage house that Scheefer used in the rebuild. Lower photos, clockwise beginning on left: the original carriage house; the rebuilt carriage house during construction, with the sun room addition on front; the carriage house with the original wood siding reused.

by Michelle Burkhart Paul Duba and Karen Immerso have taken the old â&#x20AC;&#x153;build by numbersâ&#x20AC;? trick up a notch. How? By taking apart a historic carriage house on their property, located in the heart of Gunnison, and putting it back together. The goal? The couple wants to preserve the historic look of the house and reuse the wood siding, while creating a cutting edge, thermally-efficient building to house a garage, workshop, guest studio and sun room. The duo razed the dilapidated and off-kilter old carriage continued page 23 22

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continued page 25 HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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house to the ground, in a piece by piece fashion with the help of friends in June. They enlisted Gunnison native Travis Scheefer, 23, to design the building and put it all back together — with a few additions. One of Scheefer’s initial jobs included spray painting the back of each weathered piece of wood siding with a number so he could resurrect the house in an orderly manner. The original garage door, which slides horizontally, will also be used in the rebuild. Duba said he and his partner, Immerso, don’t know when the carriage house was built. The couple has found a few clues, however. “We found coal stored out there and horse shoes,” Duba said. “We also found what would have been the runners where you roll your carriage in, but it was probably before rubber wheels.” He also noted that some square nails were found in the house. Square nails were in use until around 1910, according to research by local history buff David Primus. Primus said he didn’t know anything specifically about the carriage house, but he guessed it was built about the same time as the accompanying home. “In a lot of mountain towns (carriage houses) were very common and I think often times built with the house,” he said. The home that Duba and Immerso live in, adjacent to the carriage house, was built in 1882, according to Duba. It is apparent that horses were tied up outside that house at some point, because old horse manure was found under the master bedroom during a recent remodel, Duba noted. Regardless of the age of the carriage house, the couple is determined to bring it new life. The original carriage house was built without a foundation and had gone off-kilter over the years. A third of the original cedar shake shingles had blown away. “It was pretty hammered,” Duba summarized. Scheefer, who graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman this past May with a master’s degree in architecture, is using a hybrid construction technique to maximize thermal efficiency in the new building. The technique is unique, Scheefer said.

23


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Left photo: Scheefer has added a workshop on the east side of the original carriage house. The shed dormer on the second floor is also a departure from the original design. Right photo: owners Karen Immerso and Paul Duba.

“I’ve only seen one person who does it.” He explained that a traditional 2x6 framed wall has studs every 16 or 24 inches that become a weak point in the insulation assembly because they are touching both the outside and inside of the house — and therefore conduct the cold. With the hybrid framing technique he is using, the wall is 8 inches thick, but instead of having single 2x8 studs, there is an inner and outer wall with 2x4 studs that are offset from one another. This eliminates “thermal bridging,” Scheefer explained. Foam insulation will then be blown between the walls. “The inside wall is going to be super toasty,” Duba surmised. “Traditionally, every place there is a stud is a place for wind to go through.” Scheefer is also building a couple of additions onto the original footprint of the carriage house, expanding the total square footage from 830 square feet (half of which was an attic storage space) to 1,100 square feet of habitable space. The additions will include a workshop and a sun room. Scheefer will stucco the exterior of the addition so that it matches the main home. “I’m really deferring to Travis on aesthetic details,” Duba said. “He’s got a really solid vision for this.” The sun room will have a wall of windows facing the south with an architectural shading overhang to control sun during the summer months. With the combination of the glass, for solar gain, and a cement slab floor meant to absorb the sun, Duba said the building shouldn’t need “too much” additional heating to stay above freezing — even during Gunnison’s frigid winters. The cement slab also has radiant infloor heat (hot water tubing embedded in the slab), which will be fired by an ondemand water heater — possibly a solar hot water system, Duba said. When the carriage house is complete, Duba and Immerso hope it will require little more energy input than the original carriage house — which was zero. ■ (Photos Courtesy and by Michelle Burkhart) HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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sun

Tempered by the

Many ways to take advantage of solar energy. Like all 'systems,' the various components must mesh for it to work by Jerry Kowal As the sun rises and moves to the southern sky, a faint hum can be de-

26

tected in the otherwise quiet home. The thermal sensors have begun the daily routine of warming the building and the household water. As we dial the thermostat down, the system senses that the home is warm enough and that all incoming heat should be directed to the heating of household water. For winter use, the same sensor signals the system to direct heat to the floor as well, placing heat in two thermal reservoirs. After a few modifications and adjustments, this system has been left on its own to perform these daily tasks. The next big test is this coming win-

ter, the first for this home and solar heating system. It was November of 2006 when discussions began about the design of this solar heated residence. The location would be within the W Mountain Ranch subdivision on the south end of Gunnison. General considerations included solar space and water heat, energy efficiency, green building components, workability with the site, and ADA accessibility. At this point the mental wheels began to turn and the focus of the project began to emerge. Our first meetings were of a general nature discussing pictures and sketch-

HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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,=9<Q >GJ 1AFL=J Before you settle down to watch football, fall means getting your house ready for months of cold, ice and snow.

"9N= QGM ;@=;C=< QGMJ Roof (Check flashing for leaks and vents that have become detached.)

Doors (Caulk and replace worn weather stripping and broken or cracked glass.)

Insulation (Install insulation to eliminate drafts and lower heating bills.)

Siding (Repair or replace loose siding and check for rotted wood.)

Concrete Walks & Driveways (Repair cracked, uneven driveways and walks as they will worsen during the winter months.)

Garages (Check the weather stripping at the bottom of your garage door.)

This home in Gunnison's W Mountain Subdivision features multiple active and passive solar thermal elements. Heat is collected from the sun via the panels (upper right photo), and then directed where it needs to go (to heat water, or circulate through the floor â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or both) via a complex system of duct work and thermostat controls.

es. The evolution was perfect. One step led to the next, and the basic plan that emerged was an attempt to give definition to a collection of ideas. Slowly, the floor plan began to surface: kitchen and sun room to the south, cross ventilation for the bedrooms, centralized plumbing, entry and area relationships, etc. Not all aspects of the plan were ideal, how-

HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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ever. As with any design, there were trade-offs, but none of which took us away from the original intentions. One of the primary features was the use of solar energy. As a point of clarification, the term solar energy for residential applications can mean photovoltaic or solar thermal. Photovoltaic cells convert the sunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s energy continued page 29

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A solarium with a view. What could be better?

to electricity; while solar thermal systems produce heat. The choice for this building was a solar thermal system, providing space heat primarily for winter as well as hot water for domestic use. The term solar thermal can also mean several different things. This building can be considered a solar hybrid with some passive qualities. The term hybrid means that both active and passive features are used. The sunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s energy is actively collected, using solar thermal panels, fans, dampers and a variety of controls. The sunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heat energy is transferred to the floor, using hot air as medium. The floor acts as a large thermal sponge, which absorbs the heat and stores it for later use. Distributing the heat to the building is basically a passive feature. This is done by the floor radiating its stored heat to the residents. The cycle repeats itself continued page 31 HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

The concrete floor not only stays cozy because of the in-floor heat. Because its stained and sealed, it also eliminates the need for ceramic floor tile or carpet. 29


50 RAINBOW DR. - Enjoy peace and tranquility with rustic elegance in this fantastic log home near the water at three rivers in Almont. This home features 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, vaulted ceilings, gourmet kitchen, steam shower, hot tub, plus much more! Listed at 1,259,000

84 COUNTY RD. 51 - 10 UNIT COMPLEX WITH GREAT RENTAL HISTORY BEHIND ROCKYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GYM! If you need an investment or 1031 exchange you must see this property! Property sits on 1.67 acres, room for more units with county approval. Listed at 949,000

510 E. GEORGIA - Great investment rental or fixer upper, has great rental history for the 4 units on the property, right next to campus. Leases, rental rates and financial information available in the listing office. Listed at 429,000

NEW YORK & MAIN - Here is your chance to own one of the historic homes of original Gunnison! Great investment rental with four units total. Call today for more details. Listed at $279,000

510 HARTMAN ROCKS - This fantastic 3 bedroom home borders Hartman Rocks and offers endless up valley views. Large rooms, vaulted ceilings, radiant heat, large heated garage, wildlife, very private & comfortable. Call and set up a showing today. Listed at 399,000

1018 FAIRWAY LN - Nice well kept home with great view of Hartman Rocks in a quiet setting. Carpet is 1 year old, new paint, wood stove, and owners are currently building sun room off of the dining area. Check out this gem of a neighborhood. 3Br/2.5 Ba Listed at $300,000.

916 W. GEORGIA - Great opportuniy to own a complex of six 2 bdrm/1 bath condo units on large lot. Good rental investment with great rental history and numbers. Some units have been remodeled in last 3 years. Call today for more information! $ 630,000

1122 N. COLORADO - Nice single family home close to campus, close to amenities with park next door. Has been a great rental. Clean, quiet and a good investment for the future! 3 bdrms, 2 baths, 2 garage. Listed at 231,000

1144 N. COLORADO - What a great rental investment or starter home! Close to park, shopping, the new RTA bus stop and Western State College campus. Well kept with a 2 car garage to keep those toys safe or that vehicle warm in the winter! Call for your showing today!! 3 bdrms, 2 baths, 1272 sf, 2 garage. Listed at 164,900

111 N. 12TH - What was a cute 2 bedroom starter house is now a fantastic 4 bedroom home plus heated garage, with a 1 bedroom efficiency apartment. A great investment property or live in the front and run your business out of the back. A must see!!! Listed at 383,000

108 EMERALD LANE New construction! Builder encourages buyers to act now to choose the finishings for their brand new 3 Bedroom 2 Bath home. This house has a great location backing up to a private pond with the Gunnison River Park a short walk away. 299,000 free siding, concrete driveway, W/D and D/W. Pets allowed by owner only. $184,900.

1205 W. NEW YORK - Terrific home with vaulted ceilings, new pellet stove and fresh paint. 3 bdrms, 2 baths, 1242 sf, 2 garage. Listed at 275,000

RR 14PP - SAGUACHE COUNTY Attention Hunters!!! Great location for your hunting camp! 1 bdrm, 1 bath, 744 sf, 35.06 acres. Listed at 195,000

215 S. 7TH - Great starter home or rental investment with great rental history! Property sits on 2 lots and is zoned R3- build a garage or add another unit! Owner has recently put in new kitchen counter tops and a new tub surround and new composition roof was put on last year. Call today for your showing! 3 bdrms, 1 bath. Listed at 215,000

37500 SHAVANO DR. UNIT D7 - PRICE REDUCED! SELLER MOTIVATED! Check out this cute well kept condo steps from the golf course and the Trough restaurant. New tile floors in kitchen and master bath and fresh paint and carpet throughout. All kitchen appliances and washer/ dryer included. Complex is pet friendly for owners! Call today for your showing! 3 bdrms, 2 baths, 1 half-bath, 1475 sf, 1 garage. Starting at 204,900

LOT 11 CRANOR ACRES - Check out the views from this great building site just over 3 miles from down town Gunnison! Year round access, electric and phone to property edge, nice neighborhood with even nicer views!! 7.39 acres. Listed at 119,000

ASPEN CONDOS A1 & A4 - This is a wonderfully affordable unit for the first time home buyer in the area! OR A great rental investment with a current tenant in place at $600/ month for the next year. 12 unit complex with active association in place. Seller also has unit A4 for sale for same price, make an offer on both!! Call today for details!! 2 bdrms, 1 bath, 813 sf. Both are Listed at 117,000

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HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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daily, keeping the structure in a form of thermal balance. When the sun does not shine, a backup natural gas boiler supplies the heat otherwise delivered by the sun. While designing the home, an understanding was made to clarify the solar features. Solar thermal heating is not a perfect option. We cannot always depend on the sun to shine when we need heat. This point is made clear when we realize that we most often need heat at night. In addition, the seasonal temperature extremes can not always be predicted, so solar systems are typically designed to accommodate seasonal averages. Backup systems are always needed to address the unpredictable.

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On the bright side, living with the sun, the awareness of seasonal changes, solar record keeping, etc. are reality checks that enable us to live with clean, renewable and sustainable comfort options. Solar energy does not work without energy efficiency. Many analysts have long declared that no home heating fuels should be consumed without efficiency in the form of high quality home insulation. The consumption of valuable fuel resources, the pollution factor, and simple economics make thermal efficiency a required feature no matter how a home is heated. Building or purchasing any home

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continued page 32 HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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31


should always include the highest efficiency levels possible. Building a solar home makes this point especially clear, as using the sun’s energy by day to heat a home by night is a zero sum game. To this end, the home shown here was designed to lose a minimum amount of heat by night while collecting a maximum amount of heat by day and having enough storage (thermal mass) in which to store the heat. But, one must remember that every day and every winter season is different and this is why the law of seasonal averages must be considered. The building shown here has warm floors insulated beneath using 2-inch Styrofoam. Walls are double framed for insulation and quiet — to a level of R40. The attic has blown-in fiberglass at a level of R50. Windows are fiberglass frames with low-e glass. There are many options for insulation, as there are for solar components. The options here factored in cost, performance, longevity and installation. Realizing that homes are to be lived in, functional and aesthetic features were selected by the designer and the owners to complement the building. Additional energy saving features include fluorescent and compact fluorescent lighting, horizontal axis clothes washer and dryer, sealed combustion gas boiler, direct vent gas fireplace and a south-facing solarium. The same concrete floors that radiate the stored solar heat also function as the finished floor. Stained and sealed, these floors eliminate the need for ceramic floor tile. Nine- and 10-foot ceilings give the interior space a greater sense of volume and spaciousness. It is important to note that there are many solar heating design options for many different applications. Many other design choices may be more appropriate for different situations. However, putting a solar panel on a structure does not mean that the building will work. Solar heating, like most other “systems,” requires that a variety of elements work together. The structure discussed here was built to work as a coordinated collection of components, with the preferences of the home owners at the top of the list. As they listen to the faint hum, the sun’s heat will soon follow. ■ Designed by Jerry Kowal Built by Eric Kowal - Blatt Construction (Courtesy Photos) 32

HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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Fall fix-up can start with garage door

One of the hottest new style in garage doors is the carriage house design. It's available in steel, wood or composite materials and in many price ranges.

What is the one fall home fix-up project that takes only a couple of hours and yields the biggest bang for the buck of any exterior home renovation? Here’s a clue: This project adds style, energy efficiency and security to your home, and the preparation is easy and mess free. For most people, the answer does not immediately come to mind: it’s a stylish new garage door. Think about it. If your house has an attached garage, the garage door may comprise more than one-third of your home’s front facade. If that home is more than five years old, your garage door probably is a solid-colored, raised-panel door that looks like every other garage door in the neighborhood. A new door, quickly and correctly installed by a local professional, will differentiate your home and add style, value and curb appeal. The hottest new style in garage doors is the carriage house design. HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

It’s available in steel, wood or composite materials and in many price ranges. Tom Wadsworth, long-time editor of a garage door industry trade magazine, says the carriage house garage door is “the first major new design in garage doors in more than 25 years.” He says that all major manufacturers have joined “the carriage house craze” and offer thousands of unique variations of the doors. A garage door is an important home improvement project. It is typically the first thing people notice when they pull into your driveway or pass your house. Doors also offer protection against severe weather and theft, help you save money on heating bills and substantially increase the appearance and value of your home. A nationwide poll of realtors revealed more than 71 percent felt a new garage door added to the value of a home, even adding as much as four percent of the selling price. That means $10,000 on a

$250,000 home, which is a huge deal for people wanting to sell now during a difficult real estate market. If you think installing a new garage door project is “easier said than done,” think again. GarageWowNow.com, a non-commercial Web site, can be a resource that helps homeowners redesign the outside of their homes, and the site offers tips on garage door design and gives them an opportunity to view scores of door styles. The Web site also provides before and after photos that show how a garage door dramatically changes a home’s appearance. Hiring a pro is a smart move. Garage doors are heavy and operated by springs under extremely high tension. It’s dangerous to install a door yourself. Finding a local garage door expert is as simple as perusing the advertisements in this publication. ■ 33


‘Living in the round’ at the base of Round Mountain An interview with Nancy Wicks ...

Nancy Wicks, shown here, was the first person in Gunnison County to build a straw bale home — in 1995.

by Dawn DelVecchio Sprite-like and energetic, Nancy Wicks greeted me with a smile as I arrived for a tour of her home. Nancy is the founder of Round Mountain Institute, a non-profit dedicated to “high-altitude ecological gardening, renewable energy and sustainable building.” She is also the owner of Round Mountain Organics, the farm associated with the institute. Located on Hwy. 135 between Almont and Crested Butte, Round Mountain is also the site of Gunnison County’s first straw bale house. “What inspired me most to live this way was my study in Nepal 19 years ago,” Wicks explains. Attending the now defunct World College West, she continued page 35 34

HOMES INSIDE & OUT

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Going â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;off-gridâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; All of Round Mountain Organics' power is generated through sun and wind. Termed â&#x20AC;&#x153;off-grid,â&#x20AC;? using natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s power has many benefits, from reducing carbon use to eliminating electric bills. But the choice to go off-grid poses its challenges as well, especially if you are on a tight budget for initial investment in solar panels. For her first four years in Gunnison County, Wicks lived in a yurt, starting with about 200 watts of solar power. She also had a wood stove and a small heater â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Propane God,â&#x20AC;? she muses. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was freezing through the winter.â&#x20AC;? By year two, she had doubled her wattage, but this was still a miniscule amount of power for her electric needs â&#x20AC;&#x201D; lights, radio, refrigerator. In 2004 Wicks made the jump to a whopping (by her humble standards) 650 watts of solar generated power and in 2007 she jumped to 1,400 watts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was feeling pretty fat in the electric department then,â&#x20AC;? she chuckles. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now that I have so much more power, it cracks me up to think that I lived so long with so little. But I was young then.â&#x20AC;?

was required to spend one semester in a developing country. During her five months in the Himalayan kingdom â&#x20AC;&#x201D; two in a rural village â&#x20AC;&#x201D; her career goals began to take shape. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I realized for the first time in my life that if these people didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t grow their own food, they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t eat.â&#x20AC;? The revelation gave her an entirely new perspective on her relationship with food and with how she was living. In 1992 Wicks moved to Gunnison County intending to develop an organic farm and live gently on the earth. She moved here, like many of us, â&#x20AC;&#x153;because I love the mountains.â&#x20AC;? With friends in Crested Butte whom she had visited a few times during her college years, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it felt like a welcoming community,â&#x20AC;? she explains. She sought a piece of property with good solar exposure in order to build her vision, and eventually found 40 acres at the base of Round Mountain. The institute â&#x20AC;&#x201D; now home to a 2,700-square-foot solar green house, extensive outdoor gardens, a clutch of chickens continued page 36 HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

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Lots of light and an open design gives Wicks' home a feel that is much larger than its 1,059 square feet.

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and a dog — keeps Wicks busy. When I arrived, she was watering her outdoor crops on a sunny, late summer morning. “I haven’t let the chickens out yet,” she says by way of apology for not being ready for a sit-down talk. Her hair tied back and a visor to shade her eyes, Wicks was focused on the early frost, which had effectively stunted any more potato growth for the year. In 1995, Wicks began to build Gunnison County’s first straw bale house based on a modified, hexagonal design. The home took a total of one-and-a-half years to complete, with Wicks doing double time as owner/ builder and general contractor. This post and beam structure has a 1,200-square-foot exterior foundation with a load-bearing frame. The framing and roof were built first, before the bales arrived and the walls raised. To raise a straw bale wall is a fairly quick and simple procedure. Bales measuring 14x18x36 inches are stacked like bricks from an insulated base. Each bale along the first course is impaled onto a length of rebar protruding from the cement foundation. Beginning with the third course, the bales are then pierced downward, connecting two courses at a time. Although re-bar is typically used for upper courses, Wicks selected bamboo for the remainder of her walls. We entered her house through the solarium, which wraps around the southern face of the octagonal structure, catching both eastern and western angles. Full length, vertical windows bring sunlight in, its heat captured by a flagstone floor to be radiated back into the space as the day cools. Today the solarium is an extension of her living space with hanging plants, wall decor and antique furnishings. But initially, this area was used as a growing room and green house for her organic produce. Support posts of locally harvested spruce stand near the center and at the angled edges of the nearly-round home. Peeled smooth by Wicks and finished in non-toxic linseed

Electrical Logic Lighting & Electrical Design Consultants 36

continued page 38 HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008


GREAT ESCAPE

Myths of straw bale There are a number of myths about the risks of straw bale construction. Although there are many homes which have stood the test of time, some of these myths still persist. Myth No. 1: Straw is flammable and too much of a fire risk. In fact, straw bale construction is about three times more fire resistant than standard construction materials. Because the bales are packed and stacked so densely, there is not enough oxygen for them to burn. Add to this the inch-and-a-half of plaster that covers the bales on a finished home, and you’ve got a very fire resistant structure. Myth No. 2: Rodents. People will say that straw attracts rats and mice, as any old barn with a few loose bales will demonstrate. This may be true in a barn with loose bales, but the tightly compacted and stacked bales of straw bale construction do not offer enough space for rodents to move around, let alone nest and reproduce. Once the stucco finish is in place, there literally is nowhere for rodents to even enter the structure. Myth No. 3: Water damage. It is true that straw will rot if it gets wet — just like conventional materials. But this concern is easily remedied with good construction and design. Experienced straw bale builders pay careful attention to protecting bales from water damage. Typical construction techniques such as large roof overhangs, careful flashing around windows and doors and designs that prevent excessive splash-back are all high priorities for straw bale builders. Myth No. 4: Bad investment. Some people argue that a “house made of straw” will not last long and is therefore a poor investment. In fact, there are straw bale homes which have been standing for 100 years or more. Many of these older structures were built with far less attention to water proofing than anything built today, yet they still function as wellinsulated, solid structures. HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

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oil, the posts and tongue-in-groove paneling covering most of the walls are bathed in sunlight, giving a bright, golden hue to the space. At the center of the open-living space is a modest library, mechanical room and stairwell that rises to a cupola. The cupola allows ambient sunlight into the house throughout the day. Wrapping from east to west around the center of the home are the kitchen, living and office spaces, with the back of the house dedicated to a single bathroom and Wickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s small bedroom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I really came to love living â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;in the round,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? explains Wicks of her home design. Although in retrospect, she says she would have chosen a flat south face that would offer much more direct sunlight and would have allowed for better passive solar gain. At the time, her choice came from several experiences living in a circular space. In addition to staying in a rounded structure during her first visit to Nepal, Wicks spent the first four years on her property living in a yurt. The fully round yurt (also known as a ger) is an indigenous, Mongolian structure designed for semi-nomadic living and able to withstand tremendous wind. Although yurt living during four Gunnison County winters proved unpleasantly cold for a woman with a diet of more vegetables than yak butter, the shape itself kept its appeal. Her decision was finalized when, during a straw bale workshop, she eyed some plans for a hexagonal structure, which she eventually reworked into the eight-sided shape we see today. At 1,059 square feet, the interior of the continued page 41 HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008


Dos and Don’ts In order to make the most of an off-grid system, it is important to pay careful attention to your electrical load. DO determine what your electrical load will be. This means making an assessment of all your appliances. DO invest in highly energy efficient appliances. “You have to be very conscious of this” says Wicks. DON'T plan to generate much of your heat from electricity. This includes things like hair dryers, toaster ovens or electric space heaters. DON'T rely on your off grid power for using power tools, unless you plan to have a very large bank of batteries. “Better to use a generator for power tools and vacuum on sunny days,” says Wicks. DO consider creative methods of reducing your electrical needs — such as choosing a laptop over a desktop computer. DO remember that Phantom Loads really do use their share of electricity, and it is better to unplug all electrical appliances — including computers — when not in use.

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| FALL 2008

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341 Merdian Lake Drive Overlooks Mt Crested Butte to the South & Meridian Lake to the Southwest! 4+ bedrooms 4.5 baths with guest apt over heated garage! Setting on two building lots with lots of aspen trees! Furnished and Priced to Sell! $1,550,000!

775 Sierra Vista Way Price Reduced! 6.29 Acres of meadow, deeded water rights, private road! Amenities include in-floor heat, tile floors, open floor plan, vaulted ceilings & 1st-floor master bedrm! No Covenants! Strike a Deal! $599,000!

306 Roundtree One of the finest homes in the subdivision with common area adjoining property to Gunnison River! Remodeled and added onto recently w/huge new master suite with garden tub & shower. 5 bedrooms & 4 Baths. $597,000!

80 Camino Del Rio Prime location at corner of Co Rd 33 (Camino Del Rio) & US Hwy 50 just west of the Gunnison River Bridge on the South. Very well built office bldg in a prime location utilized for 3 businesses. $685,000!

Palisade Townhomes - 300 S. 6th St. Many choices on features and choose your colors & finishes. Starting @ $195,000! Starting August 13th - Every Wed-Sat 1:005:30 PM an Agent will be at the property to answer questions!

Riverwalk Estates (Gunnison River) There is a place of matchless beauty etched in your memory. Beautiful trees, ponds and miles of walking paths. River Lots Starting @ $300,000! Interior Lots starting @ $215,000!

7 Lakeside Townhomes This beautiful energy efficient home is like new and located on the pond that backs up to Dos Rios Golf Club! This unit stands alone and has extra concrete parking slab plus huge double attached garage! $375,000!

691 Sierra Vista Way Awesome Horse Property! Nearly 4.5 acres of irrig meadows! Tack shed stays with property! Home is like new inside. High ceilings throughout Seeing is believing this one! $390,000!

405 W. Tomichi Ave. Unit 2 Recently the Coachlight bar this would make a great opportunity for a business. House of China is located to the north and the new ColoradoFitness will be located to the south. Over 2,400 SF of Commercial space. $250,000!

641 CR 744 (Spring Creek) Gunnison National Forest and Public Trout Fishing is just down the road and this home comes fully furnished and ready to go! Wood fireplace for your enjoyment! 1.5 Acres of land, 3 bdr, & 2 baths! $399,000!

79 Bambi Lane Near new townhome with upgrades. Low maintenance. Emaculate condition. Good southern exposure. Close to Golf Course. All appliances included. 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms! $234,500!

207 B Chateaux Condominiums This is the opportunity you've been looking for! Spotless 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo makes a great investment property or starter home! Separate entry allows you to live in half and rent out the other! $310,000!

99 Bambi Lane This home is impeccable condition offering main floor master bedroom, double car attached garage, energy efficient, fenced landscaped back yard, large kit/dining with hickory cabinets,fully applianced kit. $245,000!

907 Sunny Slope New 4 bedroom 3 bath home should be completed this summer. This home features a great location behind Wal-Mart & City Market! This home is awesome and is completely energy efficient.$324,900!

9990 CR 888A (Whitepine) A very nice mountain cabin in a very private location, overlooking Tomichi Creek and beaver ponds. Lots of pine and borders National Forest. This property has an outstanding location. $289,500!

7922 Highway 135 Ranch style home in the popular Almont community. Walk to fishing on the Gunnison River. Convenient to Gunnison & CB. Plenty of room for horses in fenced pasture. Deeded water rights. 4 Bedrooms & 1.5 baths. $345,000!

916 W. Denver Ave. Zoned R-3 Multi-Family this 1.6 Acres tract is perfect for apartment complex etc.! The home on location is a bonus that goes with it! All utilities available,backs up to Gunnison Community School $900,000!

6 - 35+ Acre Tracts on Razor Creek Excellent Horse Property! 5 miles south of Doyleville this land is split into 7 large tracts featuring Year â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;round access, BLM, Utilites to each tract & spectacular views. Elk & Deer country. Starting @ $149,900! Sportmenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Paradise

1200 W US 50 A-8, C-3 & D-4 ONE OF A KIND! A RARE FIND! Imagine living in a well-maintained, condo ON THE GUNNISON RIVER! The private, covered patioand yard is ideal for fishing & entertaining! Starting @ Please Call!

Lot 11 Teocolli Townhomes - Skyland Breathtaking views of Mt. Crested Butte & the surrounding mountains. Located in Skyland you will not find a better location. Engineer drafted plans is provided with the sale of this property.$415,000! HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008


Going with glycol Two years ago Wicks retrofitted her home with glycol panels to power her in-floor heating system. These panels operate differently than standard solar panels, and come with a higher price tag. But Wicks argues that it was the single best investment she has made. “In the first nine months that I had the system, I saved half of my annual propane bill,” she explains. “I think it is the smartest thing I’ve done on the farm.” This ammonium compound rests in six-foot long, six-inch diameter, vacuum sealed tubes. Once the sun heats the tubes, it generates a heat exchange along the top tube which is filled with glycol. Once the heat is released into the top tube, the glycol is pumped underground and into the house where it is exchanged once more at the center of the house before running continually through the water heater and down to the in-floor pipes. “The hardest thing was to find a plumber to install and maintain the system,” she says. “We are lucky in the Gunnison Valley, because we have a couple of plumbers who know how to do it.”

home is relatively small. But the open design and her selection of natural and lightcolored finishes lend it a spaciousness one would not find in a typical, rectangular structure with enclosed spaces. Why straw bale? “Straw bale just clicked for me,” says Wicks of her choice in alternative building materials. “I had considered building an earth ship, but when I found out how labor-intensive it is (requiring three wheelbarrows full of earth tightly compacted into each tire, and hundreds or thousands of tires per home) I decided against it.” The insulative value of straw bales for walls is high (at R54), meaning that her heating needs are much lower than those of a home using standard wall insulation methods. Straw bale building is also relatively easy and affordable. Once the framing is in place, the walls go up quickly and easily with a few sets of hands. Once the bales are in place and the walls stuccoed, it makes for a stable structure. The thick walls of a straw bale home also offer some aesthetic advantages, including deep sills below windows, sound proofing against outdoor noise and the ability to carve out niches and other decorative features right into the walls. Nancy Wicks’ home at Round Mountain was the first straw bale house to be built in Gunnison County. At the time, it took her nine months to get a permit to build. County officials, now familiar with this type of housing, are much quicker about providing permits to those wanting to use straw. Today the county boasts at least six straw bale houses, and permit time can be as short as a couple of weeks. ■

(For more information on Round Mountain Institute, visit www.roundmountain.org. Photos by Dawn DelVecchio) HOMES INSIDE & OUT

| FALL 2008

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| FALL 2008


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Homes Inside & Out Fall 2008  
Homes Inside & Out Fall 2008  

Homes inside & out is a biannual publication the highlights everything relating to homes in the Gunnison Valley. This year's fall edition fe...

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