A supplement to the Methow Valley News
NEED TO REBUILD OR BUILD? GIVE US A CALL!
Log Homes • Timber Frame Homes Conventional Framed Homes Interior & Exterior Log Accents • Custom Log Stairs & Railings Log Trusses • Custom Log Beds & Fireplace Mantels • Staining Additions • Remodels • Chinking • Log Entryways
Eagle Handcrafted Homes
CUSTOM LOG HOMES Over 30 Years Experience Ed Rogers (509) 997-0250 ~ Cell (509) 322-3040 firstname.lastname@example.org
Licensed & Bonded
po box 721 l winthrop, wa 98862 l w: 509.996.3257 l c: 206.915.2047 l email@example.com
Where it all starts
ColdwellBankerWinthropRealty.com The Methow Valley’s #1 Real Estate Company here to serve you!
Stunning 48 Acre Historic Farm on the Methow River!
his is it. This is the place. This is where we are going to be in the Methow Valley. We’ve heard that story over and over during the years we’ve been publishing Methow Home, our annual exploration of the ideas, trends and dreams behind the distinctive homes that continue to be built here. The search for just the right spot can go on for years — or only a few days. But when people see it, they know it instantly — whether it be in Mazama, the Rendezvous, Wolf Creek, the lower valley or up the Chewuch River. Something connects, something personal and authentic, when home site buyers recognize the space they will call their own. Maybe it’s the view, maybe it’s the water, maybe it’s the simple serenity of a quiet meadow. Once that is settled, construction may start right away, or be delayed for years. In any event, the process begins with a concept that is shaped into a plan by an architect or designer, and made complete by a builder. Imagination, creativity, craftsmanship — along with the seasoning of reality and practicality — combine to bring dreams to life. In Methow Home 2015, we tell the stories of six of the valley’s distinct homes — fıve originals and one extensive remodel. Each story begins with that “aha” moment when the buyers knew they were “home.” You’ll also fınd articles about design trends including “window walls,” smaller bedrooms and larger great rooms, along with other information that will help you think about living well in the Methow. As always, we are grateful for the assistance of the homeowners, architects, designers, builders, artisans and real estate agents who help make Methow Home possible, and for the support of our advertisers — the people who make it all happen. Feel free to pass along your ideas for future stories by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (509) 997-7011. Don Nelson, editor and publisher
Offering Expertise in all types of property acquisitions and eager to help YOU!
Every day offers a different panorama in the Methow Valley. PHOTO BY DON NELSON Methow Home 2015
Inside ... 3
WHERE IT ALL STARTS
Whether you are intensely involved or hire it all done, the process is the same
6 THE GREAT THING
ABOUT GREAT ROOMS Open spaces are more effıcient and invite connections
See page 34. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
CHECK OUT THE CHEWUCH IN ANNUAL HOME TOUR DOWNSIZING THE MASTER SUITE
Homebuilders increasingly prefer a great view to a big room
See page 38. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
LOOKING TO OUR TOWNS FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
BUILDING IT, FROM A TO Z
20 FIREWISE BUILDING & LANDSCAPING
Even in fıre country, your home doesn’t have to burn
A WINDOW ON THE WORLD Expansive glass ‘walls’ connect indoors, outdoors in many Methow homes
Affordable housing could enhance the valley’s future See page 16. PHOTO BY RANDY BROOK
A publication of the Methow Valley News P.O. Box 97, 101 N. Glover St., Twisp, WA 98856
Don Nelson | PUBLISHER /EDITOR Darla Hussey | DESIGN
Tyson Kellie | ADVERTISING ASSOCIATE Sheila Ward | ADVERTISING ASSOCIATE
509.997.7011 • fax 509.997.3277 www.methowvalleynews.com email@example.com
Methow Home 2015
Rebecca Walker | OFFICE MANAGER
Dana Sphar | AD DESIGN /PRODUCTION
RESTORING THE LAND
How to rehabilitate areas that were damaged by 2014’s fıres
AN EMPHATIC VIEWPOINT
A dramatic remodeling takes full advantage of Chewuch River valley views
RISING OUT OF THE MEADOW
The Quintanas’ Chechaquo Ranch home offer lots of usable space within a small footprint
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
The Hamer home is designed for comfortable living for years to come
A NEW HOMECOMING
ABOVE THE EARTH
See page 28. PHOTO COURTESY OF CLINKSTON ARCHITECTS
The Bacons treasure a site and design that remind them of their roots
Wolf Creek ‘tree house’ complements active lifestyle
See page 24. PHOTO DON NELSON
Mazama home offers coziness, style and flexibility, all on one floor
50 DIRECTORY OF ADVERTISERS
See page 30. PHOTO COURTESY OF BALANCE ARCHITECTS
ON THE COVER …
The great room of the Bacon home featured on page 38. PHOTO BY MARY KIESAU
Contributors DON NELSON is publisher and editor of the Methow Valley News.
is a Methow Valley News reporter.
ANN MCCREARY is a Methow Valley News reporter.
is a Methow Valley News reporter and proofreader.
is a Methow Valley News columnist.
Methow Home 2015
The great thing about great rooms Open spaces are more efficient and invite connections B Y A SH L E Y L ODATO
vast chambers and grand central halls of medieval castles may have been the precursors to today’s multipurpose living areas, but it is mid-century real estate developer Joseph Eichler who is credited with being the father of the modern great room. HE
Eichler, whose modernist homes built in California in the 1950s and 1960s, drew on the open floor plan styles of Frank Lloyd Wright to create central living spaces that served as the crossroads for the functions of formal and informal socializing, cooking and dining. Although later architects and developers redefıned the great rooms to include the signature soaring ceilings, statement fıreplaces and expansive floor plans of great rooms in highend homes, Eichler’s vision of
Methow Home 2015
attractive and affordable housing for middle-class American families endures in the generations of Californians who were and continue to be raised in his light-fılled functional homes with the central common spaces. (The year after graduating from college, I lived in a 5-minute Eichler. The airy Bay Area tract homes, stuffed with recent college graduates and young families, fell into two categories: 5-minute Eichlers and 10-minute Eichlers — the number indicating approximately how long it would take the house to burn to the ground should fıre break out. This propensity for speedy combustion is allegedly due to the lack of insulation and interior wood paneling, taking a home, as one fıre chief put it, “from fab to slab” in about 7 minutes. Nonetheless, it was a lovely house, and my four roommates and I spent nearly all of our time together in the common living/kitchen/dining room.) The great room revolutionized the way modern Americans lived. No longer was mom (and yes, it was inevitably mom) isolated in the dark galley kitchen, while dad retired to his study, the kids watched TV in the family room, and the ceremonial living room collected dust. Now homework took place at the kitchen counter, guests in the living area chatted easily with the cook, and those
Great rooms can be designed any number of ways to incorporate living, dining and kitchen areas. PHOTOS BY STEVE KEATING PHOTOGRAPHY
There’s no limit to kinds of activities a great room can accommodate. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
who couldn’t fıt at the dining table spilled over onto couches and bar stools. The great room became the heart of the household, bringing families and friends together in a common space. Kind of like the old pioneer cabins, but with central heating and modern appliances. Although those of us with modest central common areas are self-conscious about referring to these spaces as our “great rooms,” the alternative moniker — the “living slash kitchen slash dining
room” — is clunky. If our central spaces don’t have a cathedral ceiling, a soaring stone fıreplace, and 1,000 square feet of floor space, we resort to making quotation marks with our fıngers when calling them our “great rooms,” as if in apology. But we needn’t be so sheepish; in the case of great rooms — as in so many other situations — size doesn’t really matter.
Lots of possibilities
Take it from the experts. Mary Johnston of Johnston Architects
says “Great rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Some do have tall ceilings and vast dimensions, but with a trend, at least in our practice, for more compact houses, the great rooms tend to be effıciently proportioned.” In fact, adds Johnston, great rooms are effıcient and economical uses of space in that they eliminate hallways, extra walls, and doors. David Clinkston of Clinkston Architects agrees, saying “Great rooms must be scaled appropriately.” Addressing the vaulted two-story ceiling style, Clinkston says, “Some designers create spaces that approach being ecclesiastical, too grand. It’s a fıne line. Intimacy of the space can become at risk. This is not a church — it’s a home.” What makes a great room great is less its impressive size and more its key purpose. “The great room allows a family to be together while doing different things,” says Johnston. “In a vacation home this is especially desirable because vacations are when busy families have a chance to be together and share activities.” Although a great room is typically greater — larger — than any other in the house just by virtue of being at least three spaces combined, it is also greater — more
signifıcant — because it fosters connections among people who care about each other. As Johnston says, “it allows people to share experiences in generous spaces.” Although it’s only about 450 square feet, Danielle Micheletti and Andrew Nelson’s Cottonwood Meadows great room fosters exactly the type of experiences Johnston refers to. Says Micheletti, “Probably the highlight of our great room is when we have people over for pizzas. It’s hard to prepare them all ahead of time, so we assemble them when our guests are there and people like to just sit at our island and they watch and socialize as we assemble them and transfer them to the pizza stone for baking.” Another benefıt of the open floor plan, Micheletti has found, is that while the parents cook dinner, the kids can work on their homework at the built-in desk in the space. “We like to be able to cook while still being a part of the action of the living and dining area,” says Micheletti. This sentiment about being part of the action is echoed by Keri and Seth Miles, whose 600-square-foot great room is the venue for yoga, Taekwondo, Parkour, basketball practice Methow Home 2015
(“unfortunately, yes,” says Keri), Nerf target practice, and Super Bowl parties, as well as for more traditional activities like eating dinner, doing homework, and playing board games. “We deliberately kept the size reasonable for energy effıciency and warmth,” Keri says, “but it gives us enough space for our family and guests.” Although, she concedes, “perhaps 35 people at the Super Bowl party was too many.”
Things to consider
When thinking about your great room design, say both Johnston and Clinkston, consider light requirements (more for the kitchen area, less for the living area), ceiling height, views and traffıc patterns. “If you know you don’t like to see a messy kitchen from the living room,” Johnston says, “then you need some separation of spaces or at least an island to hide parts of the kitchen work area.”
If you’re sensitive to noise you may want more of a barrier between the noisier, busier parts of the house than a typical great room would provide. And although the trend is defınitely away from formal dining rooms, people who lead more formal lifestyles may not want to give those up. But most have shed the formal dining room without a tear. Says Johnston, “Just about all of our new houses have great rooms.” Clinkston is more adamant about the value of great rooms, saying “I include one at every opportunity.” He adds, “To me it’s a no-brainer. If a great room is well-designed it simply enhances a family’s or individual’s lifestyle.” Like Johnston, Clinkston points to the space saved by a great room. “The same individual areas, if taken from a great room floor plan, would each seem too small if compartmentalized. There’s a greater perception of square feet by virtue of each use borrowing a sense of area from
Great rooms don’t always need soaring ceilings. PHOTO COURTESY CAST ARCHITECTURE
the other.” That is, a 400-squarefoot great room feels much more generous than a kitchen, living room, and dining room with a combined total of 400 square feet. Cost and space savings aside, say both architects, the main attraction of a great room is its social benefıt. “The social benefıt of a great room to a family and
visiting friends cannot be overstated,” Clinkston says. “The cook remains in contact with the family and guests.” Johnston says she considers a great room to be “sort of a mixing chamber” — a public part of the house where cooking, eating, and socializing take place. Clinkston agrees, “I see the kitchen as command central.”
Because it takes us all to care for a place as special as the Methow Valley.
Your local nonprofit working to inspire people to care for the land. Learn more about our conservation projects & classes www.methowconservancy.org Methow Conservancy 509-996-2870
Trust the Excavating Professionals ComPlETE SiTE PrEParaTion
Roads • Septic • Irrigation Foundations • Custom Rock Walls Utilities & More Over 25 years experience in the Methow Valley
LOCAL We live here too. So, whether you’re buying or selling, you can be confident your Windermere agent has the local knowledge and expertise to guide you every step of the way. Methow Valley • 313 E. Methow Valley Hwy, Twisp WA 98856 (509) 997-6562 • Windermere Real Estate/Methow Valley
509-996-2033 WA contractor #doughei033jn
Methow Home 2015
One of the particular benefıts of a great room in the Methow, Johnston points out, is that “all the public spaces in a house (the places we spend most of our time) enjoy equally good views of the beautiful surroundings.” This, too, hearkens back to Eichler’s design, which sought to “bring the outside in.” Skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows let natural light into the central rooms; sliding glass doors opened straight from living area onto outdoor patios and decks. Indeed, newer Methow homes increasingly feature operable glass wall systems: wall-sized panel doors that slide or accordionfold to open up the great room to the great outdoors, blurring the distinction between interior and exterior. Great rooms, as it turns out, are all about relationships. The relationship between inside and out; the relationship between people and spaces; and, as Clinkston puts it, “the relationship of one
area to another.” But mostly, great rooms help inhabitants of a house explore and defıne their relationships with each other, strengthening connections
through shared spaces. Through bringing families closer physically, great rooms bring families closer emotionally. And that is pretty great. H
Fireplaces and/or wood stoves are typical fixtures of Methow Valley great rooms. PHOTO B Y DON NELSON
Integrated Design Concepts Inc ResidenTiAl & COmmeRCiAl Building design
HANDCRAFTED COFFEE FOR COFFEE LOVERS
Always Good! Howard Cherrington, AIBD-CPBD 509-997-4865 • PO Box 681 • Twisp, WA 98856 www.integrateddesignconcepts.com
BLUESTARCOFFEEROASTERS.COM Methow Home 2015
Pipe • Electrical • Septic Culvert • Plumbing • Pumps Lawn & Garden • Irrigation Stoves • Farm & Ranch Animal Feeds & Pet Foods We have it! Service and a lot more!
Monday - Friday 7 am - 5:30 pm & Saturday 8 am - 5:30 pm
Hwy 20 across from Hank’s • 997-0720
A LI T T LE B I T OF EV ERY THI N G G O O D.
The upper Chewuch River valley: a variety of landscapes. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
Check out the Chewuch in annual Home Tour
a drive — or a bike ride — up the Chewuch River valley for the annual Methow Valley Home Tour, scheduled for Aug. 8. The theme of the tour —now in its 14th year — is “A River Runs through It: Homes and Cabins along the Chewuch River.” The home tour is sponsored by Confluence Gallery & Art Center in Twisp. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will include eight unique homes, from small weekend cabins to expansive residences. The route is bicyclefriendly. The Chewuch River valley is north of Winthrop and is accessible by West Chewuch and AKE
Methow Home 2015
East Chewuch roads. Tickets are $25 per person or $20 per person for carpools of four. Tickets can be purchased at Confluence Gallery from Aug. 1 through Aug. 8. A driving map will be provided with tickets on the day of the tour. For those contemplating building in the valley, the tour provides opportunities to check out interior and exterior design possibilities, to learn about siting options, and to see the work of various architects, builders and artisans. For more information, call 997-2787, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.confluencegallery.com. H
50 Lost River Road Open Daily 7 AM – 6 PM
Land Use/Development Permits Landscape Architecture Highest & Best Use/Valuation Conservation Trusts 40+ Years experience in WA State & US More than 30 years in Okanogan County
R.W. Thorpe & Associates, Inc. 69/71 W. Chewuch/Northcott Rd, Winthrop, WA 98862 7438 SE 27th St., Mercer Island, WA 98040
(206) 624-6239 • Cell (206) 484-5213 • www.rwta.com
Downsizing the master suite Homebuilders increasingly prefer a great view to a big room B Y A N N M C C R E A RY
and luxurious master bedroom suites may be de rigueur in homes in some parts of the country, but you’re not likely to fınd them in new homes being built in the Methow Valley these days. PACIOUS
The outside is what draws people to the Methow Valley, and a nice view is usually the top priority in designing a master bedroom. PHOTO BY ANN MCCREARY
Elsewhere, master suites in some high-end homes serve as separate living quarters with offıce space, exercise areas, libraries and reading nooks, wet bars, mini-kitchens, walk-in closets and large attached bathrooms with sinks and showers for two. While the Methow has some variations on these, they are most likely to be found in homes
constructed before The Great Recession of 2008, architects and designers say. “Homes got bigger and bigger leading up to the recession. Since the recession, they’ve gotten quite a bit smaller and have stayed there,” said Ray Johnston of Johnston Architects, based in Seattle. In some cases, “people want the larger master suite with a walk-in closet to have clothes for every season, ” said Johnston, who has designed several homes in the valley. But, “in half the projects we’re doing, especially second homes, the master suite is small and the bathroom modest. They are nicely turned out, but not palatial.” With generally smaller houses and tighter budgets since 2008, homebuilders “end up having to make a choice” about what they want to spend money on, he noted. “They’re asking, ‘Can I live with a regular bathroom for the master suite? Can I share a bathroom?” “I really have to respect that, because they are focused more on where they are than what they
Isabella Ridge Spectacular View Lots Town of Twisp Water/Sewer from $76,500
Methow Valley Associates, LLC Vaughn Jolley 360-770-7306 email@example.com Methow Home 2015
have. There is an awareness of not making the inside space compete with the outside,” Johnston said.
The outside perspective
The outside is what draws people to build homes in the Methow Valley in the fırst place, Johnston said. And the home design, including master bedrooms, is usually focused on showcasing what’s beyond the walls of the house. The common denominator — 90 percent — of most master bedroom designs in valley homes is not lots of space or luxurious décor, but “a really nice view,” Johnston said. “They want to wake up in the master bedroom and see whatever that nice view is,” Johnston said. Margo Aspholm, an architect with Balance Associates in Winthrop, fınds that same priority — connecting with the outdoors — among the people she works with to design homes in the Methow Valley. “Most people are here to spend time outdoors. They want their master suite to be nicely crafted and pleasant to be in, but they’re more excited to be outdoors,” Aspholm said. “They defınitely want to wake up to a beautiful view. It’s waking up in the valley and celebrating the valley,” Aspholm said. To support that desire, “the master suite design will consider how that room is sited,” to take best advantage of the views, she said. “We spend a lot of time
thinking about that corner of the house and what the view will be,” Aspholm said. “A lot of people want their bedroom on the east side” of the home, said Howard Cherrington of Integrated Design Concepts in Twisp. “It keeps the late summer sun from heating the room up. In the morning you can get nice sun on your patio or small covered porch, or even a screened porch with an entry from the bedroom,” he said.
the Methow is connection to the outdoors through glass doors leading to a deck or patio. “I don’t know how many people hop out of bed and walk outdoors. But when we have hot days it’s nice to be able to have the doors open and wake up to the cool air,” Aspholm said. “People come here for the environment,” said Cherrington. “They want to be able to walk out — they like that connection to the environment.”
Some amenities matter
“Palatial size” is not usually a priority for the master bedroom design, “even in our larger, more elegantly fınished houses,” Aspholm said. But some amenities, such as soaking tubs and direct access to the outdoors, are frequently included in master bedrooms in valley homes. “We have some people with master suites that have a special soaking tub that has a really nice view. One house has a Japanese soaking tub and the whole family can use it. It’s kind of the focal point of the house. It’s unique in that the tub is for the whole family. It can be closed off from the master suite,” Aspholm said. “Sometimes there will be a little offıce in the master bedroom,” she said. “But a lot of work we’re doing is vacation homes and people don’t necessarily want their computer right there in their bedroom.” Another common feature of master bedrooms or suites in
In some cases people want a suite that provides a separate, adjoining space to work out or do yoga. Or they just want to create
a room large enough to permit them to exercise, “rather than spend money for a whole room that’s used for one thing,” said Cherrington. “People are not creating singleuse spaces. They’re saying, ‘If I’m going to create a space, I want to be able to do a lot of different things in it,’” he said. Even so, “master suites are defınitely smaller than a decade ago,” Cherrington said. “Rather than wanting a sitting area and a library and entertainment center in the bedroom, people are more interested in value,” he said. “People are saying, ‘If I want a master suite, I’m mainly sleeping there. I’ve got my entertainment
A partial wall in a master suite offers a creative approach to dividing space . PHOTO BY ANN MCCREARY
R O O F I N G
Snow Country Specialists All your roofing needs No-slope to steep pitch
509-996-3808 / 509-630-2100
TTTROOFING.NET firstname.lastname@example.org #TTTCO1*066DU
Methow Home 2015
Sherry Malotte & Anne Eckmann-Owners ~ (509) 996-8084 Karen Reneau, Heather Marrone, Linda Valkenburgh, Rob Thorlakson ~ 141 Riverside, Winthrop, WA
center out in the main room.” “People are just much more concerned about budgets,” he added. “I’ve run into people who don’t even do master suites. They have a larger bedroom and a second bedroom is primarily an offıce, and there’s just one bathroom. You can save a lot of money by not doing a bathroom.” On the downsizing front, bathtubs — once considered requirements in any master bathroom — seem to be losing importance. “The rule of thumb used to be that you had to have a bathtub. Now it’s really rare to see a bathtub. People are much more concerned with accessible showers, walk-in showers. I do a lot of homes where there’s not a tub in the house,” Cherrington said. “People tend to have a lot more hot tubs … on patio spaces next to the master suite is common,” he said. “If you want to soak, you go outside and soak under the stars.” H
A “headboard wall” separates the sleeping area from the rest of the master bedroom suite, while maintaining a feeling of openness in the room. PHOTO BY ANN MCCREARY
CHECK OUT OUR NEW WEBSITE! www.methowvalleylumber.com
The source for all your building needs from start to finish: REBAR LUMBER TRUSSES ROOFING SIDING DOORS WINDOWS DECKING INSULATION SHEETROCK CABINETS HARDWARE PAINT & STAIN GLASS & MIRROR
We Make Great Paint… With Pride We Deliver w/ Boom Truck & Dump Bed We Sell Custom-Made Cabinets
We Offer Quality Doors & Windows
We Build Custom Sheds
1309 Highway 20 South ! Twisp ! Locally Owned and Operated email@example.com 997-8541 Methow Home 2015
Glover Street in Twisp as it now exists, with businesses only. DRAWING COURTESY OF JOHNSTON ARCHITECTS
Looking to our towns for sustainable growth Affordable housing could enhance the valley’s future B Y R AY J OH N STO N
do we preserve the natural beauty of our valley? By providing places to live, work and play, we can protect our uplands and river valleys and the wonderful natural environment that we love. A little more population in our towns will help to make our businesses OW
Methow Home 2015
successful and our population multi-generational and vibrant. Twisp and Winthrop are wellpositioned to provide homes for people who work and live in the Methow. The zoning in our towns allows for single-family houses on generous lots, but it also makes it possible to provide smaller, more-affordable housing in the town centers. The ancient model of the apartment above the shop is a viable one and would allow for the young, the old and those just entering the job market to fınd a place to live. This idea is not without challenges. In Twisp, for example, water issues are still at play. Whether it is through conservation, infrastructure repair, sustainable strategies or the relaxation of water limitations in town, the addition of housing is
an important step in the life of a small rural town. So much of the draw of the Methow is the natural setting, but we are lucky to also have a rich cultural life. Part of sustaining that culture depends on accommodating a diverse group of citizens: second-homers, long-time valley residents, young people including a new generation of farmers and ranchers, retired folks and entrepreneurs bringing new jobs to the valley. All these people bring diversity but they also bring density. And density has a price. The shrub steppe, the pine forests and the rocky bluffs were not made to hold large populations. That’s where the growth of our towns comes into play. Imagine, as one of my friends in the valley does, that you could move from your
rural compound to a nice place in town, a stone’s throw from the river, a short walk to Hank’s Harvest Foods and a quick hike or a saunter along the steelhead-laden shores of the Twisp River. Maybe there is a coffee shop nearby and in my friend’s version of this story a nurse’s station, so when he lands that big steelhead off the back porch and has a coronary, the pushing of a button would bring help. This kind of smalllot density could happen on the edges of our towns.
Imagine this ...
How about Glover Street or Riverside Avenue? Imagine a second story on the storefronts of Twisp or Winthrop occupied by apartments and a few offıces. Imagine a small cluster of townhouses or apartments along the river trail
within town. Imagine the restaurants full even on weekdays, chess and checkers games taking place at sidewalk cafes. We are approaching the critical mass that makes these visions possible. Those seeking jobs in the farming, service and recreation industries and, today, in the remotely enabled dot-com industry, have trouble fınding a home in the Methow. Those who have lived their lives on the banks of the Twisp, Chewuch and Methow rivers look to Wenatchee and Brewster for elder care and
comfort. This is not the way it should be. And, there is no reason for it to continue in this exclusionary mode. So, imagine for a while that we can add this density to Twisp, Winthrop and Carlton. The market is there. People turn away with no viable place to live and explore their vision in other places. Sustainable strategies allow us to provide the water and energy necessary. Imagine apartments and homes that feed the commerce of our town centers on a constant basis — through mud
season, through the heat of summer and through the post-winter holiday blues. How would this look? Our wide streets would have slightly taller buildings on each side. Instead of tumbleweed, there would be people visiting stores and shops. Jobs would become more stable with dependable off-season commerce. In recent years, the storefronts of Twisp have become full. The Methow Valley News classifıed advertisements lack long-term rentals and the search for a home
or just a foothold in the Methow has become intense. Commerce is alive and well with Methow Made products, TwispWorks is full and new shops are opening and thriving. But still, folks work two or three jobs to get by. The Methow actually had snow this year and the fıshing, hiking and music scene are all exceptional. So, let’s build our towns, create space for those who have been in the Okanogan for generations and for those visitors who would share this exceptional environment. H
Glover Street re-imagined with second-floor housing. DRAWING COURTESY OF JOHNSTON ARCHITECTS
Propane Service 509.429.3225 schulerbuildco.com firstname.lastname@example.org Contractor# SCHULEL962NB
Locally owned & operated since 1999
Methow Home 2015
David Perez and Crystal Elliot-Perez’s farmhouse-style home outside Winthrop was wrapped and dried-in before snow fell around Thanksgiving. “Achieving that felt really good,” said Perez, who’s doing most of the construction himself. The Perezes expect to move in sometime this summer. PHOTO BY L AURELLE WALSH
Building it, from A to Z Whether you are intensely involved or hire it all done, the process is the same 16
Methow Home 2015
B Y L AU R E L L E WA LSH
O, you found your little piece of heaven here in the Methow Valley: a chunk of raw land on which to build your dream home or cabin. You’ve wanted this for some time: a place to call your own, a home that reflects your individuality, a house you can proudly tell people you built yourself.
But what does that involve, building your own house? For some people that means hiring a contractor and standing back to let the professionals do their magic. For others, building a house means picking up tools and expending their own sweat and labor. Either way, the steps that follow — from raw land to moving in — look remarkably the same, as
do the entities involved throughout the process.
First, and perhaps most importantly, are you going to hire a general contractor or do the contracting yourself? Naturally, experience and know-how come into play, but fınancing could also be a factor; in general, construction loans
are only available if you have documented success building a home. If that’s not an issue, and you have the knowledge, organizational skills and time to be your own contractor, you could save from 10 to 25 percent on the cost of construction — if everything goes right, according to the Wall Street Journal. But mistakes can be expensive. To increase your odds of success as owner-builder, you might share the general contracting with a trusted lead carpenter or construction manager who will troubleshoot and oversee the job site, according to buildingadvisor. com. General contractors are licensed, bonded and insured. If you do it yourself, talk to an insurance agent about a course-of-construction policy for the duration of the building project. Even if he or she never picks up a hammer, the owner-builder should be prepared to: • Get all permits and schedule inspections. • Order materials, schedule and receive deliveries. Most building supplies you will need are available from local vendors, or they can order them for you. • Hire and supervise subcontractors. • Do the bookkeeping and pay the bills. Methow Valley real estate broker Patsy Rowland hired a fleet of local subcontractors to construct her home overlooking Big Twin
ra c d n Woo
Lake, but contracted and oversaw the entire process herself. “I appreciated doing it myself because I learned so much in the process,” Rowland said. David Perez began construction of his East Chewuch home in October, got it dried-in by Thanksgiving, and was wiring the interior at the end of February. He has 20 years of carpentry experience, but this is the fırst house he’s built himself. “You need to have a lot of energy and patience,” he said. The Perezes hope to move in sometime this summer.
up the job site, laying tile or painting trim. You may also be able to save some money by doing your own shopping for things like cabinets, fıxtures and faucets. Get bids from and check the availability of several contractors — they get busy in the building season. Talk to past clients. Ask what, if any, contractor discounts will be passed along to you. Ask about the cost of change orders. Finally, choose a contractor. Whether a general contractor
" You need to have a lot of energy and patience" David Perez, on building his own home
Hire a contractor
If owner-builder doesn’t sound like you, a contractor will get your house built, start to fınish. Some folks are more than happy to hand off all the decisions to the contractor. Other people are at the job site all the time and want to be involved in decisionmaking. Figure out what kind of person you are. If you want to get your hands dirty, talk to your contractor about doing a little or a lot of the work yourself, such as cleaning
will be in charge, or you’re going run the show, your project will go through of the following steps — not necessarily in this order — as the house is built.
• Get a well permit from the health department and fınd a local contractor to dig a well. • Get a perc test and locate your drain fıeld. Again, there are local companies that will fınd the right site. • Verify from the PUD or electric
co-op that power is at your property line.
Get a house plan
It starts with design. Many local and Seattle-area architects and designers have created plans for Methow Valley homes and are familiar with design trends. It’s important to fınd an architect you feel comfortable with, who listens to your ideas, and who advises you about costs, materials and site considerations with your budget in mind. Also, architects who have designed houses in the valley work with local builders and have formed good relationships with them. Ask who they are familiar with and would recommend to build your house. Some people choose to develop a house design without an architect. It’s possible to fınd a stock plan online and tweak it to your needs, but beware that such plans may need some engineering. Others choose to buy a pre-fab kit — for example a panelized, a modular or log home. Patsy Rowland found a style that she liked online and worked with two engineers to get the house design she wanted. “I didn’t want to pay $20,000 for an architect to draw up my plans,” she said. David Perez and his wife, Crystal, designed their farmhouse-style home “based on things we really liked,” Perez said. “We kept it as simple as possible,” and avoided
Cabinetry & Custom Furniture DESIGNS 2000, Inc.
Rick Swanson 509.996.2297 email@example.com www.swansonwoodcraft.com
at an affordable price Marc Robertson 509-996-3771 firstname.lastname@example.org Methow Home 2015
engineering costs, he said. Rowland recommends consulting with an experienced local builder before fınalizing your house plans.
Site prep, continued
• Go to the planning department with your site plan showing property lines, driveway, footprint, well, septic and utilities. They will inform you of any setback or density requirements, location of adjacent wells and/or drain fıelds. • Get an engineered septic plan. Get a septic permit from the health department. Build a septic system. Note: Some planned communities, such as Pine Forest and parts of Edelweiss and Lost River, have community water systems and/or shared drain fıelds. • Go to the building department and get your building permit. • Get a temporary electric meter installed by the PUD or electric co-op.
Remember that even the most capable do-it-yourselfer will need help with many of these tasks, and you don’t have to look beyond the Methow to fınd an experienced company in any phase of construction. • Survey and stake the lot. Local surveyors are familiar with valley properties and can ensure the legal defınition of your property. • Hire an excavator to grade the driveway, grade/level the house pad, and dig a “house hole,” crawlspace or basement. Local excavators will know what kinds of conditions they are dealing with. Build retaining walls, if necessary. • Bring water, septic, power, and telecommunications to the footprint. • Rough-in the plumbing. • Hire a concrete company to pour the foundation, basement or slab. • Get lumber and labor bids for framing. Frame the house.
• Get a windows package bid. Install windows and exterior doors. • Get a roofıng bid. Put a roof on. • Wrap the house. Congratulations, the house is now dried-in. Bring on winter weather! • Install HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), mechanical and water heaters. • Rough-in electrical and plumbing. • Install insulation. • Install siding. • Do interior drywall. Hang interior doors. • Paint. • Finish electrical and plumbing fıxtures. • Do interior fınishes — cabinets, countertops, trim, flooring. • Install appliances. • Finish exterior hardscape — walkways, concrete flatwork, patios, decks. Finish the driveway. • Do landscaping — there are
Well pump service
CompLete DomestiC pump & ControLs instaLLeD and repair Owner~Kjell lester Valley resident fOr OVer 30 years
Free Estimates Part Sales Licensed & Bonded
Methow Home 2015
509-996-8178 Cell: 509-322-3032 www.palmconstructioninc.com Email: email@example.com Lic# PALMCCI953CW
several local landscapers who can help with this. Ask about Firewise considerations to protect your property.
Stay green – while saving time, money & headaches. Let WasteWise handle the dirty work.
• Do site cleanup and restoration.
Local artisans and crafts people
can add personal flair with cabinetry, woodwork, furniture, metal work, tiles, flooring and other distinctive touches. H
The foundation may be the beginning of construction, but there’s a lot of preparation required to get to this point. PHOTO BY RANDY BROOK
LOCALLy OwNED AND OPERATED! We are here for all of your construction needs! We provide the following Services:
Free tank installation & propane appliance safety inspection • Installation of underground tanks and gas lines • Automatic scheduled deliveries
it makes good sense.
garbage & recycling pick-up service for local residents & businesses
CALL NORTH CASCADES PROPANE 509-997-3955 Residential Commercial Agricultural
Located at: 1202 Cascade Dr. Twisp, WA
consider one of our drop-box containers for the big jobs • Building sites, remodels, property clean-up & more • On-site drop-off & pick-up • 20 & 30 cu/yd sizes available
~ Serving all of Okanogan County ~
Methow Home 2015
Firewise building & landscaping Even in fıre country, your home doesn’t have to burn B Y K I R ST E N C OOK O K A NOG A N C O N SE RVAT IO N D IST R IC T
There are some constants about living in the Methow Valley: fall color from larch and aspen, winter snows for the ski trails, beautiful balsamroot blooms in the springtime — and summer wildfıres. The ecosystem in the Methow is fıre-adapted, and the human community can be also. A fıre-adapted community knows that wildfıre is a part of the natural landscape and takes responsibility for preparing for this risk. Homeowners are a key piece of the puzzle, because fuels treatments on public property are of limited value if private property owners do not create defensible space or use fıre-resistant building materials. As the local Firewise Program coordinator, I’ve worked with many Methow homeowners to help them become more prepared for wildfıre. The Okanogan Conservation District offers free risk assessments for those who would like personalized recommendations for their property, either before or after construction. Our suggestions are based on solid fıre science research into how homes ignite. I see many of the same areas of concern at the
Methow Home 2015
homes I evaluate for wildfıre risk. This article highlights some of the most important things to keep in mind when you are building or remodeling a home in fıre country.
Know what you can control
Wildfıre behavior is influenced by three main factors: topography, weather and fuel (vegetation and man-made structures). You can’t do anything about the weather, but you can make important choices about topography and fuels. When you decide where to put a new house, be aware that topography influences the intensity and spread of fıre. Fires tend to move upslope, and the steeper the slope, the faster they move. Placing a home at the edge of a slope puts the home directly in the line of fıre, especially if there is an overhanging deck. A better choice is to set the home back at least 30 feet from the edge. A house at the top of a “chimney” is at increased risk as well. A chimney effect occurs when an area such as a drainage, gulch or ravine retains heat and channels wind, causing fıre to burn even hotter and faster up the hill. If your existing home matches either of those descriptions, you
will need to increase your defensible space, on the downhill side especially, by reducing fuels. Fuel is the main thing we can influence. Debris like pine needles left on decks, in gutters, and strewn across lawns can ignite from flying embers. Fire moving along the ground’s surface can “ladder” into shrubs and lowhanging tree limbs to create longer flames and more heat. If your home has flammable features or vulnerable openings, it can also serve as fuel for the fıre, and become part of a disastrous chain of ignitions to other surrounding
homes and structures.
Know how homes ignite
Most homes that burn during a wildfıre are ignited by embers or fırebrands landing on the roof, in gutters, on or under decks and porches, or in vents or other openings in the home. Other homes burn from small flames that touch the house — perhaps from dry grass that allows a fıre to run right up to the wood siding. A home’s ignition risk is determined by its immediate surroundings and the home’s
A continuous path of fuel leads to this flammable wood deck. COURTESY OKANOGAN CONSERVATION DISTRICT
Wat e r W e l l s & PumPs
Free Estimates • Professional Site Selection & Budget Analysis Air Rotary Drilling • Hard Rock, Boulders, Sand or Gravel Domestic & Irrigation • Domestic Pump Installation & Service Toll Free
1-888-682-1010 w w w. m v m q u a l i t y d r i l l i n g . c o m
Quality Work at a Competitive Price Locally owned and operated for two generations with the longest continuous service in North Central Washington.
Pateros Shop/Office • 7:00 - 8:30 •(509) 923-2073 Chelan Office • 8:30 - 4:30 • (509) 682-1122 serving the methow, lake Chelan & Okanogan Valleys This home has two vulnerabilities: flammable material next to wood siding, and a vent screen that is large enough to admit embers. COURTESY OKANOGAN CONSERVATION DISTRICT
Owned/Operated Marshall Miller • Charles Miller Lic# MVMQUDL936BB
Methow Home 2015
A surface fire here would carry flame directly to this wood-shingle siding. COURTESY OKANOGAN CONSERVATION DISTRICT
construction materials. The “home ignition zone” is defıned as the home and the area around it up to 200 feet. If your home ignition zone overlaps with your neighbors, work together to reduce your risks. Start at the house and work your way out: • Home zone: Harden the
structure against wildfıre, including fences, decks, porches, carports and other attachments. Use non-flammable or low-flammability construction materials — especially for roofs, siding and windows. Cement-fıber siding products have come a long way and will fool most people
Beaver Creek Well Services LLC
.New water system installations .Solar/generator alternatives .Irrigation pumps & meters .Pump & system repairs .Well testing 509-997-2219 BEAVECW940R2
species, and kept well-irrigated. Xeriscaping is an option if irrigation isn’t feasible, or if you are away from your property frequently during fıre season. • Zone 2: This area encircles 30 to 100 feet from the home. Low-flammability plant materials should be used here. Plants should be low-growing and the irrigation system should extend into this section. Shrubs and trees should be limbed up and spaced to prevent crowns of trees from touching. • Zone 3: This area encompasses 100 to 200 feet from the home. Keep trees and shrubs wellspaced in this area, remembering to keep the volume of vegetation low. If you’re like me and have a lot of bitterbrush and sagebrush in this zone, create islands of vegetation to break up the fuel load.
Work with your builder
It’s easy to assume that architects, designers and builders in
25 Years Serving The Methow Valley
Professional Service Since 1998
Jake & Jim Whipple
into thinking they are wood. Deck material varies in combustibility, but most decks ignite because of flammable material kept under or on the deck, not the deck boards themselves. A 1/8-inch metal mesh is a crucial material to have on hand. Use it to screen gable and eave vents and the areas below decks to keep embers out. It’s important to ensure that there isn’t a continuous path of fuel up to the house, so keep flammable items, including plants and mulch, at least 5 feet away from your home’s perimeter. • Zone 1: This area encircles the structure for at least 30 feet on all sides and provides space for fıre suppression equipment in the event of an emergency. Keep fırewood stacks and propane tanks out of this zone. If you have lawn, it should be kept green and mowed. Plantings should be limited to carefully spaced, low-flammability
Septic Design • Pumping • Maintenance Porta-Potty Rentals “Full Service the Wright Way” Complete Excavation Services • Roads • Utilities Water & Sewer System Installation • Site Preparation
www.jawrightconst.com Call: Jim Wright • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (509) 996-3249 Lic.#JAMESWC972JN Toll-Free 1-877-842-3428
TA C K M A N
INTEGRATING FUNCTION AND AFFORDABILITY WITH YOUR VISION
119 119 Glover Street in Twisp Glover Street 509.996.3409 in Twisp tackmansur veying.com pintodesignllc.com 509-996-3965
Methow Home 2015
“Barb grasped our vision immediately. She provided creative input that fit with our design, was responsive and an absolute pleasure to work with."
fıre country know how to create a Firewise home, but based on my experience that isn’t usually the case. As you screen potential professionals for your job, add “knowledge of Firewise building strategies” to your list of selection criteria. Alternatively, do the research yourself and specify the Firewise designs and materials that you want to include. The State of California has implemented building code requirements for construction in fıreprone areas and has a number of excellent resources available online. Two of my favorites are Home Survival in Wildfıre-Prone Areas: Building Materials and Design Considerations, at http:// anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8393. pdf; and the CALFIRE website, http://osfm.fıre.ca.gov/codedevelopment/wildfıreprotection.php. And Firewise.org, of course. Ultimately, homeowners can and must take primary responsibility for wildfıre safety actions around their homes. There are
not enough fırefıghting resources to protect every house during severe wildfıres, and with shrinking budgets it means we need to do more with less. Firefıghters are trained to safely and effıciently suppress wildland fıres, but their effectiveness is reduced when they must sweep decks, or move woodpiles and patio furniture while trying to fıght a fıre. According to fıre science research, individual efforts do make a difference even in the face of a catastrophic wildfıre. In the case of the 2014 Carlton Complex Fire, of the properties that completed fuels reduction projects as part of a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) cost-share program, 59 of 67 structures on those properties were saved. The fırst step in preparedness is knowledge. To get started, contact the Okanogan Conservation District at (509) 422-0855, the DNR Landowner Assistance offıce at (509) 684-7474, or your local fıre district. H
An example of a Firewise home: fiber cement siding, metal roof, nonflammable apron around home, and good defensible space. COURTESY OKANOGAN CONSERVATION DISTRICT
CASCADE CONCRETE PRODUCTS CONCRETE REDI-MIX SAND & GRAVEL
Concrete, Boom & Dump Truck Delivery to your site
CRUSHED GRAVEL FOR DRIVEWAYS Spread on your road or in a pile!
* Sand & Gravel * Septic Tanks & Precast * Rental Equip / Tools * Cultured Stone * Dust Control
* Concrete Color & Sealer * Sack Products / Premix * Landscape Rock * Stucco Supplies * Snow Removal
Serving Your Concrete Needs for 38 Years
aspengrovehome.com | 156 Riverside Ave. | (509) 996-2009
54 Horizon Flat Rd, Winthrop Methow Home 2015
A window on the world Expansive glass ‘walls’ connect indoors, outdoors in many Methow homes B Y M A RC Y S TA M PE R
EING able to savor the outdoors — while being warm and dry — has spurred more and more people to maximize the transparency of their living space. While many people choose a big expanse of windows to enjoy the view, incorporating a wall of windows is really more about establishing a seamless connection between the indoors and out. “We like our glass,” said Stefan Hampden, a principal at CAST Architecture in Seattle, who has designed several projects in the Methow Valley that emphasize the link between the interior and exterior. “People want to enjoy their property as much as possible.
They don’t spend a lot of time inside, even in the winter,” said Margo Peterson-Aspholm, an architect at Balance Associates in Winthrop. “We strive to make the house as light as possible and to let the outside in.” Architects and designers often use glass doors even more than windows so that the boundaries between the interior and exterior spaces almost disappear. These doors transform the space, said Hampden. “It becomes an outdoor room, not just a window,” he said. Glass patio doors offer the ability to create an opening up to 12feet wide, said Peterson-Aspholm. “The whole room becomes a part of the outdoors,” she said. “It doubles your openness.” A wall of glass also makes a small space seem larger, said Hampden.
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGNS 31 years working in the Methow Valley
Many homes in the Methow Valley are designed to minimize the boundaries between indoors and out. This house — a virtual glass box – provides a sense of immediacy with the environment while incorporating substantial overhangs to protect from the elements. PHOTO COURTESY CAST ARCHITECTURE
Balance Associates strives to create a gradual progression from the interior to the exterior. A design will transition from the main living space to a deck, then down a set of stairs to a landscaped area, and then to the native vegetation beyond, said Peterson-Aspholm. “There’s an element of delight in being able to occupy a place with a direct connection to the
exterior,” said Nathan Brantley, production manager with David Coleman Architecture in Seattle. Human beings like a sense of control, said Brantley. Having an expanse of glass gives them a commanding view while they are safe and comfortable, he said. Peterson-Aspholm enjoys the way her home outside Winthrop connects to the world outside.
Stay in the Valley Use the local CPA Services of
J. Bart Bradshaw CPA, PLLC
Income Tax Preparation • Tax Planning & Advice
Methow Home 2015
MONETTA & ASSOCIATES
Small Business Consulting • Payroll
Bob Monetta, Owner email@example.com 509.322.2657
Quarterly Reports • QuickBooks Professionals E-File & Direct Deposits
“We just love waking up after a snowfall and feeling our bed is outdoors,” she said. There are standard, practical limits to height and width of windows, but even these keep shrinking as technology evolves. “With newer technology, it can be fun to peel away a whole side of a house,” said Hampden. “The budget becomes the limiting factor.” Depending on the size and location of windows, different types of structural support may be needed. The largest expanses of glass require steel supports, which are more expensive than wood, said Peterson-Aspholm.
There are other limits to what can be achieved with glass when it comes to heating and cooling. So, if your primary concern is energy effıciency, you should avoid a vast expanse of glass. Even with the latest technology for thermally effıcient windows, glass will never provide the same degree of insulation as a wall, said Hampden. “They’re never as good as a 6- or 8-inch wall fılled with insulation,” he said. New technology includes special coatings that reflect heat. These coatings, referred to as low-E, for low-emissivity, bounce heated air back into the house in winter and send the summer’s heat back outside. Effıcient windows also have a layer of inert gas between a sandwich of glass — ideally three layers of glass — to keep the window from transmitting heat.
PO Box 97, Twisp, WA 98856 (509) 997-7011
Triple-glazed windows can be from 5- to 25-percent more costly than double-pane windows, but within four or fıve years the energy savings — in heating and cooling bills — will pay for the investment, said Wayne Fisher with North Cascade Builders Supply in Winthrop. “You still pay the price for having a lot of windows, no matter what you do, but window manufacturers have improved the technology,” said Peterson-Aspholm. A well-insulated window with a low U-value, which rates the amount of outside air that is allowed to infıltrate through a window, will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, and can be opened and closed throughout the day as needed, said Peterson-Aspholm. The orientation of a house — and of the walls with windows — is another important factor. East- and west-facing windows usually have blinds or other window coverings to block strong light at certain times of day and year. Light through south-facing windows is best controlled with overhangs, said Peterson-Aspholm. “It’s usually not great to have a lot of north windows,” since that is also the coldest side of the house, said Peterson-Aspholm. Still, they can be useful in certain applications where someone desires an unchanging source of light, such as for an art studio. “The upside is the light is constant, since it isn’t affected by the angle of the sun,” she said.
In passive-solar designs, windows are placed to cast light on a slab floor for heat in the winter, and then shaded in the summer to block heat. “Windows are not just things you’re looking through, but they will save you energy,” said Howard Cherrington, owner of Integrated Design Concepts in Twisp. Shades or other window coverings can help regulate the temperature by adding another layer of insulation and by blocking the sun, said Cherrington. You can balance the desire for a connection with the environment with a respect for how you live in it. Ellen Lamiman, owner of Energy Solutions in Winthrop, encourages people to frame a view rather than build a wall of windows and, in particular, to use window coverings to control the temperature. In addition to the concerns for heating and cooling, having a wall of windows reduces the space available to display art. Sometimes that is an intentional choice. “There is less artwork on the walls — the main event is the view outside,” said Peterson-Aspholm.
Glass, birds and other wildlife Windows will change the way your house coexists with the more mobile parts of nature. “If you care about birds, you might want to think about glass,” said Peterson-Aspholm. The reflective property of glass and its impact — literally — on birds is
“a really big downside” of a large expanse of glass, she said. The American Bird Conservancy estimates that hundreds of millions of birds are killed each year in this country from collisions with glass. Reflections of sky, clouds and vegetation attract birds, which try to fly to the familiar-looking habitat. The problem is exacerbated by windows on two sides of a building, since birds will think they can fly right through, said Peterson-Aspholm. Many people hang tinsel strips or affıx decals of hawks to their windows. Some of these interventions are of limited effectiveness, but some designs, particularly when properly spaced, have proven to be deterrents, according to the bird conservancy. The bird conservancy and the Audubon Society have been working on technology and to increase awareness to reduce bird collisions. They have developed standards that allow architects and designers to earn credits toward green-building certifıcation for incorporating strategies that reduce bird collisions. The techniques integrate what is called “visual noise,” using color, texture and modifying reflectivity so that birds don’t fly into the windows. Deer, on the other hand, will approach a window without harming themselves. “We see deer about two feet from us. They’re really curious about the reflection,” said Peterson-Aspholm. H
Contact David Clinkston (206) 286-2000
Methow Home 2015
Restoring the land How to rehabilitate areas that were damaged by 2014’s fires BY
M E T HOW C O N SE RVA NC Y
HE Methow and Okanogan valleys experienced the largest wildfıre in Washington state history in July 2014. As we work to rebuild the human community, our natural communities are already starting their recovery process. Our native habitats are adapted to fıre and will recover quickly in most circumstances without intervention. In many places, as early as last fall, bluebunch wheatgrass, lupine and yarrow were already shooting up from the burned ground, and burned chokecherries, currants and elderberry were resprouting from healthy root systems. While nature will do most of the work, there are places where simple land restoration work will be an important part of the recovery process. Here, we outline basic strategies for rehabilitating steep slopes, previously weedy areas, forests, newly built fırelines with disturbed soil, and deeply burned soil.
Approximately 25 percent of the Carlton Complex Fire was on forested lands. Some areas partially
Methow Home 2015
Meadows, grasslands, shrub-steppe and riparian areas will flourish with flowers, grass and shrubs in the year ahead. PHOTO BY MARY KIESAU
burned while others experienced stand-replacing fıres. Ponderosa pine and Douglas fır will regenerate more slowly than grasses and shrubs. Some forest may initially actually convert into more grassland communities. It’s important to remember that burned trees that do not threaten personal safety or property provide important wildlife habitat. Many trees, even those with signifıcant loss of foliage, will likely recover, as long as they have some green needles, but conifers that experienced high fıre intensity with total loss of needles will not. The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has staff available to provide technical expertise related specifıcally to tree damage, merchantability, and recovery actions. Steve Harris is their local contact and he can be reached at (509) 684-7474.
Areas with previous weed infestations If you have burned areas that were previously weedy or disturbed or near such areas, this is a good opportunity to seed with perennial grasses to outcompete weedy species. For dryland pastures areas that have been burned, reseeding with a dryland pasture mix for the desired purpose and character of the site will be helpful in minimizing the weed population. This will be an important year in the reestablishment of plant communities. Next year, aggressive weed control will be important. Plan ahead to monitor all burned areas for weeds and establish a weed control plan.
Firelines and other soil disturbances Restoring fırelines is one of the most important post-fıre rehabilitation tasks. Without prompt
attention, fırelines are at risk of weed colonization and erosion. Tips for landowners or landscaping services include: • Avoid soil compaction. • Reseed before winter with habitat-appropriate seed mix. Use native seeds for fırelines within native shrub-steppe, forest or riparian habitat. Use bluebunch wheatgrass for shrub-steppe and dry forest and blue wild rye for riparian areas — 15 pounds per acre. • After heavy rain, look at water bars or log “dams” that fıre crews may have installed on steep slopes to ensure they functioned properly. • Control weeds for a couple of seasons until grass is established.
Areas with burned soil
If you have large areas of deep ash (over 2 inches), particularly in a drainage or on a steep slope, consult a resource professional from the list provided. It is
important to leave existing burnt or dead vegetation in place if the plants do not threaten personal safety or property because they help stabilize the soil.
If you have a steep slope that has burned and there are homes or signifıcant infrastructure below or adjacent to this slope, call the Okanogan Conservation District (OCD). There may be a risk of flooding or debris flow. Property owners with burned
properties or who are downhill from burned properties should consider purchasing a National Flood Insurance policy. Contact your insurance agent for details on obtaining flood insurance for possible flash floods post-fıre. For general inquiries about post-fıre restoration or if you would like to have a natural resource professional evaluate your property for recovery actions, please contact the Methow Conservancy at (509) 996-2870 or www.methowconservancy.org. H
CARLTON LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION, LLC.
To seed or not to seed Large portions of the burn will recover naturally and do not need to be seeded. In some cases, seeding can actually slow natural recovery by providing additional competition. Initially seeding efforts should be focused on firelines and other fire fighting soil disturbances. Hydroseeding is effective on stabilizing steep slopes and enhancing germination.
Recommended native seed species by habitat zone: • Shrub-steppe and/or dry forests — bluebunch wheatgrass. • Disturbed areas along roads — sand dropseed (1 pound per acre). • Riparian areas — blue wild rye. Consider a site visit by a professional before any seeding to get advice on the species and seeding rate that best fit your situation and budget.
Landscape Design & Installation ♦ Automatic Irrigation Systems Hardscapes / Patios / Walkways ♦ Garden Carpentry / Fences / Decks Natural Stone Work ♦ Garden Maintenance / Seasonal Cleanup Retaining Walls ♦ Water Features Ask us about creating a fire resistant, defensible space around your home.
ERIC CARLTON ♦ 509-322-3001 carltonlandscape.com Licensed, Bonded & Insured #CARLTLC884CF
Methow Home 2015
An emphatic viewpoint A dramatic remodeling takes full advantage of Chewuch River valley views B Y D O N N E LSO N
IKE Tuggy and Peggy Sarjeant had no intention of buying a house when they went looking for Methow Valley property. But the Chewuch Heights site they fell in love with because of its expansive up-river views toward the Pasayten Wilderness happened to come with one. That the house had design issues became quickly apparent. Among them: an awkward entrance and stairway from the lower floor to the upper level; oddly divided spaces in the lower level; an orientation that largely ignored the big views; and a roof design that dumped snow all around the house in the winter and accumulated so many icicles that it was almost impossible to see out. “It wasn’t the house,” Sarjeant said. “It was the view.” Tuggy and Sarjeant, both physicians in Seattle, knew they needed to do something about the house eventually. “It wasn’t what we wanted but it was usable,” Sarjeant said. “We used it for several years and it was fine.” Tuggy and Sarjeant started
Methow Home 2015
Remodeling was based on the foundation of the original house, right, but a great room was added and changes made to the interior layout. PHOTOS COURTESY CLINKSTON ARCHITECTS
coming to the valley years ago to backpack and otherwise recreate with their children. They had a family cabin near Mount Baker and owned property in the San Juan Islands that they held onto in anticipation of eventually building there. About 15 years ago, Sarjeant said, the couple came to the conclusion that they were never going to build in the San Juans. “We’re mountain people, not island people,” she said, and they decided to sell the San Juan property. The search for Methow Valley property eventually took them to the Chewuch Heights site — and an instant epiphany. “We were going to buy property, and then this place came up,” Sarjeant said. “We both realized that ‘this is it.’” “It encapsulates everything we
love about the valley,” she said. “It spoke to us.”
Motivated to remodel
That was enough to keep the couple and their family coming back to the site, but the need for a remodel was always apparent. “Winter gave us the most motivation” to remodel, Sarjeant said. “We had to chip our way into the house through snow berms.” The decision to undertake a massive remodeling came “sooner than we intended,” Sarjeant said. But they decided that the real estate crash of several years back actually was opportune in that it meant architects and contractors were looking for work. Not surprisingly, “It became daunting when we started talking about design possibilities,” she said. “We didn’t want to
expand dramatically and we were working on a budget. We needed to use as much of the infrastructure as possible.” All of that was the challenge handed to Seattle-based architect David Clingston — who happened to be a patient of Tuggy’s. Clingston started coming up with a variety of ideas and plans, and worked closely with the couple to narrow down the options. “He was really easy to work with,” Sarjeant said. “What struck me right away was that it was kind of neither here nor there,” Clingston said
of the existing house. The design was “very awkward,” he said. Ultimately, Sarjeant said, “we went with a plan that was over our budget but was want we wanted.” Most dramatically, that plan included adding a glass-enclosed, high-ceiling great room that opened up to the treasured views. “The extension was always in the plans, to maximize the views,” Sarjeant said. The remodeled home is built on the same foundation as the previous building. Beyond that, the house underwent dramatic changes. The back entrance was entirely rebuilt with a “bumped out” stairway that is flooded with light. The kitchen was reoriented so that it would open to the rest of the house and people could interact with each other. Mike
Hilton was the contractor. “He was great,” Sarjeant said.
Embracing the view
Clingston suggested adding the great room and creating one continuous “mono-pitch” roofline, all oriented to the view. “I said they should reach straight out toward the view … this is why you bought the property,” Clingston said. “On a clear night, it’s like being in a planetarium,” Clingston said of the great room with its three glass walls. The roof has wide overhangs that help moderate temperatures and sun exposure year-round, Clingston said. The siding is a combination of cedar and fireproof Hardie (fiber cement) panels, both notable for their durability and minimal
The new great room is oriented to views up the Chewuch River valley. PHOTO COURTESY CLINKSTON ARCHITECTS
maintenance. The window walls in the great room also have several doors to the outdoors decks, allowing for cross-ventilation in the summer, Clingston said. And there is a solar power array nearby. The overall effect is that it’s a new home, Clingston said. Unlike many people who build in the Methow, Tuggy and Sarjeant decided against concrete floors. “We wanted lots of wood,” she said. “Concrete felt flat and cold. We wanted it softer and warmer.” So there are fir cabinets, woodtrimmed windows, and flooring of an unusual wood that Sarjeant fell in love with called strandwoven poplar, manufactured from recycled furniture. It has a rich, highly textured finish that is so distinct that it pretty much dictates other furnishing decisions, Sarjeant said. “It’s very busy,” Sarjeant said of the flooring. “It evokes the landscape.” It is also very hard and durable, she added. “It was a bold choice,” Clingston concurred (of the flooring). “It has quite a personality.” “Peggy and I collaborated on a lot of aspects of the kitchen,” Clingston added. She picked the fir cabinet material and also selected the backsplash tiles. “I really love it when a client is really engaged,” Clingston said. “My philosophy is that it’s your house, not a monument to my ego.” H
Big roof overhangs are designed to keep conditions comfortable in any season. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
The new entranceway takes advantage of southern light. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
Eastern Green Hydro Seeding
Lawns ~ Pastures • Erosion Control Wildflower Mixes • Fire Buffer Zones
Tim C. Smith
For all your restoration needs!
509.996.3226 Cell 360.393.7108 Lic. #BIGVAVB927DJ
Methow Home 2015
Rising out of the meadow The Quintanas’ Chechaquo Ranch home offer lots of usable space within a small footprint
B Y D O N N E LSO N
a lot of people who become enamored of the Methow Valley and want to build here, Jason and Cheryl Quintana did their research. “We rode our bikes on every back road we could, from Winthrop to Lost River,” Jason said. “If we saw a ‘for sale’ sign we followed it.” Their wish list for the ideal property included proximity to cross country ski trails and to U.S. Forest Service land. IKE
The Quintanas found their dream property, made an offer and went back to their home in the Portland area. Unlike most people, however, the Quintanas did that all in one trip — their first ever visit to the Methow, to celebrate Cheryl’s birthday. The Quintanas didn’t build on the Chechaquo Ranch site near Mazama for several years, but when they did, they also had a wish list in mind for their Methow second home. They wanted something that was mid-century modern, not too large, on a single level, with more square footage devoted to the common living areas and less to the bedrooms. “It was more about style and size,” Jason said. “We wanted an open, airy space.” Architect Tom Lenchek of Balance Associates listened to the Quintanas’ ideas, considered their budget, and came up with a design that creates the illusion of a much bigger house than its 1,000-square-foot layout while keeping a low profile. Lenchek did that largely by creating a sizable “outdoor room” — a deep porch with lots of space for furniture and access to a double-sided fireplace that also opens into the home’s living area. Most of the house is devoted an open living-dining-kitchen area, and the bedrooms are indeed small. Lenchek also factored in a garage, which the Quintanas made a priority.
The home’s two-sided fireplace can be enjoyed in any season. PHOTO COURTESY OF BALANCE ARCHITECTS
Methow Home 2015
The Quintanas’ birthday celebration trip came about because Jason had seen article about the valley’s cross country skiing in an airline magazine while on a business trip. “We love
A large porch becomes an “outdoor room” that expands the living space. PHOTO COURTESY OF BALANCE ARCHITECTS
skiing and outdoors activities,” Jason said. He filed away the information, and the couple eventually decided to check it out. “We really loved it,” Jason said. Then came the search and action portion of the trip. “It was a whirlwind decision to buy.” When it came time to build,
WOOD & LAMINATE FLOORING MARMOLEUM CARPET TILE DRAPERIES HUNTER DOUGLAS WINDOW SHADES EXTERIOR WINDOW SHADES
Serving the Methow Valley for more than 25 years
996-8118 229 E. Riverside Dr. Winthrop
firstname.lastname@example.org Lic# HARMOHI868BL
Methow Home 2015
Design emphasis was on an all-purpose living space, rather than on large bedrooms. PHOTO COURTESY OF BALANCE ARCHITECTS
“We wanted an architect with a local connection,” Jason said. Seattle-based Balance has a
Winthrop office and has designed more than 30 homes in the valley, Lenchek said. Balance
Wolf C reek
was completing another project nearby the Quintanas’ property, which prompted the couple to
contact the architectural firm. “It seemed like a good fit,” Jason said. Lenchek said one challenge for the site was that, unlike many Methow Valley properties, it doesn’t have a “big view.” The view usually dictates how the house is oriented, he said. The Quintanas’ property — basically a meadow populated by Ponderosa pine trees — has a road in front of it and backs up to a rocky hillside. “The question was, where does the house go?” Lenchek said. “We decided to push it all the way back to the hill.” There was “no compelling reason” to go up two stories, Lenchek said. “It wouldn’t help them get a view.” Lenchek showed the Quintanas two general design schemes that were quite different. “We settled pretty quickly” on the design that became their home, Jason said. The builder was Tom Bjornsen of Bjornsen Construction. The home smoothly integrates the indoor and outdoor spaces,
custom Ho mes
Design + Construction
Finish Carpentry New Construction & Remodeling
Rob Wells, General Contractor 509-996-4184 or 253-208-8084 WOLFCC883JT
Mountain HoMe tiling
Bringing the beauty of the Mountain to your home! Located in the Methow Valley, Libbey Construction has been building & remodeling cost efficient and quality homes for 20 years. Daryl Libbey & his crew have the expertise to build the home, cabin or building project of your dreams.
tile installation & design • Custom consultation for residential,
Serving the entire Methow Valley
• No project too big or too small. on prompt customer service • Focusing & satisfaction.
commercial & contractors.
Methow Home 2015
RyaN SullivaN 509-996-3111 MOuNTHT871PB
Daryl Libbey • (509) 679-9995 email@example.com Member North Central Home Builders Assoc. • Licensed & Bonded Lic# LIBBEC1980NW
something that the Quintanas emphasized. The two bedrooms are, Jason said, “small and very small.” There is one bathroom. The living spaces are closer to the hill, Lenchek said, and the bedrooms are closer to the road. “It’s just a place to sleep,” Lenchek said of the small bedroom (and by extension, the really small bedroom). The metal roofing wraps around the back of the house. The rest of the exterior is dark stained wood. The underside of the roof is plywood, which carries into the interior to create continuity. The cement floors have electric radiant heat. The living/dining/kitchen space has high ceilings that create a sense of more space, and that concept carries through to the deep overhanging roof above the porch. The home is situated on a small rise, and “the effect is to make the long and lean cabin seem to hover gracefully above the meadow grasses,” Balance says on
Choosing the materials
The design contract came with a tight but workable budget, Lenchek said. “We were willing to skimp on some things,” Jason said. Lenchek said that using materials such as plywood, metal roofing and siding, and rolled steel for the fireplace creates a durable home that looks attractive and doesn’t need a lot of adornment. “Let them be what they are,” Lenchek said of the materials. “You don’t need to dress them up.” For now, the Chechaquo Ranch house is a second home, but over time the Quintanas intend to spend more time there. Jason is a computer engineer; Cheryl works in computer support, both for large companies. The home, completed about a year ago, was instantly comfortable — so much so, Jason said, that “we never want to leave. We’re always eager for whatever we’re going to do the next day.” H
Serving All Your Building Needs • • • • • •
The home backs up to a steep hillside and looks out on a meadow. PHOTO COURTESY OF BALANCE ARCHITECTS
Cedar, Pine & Fir − Siding, Decking, Paneling & Flooring • Cabinets & Floor Coverings Wood & Gas Stoves • Complete House Packages Doors & Windows • Trusses Boom Truck Service • Logs KD Fir Timbers Shakes & Shingles
Methow Home 2015
Looking to the future The Hamer home is designed for comfortable living for years to come B Y D O N N E LSO N
and Susan Hamer lived and worked overseas for many years, but always were on the lookout for a stateside “home base” where they could eventually retire. They found it on a hillside overlooking Twisp River Road, where they built a distinctive home that suits their personal interests and their long-term plans. The Hamers had toured the Cascade Loop, stopping in communities along the way to assess possibilities. They found and purchased a cabin several miles west of Twisp that they used as a vacation spot for many years. There was also an old, rickety barn on the property. The cabin is still there, the barn is gone, and the Hamers’ home is now the central feature. The house was designed by Howard Cherrington, owner of Integrated Design Concepts, who happens to be the Hamers’ neighbor. The Hamers were familiar enough with Cherrington’s work that when it came time to design their home, they were amenable to handling most of the process EFF
Methow Home 2015
Above, a massive river rock fireplace is the centerpiece of the living area. Right, the vaulted living room gives way to a lower ceiling as the room extends toward the kitchen. PHOTOS BY DON NELSON
by long-distance while they were overseas. Ideas and responses flowed back and forth as the plan for the house emerged. Cherrington suggested some reading for the Hamers — books about particular housing designs — which helped them settle on their own ideas, Jeff said. “I try to listen to my clients and take cues from them,” Cherrington said. “It’s a fine line between listening and then giving them a palette they can use to fill in the picture.” “Howard was good at listening and guiding,” Jeff affirmed. Some of the earliest discussions
were about how large the house should be, and whether it should have two stories. “Howard got us to consider the size of the house
with a long-term view,” Jeff said. That is, a house the Hamers could live in for many years to come. To that end, the house is
The dining area defines its own space between the living room and kitchen. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
mostly on one level, with guest bedrooms and a bath in a small second-story extension. Everything in the house — including fi xtures, door widths, and door handles that turn easily — is designed with ease of movement and access in mind. Making the home “impediment-free” was a priority, Cherrington said. But it is all subtly done and consistent with an overall atmosphere of comfort and utility.
The main living area of the house is all one long space, but with distinctly defined areas according to use. At the end nearest the main entry is the living room, with two back-to-back sets of inviting furniture — one group of couches and chairs facing the massive river rock fireplace, the other set oriented in the other direction toward a TV in a large cabinet, which separates the living room
ALJU STOVE & Fireplace
• Wood, Pellet & Gas Stoves • Inserts & Fireplaces • Ductless Heat Pumps • Professional year-round sales, service & installation
550 E. Riverside dr., omak, WA 98841
landscape, farm, restoration plantaseast.com or call Camden (509) 341-4133 / PLANTNE953BF
Al & Judy Bosco - Family owned & operated serving okanogan county for over 35 years ALJUSF*0550M
from the dining room. In the dining area, the living room’s vaulted ceiling gives way to a lower, beamed ceiling, creating a sense of transition without ever leaving the same contiguous space. The tongue-and-groove ceiling in the dining room is also the floor of the upper level. Cherrington said the house’s interior post-and-beam construction “gives it the feel of a timbered home.” Past the dining area is the
e Star Concrete v i F 5
Flat Work Foundations Custom Stamping Licensed / Bonded / Insured FIVESSC929DK
Evans Concrete Construction
509-322-0780 firstname.lastname@example.org Lic# EVANSCC892MG
Methow Home 2015
other interior elements. “Sheet rock is a good thing. It’s versatile, can be decorated, and offers more flexibility,” he said. The home has about 2,500 square feet of space, including 600 square feet on the second floor where two cheery bedrooms are bathed by light streaming through south-facing windows. The flooring is actually tile that looks remarkably like wood — enough to fool all but the most attentive observer. “It looks like wood but performs like tile,” Cherrington said. Using tiles also allows for radiant electric heat, Cherrington added. And the efficient woodburning fireplace easily heats the entire house, Jeff said.
No critters The east end of the home is “a great morning porch.” PHOTO BY DON NELSON
bright kitchen, which takes good advantage of southern light. The interior walls are sheetrock. “Houses can get
over-wooded on the inside,” Cherrington said. “It can become too dominant and dark.” Instead, he uses wood as an accent to
The house is surrounded on three sides by roof overhangs that create outdoor space, notably on the east end of the house where a patio area can be a breakfast spot on a summer
morning, and offer relief from the afternoon sun later in the day. “It’s a great morning porch,” Jeff said. The main entryway is also covered. A detached shop is an easy walk from the house. An important priority for the Hamers was that the house be, as Jeff noted, “critter free.” The house is designed on a slab, which deters varmints and also helps moderate the home’s temperature year-round, Cherrington said. Passive solar is an important part of the home’s design and orientation. The majority of the exterior siding is cement-board planking that is fire resistant. The contractor was Jeff Brown, who made his own suggestions as the construction progressed, Jeff Hamer said. “He’s a great builder,” Jeff said. “Working with the right people is important.” Jeff said that he and Susan considered a log home, but decided against it because of maintenance issues — and the
37 YRS. ENGINEERING EXPERIENCE
STRUCTURAL DESIGN & ANALYSIS RETAINING WALLS & FOUNDATIONS ON-SITE SEPTIC LARGE ON-SITE SEPTIC MUNICIPAL WATER & SEWER SITE PLANS, PAVING, GRADING, DRAINAGE & ROAD DESIGN WATER RESOURCES & HYDROLOGY DRAFTING & PLOTTING P.O. BOX 65 TWISP, WA 98856 509.997.2852 FAX: 509.997.2853 www.flcooley.com
Methow Home 2015
THE SLAG WORKS
Serving the Methow since 1974
Barry B. Stromberger
Custom Iron Work
Help them to help you. Get Firewise now. Guest bedrooms are cheery and light-filled. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
“critter” factor. Jeff is semi-retired, Susan owns Twisted Knitters at TwispWorks. Jeff said they appreciate that
the house feels comfortable and welcoming, and doesn’t suffer from wear and tear. “It lives well,” he said. H
Landscaping & Irrigation Contractor • Concrete Pavers • Water Features • Retaining Walls
• Landscaping • Irrigation
Do you have…
At least 30’ of defensible space around your home?
All vents screened with 1/8” metal mesh?
An evacuation plan?
Contact the Okanogan Conservation District for a free risk assessment and resources to help you protect your
Design through Installation
home from wildfire. Make sure your
Windy Valley Landscaping See our project gallery at windyvalleylandscaping.com
email: email@example.com Cathy Habermehl 509-733-1090 Eddie Layne 509-429-9239
architect and builder are Firewise too!
Online at okanogancd.org
Lic. #HAPPYLL937D2 Methow Home 2015
The great room offers expansive views of the Methow Valley. PHOTO BY MARY KIESAU
A new homecoming The Bacons treasure a site and design that remind them of their childhood roots B Y D O N N E LSO N
and Lisa Bacon like to joke that their Gunn Ranch Road home site, which commands a sweeping view of the Methow Valley, the Cascades and beyond, was built around the impressive telescope that anchors a corner of the house’s great room. But the home, which nestles into a hillside just below a copse AVE
An outdoor sleeping platform expands the home’s guest capacity. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
Methow Home 2015
of aspen trees, is much more than a view with a house attached. It’s a comfortable, versatile space that can accommodate a lot of guests — and constantly invites you to cast your gaze, telescopically enhanced or not, in every direction. The house literally feels like home to the Bacons, who grew up in rural communities in northern California that are reminiscent of the Methow Valley, they say.
“When we first started coming here and posting pictures, people asked us if we were home [in California],” Lisa said. That familiar feeling is important in another way, the Bacons say: they wanted their 5-year-old son to have the same experience of growing up in a rural area with room to run around. “We wanted to give him the experience, the idea of space and freedom,” Dave said. The Bacons had visited the valley for many years and stayed all over, always on the lookout for the right spot. They explored a lot of back roads to find inspiration for the home they intended to build. “We needed to have unobstructed views and decent road access in the winter,” Lisa said. The Gunn Ranch Road site instantly affirmed their search. “The moment we got out on the land, there was just no question,” Lisa said. “It took us a long time to decide on a site, and then it clicked very fast.”
Familiar, but unique
The Bacons say they had been “stalking” Methow Valley projects designed by Johnston Architects, the Seattle-based firm that has designed many homes in the valley. “I contacted Ray and Mary [Johnston] before the ink was dry” on the purchase agreement, Lisa said. “We liked their esthetic.” To help describe their own esthetic, the Bacons wrote an essay about homes that had been important or made impressions
Light fills a sleeping alcove at the rear of the home. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
in their lives. Ideas came from a variety of places. “We wanted the house to be familiar but done in a unique way … an unexpected experience,” Lisa said. Parts of the house were inspired by their diverse experiences. One example: the big Argentinian style barbecue on the south-facing deck — an elaborate contraption that includes a flue that was Johnston’s idea. The bath is based on a
Couches fold out in the den to sleep several more guests. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
Old World Finishes with limitless color & texture possibilities
Stucco • Plaster Concrete • Ponds Landscaping
Chuck Szafas Services 509.997.5029 Licensed & Bonded • ccchuckss981MA Methow Home 2015
The bathroom is designed on a Japanese motif. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
Japanese motif. The tile design is based on code Dave wrote for his PhD thesis in physics. Ray Johnston came up with two potential designs — one traditional, and one not so much. “He was testing to see what we wanted,” Dave said. “We liked that it [Johnston’s non-traditional design] was radical,” Lisa said, “that everything about it was going to be unexpected.” At the same time, she said, “we wanted to have lots of guests but not a big house. And our son needed his own space.” How to do that? One way was to create what might otherwise be considered a den off of the living/ dining area that is also accessible from the entry hallway — in each case through large, sliding barn doors made not of wood but rather tin. The room has couches that convert to beds. At the end of the hallway to the master bedroom is another alcove-like space with a sleeping area.
Their son’s sleeping area is tucked behind a curtain off the hallway. He also can reach a “hideout” above his bed by way of a short stairway. There is even a suspended sleeping platform hovering over the deck outside. Thus, a one-bedroom house can sleep up to 11 in the summer. Window walls surround the living area, which merges almost seamlessly with the outdoor deck. A small but efficient kitchen brightly defines its own space just off the main living area. There is a wood stove rather than a fireplace, and concrete floors provide radiant heat. Other features include outdoor shower off the bedroom and a detached garage.
The east side of the house is a nearly unbroken wall but for a couple of small windows and the main entry door. When you come through the main door, you see all the way through the house to
New Construction Radiant Floor Heat Remodels
OMAK PAVING General Contractor #247PRPM916QW
A & J Enterprises, LLC PO Box 116 Carlton, WA 98814 firstname.lastname@example.org Lic. # JELECJE881BS
Asphalt Paving * Patching * Seal Coating * Striping Crack Sealing * Sweeping * Grading Website: www.24-7pm.com / E-mail: email@example.com Cell (509) 322-7024 / Office (509) 826-6895 / Fax (509) 826-6896 PO Box 541, Omak, WA 98841
24-7 • • • • • •
Proper ty Maintenance Tree Care Ser vices
Trimming Work Cell: 509-322-6365 Pruning Office: 509-826-6895 Removal Chipping www.24-7pm.com Stump Grinding Cont# 247PRPM916QW Clean Up
Methow Home 2015
Serving the Methow Valley since 1999
Building All Your Dreams!
Hungry Mountain Construction
New Home Construction • Remodeling Fire/Water Damage Restoration Committed to quality workmanship
Alex Kerr (509) 923-1907 ~ Cell (509) 991-9534 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The front door, and the sliding barn to the left, are made of tin. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
the view beyond “We talked a lot about materials,” Lisa said. “We wanted a modern, industrial look that was also timeless.” Rough cedar is used inside the house; most of the exterior is “weathering steel” that develops its own rich patina
The kitchen nook is an extension of the great room. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
over time. Builders Jim Salter and Jerry Newman “made a huge difference, not just as builders but as artisans,” Lisa said. Newman is also a glass artist who created pieces for a small niche just inside the main entrance. Rick
Swenson did the cabinets. Johnston said the house, which is on a 20-acre site, is situated in relation to various visible peaks such as Gardner Mountain. “The lines point at different mountains,” he said. “We created a steel shell that
shelters a pavilion of glass and cedar. The result is a dynamic harmony between sculptural and tectonic elements,” the Johnstons say on their firm’s website. The Bacons call the house “New Caelifera,” after the scientific name for grasshoppers — hosts of which they encountered the first time they toured the site, “as if to say, ‘this is your home,’” Lisa said. The name is also a nod to “New California,” or “our home-awayfrom-the-childhood-homes that we love so much,” she said. Dave, a former University of Washington professor, now works for Google, Lisa works at Nintendo, and they live in Seattle. Full-time in the valley would be great, the Bacons say, but for now they are in the Methow as often as possible, in any season. When they arrive here, the transition from urban to rural is instantaneous and complete. “There’s nothing I look at and say we should have done it differently,” Lisa said. H
ISHERR REFRIGERATION EFRIGERATION Hall ConstruCtion FFISHER building and remodeling with creative solutions FISHER REFRIGERATION 990 since 1
License #’s: Fisher*87093, Fisher*870R3
ric t c
~ DeSign ~ conSultation
new SyStemS exiSting SyStem upgraDe
Grid Tie • STand alone • Back-up
craig “DeroSa” eDwarDS
parTS • componenTS WaTer • Solar • Wind
Alex Hall • email@example.com • 509 996 3320
*Heat Pumps & Geo-Thermal Heat Pumps *New Installations & Retrofits *Duct/Ductless Systems *Heating/Air-Conditioning *Central HVAC/R System Design *24 Hour Emergency Service
WalkinG The Talk
35 yrS. of off-Grid livinG lic.# altercD894J8
Methow Home 2015
Above the earth Wolf Creek ‘tree house’ complements active lifestyle B Y D O N N E LSO N
The home’s great room aggressively extends toward panoramic views. PHOTO COURTESY JOHNSTON ARCHITECTS
When Jamie and Wendy Harrison wanted to get an idea of what the view would be from their new home site above Wolf Creek, they popped open the top of their camper van, stood on a bunk, poked their heads out and looked around. That experiment helped the Harrisons and architects Ray and Mary Johnston fıgure out how to orient the house to take maximum advantage of the views and terrain. The result is a light-fılled home that is perfectly suited to the Harrisons’ active lifestyle. The centerpiece is a threesided, window-walled great room that — with its ample deck and extended roof overhang carrying the home’s defıning lines
forward — seems poised to vault away on its own accord. No such thing is going to happen, of course, but the result is a space that the Harrisons and Johnstons agree feels like a tree house — which was the intended effect. “The concept came from a desire to feel like you are in a tree house with an awareness of up, down and across the valley, through the treetops,” Ray Johnston said, “and a strong desire to connect with and hear Wolf Creek below.” The Harrisons, who live in Whistler, B.C., were Methow Valley visitors for several years before they considered building here. “It slowly dawned on us that we really liked this place,” Wendy said. They spent a fair amount of
B & B Excavating, Inc. Backhoe • Dozer Dump Truck Excavator Lic.#BBEXCI*OOOPL
Serving the Methow Valley for over 30 years.
Methow Home 2015
time looking for land before they came a spot that had everything they wanted: meadow, creek, forest, views. The Harrisons’ search for an architect led them to the Seattlebased Johnstons’ site, where they saw a Methow Valley house that they particularly liked. In the kind of serendipity that seems common in the Methow, the Harrisons soon met the owners of that home when they all introduced their dogs to each other.
Knowing what they wanted
Wendy said camping out on the site “was a great way to fıgure out where things should go on the property.” The Harrisons knew they didn’t want a particularly big house.
A daylight basement offers a cool respite in the summer. PHOTO COURTESY JOHNSTON ARCHITECTS
Their wish list included taking advantage of the lot’s slope, a daylight basement that could be
The Harrisons wanted to feel like they were in a treehouse – and they got that effect. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
a cool refuge in the summer, a guest room with some separation and privacy, and a kitchen that wasn’t too large, but still big enough so people wouldn’t bump into each other. The master bedroom, which overlooks the great room, is effectively an extension of that big space. “All you can see is meadow and sky,” Wendy said of the bedroom. But it also can be made private by closing a sliding barn door. A desire for low maintenance influenced choices of materials. “We wanted modern, but not cold and modern,” Wendy said. The Harrisons opted for wood floors rather than concrete. The exterior is clad in a combination of wood and metal siding. Phil Dietz of Lost River Construction was the contractor. Phil Woras did the cabinetwork. Wendy said that another feature they appreciate is the number of built-ins. “With the window seat and built-in bed with drawers, plus the walk-in closet,
vintage modern ALL PHASES OF EXCAVATION
WE DIG IT!
ConstruCtion Co. General Contractor
office of shackitecture shackitecture.com c: 509.846.6549 @shackitecture facebook.com/shackitecture
Planning • Permitting Framing • Finish Work Excellence Start To Finish
-Local contacts for over 30 years-
(509) 997-4821 or (509) 429-0580 firstname.lastname@example.org Lic#DMCLAMC936KB
Methow Home 2015
we don’t need other dressers and stuff in the bedroom, so we can keep the look uncluttered and the views unobstructed,” she said. The kitchen also has a walk-in pantry. The kitchen sink area,
which has grooves in the countertop for drainage, is tucked in a corner where it can’t be seen from the great room. The home also is bathed in what Wendy called “layers of
lighting.” “It was all overwhelming at fırst, trying to fıgure out the lighting … Other than the fact that we have about 10 light switches in the hall by the fridge, we can control
The kitchen sink is tucked into a corner where piled-up dishes can’t be seen from the living area. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
Set your home apart and bring the outdoors in with a vinyl multi-slide door from WinDor Systems. With sizes up to sixteen feet wide in a four panel configuration you can have nearly a twelve foot clear opening. WinDor also offers the energy performance you need with a 0.28 u-value with double pane Low E glass.
wenatcheevalleyglass.com email@example.com Showroom by Appointment Only LIC# WENATVG877JG
5930 Sunburst Lane—Unit N, Cashmere, WA 98815
Methow Home 2015
the lighting really well, from task lighting in kitchen to really low lighting in the evening,” she said. Wendy said she and Jamie also appreciate the design of the stairs off the entryway. “When you come in the front door, the stairs are there, but you can see through them, so they don’t block the entrance in,” she said. A special touch is a climbing wall in the garage, where the Harrisons can practice their rock moves. They are also enthusiasts for alpine and Nordic skiing, as well as mountain biking. The Harrisons are both actuaries — Jamie is retired; Wendy is a principal in a Vancouver, B.C., fırm. She said they understood that it would be a long trip from home to the Methow in the winter, but it’s well worth it. And fourday weekends in the summer are quite manageable, she said. In any season, Wendy said, the Harrises are both looking forward to morning coffee in the bedroom. H
The top-floor bedroom opens up with a balcony over the great room. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
Custom Homes, Commercial and Remodels 509-996-3396 â€˘ firstname.lastname@example.org Licensed & Bonded #RHINECC0207JT
Licensed and Bonded #CASCAMC990MC
Cascade Mechanical Locally owned and Operated Service Retrofit System Installation Duct Cleaning Insulation Specialists Dryer Vent Cleaning Commercial Residential Electrical New System Installation www.cascademechanical.com
Keeping Our Neighbors Cool In The Summer And Warm In The Winter Since 1989 Methow Home 2015
Happy ranchers Mazama home offers coziness, style and flexibility, all on one floor B Y D O N N E LSO N
and Karla Gorham visited the Methow Valley for years without thinking they’d ever live here. Now that they’ve built a house near Mazama, they can’t contemplate living anywhere else. The Gorhams, whose principal residence is in Wenatchee where Jay is a cardiologist, were yearround visitors, staying all over the valley. They had fl irted with the notion of buying property without fi nding just the right place, until Windermere Real Estate agent Delene Monetta showed them property off of Highway 20. It was near the ski trails, far enough from the road to escape most of the noise, close enough to Mazama that they could walk to the store — and AY
Laura Ruud and Jerry Merz designed several light fixtures. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
Methow Home 2015
The Mazama ranch house is oriented to take advantage of up-valley views. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHADOWLINE CONSTRUCTION
offered a striking up-valley view. After the Gorhams bought the property, they started paying more attention to homes as they drove around the valley, collecting ideas. They considered a log cabin, but shied away from that idea after doing some research. Also on the list of possibilities were a ranch style house or the popular shed roof design. After they settled on the ranch
house style, the Gorhams found an existing house they liked and asked around to find out who designed it. That was how they connected with designer/ builder Don Miller of Shadowline Construction and quickly concluded they would like to work with him. The Gorhams had a short list of general guidelines: not too big, all on one floor, attached garage to avoid dashing from car to house
in bad weather. They reviewed a number of house plans with Miller to start forming a more detailed concept. “He [Miller] was easy to work with,” Karla said. “He listened to our ideas and told us if he thought something wouldn’t work.” Jay said that throughout the design and construction process, Miller “gave us options every step of the way.”
Right, built-ins enhance the dining area off of the great room. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHADOWLINE CONSTRUCTION
The “Moose Room” welcomes guests. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
Seeing the potential
Miller remembers his first meeting with the Gorhams on the property — “one of my favorite times as a builder/designer,” he says, because he can visualize all the possibilities and practicalities of the site. “I can see the potential from the first day.” He describes the Gorham site as a “pastoral
tree farm,” and said they were conscious of keeping as many trees as possible. Miller liked the Gorhams’ idea of a ranch style house because “I thought it was a natural spot for one.” However, Miller said he was not a fan of the attached garage because he feared it would
Looking for info about the Methow Valley?
A River Runs through It:
The Methow Valley News has got you covered! Our print and online versions will keep you in the know.
The 14th Annual Methow Valley
Visit or subscribe today: methowvalleynews.com (509) 997-7011
Saturday, August 8th 10am-5pm
Homes & Cabins along the Chewuch River
make the home look like a tract house. The enclosed breezeway was, Karla said, “a compromise between Don and myself.” The breezeway has windows and doors on both sides, so “it looks like it’s open,” she said. The breezeway, with its lowmaintenance concrete floor, is where the Gorhams and their guests shed outdoor clothing and gear before going into house. It has benches and a rack for hanging skis that was Miller’s idea. The breezeway, Miller said, is “a huge asset to their lifestyle.” Although the house isn’t overly large, it does have two guest bedrooms (the Moose Room and the Paris Room, because of their individual decor touches) and a kidfriendly loft off of the great room — a vaulted space that includes the living area, kitchen and a soaring stone fireplace.
Featuring 8 unique homes; from small weekend cabins to expansive residences.The tour route is bicycle friendly; bring your bikes or rent from local bike shops. Tickets are $25 per person or $20 per person carpools of four and can be purchased at Confluence Gallery Aug 1st – Aug 8th. A map will be provided. For additional information: 509-997-2787 or email@example.com Methow Home 2015
The floor of the loft helps create a separate space for the dining area and for a short, enclosed vestibule between the main entrance and the living area. Visitors coming in the main entrance can see into the great room and through the opposite window wall to the captivating view. Transom-like panes over windows and doors in the living area create a consistent design scheme throughout the space, and let in extra light. The master bedroom is at the far end of the house, providing some separation and privacy for the Gorhams when the house is full of guests.
Built-ins throughout the house create storage space and cut down on the need for furniture. Local artists and crafts people played a major role in helping make the home distinct. Laura Ruud and Jerry Merz combined forces to create the light fi xtures
in the vestibule and elsewhere. Barry Stromberger fabricated the railings and ladder for the loft. Chuck Szafas installed the counter tops. Phil Woras did the extensive cabinetry including the gorgeous sideboard/cupboard in the kitchen. Miller said the Gorhams opted for materials that are “high quality without being exotic,” such as the western red cedar siding — which will weather well and last for years. Inside, the floorboards are made from recycled beams. Pine, fi r and tamarack are used for the windows and doors — “colors that enhance each other,” Miller said. The kitchen features soapstone counter tops, and a zinc surface on the center island — an oldfashioned, durable material. The cabinets are covered with a transparent stain. Outbuildings nearby provide storage space for yard equipment and other maintenance gear.
An enclosed breezeway connects the house and detached garage. PHOTO BY DON NELSON
Building with place in mind Quality residential remodeling and new construction 997-0588 Lic #PARKSC*865QC
Methow Home 2015
Patricia Brennan A R C H I T E C T S
www.patriciabrennanarchitects.com (206) 328-2886
The Gorhams maintain an apartment in Wenatchee but spend most of their time in the valley. “I’m nearly retired,” Jay said, although he still practices in Wenatchee, Omak and Winthrop. For the Gorhams, the home is their tranquility base. “It’s a stress-free feeling” to arrive at the house, Jay said. “I like the coziness of it,” Karla said. “It still feels like a vacation place.” H
Carving SIGNS • DOORS • MANTELS • ORNAMENTS firstname.lastname@example.org www.brucemorrison.com
(509) 997-4805 - PO Box 1043 Twisp WA 98856
Get the tools you need for your business -
advertise with the Methow Valley News. Offering quality print and online advertising that gets the results you need to propel your business forward.
James Salter 509-341-4326 email@example.com blackcapbuilders.com
Contact us for more information.
(509) 997-7011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Design by Johnston Architects
The Methow Valley News – publisher of these fine seasonal guides. 25 Years Serving The Methow Valley Top Soil • Sand Road Base • Road Top Course Decorative Rock Rock Walls Gravel Hauling
Available for free throughout the valley and region. Contact the MV News at (509) 997-7011 or email@example.com
(509) 996-3249 • 1-877-842-3428
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Lic.# JAMESWC972JN
Methow Home 2015
Directory Of Advertisers Architects & Designers
Aiello Architecture .....................................31 Balance Associates Architects ......51 Cast Architecture .......................................27 Clinkston Architects ...............................25 David Coleman Architecture......... 36 FabCab ...................................................................52 Integrated Design Concepts ...............9 Johnston Architects ...................................2 Lawrence Architecture .........................51 Offıce of Shackitecture .........................43 Patricia Brennan Architects .......... 48 Pinto Design ......................................................22 Shadowline Design & Construction ............................................3
Artists & Artisans
Bruce Morrison Sculpture ................ 49 Swanson Woodcraft .................................. 17 The Slagworks, Barry Stromberger .............................. 37
Methow Valley Lumber ........................13 North Valley Lumber ...............................33
Builders & Contractors
B & S Contracting ...................................... 39 Big Valley Builders .................................... 29 Blackcap Builders Collective.......... 49 Chuck Szafas Services ........................... 39 D. McLane Construction .....................43 Eagle Handcrafted Homes ....................2 Evans Concrete Construction........35 Hall Construction.........................................41 Hilton Construction .....................................2 Hungry Mountain Construction ....... 40 Libbey Construction ................................32 North Cascades Construction ............35 Palm Construction ....................................18 Parks Construction ................................. 48 Rhinehart Construction Co. ............45 Schuler Build Co. .........................................15 Shadowline Design & Construction ...........................................3 Valley True Construction ..................44 Wolf Creek Design + Construction .........................................32
Alpine Designs ............................................... 17 Swanson Woodcraft .................................. 17
Cafés & Coffee Roasters
Blue Star Coffee Roasters.......................9
Concrete & Gravel
Cascade Concrete........................................23 Evans Concrete Construction ...........35
Methow Home 2015
Concrete & Gravel, Cont.
Five Star Concrete ......................................35 J.A. Wright Construction...........22, 49 Palm Construction ......................................18
Methow Conservancy ................................8 Okanogan Conservation District ............................................................... 37 Plantas East ........................................................35 RW Thorpe & Associates.......................10
Hungry Mountain Construction ....... 40
A & J Electric .................................................... 40
Solar Energy Design/ Consultation
Derosa Edwards .............................................41
Engineering & Design
Heating & Air Conditioning, Cont.
Fisher Refrigeration...................................41 North Valley Lumber ...............................33 Washington Tractor ...................................51
Portable Toilet Rentals
J.A. Wright Construction .......... 22,49
24-7 Property Maintenance ............. 40
Propane Sales & Services
Home & Garden Decor
Okanogan County Energy, Inc. ....................................................15 North Cascades Propane. .....................19
Harmony House Interiors....................31 Aspen Grove ......................................................23 FabCab ...................................................................52 Harmony House Interiors ..................31
Cascade Mechanical ...............................45 Methow Valley Lumber..........................13 North Valley Lumber ...............................33
Irrigation Services & Supplies
Blue Sky Real Estate...................................12 Coldwell Banker Winthrop Realty ........................................3 Methow Valley Associates....................11 Windermere Real Estate .........................8
Aspen Grove ....................................................23 Mazama Store ..................................................10 Methow Cycle & Sport ............................18
Carlton Landscape Construction ...............................................27 Cascade Pipe & Feed ..................................10 Doug Haase Excavating ..........................8 Lester’s Well Pump Service ................18 MVM Quality Drilling..............................21 Washington Tractor ..................................51
RW Thorpe & Associates..................... 10
FL Cooley & Associates ....................... 36 J.A. Wright Construction .........22, 49 Monetta & Associates...............................24
Landscaping Services & Supplies
Tackman Surveying .................................22
FL Cooley & Associates ....................... 36
Equipment Sales & Rental
Cascade Concrete........................................23 Washington Tractor ..................................51 Confluence Gallery ................................... 47 B & B Excavating ..........................................42 Doug Haase Excavating ..........................8 J.A. Wright Construction............ 22,49 McHugh’s Excavating ..............................43 Palm Construction ......................................18
J. Bart Bradshaw, CPA .............................24
Harmony House Interiors....................31 Methow Valley Lumber..........................13 North Valley Lumber ...............................33
Confluence Gallery ................................... 47
Garbage & Recycling Services
Glass Supply & Design
Wenatchee Valley Glass ........................44
Heating & Air Conditioning
ALJU Stove & Fireplace .........................35 Cascade Mechanical ...............................45
Land Use Permits
24-7 Property Maintenance ............. 40 Carlton Landscape Construction ...............................................27 Cascade Concrete........................................23 Cascade Pipe & Feed ..................................10 Chuck Szafas Services ........................... 39 Eastern Green Hydroseeding ............ 29 J.A. Wright Construction .........22, 49 Plantas East ........................................................35 Rick Fulcher Landscapes ....................42 Washington Tractor ..................................51 Windy Valley Landscaping .............. 37
Central Reservations ..............................52
Windy Valley Landscaping .............. 37
The Slagworks, Barry Stromberger .............................. 37
Methow Conservancy ................................8
Omak Paving ................................................... 40
Triple T Roofıng ............................................12
Tile Design & Installation
Mountain Home Tiling ..........................32
24-7 Property Maintenance ............. 40 Okanogan Conservation District ............................................................... 37
Well Drilling & Pump Sales/Service
Beaver Creek Well Services .............22 Lester’s Well Pump Service ...............18 MVM Quality Drilling ............................21
Windows & Doors
Methow Valley Lumber ........................13 North Valley Lumber ...............................33 Wenatchee Valley Glass ........................44
Alpine Designs ............................................... 17 Bruce Morrison Sculpture ................ 49 Swanson Woodcraft .................................. 17
For your job big or small, we’ve got it all. Heavy Equipment & Construction Rental Air Tools • Concrete • Carpet Floor & Tile • Drywall • Painting Earth Moving & Construction Generators • Hand Tools Jacks • Lawn & Garden Lift Equipment • Moving Supplies Plumbing • Tractors
Pipe & Tool Supply Let our experienced staff help you design an irrigation system for your home or farm – for free!
Lawrence Architecture lawrencearchitecture.com 206.332.1832
Stove Supply & Sales featuring a full line of Lopi Stoves Wood Stoves Pellet Stoves Inserts Installation Maintenance
WashingtonTractor.com 1-877-422-3030 1 Patrol Street, Okanogan Open Mon - Sat, 8am - 5pm Your local John Deere Dealer.
balance associates architects
natural + modern
one beautiful valley, over two decades of designs
Smart living begins here. houzz
206 275 2345
An inside look at Methow Valley homes, the people who own them and the people who build them. If you're considering buying, building or remo...
Published on Apr 1, 2015
An inside look at Methow Valley homes, the people who own them and the people who build them. If you're considering buying, building or remo...