Home design is something that many people might thing sounds simple and easy. That is not the case. Particularly regarding structural matters in mountain environments. Let’s focus even further: foundations. HOME ARCHITECTS ® is viewed by many to be an expert in the design of luxury housing. They also have a specialty in mountain house design.
Keller Williams, one of the nation’s largest real estate brokerages, asked Mr. Soellner, the firm’s Senior Staff Architect, to write a series of articles about house design in the Cashiers, NC area. This article about mountain residential foundations is one of several that appeared in this magazine, “On The Mountain.” These have been reproduced here on this website.
Foundations for Mountain Houses
What’s the big deal with foundations, you might ask? You pour some concrete, then slap a house on it, right? Wrong. Particularly in the mountains. Homes can slide down cliffs around here. There are certain precautions one must take, as the article discusses. Rand Soellner has been coming to the Cashiers area since 1974 and moved here permanently near the start of this century. He has been doing this a long time, as the article’s information can attest to. It is critical that your home design have properly designed foundations and preparations for those foundations.
June 2005 The Mountain article on Foundations for mountain houses by Rand Soellner Architect.
Footings and the mountains.
We all live in one form of house or another. Therefore the design of our houses is interesting to all of us. We should all be experts, because we all live a house, right? Well, that’s kind of like saying that we are experts about our body’s health because we live in our bodies. It takes focused attention and decades of intensive study to Improve residential design and not just accept what we happen to live in at any point in our lives. When we cross that line that brings into our awareness that we could have a Better house design that what we are experiencing, is when you may start to think of a residential architect that can assist you with improving your situation. In other words, when you are ready to commission professionals to design your house, that is when you may begin to think about these issues.
Footings and home design.
An Architect can assist you with your residential design needs. The magazine article above, which Mr. Soellner wrote at the request of Keller – Williams Real Estate, focuses on the necessary requirements for soil and bedrock preparation and foundation design and installation in mountainous terrains. The main ingredients here that are not typical to most suburban situations are: high altitude, granite bedrock sloping steeply immediately underneath your mountain site and potentially dangerous cliffs. Geologists have informed us that The Blue Ridge Mountains were formed due to seismic events and continental plates shifting, not glaciers. This means that there can and are earthquakes. It is important to attach your foundations to the bedrock where it is feasible and to have monolithic foundations with continuous steel reinforcement in your residential design.
It also makes the most sense to cast your foundations as poured in place steel-reinforced concrete. Residential design is sensitive, necessary and vibrant part of your life, whenever you are considering obtaining a special house that is to be something unique, just for you and your family, wrapped around your lifestyle and oriented particularly for your views on your house site. And that is where Rand Soellner comes into the picture.
There are many factors beyond the foundations that lie under your house, for instance, what is above it, like your roof, your walls and wall siding, your insulation, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, windows, doors, appliances, view orientations and site planning, driveways and vehicular maneuvering, coatings, furniture and their arrangement, window treatments, security systems, sound systems and other items affecting the durability and enjoyment of your new residence. Soellner is highly experienced in this issues and can help you create the house of your dreams.
This article may be of interest to people planning houses who are looking for information about: housing design, cabin designers, mansion designers, foundations and related residential design matters.
Contact information for residential design: www.HomeArchitects.com Rand Soellner AIA/NCARB 828-269-9046