Highlands Builders & Mountain Homes – Hlnds News

Mountain Homes & Highlands Construction Companies : Developing Cost Effective Strategies for House Construction

This article was published in the Highlands Newpaper, discussing how the mountain homes of Rand Soellner home architects helped manage the costs associated with mountain resort house construction.  Part of this strategy has to do with Soellner’s trademark home value engineering and his base bid pricing technique.

click on this logo fo direct e-mail to RandBase bid pricing is Soellner’s method whereby he includes all of the client’s requested higher end options in owner options that the contractor prices but does not include in the base bid price to build the house.  This means that his mountain homes yield the least expensive way to price mountain homes : the base bid, without cutting anything.  The home architects have already handled that and prepared that in their documents.  This represents a major shift in the way house bidding is handled.  Most mountain homes have to go through a painful cutting process.  Not so on Soellner’s projects.  With his jobs, you already have the least expensive price, so there can then be the Adding of nice options, in the amounts acceptable to the owners.

Soellner explained that he tired of the typical cutting method which was no fun for anyone.  He prefered that the creation of mountain homes be an enjoyable experience.  He likes the positive experience of Adding owner options to the base bid, which is foreign to many contractors and owners.  So far, it seems to be working.  “There’s no yelling that goes with the old cutting procedure,” said Soellner, “this is much more attractive to everyone.”

Mountain homes and home value engineeering architects.

The other method is Soellner’s home value engineering, which involves his analysis of using the least expensive systems and materials to get the job done with the desired result.  This does not necessarily mean the cheapest.  It means, in the opinion of this mountain homes architect, the most cost effective way to satisfy the programmatic requirements.  In his mountain homes, this in turn becomes the base bid and possibly several of the other owner options, to give a range of costs for various solutions leading ultimately to the owner’s final choices.  Soellner likes to give his clients mutiple options with varying degrees of quality and cost, then let them make the final choice as to what works best for their desires and budget for their mountain homes.  He clarifies that clients are not buying a commodity, like a loaf of bread off a supermarket shelf.  Rather, this is a complex process of choices that puts the client in the driver’s seat as to the final choice of materials, systems, quality and cost.  Soellner notes that the process of creating mountain homes does not typically allow for this many options.  He says that normally other architects and engineers make these decisions for their clients, usually on the higher quality and more expensive side, wanting to have the best in their projects.  While Soellner understands this desire for quality, he also believes that his clients mountain homes are theirs,  and it is their money, so they should have the final decision on the cost and quality of their house.
published in the Highlands Newspaper:


Atmospheric pressure and mountain homes.

Mountain homes brings to mind images of the clouds scudding right through Main Street in downtown Highlands, at an elevation of approximately 4,000′ ASL.  Mountain homes require the services of mountain home architects to properly design them. Why?  because of the very different environment from the flat, low lands that most people are used to in places like Atlanta, Buckhead, Franklin, Newnan, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, New York, Dallas, Houston, Dayton and other “normal” locations.  What is so different?  Well, for one, about those clouds gliding through town: with them comes lots of precipitation.  And when they are not here, the climate is extremely dry, so you get the two extremes of humidity, right around the year.  And how about atmospheric pressure?  It is a lot less for mountain homes.

mountain homes So what?  Well, for one thing, most insulated windows are manufactured where land is less expensive, like at lower elevations around Orlando, Atlanta, Macon, Elkhart, industrial areas outside New York, and other places near to major industrialized cities, but outside their main central business districts.  So what?  Well, the atmospheric pressure around Orlando, for instance, is at a height of about 88′ ASL.  This means that the ambient pressure around the seal around your insulated windows being manufactured there is about the same as a Sea Level.  Now then, let’s truck them several hundred miles and several thousand feet higher, into the Blue Ridge Mountaina, for instance, up about 3/4 of a mile into the sky.

Mountain homes require special attention for both aesthetics and technical aspects, such as seals around insulated windows.
Mountain homes require special attention for both aesthetics and technical aspects, such as seals around insulated windows.

What happens?  here’s a clue: do you have to swallow several times while coming up into the mountains to prevent your eardrums from exploding outward?  And if you don’t equalize the pressure several times while going up to see the mountain homes in the mountains, you will experience some sharp pains in your eardrums, right?  That is because the atmospheric pressure is substantially less as you climb upward into the sky.  So what does this mean for the seals around your insulated windows?  If you do not have a mountain architect specifying them, that seal will rupture as well, in hundreds of microscopic locations, all around the seal.  This means that your insulated windows will fog in the mountain homes, whose views we all prize so highly.  And fogged windows obscures the great mountain views.  And That is just one of the reasons why it is crticial to hire mountain home architects to design mountain homes.

Contact for mountain homes :  Rand Soellner Architect, www.HomeArchitects.com 828-269-9046.

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