Downright Inviting

Featuring two bedrooms, a spacious family room and a fully equipped kitchen, the lower level of this second-home retreat is designed to function as completely separate living space from the upstairs.

April 01, 2002

 

After a day spent riding the trails, guests can turn their mounts out to pasture and gather in the home’s lower-level “saloon” (above), complete with a custom-built cherry bar. Actually a fully equipped kitchen, this informal entertaining area adjoins a large family room (below). These features, along with the inclusion of two bedrooms and a full bath on the same floor, allow this part of the home to function as private guest quarters for overnight visitors.

Featuring two bedrooms, a spacious family room and a fully equipped kitchen, the lower level of this second-home retreat is designed to function as completely separate living space from the upstairs. That’s an ideal arrangement for the homeowners, who can spend all their time on the main level during their weekends alone in the country and still accommodate family and friends when they come to stay. The below-grade space nearly doubles the home’s square footage. With its 10-foot ceilings, radiant-heated cherry floors and access to a spectacular stone-encircled terrace, one would be hard-pressed to call this merely a finished basement.

“This part of the house feels every bit as livable as the upstairs,” builder Bernie Sublette says. “And the high ceiling is one of the things that really makes a difference.”

Local contractors were not equipped with forms large enough for the taller-than-normal foundation walls that the architect’s plans required, so the Sublette brothers had their construction crew build special forms, set the rebar and pour the concrete.

And to avoid losing valuable headroom to HVAC, plumbing and electrical runs when finishing the space, the Sublettes used a truss system from SpaceJoist TE that features an open-web design to accommodate the depth of the ductwork and simplify the installation of pipes and wiring.

 

To maintain the 10-foot ceiling height in the basement, the builder used an open-web truss system featuring large chase openings for ductwork, pipes and wiring, eliminating the need to lower the finished ceiling.

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