Top Tips on How to Decide What Kind of Home You Want to Build (Part One)

One of my friends has recently purchased a lot at Gray’s Crossing in Truckee.  And throughout the entire process, he continued to reach out to our architecture firm that designs homes in Truckee and Lake Tahoe for advice on the ‘next steps.’  I thought you might appreciate this blog about the “Top Tips on How to Decide What Kind of Home You Want to Build” as the subject is fresh in my mind.

Research first.  Designing and building a home is more than how many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. that you want or need within this significant investment.  As the old saying goes:  Your Home is Where Your Heart Is.  This classic statement identifies the fact that in addition to yourself, there may be others that have input as to what their desires may be.  When all is said and done, it should reflect the lifestyle that works for all involved.

What style do you like?  For this particular property, Borelli Architecture certainly will recommend that the home takes advantage of its golf course setting.  And with that said, we’ll be sure there is plenty of room for the golf cart in the garage!  As Gray’s Crossing is also within a mountain community at a higher elevation, we will include the appropriate standards for heavy  and take the weather into consideration as well to take advantage of the sunshine at the same time.

What key attributes does your ‘dream home’ really need?  Lots of windows to take in those golf course views?  And expanded porch for summertime entertaining?  How about ‘open space,’ privacy, and in today’s virtual world, how many ‘office spaces’ or ‘small classroom areas’ do you need? A mud room? We say ‘yes’ to that all the time as when one lives in Truckee, the community just begs for all to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

Think about the ‘not so obvious.’  What kind and how much storage area do you really need?  Does every bathroom need at tub? How about all those skis, snowboards, snowshoes, and golf clubs … do you want a special place within the home or garage to store your year-round toys?  And what about boat storage?

Think about the future, a lot!  Our friends are just about to retire and plan on living the rest of their life here in the High Sierra. One of their main goals is to build a split-level home that has a lower level that includes a guest suite, small kitchen, and recreation/living area.  This concept works well today for extended company and will be ideal when and if they ever choose to have live-in help.

So that is a start.  In my next news post I’ll be providing more advice about the steps one needs to take when deciding to build a home.  In the meantime, if you are interested in buying a lot at Gray’s Crossing, here are a few nice options.  And be sure to click back into my last posts in January to learn more about land and property for sale in Truckee, Lake Tahoe, Carson City and beyond.

 

Jim and Kelly Borelli
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com

775 831 3060

Where is There Land for Sale to Build A Home in Lake Tahoe?

With all the interest in moving out of the city and settling into a more peaceful environment, our architect firm in Lake Tahoe and Carson City is fielding calls everyday from new clients who want to build their dream home.  As a family who has lived in the High Sierra for over 30 years, we understand the draw of moving to the mountains.

To get you started, we are offering this two-part series that highlights our favorite resort developments that still have land and lots for sale in  Truckee, North Lake Tahoe, and Carson City.

Throughout the Lake Tahoe basin there are many lovely mountain communities that offer all the amenities one needs to live a good life.  Within these communities are resort developments that do have lots for sale.   Here’s the start to our two-part series. Just click into each neighborhood to find out more about home developments in Lake Tahoe.

In our next blog, we will include information on the popular Clear Creek Development, and other Nevada home developments (which offer excellent tax advantages) located just over the hill on the eastern side of the Sierra  .

Martis Camp, Truckee, CA

Forbes magazine once quoted that Martis Camp “May be the best private four-season community in the USA.”  Check it out their own description.

“Located midway between historic Truckee, California and North Lake Tahoe, Martis Camp is a 2,177-acre private, luxury community, which Barron’s ranked as Tahoe’s Best Place to Own a Second Home. Nice praise. But even more impressive are the plaudits of those critics whose opinions carry a lot more weight: your family.”

Lahontan, Truckee, CA

The developers say it best:  “Casual elegance finds its home at Lahontan.”  Their website does a nice job of describing what may be your next backyard.

Every one of Lahontan’s 906 acres is a spectacle of natural beauty. Your palette for creating a home here is made up of rock-faced ridges, springfed meadows, tall jeffrey, lodgepole and ponderosa pines, ridge tops with incredible panoramic views, green velvet valleys, and a breathtaking Tom Weiskopf golf course. There is also a reservoir that is the “town center” for Canadian geese, water fowl, and other wildlife. Beauty steals every scene here – and your heart. “

Northstar California

Located halfway between North America’s largest alpine lake, and the historic town of Truckee, California, Northstar still shines as another option for year-round recreation right out your backdoor.  Here’s a very brief description from their website.

“Hidden among the trees in the majestic Martis Valley in North Lake Tahoe, Northstar California welcomes friends and families looking to get more our of their mountain getaway. We invite you to discover what makes our resort unforgettable …”

Gray’s Crossing

If you love to play golf, you will love this home and resort development.  Our team at Borelli Architecture that designs homes in Truckee, CA, appreciates all that this development has to offer.  Here is how they describe the experience;

“Imagine a place to build that honors your wish list as well as your budget. A bright, airy spot with spectacular views. One that’s close to the trails, the slopes, and Lake Tahoe with a golf course, restaurant, and on-site fitness and pool facility. A neighborhood that offers beautiful aesthetics and thoughtful logistics. With values that still reflect a market over-correction, there has never been a more fortuitous time to invest. You could definitely call Gray’s Crossing “home.”

If you would like a personal tour of any of these resort home developments in Lake Tahoe, and others that I will be showcasing in my next News article, please feel free to reach out to Borelli Architecture.  We have been designing and remodeling homes throughout the Truckee and Lake Tahoe area for decades and always welcome the opportunity to share our insight.

Jim and Kelly Borelli
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775 831 3060

Top Structural Tips for Mountain Home Design

For those who live in the High Sierra, we are well aware of the impact that Mother Nature has had on our homes over the years. The good news is that we are still experiencing some mild winter temperatures with sunny skies and cold nights that keep the ski conditions in good shape for the holiday season.

The not so good news is that when the snow does arrive, and as the snow starts to melt, we expect to see structural damages to homes and businesses that were poorly designed for the wrath of Mother Nature.

With this in mind, I thought I’d share some insights within this December blog about some of the key features that our architecture firm in lake Tahoe and Truckee incorporates into our clients’ mountain home’s design or a mountain home remodel.

The ideal roof design for mountain homes.

Let’s start with the roof. When Borelli Architecture begins to design our clients’ homes in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area, we like to design a home with a roof that is ideal for the snow loads, changing temperatures and weather, as well as neighborhood appeal – and of course, our clients’ desires.

Key to the design process is to identify the home’s setting – where there is sun, and where there is not. From that point, we start to develop a structural design that complements the location’s potential snow “impacts.” What we want to be sure to do is avoid a design that would cause significant snow slides that can destroy porches and cars, block doorways … you get the idea.

In a cold climate, the ideal roof is a simple gable. In general, the distinguishing feature of the gable is its triangular shape. This design allows for water and snow melt to flow naturally to the base of the home … and not into valley and crevasses that may “dam up” and cause water and ice damage.

Another option for those who prepare something more modern is what the industry calls an “avalanche shed” design. A simple visual for you is a roof that has only one tilted slope which is slanted toward a section of the home where there will be no residual impact.

No matter what the final design may be, we look for a good roof plane that has a consistent slope from the ridge to the eave.

Where to place vents when designing mountain homes?

The heavy winter of 2018 unveiled many mistakes in rooftop plumbing placements that are now under full repair. Plumbing vents installed and placed lower on the eaves and not on the home’s ridges were torn and twisted by the significant snow pack; some even ended up on the ground after the snow finally slid.

Simply said: we always plan for the vents to be near the ridges, not the eaves. Why? Ridges are dryer than the eaves that see much more water and snow pack over the course of the year.

What about gutter placement for high elevation home design?

With the weather patterns of the Sierra we can always expect rain and snow throughout the seasons. To keep the precipitation off the driveway and entrances, we suggest our owners have gutters installed below the plane of the roofing and drain away from popular outdoor areas of the home.

Want some free advice about mountain home design?

Borelli Architecture team in Washoe County, NV, has been designing and remodeling homes throughout the Truckee and Lake Tahoe area for over 25 years. We’ve learned a lot and always welcome the opportunity to share our insight.

In the meantime, have a joyous Christmas and happy and healthy New Year!

Jim and Kelly Borelli
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775 831 3060

Do I Need an Architect to Design My Home?

 

 

There’s no question that more and more families are moving from the hectic city life to design and build a mountain home in Lake Tahoe and Truckee.  as Such, our architectural firm in Lake Tahoe is certainly fielding a lot of questions.Specifically: if one really needs a professional architect to build a home in Washoe County,  Placer County, or Carson City.

With all the environmental and building regulations that one must adhere to when building a home in the High Sierra, you certainly should seek the advice of a professional architect to design your home.

To help our clients to better understand just exactly what they will receive when they seek our advice and architectural services, we thought this news article would be of interest to you.

 ~ The Process of Architectural Design ~

Although an architect may initially seem like someone you will hire to design your home or commercial building, there is an extensive list of skills – including a good sense of ingenuity – that come with this time-honored profession that involves far more than a structure’s appearance.

At Borelli Architecture the ‘look’ of the structure starts long before we put our pencil to paper – or these days, sit down at the computer.

First, we meet with our client and listen to what they have envisioned either for their new home, remodel or commercial building in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region.  Throughout our conversations, we strive to capture what it is they want to do so we can not only meet, yet exceed, our clients’ expectations.

During this initial meeting, we identify our client’s key desires, all of the “pieces of the design puzzle”.  These elements may include the standard questions of how many bedrooms and bathrooms are needed, do they want more open space or a new kitchen, attached or detached guest quarters, outdoor living area complete with a kitchen, or media room complete with the latest and greatest technology features.  Budgetary requirements are also discussed at this time to ensure that the Project Program and budget are in sync.

Once we have identified those key pieces to the puzzle, we develop a Fee Proposal that includes all of the client’s initial desires – and summarize them into a Project Program.  This also includes the phases and costs of services that will be provided from start to finish.

The client then reviews and approves the Project Program and then we are ready to get started on the project.

The next step is to begin the Design Phase; this includes coming to an architectural solution that addresses the Project Program – which is by far the most critical part of an architect’s role.

The design then evolves from the information that we have gathered together and then collaborate to produce a final solution.

Upon completion of the Design Phase, we then move on to the preparation of the Construction Documents;   these include a site plan, floor plans, elevations, cross sections and other detailed drawings of the structure.

When the Construction Documents are completed, they are submitted to local regulatory agencies for review which leads to issuance of the building permit. Once the permit is issued, we work with the client to select the general contractor.  The Construction Documents also provide the contractor with all the information required to actually build the project.

From that point forward, we will act as a liaison for our client and represent them on the construction site, meet with local authorities, and oversee the construction to ensure consistency with the plans and that the end result is exactly what our client expected.

If you ever have any questions about what an architect can, should, or could do for your next project, feel free to call me, James P. Borelli, at any time.  I’d appreciate every opportunity to share my personal experience and insight with you.

Jim and Kelly Borelli
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

 

Real Estate Market Continues to Sizzle in Lake Tahoe, Carson City, Reno

 

The real estate market is soaring throughout Lake Tahoe’s Nevada and California markets as well as the Reno/Sparks region in Nevada.  Unlike any other year on record, Chase International, based here in the Lake Tahoe and region region, experienced record home sales and record home prices, according to its Q3 Report.

Here’s what their recent press release noted about their success which mirrors other stories throughout our news sources in the region.

“We are experiencing an unprecedented time in the real estate business,” said Julie Kozich, real estate officer for Chase International. “The numbers confirm the interest that our buyers are fleeing the city life and settling into the High Sierra and surrounding region for a healthier and more peaceful lifestyle.”

The figures are part of a quarterly Report released by Lake-Tahoe-based real estate agency, Chase International, that has just documented skyrocketing statistics.  The data compares all MLS homes sales from January 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020 to the same timeframe in 2019.

Among the most impressive numbers are those that were documented from the Nevada side of the Sierra. 

Kozich noted the 123% increase in volume on Lake Tahoe’s East Shore with total home volume hitting an all-time high at $294,699,629 in Q3 2020.  On Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, Incline Village recorded an 82% increase in total single home volume with the average listing price increasing 24%.

Our architecture firm in Lake Tahoe and Carson City is experiencing a similar pace with new homeowners purchasing land to build their new home in Nevada.  Althought lots are literally no longer available in Incline Village, many of the old homes have hit the market and are now being torn down to make room for a new home in our tax friendly state.

Just over the hill, the very popular and prestigious Clear Creek Tahoe golf and ski resort development is seeing the same interest.  In fact, we have several homes in the design phase right now.

If you have always thought about moving to enjoy a more peaceful lifestyle (and remember our tax friendly assets), feel free to reach out to Borelli Architecture.  We are at the pulse of land and home sales in Nevada and Lake Tahoe and ready to share our advice with you.

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

What to Do When Your Home is Haunted!

As an architect firm that has been designing and remodeling homes in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region for over 30 years, we always look forward to hearing about clients’ homes, or property, that may be haunted!  And as the area overflows with beautiful old homes in particular along the lake, why wouldn’t some of them still be occupied by residents gone-by?

In addition, many of the shoreline properties were the summer grounds and burial grounds of the Washoe (Native American) tribes.  In fact, history notes that their heritage within the High Sierra dates back over 90,000 years.

With Halloween around the corner, we thought it would certainly be appropriate to lend some insight to our fans about haunted homes – and what to do, or not to do, if your home is indeed ‘occupied’ by spirits unknown.

In a recent article posted by RIS Media, entitled Home Haunted? they shared some interesting insight that we are sending along to you right now.

“Among the more than 2,000 U.S. homeowners that were surveyed by realtor.com®, 13 percent said they believe they live in a haunted house currently and, among them, more than half (56 percent) say they have not considered moving.

“Haunted houses typically draw big crowds this time of year, but we wanted to see how many people actually believe they live in one,” said Lexie Holbert, realtor.com® housing and lifestyle expert. “Although only a small percentage of respondents indicated they believe their home is haunted, it was surprising to see how many are comfortable sharing their space with spirits.”

Another interesting takeaway from the survey is the fact that among the respondents who believe they currently live in a home that’s haunted, Northeasterners were the most comfortable living with spirits (76 percent), followed by those in the West (57 percent), the South (51 percent) and the Midwest (35 percent).”

What to do if your home is haunted?

Click into this link from ISoldMyHouse.com.  It will take you to a page that will tell you all about their partnership with and exorcist who can rid your home of those spirits that share your space!

Boo!

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

 

What to Do if You Come Across a Downed Power Line?

I recently read an article that was published in a local newspaper in Flathead Lake, MT.  Their weather mirrors ours throughout each season.  Recently they experienced some extremely high winds that downed trees throughout the east side of the Lake.  With so much destruction, the Flathead Lake Electric Cooperative decided they should jump onto to an education program to help locals and visitors alike be better prepared for falling power lines.

With the winter season around the corner, we can certainly expect to see a return of the classic High Sierra winds that are just part of living in the majestic Lake Tahoe and Truckee regions. Right here in our architecture firm in Incline Village, NV, we sit on top of a ridge where we can experience some pretty good gusts this time of the year, and into the winter months as well.

The article included some very good information, complete with visuals, that can be used universally – no matter where you live on the planet.

As we design mountain homes in Truckee, Lake Tahoe, and especially the Carson Valley that gets the brunt of the wind, we always review the electrical lines and carefully position our homes within a safe distance – should any lines go down.

If you have recently purchased a lot on which to build a home, or have plans to remodel or expand your footprint, our team at our architecture firm in Washoe County, NV, would be pleased to come by to review your situation and its existing electrical layout.

In the meantime, feel free to share the following artwork that is courtesy of the Flathead Lake Electric Cooperative.

Stay safe out there!

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

 

 

 

When to Purchase A Home and Remodel? Perhaps Now … !

Home remodel in Incline Village, NV
Home remodel in Incline Village, NV by Borelli Architecture

Just this morning I read an article entitled:  We’re Running Out of Homes To Sell” in Lake Tahoe.

With key points in the article noting:

  • Lake Tahoe real estate is getting snapped up at a record pace, as San Francisco tech workers flee the city in search of more space and a healthier lifestyle.
  • Brokers say the inventory of homes for sale has shrunk to about one-fifth to one-tenth of the usual levels.
  • “People are writing all-cash offers for houses, sight unseen,” said Sabrina Belleci, a Lake Tahoe broker with Re/Max.

With more and more families and businesses moving to the state of Nevada to take advantage of its many tax benefits, our architectural firm in Incline Village, NV is fielding a lot of requests for more information about remodeling v/s buying a new home.

Right here in Incline, inventory is as tight as I have ever seen it during my 30 year residency.  With this noted, I thought I’d share some insight about the value of remodeling and some examples of what our architectural firm in Lake Tahoe and Truckee has recreated over our 30+ years of designing and remodeling homes in Washoe County.

Buyers usually want something they can move into – especially during the prime buying season – which is summer in Tahoe.  With the region’s limited inventory, and the demand to live an active life in the High Sierra, we do suggest our clients take a good look at the property’s overall assets.

Up here at 6,000+ elevation, that usually includes the views of the Lake and surrounding forest and mountain views.

If the home is rather new, a fresh coat of paint usually does the trick for a little facelift.

If the home is established, we like to look at the entire structure – evaluating its windows to ensure they are Low E, HVAC capabilities, and overall design.  The latter of which is very important when it comes to snow load – and where the snow UNLOADS when the spring thaw arrives; this past winter we’ve seen our share of broken porch railings and buried driveways due to poor design.

One also wants to review the home’s ‘new owners’ and how the design may or may not be ideal for either a large family moving in or a large home that now belongs to empty-nesters.  Our team at Borelli Architecture enjoys the opportunity to review our clients’ new purchase and offer solutions to best fit their lifestyle.  Some of the options may include the expansion of the kitchen, combining two guest rooms into an en-suite Master, refining the layout to move a downstairs bedroom to the main floor, or removing a pony wall to gain more space for a Great Room or brand new office.

In addition to the most urgent need to remodel a room into an office (see my recent post), another remodeling idea for mountain homes is to recreate the existing patio into an outdoor kitchen and dining environment.

And that is just the beginning of what one could or could not do to remodel a mountain home in Truckee or Lake Tahoe.

Another option of course, is to build a brand-new home.  There’s a beautiful golf course community in Carson City – which is just over the hill from the Lake – which also offers access to a private facility on the edge of Lake Tahoe. You can check it out at ClearCreekTahoe.com.  If you’d like a personal tour, I’ll be more than happy to show you some of the ideas for mountain golf course home designs.

Please never hesitate to give us a call to discuss your ideas for designing a home in Lake Tahoe, Carson City, Truckee, or right here in our hometown of Incline Village, NV.

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

 

Tips on How to Remodel a Room into the Perfect Office Space

With most of the USA working at home these days, our architectural firm in Lake Tahoe, NV has received quite a few calls about our remodeling services in Incline Village, Truckee, and throughout the Lake.   What is enjoyable for us, is the opportunity to seize the moment to help our clients live a more well-balanced life – at home.

As this is a hot topic, we are taking this time to give you some tips on how to remodel a room or unused space in your home into a comfortable environment in which to continue your career.

Take an inventory of your home’s ‘space’.   Do you have a room that is used just for clutter-keeping?  What about a spot just off the porch?  Maybe you have become empty-nesters and have a room or two that would be ideal for your new office?

Get Professional Advice.  Once you have established the options, give us a call at Borelli Architecture.  We are happy to offer a complimentary visit to discuss the ideal use, and remodeling, of your home to accommodate your new world.  And, as a bonus, we offer interior design services as well through Kelly Borelli Interiors.

Establish The Best Option.  Working as a team, we will review the options with you and provide our advice according to the preferred room’s location.  In many instances, our clients need space for not just one office, yet two or more.  Take a look at the photo above; it’s a prime example of how adding a wall, or removing a few walls, can achieve many objectives.

Assess the structural design.  Sometimes what seems to be the best option is not the best at all.  Within the decision-making process, we will review the room’s structure, HVAC and electrical capabilities, window opportunities (to enjoy that fresh Sierra air), and safe egress and access.

Review Other Opportunities.  In addition to remodeling a room for an office, what about taking the opportunity to add additional features that you have always wanted in your home.  How about a library or large shelving to display some of your favorite memories or awards?  Maybe it would be nice to have a kitchenette with room for a coffee pot,  mini-fridge, or sink?  Some of our clients have also requested our office remodel design to include space for a Murphy bed – to accommodate guests.

Ready. Set. Go.  Once you have confirmed your desires, you can move forward with confidence to confirm the costs, timeline, and estimated “Grand Opening” of your new office!

Please never hesitate to give us a call to discuss your ideas for remodeling your home. We’d be happy to help design a new and inspirational setting for your new office space in your home.

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060

 

TRPA To Finalize Vote on New Lake Tahoe Shoreline Plan

For those of you who are looking for a Lake Tahoe architect to help you build a home on Lake Tahoe, commence on an extensive home remodel, or are involved in a redevelopment project, I encourage you to read this blog to the end.

This past week, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency provided us with an update to their two-year process of developing a new Shoreline Plan.

Noted by the TRPA as “milestones,” this initiatives will come to a close – estimated for final approval October 24th – with the final unveiling of what property owners and commercial developers will need to know before anyone puts their pen to the paper to design, or redesign, any property along the Lake’s well-protected shoreline.

What is the TRPA Shoreline Plan and Why Is It Important to You?

Two years ago, the TRPA joined forces with a variety of stakeholders and embarked on a highly-collaborative planning process focused on fighting aquatic invasive species, improving the health of our forests, upgrading the region’s transportation system and developing a basin-wide wildfire preparedness program.

Why is this important to you?  According to the TRPA’s recent newsletter:

“The proposed Shoreline Plan creates development caps and regulations for a limited number of new shoreline structures such as piers, buoys, and public boat ramps, as well as a framework for marinas to expand or reconfigure if they incorporate environmental improvements.”

The update from TRPA continued to explain  … “The programs include better boater education and enforcement of the 600-foot no-wake zone, an expansion of the no-wake zone to include all Emerald Bay, and new no-wake buffer zones for swimmers, paddlers, and shoreline structures; all aimed at reducing boating noise impacts and improving recreation safety on the lake.

“… the new programs also include better monitoring for noise and scenic impacts, additional projects to control harmful aquatic invasive species, enforcement of unauthorized moorings on the lake, and new provisions to keep loud boats with aftermarket exhaust systems that exceed noise standards from operating on the lake.

In short … as a property owner, with a home within in the Lake Tahoe basin and on the lake, in particular, you will be held to requirements if you choose to alter your land, remodel your boathouse, our replace or install a buoy.

Have no fear!  The Borelli Team is here …

For over 30 years, Borelli Architecture in Lake Tahoe and Truckee have been offering a variety of architectural design services to help our clients get through the numerous TRPA policies and county ordinances that one must adhere to when one wants to change the lay of the land.  Some of the services key to this subject include:

  • Site Planning
  • Space Planning
  • Permit Processing Assistance
  • TRPA Feasibility Studies

If you believe you might be impacted by the new regulations of the TRPA Shoreline Plan, please do reach out.  We’ve been around the Lake region for a long time and have the appropriate connections and local insight that only a local Lake Tahoe architectural firm can offer.

James P. Borelli
Founder/Principal
Borelli Architecture
Truckee / Lake Tahoe
jim@borelliarchitecture.com
775.831.3060