How To Shovel Snow From Your Roof?

How to shovel snow from a roof?

With record snowfall breaking all the records for December in Lake Tahoe, our architect firm in Truckee and Lake Tahoe is getting calls about snow removal … from the roof.  Although we certainly know all about designing mountain homes that meet the structural requirements for significant snowfall like we are experienceing today, when it come to the question about how to remove snow from the rooftops, we refer our clients to professionals who know how to safely get the job done.

To help you start your own research on the subject, we found an excellent article posted on State Farm Insurance’s website.

Here are the highlights of the story posed by the question “How do you know if you have too much snow on the roof?”

One cubic foot of fluffy, dry snow weighs about three pounds. The same amount of dense, wet snow can weigh as much as 21 pounds. While most roofs are built to withstand more than that, your roof may be under too much pressure if you see these signs:

  • Visible sagging along the roofline
  • Cracks in the ceiling or on the walls
  • Popping or creaking noises
  • Difficult-to-open doors and windows

As it melts excess snow can also lead to ice dams — melting snow refreezes and can damage your home’s interior under the eave line.

How to safely clear your roof

Keep the following in mind:

  • Hire a professional. A person who does this work regularly should know the best techniques and likely be insured.
  • Never work alone. Always have someone with you in case you slip or have an emergency.
  • Clear the area. The ladder up to your roof should be positioned on solid ground. Also, make sure the rungs are clear of ice and snow before you climb.
  • Secure yourself. If possible, use a strap or belt to anchor yourself to something strong, like a chimney.
  • Avoid shingle damage. Stay away from picks, hammers, or other sharp tools to clear snow and ice.
  • Use the right tools. If you have a one-story or flat-roofed house, invest in a snow rake. These long-handled tools with plastic blades can help you gently pull snow from the edge of the roof line.

Inasmuch as this is a good recap of how to get the job done, our team at Borelli Architecture suggests you seek professionals to get the job done.  Roofing companies and possibly professional tree removal companies would be a good place to start.  Here’s a link to the Better Business Bureau’s recommendations. 

In the meantime, if you want more details about how to build a structurally sound home in the mountains, feel free to reach out at any time.

Happy New Year!

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

Home Winter Preparation Tips

Winter Driving Safety Tips for Lake Tahoe Homeowners

Winter Home Safety Tips for Lake Tahoe Homeowners

With three new feet of snow, and counting, at Lake Tahoe, now is the time to prep your home for the wet and white winter to come (unless you have done your chores before now)!  There’s lots of good information below that was published within the  Tahoe Daily Tribune and written by North Lake Tahoe Fire Prevention District’s Chief Ryan Sommers.

At our architect firm at Lake Tahoe, and based in Incline Village above 6,500′ we know all about preparing for what’s to come this winter.  That said, no matter where you live, these tips are good no matter where you live.  If you are here in the High Sierra, we encourage you to take the time to review the details now … in between shoveling this week? Next week? … We’ll see what comes our way!

The following content is courtesy of Ryan Sommers – as posted in the Tahoe Daily Tribune

Winter Home Safety Tips …

•Test and replace batteries. Check or replace carbon monoxide batteries twice a year: when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Replace smoke alarm alkaline batteries at least once a year. Test alarms every month to ensure they work properly.

•Be prepared for cold weather. Prepare your home, car and have a winter weather checklist that includes emergency preparedness information for communication, making a plan and supplies kit. Register for CODE RED emergency alert notifications.

•Keep stairs and walking areas free of electrical cords, shoes, clothing, books, magazines, and other items

•Improve the lighting in and outside your home. Use nightlights or a flashlight to light the path between your bedroom and the bathroom. Turn on the lights before using the stairs. See an eye specialist once a year – better vision can help prevent falls.

•Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors. Have grab bars installed on the wall next to the bathtub, shower, and toilet if needed. Wipe up spilled liquids immediately.

•Stairways should be well lit from both the top and the bottom. Have easy-to-grip handrails installed along the full length of both sides of the stairs.

•Be aware of uneven surfaces indoors and outdoors. If you must have scatter rugs, make sure they lay flat and do not slide when you step on them. Smooth out wrinkles and folds in carpeting. Be aware of uneven sidewalks and pavement outdoors. Ask a family member or friend to clear ice and snow from outside stairs and walkways and always use handrails if available. Step carefully.

•Wear sturdy, well-fitting low-heeled shoes with non-slip soles. They are safer than slippers, stocking feet, high heels, or thick soled athletic shoes

•Have heating equipment, chimney and stove inspected and cleaned by a certified HVAC technician and/or chimney sweep every fall just before heating season.

•Test your Smoke and CO alarms and replace batteries if needed. Refer to manufacturer’s instructions

•Allow ashes to COOL before disposing of them. Four days or 96 hours is the minimum recommended cooling period for ashes.

•Place completely cooled ashes in a covered metal container. Keep the container at least ten feet away from the home and other buildings. They should never be disposed of in a plastic garbage box or can, a cardboard box, or paper grocery bag. Never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes. The metal container should be placed away from anything flammable. It should not be placed next to a firewood pile, up against or in the garage, on or under a wood deck, or under a porch. After sitting for a week in the metal container, check them again to be sure that they are cool. If so, the ashes are then safe to dispose of in your trash. Ask your local Fire District if they have an Ash Can Program.

•As a safety precaution keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from a fireplace, wood stove, or any other heating appliance, and create a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires. It is important to make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying, and never leave a fire unattended, particularly when children are present.

We hope this safety information helps you and your family to prepare and plan for whatever comes our way.  And, if you ever need advice on key features to include in the design of your mountain home, do reach out.

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

How To Get A Permit to Build A Boat Dock or Buoy Mooring in Lake Tahoe

This past year it seems like the world moved to Lake Tahoe to enjoy the lifestyle that comes with living and working throughout the High Sierra.  Within this ‘dream-like lifestyle,’ comes visions of working in the morning and heading out on the Lake for an afternoon of wake surfing or waterskiing.

As one who has lived here for over 30 years, and designed lakefront homes at Lake Tahoe, this lifestyle is real and very doable.

However, slipping out onto the crystal clear waters from your own boat dock doesn’t come easy for those who have purchased a Lakefront home and want to add a pier and/or buoy mooring just outside of one’s home office.  Living within the Lake Tahoe Watershed comes with from pretty stringent rules – all for good reasons – to keep the Lake as pristine as it is today.

To secure a permit to build a boat dock or get a mooring is like winning the lottery, yet can be done.

Within the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s website is a section that will help you to better understand the steps one must take to POSSIBLY secure a permit to build your dream dock.  Here are some highlights from their website.

All moorings including buoys, boat lifts, and boat slips are subject to annual registration fees paid through this system. New moorings require a TRPA permit and existing moorings must be registered and/or permitted through the Phase 1 process below.

Allocation of New Moorings

As part of the Shoreline Plan, TRPA may permit up to a maximum of 2,116 additional (new) moorings. Allowable moorings include buoys, boat lifts, and boat slips and are distributed through the following pools:

  • 1,486 private moorings (buoys or boat lifts)
  • 330 marina moorings (buoys or boat slips)
  • 300 public agency moorings (buoys or boat slips)

New mooring allocations will be released in accordance with TRPA Code of Ordinances 84.3.2.E.4: a maximum of fifteen (15) percent of the available moorings from each of the three pools can be allocated annually.

Eligibility Criteria

Private moorings

Single-family parcels:

  • Up to two moorings per parcel; existing moorings count towards maximum moorings allowed
  • Littoral – single-family parcel must adjoin or abut the high water elevation of Lake Tahoe
  • Best Management Practices (BMPs) Certificate – The littoral parcel must have a BMP Certificate of Completion prior to entering the mooring lottery. You can check the BMP compliance status on the TRPA Parcel Tracker. For more information on BMPs or to request assistance from TRPA’s Stormwater Management Program, please visit tahoebmp.org or call the BMP hotline at (775) 589-5202.

In addition, private moorings must comply with all eligibility, capacity, mitigation, development and location standards of TRPA Code of Ordinances Chapters 80-85, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Located outside a Stream-mouth Protection Zone
  • Boat lifts: one per parcel on an existing pier, up to four
  • Mooring buoys:
    • At least 50 feet from another mooring buoy (50-foot grid spacing for buoy fields)
    • At least 20 feet from adjacent littoral parcel projection line boundaries
    • Buoys not in buoy fields: No greater than 600 feet lakeward from elevation 6,220 feet Lake Tahoe Datum, as measured horizontally, or no farther lakeward than elevation 6,210 feet Lake Tahoe Datum, whichever is less
    • Buoy fields: No greater than 600 feet lakeward from elevation 6,220 feet Lake Tahoe Datum, as measured horizontally, and does not exceed the maximum buoy field size (derived from littoral HOA parcel dimensions)
On behalf of our team at our architect firm serving Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and Carson City, NV, we are here to help you build the home of your dreams, be it on the lake, golf course, or high atop the High Sierra.

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

Why the TRPA Parcel Tracker is Important to You

Mountain Home Design in Incline Village

Mountain Home Design in Incline Village

As an architectural firm that offers services above normal expectations, Borelli Architecture in Incline Village, NV, uses its collective talents and local knowledge to professionally complete each project.  Why is this important to you?

When one begins to build a home in our environmentally sensitive area, there are rules and regulations that are uniquely uncommon throughout the Tahoe Basin and its protected Watershed.  That said, long before we start to design homes for our clients, we review the property first.

Using the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s “Parcel Tracker,” we can learn all about the lot’s location and what environmental projects may affect or enhance the property’s design.  This list includes deed restrictions, land capability information, development rights associated with the parcel, and a summary of TRPA permit records.

After securing these important details, we meet with our clients to review the findings and proceed on not just the design of the home, yet these important services as well:

  • Site Planning
  • Space Planning
  • Permit Processing Assistance
  • TRPA Feasibility Studies
  • Contractor Selection and Bidding Assistance
  • Construction Administration Service

If you are thinking about buying property in Lake Tahoe, Carson City, or the Truckee Region, we will be here to help you assess your property and provide local insight into your local county and environmental regulations.

On behalf of our team at our architect firm serving Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and Carson City, NV, we look forward to sharing that insight with you.

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

Lake Tahoe, Truckee Welcoming Tourists To Return This Fall

Things to do in the Fall in Lake Tahoe and Truckee

As the fall season kicks into full gear, the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee communities are welcoming the return of “tourist season” that was put on hold as our courageous firefighters and support teams focused on saving the Lake and surrounding Sierra.

Within the message to all to come to enjoy our colorful season comes an equal message to come back safely.

Below you will find important information brought you via this blog from our architect firm in Truckee and Lake Tahoe that is posted on the VisitTruckeeTahoe.com website.  We encourage all our clients and friends to take a few moments to read this important information.  Within the context are some new programs that we think you may want to be a part of as you return to the High Sierra to enjoy our colorful season and support our local businesses who will welcome you with open arms!

2021 Sustainable Truckee Programs & Partners

(1) Daily Truckee Travel Alert

We coordinate with several partners and land management agencies to ensure you get key alerts, safety messages, and information about wildfire preparedness, weather, business status, trails, events and more for Truckee, California. This page is maintained daily with need to know information for visitors and residents. Know before you go.

VIEW TRUCKEE TRAVEL ALERT

(2) Sustainable Truckee – Trail Host Ambassador Program

Ambassadors are stationed and patrolling key Truckee trailheads to educate and inform trail users on how to Recreate Responsibly. In addition, ambassadors keep a sharp eye out for illegal campfires. Managing partner Truckee Trails Foundation. Funding partner Truckee Fire Protection District.

(3) Sustainable Truckee – Trailhead Signage Program

Signs created in partnership with USFS, Truckee Fire Protection District, and the Truckee Trails Foundation are posted at 18 trailheads with the objectives of mitigating wildfire danger, trash and cultivating a friendly/positive outdoor experience. Funding partner Truckee Fire Protection District.

(4) Sustainable Truckee – Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (STORC)

A collaborative that brings key Truckee stakeholders together to provide support and resources, establish unified messaging, and solve issues around high-use, peak period outdoor recreation. Funding partners: Visit Truckee-Tahoe, Nevada County, Town of Truckee, Truckee Donner Land Trust, Truckee Tahoe Airport District.

(5) Sustainable Truckee – Historic Downtown Flagpole Banners

Along the main street, you will see multiple outdoor nature and wildlife images on lampposts with the message “Take Care”. Sixty-one poles promote a protect, preserve and take care of our natural environment message.

(6) Local Voices Making Climate Choices

Sustainable Truckee features Truckee-Tahoe locals and highlights how our community lives sustainably.  Everyone, including visitors, are welcome to join!

MEET LOCALS & JOIN US!

(7) Focused Visitor Messaging “Recreate Responsibly”

We’re joining a local, regional, and national effort to amplify the Recreate Responsibly guidelines and encourage responsible travel.

HOW TO RECREATE RESPONSIBLY

(8) Truckee-Tahoe Traveler Responsibility Pledge

A regional pledge that encourages visitors to become responsible travelers through six action items: Become a Steward of Truckee-Tahoe, Respect the Environment, Stay Educated, Keep Wildlife Wild, Be Fire Safe, Demonstrate Mindful Travel.

TAKE THE PLEDGE

(9) Voluntourism Opportunities

A list of easy ways to get involved and volunteer with local, Truckee-Tahoe nonprofits. Meet locals and spend a few hours doing something completely unique and memorable on your vacation. On your own, and “drop in” opportunities available.

VIEW VOLUNTOURISM LIST

(10) Truckee Outdoor Recreation Summer Map

Comprehensive trail map detailing safety, trail etiquette, and orientation to popular and off the beaten path trails in and nearby Truckee. In development.

On behalf of our team at our architect firm serving Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and Carson City, NV, we look forward to sharing all there is to do and see in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee, CA this fall.

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

How to Help Families Who Lost Their Home During the Caldor Fire

Caldor Fire in Lake Tahoe

Caldor Fire in Lake Tahoe

As of this morning, things are looking much brighter for those whose homes were in the path of the Caldor Fire.  For those who won’t return as their homes are beyond repair or no longer exist, we are reaching out to all our clients and connections to share this important post from our friends at TahoeFund.org.

Please take the time to review this announcement and if you want to contribute, just follow the links for complete details.

Caldor Relief – How You Can Help

As we are all watching the Caldor Fire situation, many people are asking how they can help. Although firefighters and first responders greatly appreciate the generosity and kindness of donations, firefighting agencies are fully supplied with everything they need. Donations from the public are logistically complicated to accept and firefighting agencies do not have the capacity to do so.
Locally, Tahoe Family Solutions and Cornerstone Church are accepting goods to support family needs. Stop by the TFS Thrift Shop on Southwood Boulevard for the most current list of things they are distributing to families throughout Lake Tahoe.
If you would like to offer assistance to those affected by the Caldor Fire, donations are best directed towards evacuees. Here are funds that are helping victims of the Caldor Fire:
El Dorado Community Foundation – The El Dorado County Community Foundation set up a Caldor Fire Fund. All donations go to families and individuals impacted by the fire. You can donate here. (https://edcf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1792)
The American Red Cross – The American Red Cross is staffing evacuation centers and providing support for evacuees of the Caldor Fire. You can donate here (https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/abc10-pub.html/).
Placer Food Bank – The Placer Food Bank is on the front lines of emergency food response/distribution to those impacted by the River and Caldor Fires. You can donate here. (https://donate.placerfoodbank.org/for/pfb?_ga=2.168769441.1692671111.1585586084-667740226.1583304010)
Food Bank of Northern Nevada – The Food Bank of Northern Nevada is offering food assistance for Caldor Fire evacuees. You can donate here. (https://give.fbnn.org/for/zcjkyj/)
Monitor Incident Information – Stay up to date on the current acreage, containment statistics, evacuation information, and more by visiting the incident link tree (https://linktr.ee/IMT6). For the latest Caldor Incident information, attend a live CAL FIRE AEU community meeting daily at 5 PM at www.facebook.com/CALFIREAEU.
On behalf of our team at our architect firm serving Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and Carson City, NV, we encourage you to support our community and families who need it most.

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

 

Mountain Modern Home Designs Trending in Lake Tahoe

Mountain Modern Home Design by Borelli Architecuture in Lake Tahoe

 

Mountain Modern Home Design by Borelli Architecuture in Lake Tahoe

As the world seems to be flocking to the High Sierra for all the right reasons, our designers at Borelli Architecture are seeing a dramatic increase in the appeal of the Mountain Modern home design in and around Lake Tahoe.

Right now, we are working on a project in the higher elevation of the prestigious community of Incline  Village, NV.  The photo pictured above is the rendering of a 4,600 square foot contemporary residence. In addition to the spectacular lake views, the property affords a setting that deserves expansive windows and natural exterior materials that include cedar siding, Ledgeston, and standing seam metal roofing.

The inside reflects the owners’ desires to live a comfortable, year-round lifestyle.  Located on the lower floor is a large, two-story kitchen/dining/living area that opens up to a partially covered outdoor living area. The master bedroom suite and den are also located on the lower floor.

Upstairs was carefully planned and designed for company – which is a must when you live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet!

The upper floor has three guest bedroom suites, a kid’s bunkroom/TV room, and a workout room that can also double as a guest bedroom suite.

If you are thinking about building or remodeling a home in the mountains, and have a specific interest to locate an architect firm in Lake Tahoe that designs mountain modern homes, we welcome the opportunity to show you our portfolio.

Feel free to reach out at any time for a complimentary consultation.

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

How to Get Trees Removed from Your Property in Tahoe

Tree Removal at Lake Tahoe

Within our last blog we provided you with details on how to prepare your home for wildfire season.  Within a week’s time, we received calls at our architecture firm in Incline Village and North Lake Tahoe as to how to get trees removed from property.  So we did a little research.  The following information was gleaned from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency website – to which we will give full credit for the content.  In addition to the details below, there is lots of information on their site to help you be a good steward of the land.

When it comes to securing a permit to build your home, or other environmental requirements that are mandated with the Tahoe Basin, our team at Borelli Architect firm in Lake Tahoe and Carson City provides that service to you.  For a complete list of the benefits that come with working with our team, click into our website right here.

In the meantime, here are the specifics as to how to get trees removed from your property with the Basin.

When is a tree removal permit needed?

Tree Size

A permit is required to remove live trees greater than 14 inches diameter at breast height (DBH) as long as the house is not along the lakeshore.

If the house is along the lakeshore, a permit is required to remove trees greater than 6 inches DBH between the house and the lake. Trees not between the house and the lake only need a tree removal permit if they are live trees greater than 14 inches DBH.

Trees of any size that were planted or retained as part of a permit, or that are in a Stream Environment Zone or backshore area, require a permit for removal. The backshore area is the sensitive area adjacent to the Lake.

Dead Trees

Removal of a dead tree that could fall on a house does not require a permit. A conifer is considered to be dead when it doesn’t have any green needles. A deciduous tree must be determined to be dead by a qualified forester.  To remove a dead tree that isn’t near a house, contact a TRPA forester to determine if a permit is required.

Substantial Trimming

A permit is required for removal of branches from the upper 2/3 of the total height of the tree, unless the branch:

  • Is within 10 feet of a chimney outlet, building or deck
  • Is rubbing or pulling on utility lines within your property boundary (always consult your power company before removing branches near utility lines)
  • Is dead

Sensitive Areas

Any manipulation of live vegetation within SEZs or the backshore of Lake Tahoe, including trees and shrubs, requires TRPA review.

Construction Projects

Trees that are permitted for removal as part of a development project do not need a separate tree removal permit.

How to Determine DBH

DBH stands for “diameter at breast height.” Breast height is 4.5 feet off the ground, measured on the uphill side of the tree. Measure around the outside of the tree at breast height to determine the circumference, and then divide that number by 3.14 to get the diameter. A tree with a diameter of 14 inches has a circumference of 43.9 inches.

In conclusion, never hesitate to contact our architecture and design firm in Tahoe.  We have lived and worked in the Basin for over 30 years and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about mountain home design or the numerous regulations that you need to adhere to when you are ready to build or remodel your home in Lake Tahoe.

 

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

Fire Prevention Tips – Living with Fire

 

With an extremely low snow year behind us, fire prevention and preparation is top of mind for all of us who live in the Tahoe Basin.

In an effort to help us all be prepared, I am sharing a blog from last year that is just as relevant, if not more so, this year.

The following article  written by Tia Rancourt, Public Education/Information Officer, for the North Lake Tahoe Fire District.  If you would like more information, please contact her directly at 775-813-8106, trancourt@nltfpd.net

WEATHER & FIRE SAFETY INFORMATION – PREPARING FOR FIRE EVACUATION

As we have been experiencing lately, fires started by lightning peak in the summer months and in the late afternoon and early evening. Know what to do to keep you and your family safe when storms strike.

  • If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Look for shelter inside a home, large building, or a hard-topped vehicle right away.
  • Do not go under trees for shelter. There is no place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder before leaving your shelter.
  • Stay away from windows and doors. Stay off porches.
  • There is no safe place outside. Places with only a roof on sports fields, golf courses, and picnic areas are not safe during a lightning storm. Small sheds should not be used.
  • If a person is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1. Get medical help right away.

Facts & figures from National Fire Protection Association:

  • During 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 22,600 fires started by lightning. These fires caused annual averages of
    • 9 civilian deaths
    • 53 civilian injuries
    • $451 million in direct property damage
  • Fires started by lightning peak in the summer months and in the late afternoon and early evening.
  • For more information on lightning safety please visit www.nfpa.org.

Please keep in mind that with the drier than normal conditions this summer, it is important to create and maintain defensible space around your home. Visit tahoelivingwithfire.com for more information and “Fight fire with a plan.”

Prepare your family, property, and possessions now before a wildfire starts by creating a plan:

  • Develop a family evacuation plan
  • Create and maintain defensible space
  • Assemble a Go-bag and a disaster supply kit for your home and vehicle
  • Sign up for emergency notifications for residents and visitors and stay informed
  • Reduce the threat of wildfire by learning about embers and how to harden your home.

If you plan on water recreation activities on Lake Tahoe, please remember the temperature can be colder than most, as it is an Alpine lake. Whether boating, jet skiing, kayaking, rafting, paddle boarding or swimming, it is important to inform yourself about the colder temperatures and the forecasted weather as it can change very quickly, please visit National Weather Service.

On behalf of our entire team at Borelli Architecture in Incline Village on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, we encourage you to take preventative measures as noted above.  Be safe.

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