Photo courtesy of Humboldt Sawmill

Scott Harvey knew this residential design project was going to be … well, different after his initial chat with the owner.

The Colorado Springs-based architect-engineer and principal of Art of Engineering signed-off the call and immediately understood the next steps.

It was time to put on his mechanic’s hat.

“The project came to us in an odd way,” Harvey recalls. “The owner commissioned the design concept from an out of state architect. Then that home design was presented to a local architect and engineer for the formal construction plans.”

That’s where things got tricky.

The general contractor, Chad Fieber, owner and operator of Palmer Ridge Construction, was already on board. The custom homebuilder is well respected in the Colorado Springs area. Fieber limits his projects to six or seven homes a year. The pace allows him to personally manage every aspect of construction. His homes typically sell in the $1 million to $2 million range.

Middle Ground

Fieber determined the initial construction plan wasn’t something he could build. “What they wanted to do had a lot of commercial aspects to it. Too many commercial requirements affects the budget. I couldn’t build what they wanted on budget,” Fieber says. At that point, a call was made to Harvey. Could he find the middle ground between vision and budget?

“Chad determined he couldn’t build it from those plans,” Harvey explains. “He expressed concern over lack of plan detail, precision, and system conflicts. I was able to come in and address those shortcomings. That gave the owner and Chad the confidence to move forward.”

Echoes of South Beach

The design was for a 10,538-square-foot, seven-bedroom custom home in Monument, Colo. The modern style home hints at a South Beach art deco vibe, given the expansive glazing, crisp bold lines, and white unadorned stucco finish.

The exterior aesthetic also featured a striking design element that provided a warm, even playful contrast to the sea of white. That signature effect was a continuous, seamless band of wood cladding running non-stop from the exterior through the interior.

Fieber says it was a challenging condition to work out, but he and his crew were able to complete the vision. The owner initially lobbied for ipe, an exotic hardwood. The builder gently argued against it.

Photo courtesy of Humboldt Sawmill

Touch of Redwood

“Instead, we considered more sustainable species—cedar, pine, and redwood. I spoke with the owner and we agreed on redwood. I called Humboldt Sawmill, a large Forest Stewardship Council (FSC C013133) certified redwood producer. They proved easy to work with. They transported the raw lumber to a dealer in Colorado where I had it milled locally to the design requirements,” reports Fieber.

Why redwood? “It checks all the boxes,” says Fieber. “Aesthetics, price, and availability made sense. No stain was required, either. Just two coats of clear sealer.” Adds Harvey, “Redwood creates highlights that are endearing. It’s also sustainable.”

The journey from design to completion may have taken the long way around, but all are pleased with the outcome. “This is a beautiful home and worthy of the family’s desires,” Harvey says.

Learn more about how the beauty, resilience, and availability of redwood can enhance your next design project.