Big Sky Builders specializes in design/build
March 10, 2009
From Montana's Finest Homes
The heart and soul of what Bitterroot Design Group is all about can be summarized in two words: design and build. “Clients wish to put a team together between their architect and builder, hoping the two separate entities will work in total harmony,” explains Brett Mauri, owner of Bitterroot Design Group in Big Sky. “It doesn’t always work that way.”
It’s the nature of the beast, the essence of the industry that there will always be things that are drawn that really can’t be built as they are drawn, says Mauri. This is the advantage of the Bitterroot Design Group and their design-build philosophy. If there is a problem, their staff architects sit down face to face with their builders to get an instant solution to any potential architectural issues. This ability to expedite problem solving is an enormous advantage and cost benefit to their clients, Mauri says.
Their business relies on three components: architecture, construction and their log division. With a design staff of seven, over 50 craftsmen in their construction division, along with 20 people in their Bitterroot Valley-based log and timber division, Mauri has a team that can create their most valued goal: a happy client. “We care genuinely and deeply about the success of our projects,” Mauri says. “The cornerstone of our definition of success is that each and every one of our jobs ends with a happy client. If the client isn’t happy with their home, there is no other measure that would cause us to be successful. We apply this measurement on a daily basis.”
The Bitterroot Design Group is a second-generation business and is the largest independently owned design-build firm in Big Sky. Mauri’s first experience in building began with the remodel of the Trapp Family lodge in Stowe Vermont over 25 years ago. He started the log and timber division over 10 years ago and moved his design-build company to Big Sky in 2001, and works closely with his father, Jim Mauri.
Karen and Andy Roberts purchased their Spanish Peaks lot in 2004 and soon began looking for builders. What impressed them most about the Bitterroot Design Group was their approach to building homes. “We were 2,000 miles away, we’d never built a home before and what struck us most was their ability to work through the entire process.” Karen said. The Roberts have recently moved into their home. While they both appreciate the mountain styling of the exterior design work, what Karen loves most is her kitchen. She started out just wanting a brick alcove for their Aga stove, then Bitterroot Design Group suggested the couple make the whole wall in brick. “It really makes an impact. They were great at taking my ideas and making them better,” Karen added.
Building in Big Sky is mainly about an outdoor lifestyle. Bitterroot Design Group has just completed a second Spanish Peaks home that embraces this mountain west attitude. The company took a different aspect to this home because of the site. It’s almost a contemporary ranch with a mountain flavor. Sitting on a little over three acres, the home shares many characteristics of the area’s mountain architecture — thick Douglas fir plank siding, with Montana moss rock stonework and true post and beam timber framing.
This 5,000-square-foot home includes five bedrooms and a guest suite. A stone wall punctuated by an archway opens into the artfully decorated dining room. Here, distressed walnut floors run through the great room while circle-sawn tongue and groove graces the soaring ceiling. Pine-encased windows capture intimate views throughout the home while the galley-width hallway with its embedded timbers creates a tranquil divider between the master suite and the guest rooms.
This sophisticated yet delightfully cozy home certainly embraces the Big Sky lifestyle. It offers multiple decks, both on the main and second floor, a private guest suite fully equipped with its own kitchen and provides for the most important activity endeavored here — a fully equipped ski room and hot tub for après ski activities.
“There is a recognition of what has come to be known as a Bitterroot home,” Mauri says. “There is a distinction there and that is why our clients come to us to build their Big Sky mountain home.”