Smaller footprint custom home has big appeal
By David Reese, Montana's Finest Homes
The town of Big Sky is notched out of a wide, open valley at the base of Lone Mountain. Like the town itself, this home by Rocky Mountain Rustics is carved out of nature. Set on a hillside just across the Gallatin River from Big Sky, the home typifies Rocky Mountain elegance.
Dove-tailed timbers form the frame of the home, and the timber accents are brought inside in true timber frame fashion. The cabin has a gabled roof, and the builders added two shed roofs that cover the porches on either side of the home.
In the kitchen you see some creativity with recycled wood. Rocky Mountain Rustics used a recycled snow fence and put a waxed finish on it. They accent the granite countertops and high-end appliances. Anchoring the living room is a tall, dry-stacked rock fireplace.
The home is small by comparison to other mansions around Big Sky, but in this case, less is more. And that's something that Rocky Mountain Rustics owner Chad Rothacher is seeing more of: people wanting a smaller footprint on the land and, of course, a smaller construction budget.
“We're doing all the same kind of building, but less of it,” Rothacher said. “All of a sudden in the last year, people are saying they want something small. The ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ kind of died with the economy.”
This means that Rocky Mountain Rustics is doing more homes in the 2,500-square-foot range, than in the 5,000-square-foot homes of yesterday.
The timber frame home in Big Sky’s Porcupine Park is testament to what can be accomplished with small spaces. The home features recycled wood, from the floors to trim. Much of the wood came from the company’s own mill in Sheridan, Montana, where they process the recycled barn wood. In contrast to the rustic style, the home also has a complete home-automation system that allows the owner to run his home by laptop computer.
The smaller-is-better approach appeals to people who want to live in Montana fulltime, and not just build huge spec homes. “With a smaller home like this, you get the feeling you've arrived, instead of larger homes, that when you step into, you say ‘where’s the bathroom?’” Rothacher said. “Building a home like this isn’t about making six figures on the big flip. It’s about a lifestyle. It’s about the skiing, the hiking, the fishing.”