Both outside and in, we think our home designs offer qualities and features that are not generally found in other stock plans. The most noticeable thing is that our homes accomplish more – more bedrooms, and more useable living area – with less overall square footage than other conventional homes on the market.
Because we draw our design inspiration largely from enduring classics such as the shingle, craftsman, and prairie styles, the architecture of each BC Mountain Home is timeless, and presuming regular maintenance will continue to look ageless 10, 20, or 50 years from now.
But there are many other reasons why our homes stand out. We invite you to read on….
From the outside, the most prominent feature of our homes is probably the roof. Whether it is a steeply-pitched open gable or a low-slope hipped roof, it is designed to give a sense of shelter and protection and to connect the building visually with the ground plane. Overhangs are generous, providing protection from the sun and weather, and fascias are substantial and in proportion with the scale of the roof.
We take care in the overall massing of each home, striving to create a well-proportioned, grounded form that looks graceful and harmonious in the landscape.
Most BC Mountain Homes designs include covered outdoor living spaces, which visually extend the inside rooms out and make the home feel bigger. At the same time, they extend the possible season for outdoor life well into the spring and fall. In addition, porches or gabled pediments provide good protection from the elements at the entrances. To avoid confusion about where to enter the home, as well as to impart a sense of welcome, the principal entry door is always clearly defined.
Unlike many homes where all the design attention is lavished on an impressive front facade, on our homes all building faces are given full consideration, the pattern of windows is carefully composed, symmetries are developed, and harmony and balance are sought from every vantage point.
Finally, there is attention paid to details throughout. Whether it is with timber brackets, post and beam work, trim around windows and doors, decorative shingles, or built-up fascia boards, each plan provides many opportunities to develop architectural interest and character.
Moving to the inside, the first thing you will notice is that each plan gives careful consideration to the main entrance to the home. There you will find a clearly-defined entry hall with coat and boot storage nearby and often a bench or hall table. Some of our larger country homes also have a “mud room” adjacent to this area for the extra gear that inevitably accumulates. In every case, care is taken to ensure main living areas are not visible from the entrance.
Once into the house, there is usually a progression of spaces from public to private, with entertaining and daily living spaces closest to the entry, and bedrooms further away.
Everywhere, interior views are carefully composed, with great care taken in the horizontal and vertical alignment of doors and windows, hallways, trim, and featured details. Unlike the boxy rectangular, enclosed rooms of the past, our homes take advantage of semi-open floor plans and long diagonal views to make rooms feel bigger than they actually are. By using archways, decorative beams, partial-height walls, different ceiling heights, and dropped floors, each room is given definition while retaining its sense of openness.
The principal staircase is often used to bring light down from skylights or upper floor windows, and most rooms have natural light coming from at least two sides.
Many of our homes have built-in cabinets and shelves and carefully detailed interior features like arches between rooms, and exposed timber posts and beams.
Our kitchens are generous in size and very functional and pleasant places to be in. Where possible they have a good view of the entrance, often east (morning) light, and proximity to outdoor spaces. Most are “country kitchens” combining food preparation and dining in one versatile space to reflect the way modern families tend to live.
Living rooms tend to be intimate rather than grandiose, made for comfortable conversation, reading, watching television, and family gathering. In many plans, provision is made for a wood-burning or gas fireplace or heater.
Keeping with the idea of separating public from private realms, bedrooms are generally kept apart from busy living areas, and are most often located upstairs. Here again, sizes tend to be cozy rather than impressive. Often, upper floor bedrooms – particularly secondary bedrooms – have partially-sloping ceilings which create visually interesting and very usable spaces.
Smaller rooms have at least 4 feet of closet space while the master bedroom has at least 8 to 10 feet and many have walk-in closets. Wherever possible, bedrooms, too, have windows on two sides for light and natural cross-ventilation. Linen storage is provided close by.
Responding to what is probably the number one complaint about modern housing, we make adequate storage a priority and put every niche and nook to work for closets, cupboards, and shelves.
Finally, most of our plans can be constructed on crawlspace or full basement foundations. Where conditions allow, basement spaces with natural daylight and ventilation greatly extend the useable floor area without greatly adding to costs.
Given their modest size, we think these features make BC Mountain Homes exceptionally liveable.
A Note about Garages
You may notice that few BC Mountain Homes plans include built-in carports or garages. Although the automobile is an essential aspect of modern life, we feel that too many contemporary homes sacrifice both aesthetics and “friendliness” by making the garage structure and/or its doors the most prominent feature facing the street. We think the problem of where to put our vehicles can be addressed in other ways.
One solution is to construct a separate structure that is either free-standing or connected to the house by an open breezeway or an enclosed, lower-roofed vestibule. (Plans for garages or carport structures which complement the architecture of the various homes in our catalogue are available. Please contact us.) Another option – which is best suited to sloping lots but can also be employed on level lots where space allows-is to employ part of the basement level for vehicular storage. Our Ponderosa plan has been designed with this in mind; versions of the Nasookin and Balfour plans have also been prepared this way. Finally, depending on the size of your lot, it is often possible to integrate a fully attached garage which ties in seamlessly with any of the homes in our catalogue. Our designers will be happy to provide you with illustrations of different options.