High tech meets the rugged hills in one mountain home, a recent Talmadge Construction, Inc. remodel. Lavender and rosemary still dot this sunny, level property, where donkeys bray in the corral, and pet cats prowl to keep other critters at bay. But after an extensive living quarters remodel, that sunshine now powers part of the home, finely crafted details make daily life a bit more gracious, and a fabulous, award-winning home theater addition brings the magic of movies home.
These homeowners had a happy history with Talmadge Construction. “They designed and built a new kitchen for us shortly after we moved in,” she remembers. “We were so impressed with how well it went – just as painless as it could be. A couple of years later we had them re-do the bathrooms and master bedroom.” So when they went to remodel the central part of the house and incorporate a home theater, they naturally turned to Talmadge.
“We decided to take advantage of our location and make choices to make our home more energy-efficient. In California, it’s nuts not to do it.” Talmadge Construction’s team of Certified Green Builders was up to the task at hand, installing a solar-assist tankless water heater and enough additional solar panels to power three-quarters of the house.
A radiant floor heating system was also added; a feature that particularly pleases the homeowners. “It gives up constant heat. Since it’s at the floor level, we can keep the thermostat lower than it used to be; it comes on for a couple of hours in the morning and evening. The cat seems to be able to sense the warm spots on the floor and loves to curl up over them.”
The newly efficient systems are a great success. “The solar offsets our propane usage for the radiant floor heat, and overall, our energy bill has been cut by two-thirds – even in the winter.”
The homeowner is proud to point out the loving details the Talmadge team thought to include in this living space remodel. Particularly stunning is the richly grained square-patterned wainscoting fashioned from cherry and maple designed by architect Danielle Grenier. “Danielle designed it and sorted it out how the squares landed on the wall. She just did a gorgeous job on it.”
“Here’s another thing that’s so impressive about the Talmadge team,” the homeowner continues, pointing out new wide-plank hardwood flooring in the formal living and dining rooms. “They thought to undercut the brick hearth of the woodstove so the planks could fit in underneath and make a clean line. That’s the thing that makes the expertise of Jeff’s people so invaluable. You don’t ever feel like they’re taking short cuts.”
Movie Night in the Mountains
Step through a 250-pound, sound-deadening door at one end of the great room into the ultimate showpiece of this project: an acoustically perfect (and incredibly comfortable) audio-visual paradise. “They created a world for us here – and it was an amazing amount of work!” says the homeowner of their new state-of-the-art theater.
Six plush, overstuffed, reclining chairs are positioned perfectly to view the eight-foot wide projection screen in comfort. Recessed lights on independent dimmers create the mood. Stretch micro-suede fabric covers the walls and ceiling, creating a rich atmosphere. The theater is completely clutter-free; all equipment is hidden behind coordinated cabinets, including their 300+ DVD collection, stored on a central computer capable of holding twice that amount. Movies are easily accessed from a touch-screen remote control. In addition, all the speakers, deflectors and baffles are hidden behind the fabric walls which provides the very rich surround sound. The movie screen itself is “acoustically transparent,” with a speaker system hidden behind it as well.
“We’re always using it,” the homeowner says. “It makes for nice, quiet evenings – you don’t really hear sounds outside, so you can isolate yourself. It’s also a great way to entertain; my brother and sister-in-law often come over for dinner and to watch a movie – anything from BBC Masterpiece productions to Kurasawa classics. I love French films and my husband is a big science fiction fan, and we’re both big Harry Potter fans, too.”
Bringing home an authentic movie-going experience perfectly suits the lifestyle of these homeowners. “It satisfies a couple of things for us,” she reflects. “We can watch what we want when we want to. And we’re really homebodies; now we can stay at home and enjoy our evenings together and enjoy a glass of wine with a movie. We only have one rule for the room – no phones allowed!
This home theater addition earned the 2008 META Award – Home Theater Addition – Platinum Award, the 2008 META Award – Home Theater Addition – Judges’ Choice, and the 2008 NARI Contractor of the Year Award – Western U.S.