Mountain Style homes are popular in our area because the design aesthetic blends well with our geography and the signature design elements of the Mountain Style homes can be used to bring lots of light into the living areas and to take full advantage of our breathtaking views.
Things to Consider when Buying a Mountain Style Home
Wood siding and Timbers
Similar to log homes, Mountain Style homes typically have wood siding exposed to the outside which is vulnerable to the elements. Many of these homes have architectural brackets and exposed timbers as well. Stained wood should be re-stained every 3 years and painted surfaces should be re-finished every 4-7 years. Improperly maintained siding and timbers will result in wood-destroying fungus, decay and framing damage. Wood sided homes should also be professionally treated for carpenter bees and other wood destroying insects at least once a year or as needed. Inadequately treated wood siding can result in damage from carpenter bees, woodpeckers, old house borers, powder post beetles, termites, and more. Maintaining the siding from the elements is the most important thing an owner of a Mountain Style Home can do to protect their investment.
Mountain Style Homes typically are located on steep sites in order to take advantage of surrounding views. Steep sites can present unique challenges to a home. An arborist should be consulted every 1-3 years to evaluate trees near the home in order to prevent falling trees or limbs. The grade should be directed away from the home at all sides to prevent water penetration into the crawl space or basement. Steep sites often need retaining walls and other erosion control measures to prevent water damage to the home over the long-term. Retaining walls over 4′ tall need to be designed/approved by a structural engineer. Steep sites can also present challenges to decks, patios, slabs and foundation walls. It is not uncommon to observe structural issues related to settling at the downhill side of homes on steep sites. Steep sites often have steep driveways- the buyer should verify that their vehicles can access the home during Winter conditions. The buyer should consider back-up heat and power sources like propane powered electric generators and gas/wood powered fireplaces. The buyer should also consider that private bridges, long driveways, and culverts need to be maintained and may become damaged or even fail or collapse during storm events.
Floor to Ceiling Windows
A distinctive feature of Mountain Style Homes is floor to ceiling windows at the gable end facing the view. Although this feature brightens the living area and provides stunning views, by design, it can also present maintenance challenges. The view side of the home is often exposed to more than typical sun, wind and rain– these elements can cause leaks, pre-mature wear and decay. Large windows can cause too much solar gain in the warmer months and too much energy loss in the colder months. Large custom windows are expensive and the energy seals of the trapezoidal windows near the gable ridge can fail pre-maturely. These large 2.5 story vaulted areas can sometimes exhibit settling because of the large spans involved.
Mountain Style Homes can be vulnerable to pests typically found in the country– rodents, squirrels and woodpeckers. Owners of Mountain Style Homes should consider regular pest control and treatment to help prevent infestation. Sometimes birds are prone to fly into larger windows and special mitigation measures will be needed. In some areas homeowners will need to ‘bear proof’ their garbage cans.
Second home considerations and limitations
Many Mountain Style Homes are second homes– the seller(s) may not be as familiar with issues as year-round seller/occupants. It is not uncommon for many of these homes to be ‘Winterized’ during the colder months- this is a process in which the water is shut off and plumbing fixtures are prevented from freezing. A ‘Winterized’ home can limit the inspection of the plumbing fixtures.
Asheville Mountain Style Home Inspectors
Builder Buddy is your resource for Mountain Style Home Inspections, Second Home Inspections, Vacation Home Inspections, and Mountain Cabin inspections in the Asheville area. We also provide Mountain Style Home Radon testing, Mountain Style Home Mold testing, Mountain Style Home Water testing, Mountain Style Home Well Inspections, and Mountain Style Home Septic Inspections. Schedule online or call with questions.