Building a luxury custom home is a significant undertaking no matter where you plan to build. Throughout the process, there are thousands of considerations and choices to make, the first of which are often about design and construction – two things that are greatly affected by your future home’s location.
Unlike beach houses or city homes, building a custom home in Park City means building in an often harsh climate at altitude in the mountains. These elements greatly affect both design and construction and should be addressed by a custom home builder with experience building in the mountains and in Park City, in particular.
Understanding Park City’s Mountainous Terrain
Excavation is by far the biggest hurdle for some Park City properties. Because you’re building in mountains – whether you’re on a hillside, in the surrounding foothills, or even in the basin – you’re dealing with uneven grades and sometimes very large rocks. Depending on the property and custom home design, excavation into the mountain may be necessary and extensive.
On top of that, luxury homes typically include larger pieces of land that need to be developed. For some Park City properties, you may also need to get creative in building access to the site (see Treasure Hill Hideaways).
To put it simply, excavation in Park City is unique and can be extremely difficult.
Winter Climate Considerations
Park City is home to the Greatest Snow on Earth – one of the many reasons people love living here or building second homes here. While wonderful for bluebird powder days, snowshoeing excursions, and snowmobiling adventures, Park City’s significant snowfall causes an inordinate amount of design considerations for roof design, waterproofing, and weatherproofing.
The first factor of roof design in Park City is snow mass. Luxury custom homes often feature impressive facades with overhangs, interesting rooflines, and roofs with multiple pitches. While that’s all and good, the roof can’t just look good – it needs to stand up to the weight of a Park City’s winter’s worth of snow. Even champagne powder gets heavy after melting and refreezing day after day.
Waterproofing & Weatherproofing
Waterproofing and weatherproofing are top to bottom issues for mountain homes. In addition to handling the weight of accumulated snow, a Park City roof must be properly waterproofed and weatherproofed to protect your custom home from snow and water infiltration.
Snowmelt – from the ground, heated driveways, and heated decks – can also be a serious issue for Park City homes. In addition to ensuring the lower levels of custom-built homes are watertight, having the forethought to grade and build so that snowmelt flows away from the home.
Altitude’s Effects on Your Home
While not a singular consideration like roof design or waterproofing, altitude exasperates all of the previously discussed building challenges. The most important decision you can make early on when building a luxury home in Park City is choosing a local, highly-experienced custom home builder who has built in Park City and understands all of the peculiarities of designing and constructing custom homes in our climate.
Unfortunately, even proficient contractors from other parts of Utah fail miserably because they don’t understand or know how to address the above issues.
Park City Home Zoning & Permit Process
Park City’s luxury home communities are impeccably designed and maintained. This is because each area and neighborhood within Park City requires its own significant zoning and permitting process. To keep our luxury communities up to par, each is very particular about their locality’s specific criteria. You can expect to make multiple submissions and answer questions from the city, county, and HOA to receive approval.
While this can be a seemingly daunting process to maneuver, an experienced Park City custom home builder will know the ins and outs of the process, including city, county, and HOA permitting and design requirements.
Historic Remodels in Old Town Park City
Old Town Park City has a magical charm that is unlike anywhere else – and Park City works hard to keep the historic nature of the neighborhood. If you’ve purchased a historic property in Old Town with the intent to knock it down and rebuild, you may be required to maintain the historic nature of the property and instead undertake an extensive remodel/addition.
If this is the case, you will need to go through an additional permitting process through the historic committee, which has its own special requirements for building in Old Town.
Building a luxury custom home in Park City takes time, money, and effort, but if you work with the right custom home builder, the process of building your Park City dream home can be thoroughly enjoyable.