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Posts Tagged ‘new homes’

When Christmas is a wrap, where do you put it?

by | December 22nd, 2015

When it comes to the holidays—like so many things in life—the build-up is so much more fun than the take-down. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah at your BackCountry home, chances are there’s some stowing away in your immediate future. Below are a few ideas to help streamline the process and make next year’s holiday set-up even easier. Cue the holiday music and eggnog one last time.

Holiday lights are the nemesis of many otherwise happy revelers. It seems as if they spend their off-season wriggling themselves into nasty knots. The solution? Wrap them neatly around sheets of cardboard before tucking them away. Or around a coffee can, poking the plug into the can through an ‘X’ cut into the plastic top. When it comes to those heavy-duty exterior holiday lights, keep them on a portable hose reel. The wheels and handle make them easy to maneuver around the yard while you decorate.

christmas light storage

Ornaments can be especially fragile (and chock-full of priceless memories), so storage that prevents jostling is crucial. Try an egg carton or apple box for your smaller round ornaments. Slip the larger flat ornaments into your stockings.

Real Christmas trees are (mercifully) tossed, but artificial trees occupy space in your basement all year long. Familyhandyman.com suggests sliding them neatly into sleek, 8” diameter concrete form tubes. So smart.

Décor, like wreaths, ribbons, and candles, needs a little creative TLC. While you can purchase specialty wreath boxes at places like the Container Storeyou can tackle that one for free. Slip the wreath over the neck of a coat hanger, then cover with a plastic dry cleaning bag to prevent a year’s worth of dust build-up. The same is true for larger items, such as a menorah or those awkwardly sized lawn reindeer—just save the dry cleaning bags or garment bags from your new suits and dresses.

Keep your big fancy bows from getting crimped by plumping out the loops with cardboard tubes wrapped in paper towels. You can use more of those paper towel tubes for storing slim candles or knee-high stockings for their larger counterparts.

Post-holiday sales can be a great opportunity to stock up on half-price gift wrap and bags. But where to keep them all—preferably uncrushed? One simple idea is to stash your gift wrap rolls in a nice-looking trash bin like this one. Or store them behind a wire closet shelf installed sideways behind a door jamb. Try hanging your gift bags from hooks on a tension rod in some out-of-the-way nook. This will keep them pristine and easy to choose from.

christmas wrapping storage tips

And if you want to take wrapping organization to a whole new, Martha Stewart-like level, watch her short video on how to create a “wrap and ship station.” It’s just as wonderfully persnickety as you imagine.

Lastly, some overall tips from Real Simple magazine. Label and color-code your boxes—think blue lids for Hanukkah and orange for Halloween. Have an “open first” label for the boxed essentials you need to kick off each holiday. Consider keeping a detailed content list for each box on your computer. And give yourself permission to toss or give away those items that never make it out of the box, year after year. After all, less stuff to put away means more time for more important things. Like eggnog. And sharing it with the people you love.

Why the best parties happen at BackCountry.

by | December 9th, 2015

Some might say BackCountry’s festive streak is simply a function of the fun, friendly people who tend to move there. Or the very active HOA that’s always cooking up special events to help neighbors get to know each other. All true, but there’s another factor involved: BackCountry offers perfect places for entertaining, both at the Sundial House and in residents’ own homes.

The Sundial House is an award-winning gathering place where residents not only meet for community events, but can host private parties. Several venues provide superb backdrops for gatherings large and small. In more temperate months, cocktails around the courtyard fire pit, looking out over thousands of acres of wilderness, makes for a pretty memorable get-together. You could also host a Broncos watch party at Pikes Pub and Lounge or a lively, interactive dinner party in the demonstration kitchen and dining room. The community room is large enough for a wedding, but with intimate conversation areas perfect for smaller gatherings. (Residents, find more information about reserving the Sundial House at www.backcountrylife.org or contact John Lyon at 303-346-2800 or jlyon@ccmcnet.com.)

That said, BackCountry homeowners have some amazing places to entertain right in their own homes. Visit any of the model homes and you may find yourself dreaming up the guest list for your housewarming party. Every Shea home is designed for great entertaining, both indoors and out, since the great outdoors is so breathtaking in BackCountry.

Within the Shadow Walk Collectionthe Somerset plan is made for entertaining. Guests can easily mingle in thoughtfully connected spaces, such as the formal dining room, morning room, great room, and this kitchen, with a rounded island and breakfast bar. 

BackCountryCO kitchen new home

A grand vaulted entrance welcomes guests to the Northern Sky model in the Water Dance Collection.

BackCountryCO foyer new home

Once the party gets going, everyone will find themselves gravitating toward this gourmet kitchen, where the spacious morning room easily seats eight and extends out into a covered outdoor dining terrace. The formal dining room and butler’s pantry complete the space, which is perfect for your more traditional holiday gatherings.

Kitchen and morning room

Also within the Water Dance Collection, the Solstice model offers a special twist for get-togethers. A spacious hearth room connects to the great room, kitchen, and dining area. With a dramatic fireplace as its focal point, the hearth room is an inviting place to break off from the crowd for an intimate conversation.

Hearth Room Art Lights BackCountryCO

BackCountry Colorado new home Overall

Those looking for ranch homes and low-maintenance living (more time for parties!) should peek into the Alize model in the Whispering Wind Collection

This plan has a large great room with fireplace and a morning room that accesses a covered dining terrace, which is perfect for Sunday brunch with friends. Evening might inspire parties downstairs in the finished basement that comes standard—a perfect place to share movies and popcorn or a game of pool.

Alize Basement

Parties at the Sundial House, parties at home…BackCountry offers several places to entertain guests. Discover your own party headquarters here.

Picture Your Pet | Official Rules

by | November 30th, 2015

Shea-Picture Your PetPicture Your Pet | Official Rules

Pets are important family members and can brighten our lives and our homes. This holiday season, we want to honor your four-legged, feathered, and scaly friends! Snap and submit a photo of your pet for a chance to win one of our fabulous prizes. Full contest details are below.

  1. From November 30 to December 11, 2015, enter a photo of your pet by posting it to the Facebook page of http://facebook.com/BackCountryCO. These photos can be of your pet in action, looking cute, showing off, hanging out with the family… Get creative! Add a caption to tell us a little bit about your pet and the photo. Please don’t forget to include your pet’s name.
  2. Only one entry per Facebook profile is accepted.
  3. Submissions will be gathered into a Facebook photo album located at http://facebook.com/BackCountryCO, which will be published on or around December 12, 2015. Photos must be received by 8 p.m. MST on December 11 to qualify.
  4. Voting is open from the time the photo album goes live until December 17, 2015. Vote for your favorites and encourage other non-furry family members and friends to vote too. To vote, voters will simply like their favorite photo. Please note: Only one action per Facebook account is considered as a vote.
  5. The contest is open to anyone age 13 years or older (per Facebook’s user requirements). Interested parties must enter and vote through Facebook. You are not required to be a Shea homeowner to participate, you are not required to visit a community or attend a sales presentation, and no purchase or fee is necessary to enter. Entrants must be legal residents of the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or U.S. territories and possessions. Void where prohibited. Employees of Shea Homes and its affiliates, and their immediate family members, are not eligible.
  6. By entering, entrants give permission for images to be used for marketing and promotion on social media platforms, on websites, and in e-newsletters.
  7. The photo with the most votes at the end of the voting period will receive a $100 gift card to Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch, photo with the second most votes will receive a $75 Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch gift card, and the photo with the third most votes will receive a $50 Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch gift card. Prizes are not redeemable for cash. This contest is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch, the Denver Dumb Friends League, or Facebook.
  8. Winners will be notified on or around December 18, 2015, via Facebook. Prizes will be sent directly to the winners, at no cost to them. Delivery may take up to three weeks. Winners are responsible for taxes, if applicable.
  9. In addition to the prizes awarded during the Picture Your Pet contest, BackCountryCO will donate $1 to the Denver Dumb Friends League for each new page like received from November 30-December 17, 2015.

In entering the contest you subject yourself to the Contest Rules and are deemed to have reviewed, read and accepted the Rules.

We look forward to seeing your wonderful pets!

A little help around the house

by | November 18th, 2015

Buying a high-quality new home can be a smart move for those with busy lives. Or really, anyone with more imaginative plans for the weekend than, say, updating electrical wiring or replacing old rain gutters. When you buy a new home at BackCountryyou’re free to focus on the fun parts of homeownership—such as personalizing a brand new home to your taste and lifestyle.

Basically, you get to be the boss of your home instead of it being the boss of you.

If you’re a homeowner—prospective, new, or experienced—you’ll find lots of inspiring ideas on Shea’s Home Hints Pinterest board. It’s chock-full of tips for home and yard maintenance, cleaning, décor, and home improvement projects to get everything just so. Below are some highlights.

Organizing
There’s no better time to get good organizational systems in place than when you first move into a home. Setting up your new kitchen can be the most time-intensive project, so check out this pin’s 20 ways to organize your kitchen. One example: use your dusty old CD storage rack to line up your Tupperware lids. Smart, right? Or, turn the side of a kitchen cabinet into a command center for paying bills and scheduling activities.

kitchen command center

Garages are another place to start off orderly, as they can quickly become an anxiety-producing catch-all. Try this easy-on-the-eyes system with “four steps to storage”: shelving, drawers, labeling, and containers.

These Three Organizing Tips You Haven’t Tried offer a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that system of folding clothes and an even larger lesson from decluttering and organizational sensation Marie Kondo. Author of the worldwide best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Kondo advocates asking of every item in your home, “does this item bring me joy?” If the answer is no, then express gratitude for the purpose the object once served and let it go.

Maintenance and cleaning
Built with state-of-the-art materials and processes, a new BackCountry home requires much less maintenance than an older home. But just like cars, all homes need regular maintenance for a long life. This handy list for monthly and seasonal “honey-dos” will keep your home in shape.

With the passing of time and repeated exposure to water, bathtub caulking will inevitably need a touch-upRunning a strip of blue painter’s tape on both sides of the caulking line beforehand ensures a straight line and minimizes the mess.

clean-shower-faucets-with-lemon

When it comes to keeping your nice new home clean, these 31 cleaning tips offer many unexpected suggestions. For example, cruddy showerheads get a makeover with white vinegar and a plastic baggy. If you’ve ever had a mildew odor emanating from your washing machine, you’ll want to read this. And while we’re on the topic of expert cleaning practices, note this list of 32 things you should be cleaning but aren’t (think sink stoppers and dust-coated bathroom exhaust fans).

Lawn and landscaping
If your new home has a lawn, you’ll want to know the best ways to get your yard ready for the snow and cold of winter. Fall is the time to fill in bare patches, get a handle on weeds, and fertilize. While it’s okay to prune out a few dead tree branches year-round, save your serious pruning until February or March. Get detailed instructions here. And this winter, start sketching out your plan for spring landscaping—if you’d like to add to your initial plan. This pin lists the five best low-maintenance plants.

get-your-yard-ready-for-winter

Want more handy homeowner information? Dig into an archive of BackCountry’s Home & Garden blog posts here

Is BackCountry right for you? Three questions to ask yourself.

by | October 21st, 2015

No man is an island, they say, and neither is a home. It’s critical that your “perfect home” be in a community that’s equally in sync with your tastes and lifestyle. Because, after all, you do have to go outside sometime.

If you’re considering BackCountry for your future home, ask yourself these three questions. They’ll help clarify what’s unique about the community and if it’s right for you.  

1. How important is the outdoors to you?
If you moved to Colorado for its natural beauty and endless outdoor activities, then go ahead and skip to question #2. In other words, run, do not walk, to BackCountry—you were made for each other. Otherwise, let’s explore this idea a bit. First of all, depending on how it’s situated, your home can offer magnificent sunset vistas of the mountains and foothills, which are easily accessed thanks to BackCountry’s southwest metro location near C-470. Also, within South Rimthe community’s private wilderness of 467 acres, you can walk, run, or ride bikes and spot all kinds of wildlife. Keep going and you’ll head straight into the Backcountry Wilderness Area, home to 26 miles of trails, more critters such as deer, elk, and wild turkey, as well as regular Highlands Ranch-organized activities such as archery, horseback riding, hikes, camping, and hunting. And if you just want a nice and easy after-dinner walk, stroll on one of the many winding trails within the neighborhood or visit one of the six parks.
On the other hand, if the Discovery Channel gives you all the nature you want, consider Question 2.

BackCountry map Highlands Ranch Colorado

2. Do you like to know your neighbors?
Like anyone else, hermits are welcome to live in BackCountry—but they sure will miss out on a lot of fun. BackCountry is a gated community, which helps to create an exceptional sense of friendliness. (In other words, why not talk to strangers? They’re all your neighbors.) Residents are quick to tell you how warm and welcoming people are here. Amenities such as a resort-style pool, the Sundial House community center with its pub and lounge, and the outdoor amphitheatre and network of trails, promote easy, frequent connections between residents. And an active HOA is always cooking up community-wide events, such as summer concerts, golf tournaments, art shows, and holiday parties, as well as more intimate gatherings such as book club meetings and empty nester potlucks.

3. How do you like your architecture?
Chances are, you didn’t answer that with “corner-cutting and cookie-cutter.” That’s good, because you just won’t find that in BackCountry, which was conceived of as a community with exceptionally high standards. Architecturally, the community feels cohesive with a Colorado-inspired emphasis on stone, stucco, and other natural materials that complement the area’s natural beauty. Varied neighborhoods, and within those, multiple floor plans and elevations, keep streetscapes as interesting as they are beautiful. And by being selective with builders, the community aims to keep quality (and home values) high. Our current builders include Shea Homes, whose homes range in price from the $500s to $700s, and Paragon Homes, which offers semi-custom living priced from $1 million. Additionally, seven builders offer custom homes at varying price points.

BACK COUNTRY WATER DANCE Exterior

So now that you’ve mulled over the possibility of living at BackCountry, maybe it’s time for a visit. Seeing the place—with its natural beauty, strong sense of community and high-quality homes—is the best way to definitively answer these questions, and any others you still have.      

September is sneaky. Winterize now.

by | September 22nd, 2015

In September, weather is even more unpredictable than usual. By the end of the month, average temperatures will have dropped 12 degrees. And while temperatures typically soar into the 90s for a day or two, snow shovels can make their first appearance.

If you’re new to BackCountry or Colorado, you’ll want to check out the winterizing tips below. Your beautiful new home and yard require just a little bit of attention this month. Then you can relax, knowing that everything is shipshape for the chilly season that lies ahead.

1) Tidy up your perennials. Colorado’s extreme temperature fluctuations and dry winds can brutalize many of our commonly planted perennials. And, as any long-suffering vegetable gardener will tell you, our first hard frost can land in September—which means that the foliage of most perennials starts to wither this month. If you prefer to remove dead foliage right away, gently apply mulch to protect the plant from the winter elements. (Always remove diseased foliage to avoid the spread of leaf-spot diseases and fungal problems.) Alternatively, you can wait to remove dead foliage in the spring.

2) Keep your plants hydrated. Our winter snows can be heavy and frequent…or irregular and insufficient. Make sure your landscape has the moisture it needs with a layer of mulch that’s several inches thick. Mulch should be coarse and loose, such as shredded leaves, to permit air movement to the roots. Become a mulch expert here. Also, water at least monthly under dry winter conditions. Apply water mid-day, and only when it’s 40 degrees or warmer.

flower bed mulch winterize

3) That goes for your trees, too. If you’re a new BackCountry owner, you should know that new trees are more susceptible to winter drought. Your trees will absorb water best with a slow soak into the soil to a depth of 12 inches. Apply water to many locations under the drip line and beyond, ideally with a deep-root fork or needle. Read the how-tos of tree and shrub watering here.

4) Replace your furnace filter. Even if you’re not turning on the heat yet, you will soon. Be ready for the chill with a nice, clean furnace filter so you can breathe easier and improve energy efficiency. By the way, you should do this every month, since a clean filter minimizes wear and tear on your furnace. Buy a bundle, so you have them ready. Mark the date on each new filter as you install it.

5) Unclog your gutters and downspouts. Naturally you’ll want to do a touch-up after all the autumn leaves have fallen, but cleaning out gutters and downspouts prevents serious damage from trapped rain, snow, and ice. Do it yourself if you’re comfortable, or play it safe and leave the climbing to a pro.

Clear out rain gutters for winter

6) Flush the water heater. Over time, particles and sediment can collect in the bottom of your water heater, hindering the unit’s efficiency. Flush the water through the drain valve to clear out the material and keep your heater healthy and long-lived. Because who wants a frigid shower on a cold morning? Watch this how-to video.

7) Rotate ceiling fans clockwise. And you thought ceiling fans were just for summer. Use these smart energy-savers year-round by reversing them in a clockwise direction. That way, fans will push the hot air near the ceiling down towards the floor.

8) Inspect your chimney. New Colorado fireplaces are gas-burning, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about the chimney altogether. Critters sometimes move in—which can spell disaster. Call a chimney sweep to inspect your chimney and clean out any hazardous debris.

9) Protect your pipes. Temperatures can get ugly around here fast, so don’t leave your pipes vulnerable to the freeze, thaw, and burst cycle—which can create a world of water damage and icky mold growing.  Weatherproof your plumbing by shutting off the supply of water to outdoor spigots and sprinkler systems, and then drain them. (Depending on your irrigation system, you may also need a contractor to blow out any excess moisture with compressed air.) Read more about how to protect your pipes while you’re away from home.

Water heater maintenance

10) Just say no to CO. That is, carbon monoxide. Before winter hits, make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and replace old batteries. If you cook on a gas range, use the fan on your stove hood to vent to the outside and reduce your carbon monoxide exposure. Adjust your burners so you get a nice blue flame; a yellow-tipped flame produces more emissions.

When your home is a hard hat area: Six tips for staying safe

by | September 16th, 2015

Somehow, watching a beautiful home rise from a hole in the ground just never grows old, even for the Shea construction crew. Of course it’s even more thrilling to watch when it’s your own new, BackCountry home.  More than the typical homebuilder, Shea encourages homebuyers to visit the construction site. Not only at four major milestones (welcome meeting, pre-drywall orientation, walkthrough, and delivery), but at additional, once-a-month visits too.  Safety precautions are essential at these busy construction sites though, says Jeff Palumbo, Shea Homes Colorado’s Manager of Safety and Environment. Here are Jeff’s six tips for staying safe while charting the progress of your home-to-be.

Shea Homes Colorado construction site

1) Sign in and suit up. Before visiting your home site, be sure to stop by the Shea sales office. A quick check-in ensures that Shea is aware of every customer onsite. Then they’ll help you gear up appropriately with a hard hat, high-visibility safety vest, and protective eyewear. Be sure to wear flat, closed-toe shoes to keep your feet safe.

2) Follow the buddy system. Monday through Saturday, all site visitors need to be accompanied by a Shea Homes representative. Sunday is our “fun day” (no Shea buddy necessary), but check-in at the sales office is still required.

3) Scope out the situation. Is the site muddy? Icy? Are there rain puddles you’ll want boots for? It’s smart to assess site conditions before stepping foot onto the property.

4) Keep your eyes on the prize. Always walk in the direction you’re looking. Backing up to get a broader view is tempting but dangerous, as you just don’t know what conditions exist behind you. Avoid open-hole areas altogether, as well as any areas where you might fall.

5) Stay together. If you’re touring in a group (after all, it’s fun to share the experience with friends and family), make sure you stay together. It’s also wise to designate one person as “safety lead,” keeping an eye out for the whole group. In general, children should not be onsite, but if they are, responsible parties must keep them by their side.

6) Leave rooftops to the professionals. Sure it may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. Never access the roof under any circumstances.

Construction safety Shea homes colorado

Here’s an extra tip, too: Take lots of pictures. Besides the joy of sharing the progress of your new BackCountry home with friends and family, photos will remind you of this potentially once-in-a-lifetime event. And besides, how often do you get to pose in a hardhat?

And don’t forget to share your photos with on Instagram or Facebook! Tag us @BackCountryCO and use the hashtag #BackCountryCO.

10 tips for babyproofing your new home

by | August 18th, 2015

Go ahead, pat yourself on the back. Buying a new home is one of the smartest safety decisions you can make for your child. Sure those vintage homes can be adorable, but the narrow stairs, cloth electrical wiring, lead pipes, lead-based paint, and asbestos? Not so much. Thankfully, you won’t have to deal with any of that drama in a new home!

New homes, like those in BackCountry, follow modern building codes that keep your family safe. After move-in, you may want to tailor your home further to keep the munchkins healthy and happy. First, let’s take a look in the kitchen, that pre-dinner playground where toddlers are tempted to cook up a bit of trouble.

baby proof home BackCountry

1. Use cabinet latches and locks.
Ideally, you’re going to move those toxic, under-sink cleaning products somewhere high and out of reach. If not, then be super-vigilant with keeping the cabinets latched, as well as other cabinets housing breakables and heavies. Of course, it’s a smart idea to leave a few cabinets unlatched with child-friendly plastic measuring cups, spoons and nesting bowls to buy yourself some precious cooking time.

2. Keep the pet food bowls behind a baby gate.
A bowl of hard, crunchy pet food looks so inviting to a kiddo, but it can be a real choking hazard. If you can’t separate the pet food from the living areas, stand by as your pet eats, then immediately remove the bowl. (And if you have stairs, you’re definitely going to need another baby gate.)

3. Install stove knob covers and a stove guard.
Kids do what they see parents do—which can lead to twisting stove knobs and pulling down hot, bubbling pots of pasta water. Avoid that scary scenario with devices that make the stove completely inaccessible.

In the living room:

4. Edit your houseplant collection.
While you want your child to eat his greens, there are limits. Some plants look tasty to a little one, but many common houseplants are actually poisonous. Give those bad boys to your single friends, or those with older kids, and avoid indiscriminate noshing of the rest by keeping all plants high and out of reach.

poisonous house plant

5. Soften sharp edges.
Coffee tables, hearths, TV stands, and window ledges can be right at eye level for short stacks. Cushion all those edges with corner guards until kids get a little taller and steadier on their feet.

6. Choose kid-friendly window treatments.
Window blinds get a bad rap due to choking deaths caused by dangling cords. They’re not off-limits if you choose blinds that are cordless. Other options include roller or motorized shades, or wood or composite shutters.

In the bathroom:

7. Lower your water heater to 120 degrees.
This helps prevent busy little hands from getting burned when cranking up the faucet. Of course, you should always test the water temperature before placing your child in the tub, too. And install an anti-scald device to the end of the bath spout and sink faucet.

8. Install a toilet lock.
These smart devices serve many purposes.  Little fingers don’t get smashed. No danger of accidental drowning. Prevention of icky, germy water play. And no flushing of toys down the toilet—common enough, as any plumber can attest.

9. Lock up your medicines.
First, see #1 regarding a latch on your medicine cabinet. Or if you opted for a cute bathroom mirror without a medicine cabinet, invest in a lockable medicine safe that can fit inside any cabinet or drawer.

medicine cabinet with lock

And basically, everywhere in your home:

10. Cover your electrical outlets.
Because inquiring minds want to know…if that thing makes the vacuum go, what will happen if I put this fork/finger/whatever in there? It happens. Outmaneuver your budding electrical engineer with these universal outlet covers, which slide shut when the outlet is not in use.

Paragon Homes Offers its Last Five Homes in BackCountry

by | August 14th, 2015

“Even though we’re technically building semi-custom homes, I think buyers will find that between our flexible designs and the scope of personalization we offer, they’ll be able to achieve exactly the home they’re envisioning and at a remarkable price point.”

That’s the description of Paragon Homes’ President Ed Venerable describing the five remaining opportunities to build one of his company’s Sanctuary Collection homes in the gated BackCountry community in Highlands Ranch.

“Whatever area of the home is most important to a buyer, the area they feel most passionate for, we create and execute a plan for a home that exceeds their wish list,” adds Venerable describing the process where buyers, along with the Paragon team, work within a footprint to create a home which reflects their individual tastes, wants and needs.

Paragon-Homes-Denver

An example of a Paragon home – just five opportunities remain to create a home with the builder in the gated BackCountry community in Highlands Ranch.

The Sanctuary Collection homes range from 3,200 to 5,000 square feet and are priced between $1.2 and $1.4 million. The five remaining home sites are non-walkout, each about one-third of an acre and all backing to open space.

Described as Colorado mountain contemporary, Paragon’s home collection is comprised of seven designs – two ranch plans as well as five two-story residences – that are notable for their oversized entertaining spaces, chef-worthy kitchens and walls of glass that, as Venerable explains, “blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces.”

Courtyards with water features and fireplaces, exposed beams, walls of stacked stone, and spa-like master baths are among the features garnering praise in the Built Green homes.

Adjacent to the 8,200-acre Backcountry Wilderness Area and located just south of the intersection of Broadway and Wildcat Reserve Parkway, the award-winning BackCountry neighborhood is a benchmark among the Front Range’s luxury communities.

BackCountry Beauty Mountains Trees

“BackCountry’s master design and vision, its rustic feel and atmosphere, and its dedication to quality and attention to detail really dovetailed with our company’s style and mission and is a big part of why we’ve enjoyed so much success here,” adds Venerable.

“The unmatched atmosphere in concert with our designs ensures the homes live comfortably for both entertaining and family life.”

Paragon Homes has been an award-winning, highly-acclaimed builder along the Front Range for more than two decades and counts hundreds of satisfied homeowners as clients.

BackCountry’s noteworthy amenities continue to progress and include the Sundial House, wilderness trails, the BackCountry Outdoor Pool and the community amphitheater.

The gated BackCountry community also draws from the fundamental strengths of Highlands Ranch’s highly-rated schools, convenient shopping, recreation centers, open space, trails, and a master planned hallmark approach for over three decades. BackCountry is situated on the last available land within Highlands Ranch. Easy access to C-470 puts residents minutes away from Highlands Ranch business parks, as well as Inverness, the Denver Tech Center, and other metro-Denver business hubs.

Begin your adventure by stopping at BackCountry’s Discovery Center, which can be reached by going south from C-470 on Broadway to just south of Wildcat Reserve Parkway onto BackCountry Drive and can be reached by calling 720-344-9600.  More information on BackCountry is available at www.backcountryco.com.

Two months, eleven parties

by | May 26th, 2015

Ten days after Larry and Val Hay moved into their new BackCountry home, while most of us would be struggling to unpack, they hosted their first party. And within two months—from November 1 to January 1—they had hosted eleven parties.

What’s that all about? While you’d never accuse these two of being introverts, apparently there’s something about BackCountry that makes people want to throw parties.

Friends at BackCountry

Val says, “We were never this big on entertaining before. But BackCountry is extra-friendly. It’s gated, so you know everyone you see is a neighbor. It’s just so easy to say ‘come over.’”

Larry agrees. “People walk by all the time, or we’ll just wave when people drive by and half the time they’ll stop to chat. Before you know it, we’ve invited them in and we’re sharing a beer or a glass of wine.”

a spacious Sunshower kitchen

Their home itself has also contributed to their entertaining ways. The Hays bought The Sunshower model, with an open flow between kitchen, dining room, and great room that allows for “lots of conversations going on,” says Val, and parties of up to 50—so far, anyway.

The kitchen itself is key, too. The Hays have an extended island—nine feet long, five feet wide—that they can fit lots of chairs around, plus three ovens and “a microwave that talks to you,” says Larry. This kitchen is a true playground for Val, whom Larry describes as an instinctive cook who can whip up anything from whatever’s in the spacious pantry.

Sunshower kitchen

But perhaps the biggest factor is the view, which is always the first thing they share with guests. Their home looks west into the mountains, giving them an epic, 45-mile view that includes Waterton Canyon, the Flatirons, Golden, and beyond. Fittingly, their kids gave them a telescope for Christmas. In fact, it was the view that sold them on the place.

One day, Val got a phone call at work from Larry asking if she had her checkbook. “Come over right now,” he said. He was standing on the site of their future home, gaping at the view. They reserved their lot that day, and then set about building a house to suit the spot. Which happened just as seamlessly.

Another Hay party

“We had a great experience,” says Larry. “We had lots of interaction with the superintendent and workers. Any concerns we had, they’d address right away. So by the time of the walk-through, our punch list was basically done.”

Val feels the same way about the design process. This was the first time she had a new home built and found it to be fun selecting among “so many selections.” She says, “Julie [the designer] was so helpful. We kept her running with our changes, but everyone was very patient. We are so happy with the way it all turned out.”

BackCountry entertaining

Now that spring is here, their parties can move out to the oversized patio, where guests can ogle at the views, sit around the firepit, and listen to the waterfall the couple had installed. If two months of winter inspired that many parties, can you imagine what summer will bring?

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