2014 Professional Remodeler Design Awards Project of the Year: Neo-Groovy Getaway

Dubbe Moulder Architects and Hobbs Custom Builders transform a dark, dated ski chalet into a light-filled, spacious vacation home.

October 01, 2014
2014 Professional Remodeler Design Awards  Project of the Year: Neo-Groovy Getaway

It’s impossible to miss the remodeled home’s grand entry, which welcomes visitors into a foyer with a circular staircase. The exterior of the home was updated with a modern, curved roofline, and stacked-stone at the ground level.

The existing structure on this steep lot in Teton Village, Wyo., was one of the original ski homes built at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in the 1960s. Back in the day it would have been considered a cool ski chalet, but now it looked dated and dark.

The owners, David and Sandra Doughtie, have their primary residence in Sugar Land, Texas. They recognized the potential of the Wyoming property as a rental for ski enthusiasts in the winter and National Park visitors in the summer. Their goal was to transform the old house into an upscale vacation home they could also use for occasional getaways.

The Doughties enlisted architect Chris Moulder, principal of Dubbe Moulder Architects in Jackson, Wyo., to redesign the home, and Jerrod Hobbs of Hobbs Custom Builders, Alpine, Wyo., to execute the renovation.

The original house was 2,700 square feet and had three bedrooms and two bathrooms on three levels, including a basement. This design was unique for a ski chalet in the late 1960s, and the amenities were consistent with similar projects at the time.

“It was kind of a groovy place back [then],” he says. “Now it’s like a garage compared to the types of homes there. We wanted to bring it up to more of a modern-day groovy—like a neo-groovy.”

One of the biggest issues was the cramped, dark interior. Moulder, who is 6 feet 6 inches tall, had to duck his head to walk into some of the rooms. “There was a gigantic timber truss in the living room that looked as if it had been repurposed from an old railroad trestle bridge. That thing just hit you in the face,” he says.

Like most buildings in excess of 30 years old, the house turned out to have other problems that were revealed during demolition, including plumbing, wiring, and insulation. Moulder estimates there was, at best, R-19 insulation in the entire structure.

“When you have an environment with the potential to experience 150-degree temperature swings from winter to summer, you have to allow your projects to be insulated but also to breathe,” he says.

Maintenance and improvements to the existing home had been minimal, and nearly everything was original right down to the shag carpet. Surprisingly, the existing foundation was poured concrete rather than block (the norm for the ‘60s). Therefore, Hobbs left the old foundation intact and supplemented it as needed. The fixtures, appliances and floorcoverings weren’t salvageable, but he recycled some of the timbers for headers, posts, and other components of the new frame.

Approximately 75 percent of the original home was demolished, including the roof structure, which was replaced to create a modern, curved roofline. “We wanted to strike a different profile than [other homes in Teton Village], which have peaked or gabled roofs,” Moulder says.

The orientation of the house on the lot didn’t change, but because there was a low roof over a south-facing side wall that prevented sun from entering the house, Moulder elected to open up that wall to let in more light.

While the heavily wooded site doesn’t have long-range mountain views, the surrounding stands of spruce and fir are beautiful to behold. Hobbs installed larger, taller windows for watching the play of natural light as it filters through the tall trees.

Crowd pleaser

The redesign practically doubled the size of the original home and utilizes every level to the fullest. A 20-percent slope in the lot was optimized by a walkout lower level that includes a media room, laundry room, two bedrooms, and two full baths, plus a mudroom for transition from the garage into the home. On the first floor, the living room, dining room, and kitchen flow together. The living room has a fireplace and massive windows overlooking one of the large decks. The dining room table seats 10 people, with additional seating at the kitchen island.


Cabinets: Custom
Doors: Norco
Fireplace: Lennox
Garage Doors: Jeld-Wen
Housewrap: Tyvek
Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets: Kohler
Sinks: Kohler
Windows: Jeld-Wen

Moulder added a powder bath off the living room for convenience, and a second bedroom suite off the kitchen. There are two more bedroom suites on the second floor plus a game room.

A total of 2,400 square feet was added, including six bedrooms and 6½ baths. The remodeled entry is now on the main floor rather than in the basement and boasts a wide circular stairway that provides access to all three floors.

Thanks to these enhancements, the Blue Moose Ski Lodge—as the Doughties call it—can now handle large numbers of people. Because it comfortably sleeps up to 18 guests, two and even three families can stay there without feeling overcrowded. There are places for smaller groups to break off and socialize, such as the media room or game room, and also for individuals to retreat to read or watch TV. The outdoor living spaces were substantially upgraded and now include two large decks, a hot tub, and a fire pit.

The new home is not only fully compliant with building codes, but also very energy efficient.

“We were able to increase the insulation values tremendously,” Moulder says. The roof has a combination of rigid and spray polyurethane insulation that gives it an R-value of 49. Cellulose insulation replaced the old batts in the walls, resulting in an R-24 rating. The floors are now insulated to R-30.

The original single-pane windows were replaced with new metal-clad, double-pane windows. All of the plumbing fixtures are low flow, and there is in-floor radiant heat. According to Moulder, there’s no comparison between the energy performance of the new, high-efficiency HVAC system and the old baseboard heaters. 

Dubbe Moulder spent a total of eight months documenting the existing conditions and completing the schematic design, design development and construction documentation. Construction took 11½ months, beating the original projection of 14 months, Hobbs says.

The wow factor

The volume space created by the curved roof gives the home great interior impact, especially in the living room, where the barrel-vaulted ceiling is finished in wood. The tasteful interior appointments include hand-scraped hickory flooring and custom cherry kitchen cabinets. The floor in the foyer is a mix of hickory and 12-by-12 slate tiles, giving it a contemporary look while conveying the earthiness of the Jackson Hole area.

The home is sided in cedar, which will weather naturally over time. The stacked stone at ground level is white Austin limestone, which was shipped from Texas at the clients’ request. Leftover stone was used as a fireplace surround in the living room.

Hobbs crafted the circular staircase with its graceful metalwork as well as the inlay at the bottom of the stairs, which is based on a drawing that Sandra Doughtie showed him. The inlay captures the theme of the home, depicting a moose standing by the river in the moonlight with the Tetons on the west side and the Sleeping Indian Mountain on the east side.

The Blue Moose renovation is one of Dubbe Moulder’s most extreme makeover projects to date. Moulder says it was very rewarding in its successful integration of function and aesthetics.

Hobbs adds, “What came out really well is the collaboration between the architect and the homeowners. Dubbe Moulder did a great job of helping the clients reach their ultimate goal.”

The Doughties are partners in the Blue Moose with David’s brother, John, and John’s wife, Dana.

“We typically visit Jackson Hole two-to-three times a year,” Sandra says. “We have another house [there] and split our time between each home.” Rental activity has been brisk, she adds: During ski season, the lodge is booked 75 percent of the time.

“I love the street appeal of the home,” Sandra says. “I told Chris I wanted lots of stone and wood and a fantastic staircase. He had to work some magic because the home was a remodel, and he did an amazing job.” PR

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