DOUGLAS COUNTY • Between growing trees and melting snow, this round roof is a natural wonder in its own right.
So many other houses have rectangular or triangular ceilings. Circular thinks outside the box, like it contradicts what we know about how homes are built.
The interior can also be admired. As you walk in, you look up so quickly you forget to ask to take off your shoes. You look up and see row after row of bugwood pines that might resemble the inside of an intricate wooden hat.
Houses are built this way for a reason. To protect people from hurricanes. For example, a couple living in West Virginia learned about the homes from a television report about a type of home that survived Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“We started thinking about where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives,” said Tricia Garling. “And then we saw this.”
They saw what they were looking for. Not in the form of hurricane protection. But because of the unmistakable appearance of the house.
Garling knew she wanted something different. After years of deciding on her next spot during her service in the Air Force, she was ready to decide what would come next.
So she and her partner, Richard Young, drove to Asheville, NC to visit Deltec Homes’ headquarters. They got to know the prefabricated, energy-saving and weatherproof houses of the 50-year-old custom builder.
You got a good look at these sturdy structures. And again, it was the look that sold her.
Each home features a circular roof that offers 360-degree views and a more aerodynamic shape.
The aesthetic is one explanation for why these homes can be found across the country, including places untouched by hurricanes.
“Even though we’ve been around for five decades, it’s still kind of weird and unique for people to imagine,” said Dallam Hart, director at Deltec Homes.
“Some people like things that are kind of weird. The houses were built to be outside the norm and draw people’s attention.”
There are several Deltec homes in Colorado, including one by Garling and Young.
“It was the shape we loved,” Garling said. “We jumped in with both feet.”
Construction began in 2010 on a lot in a fairly remote area north of Woodland Park.
They moved in in October 2015. In their smaller form, the houses might resemble a yurt.
Garling and Young have two of these so everyone can have a shed.
Her current house features one of Deltec’s larger models and all on one floor.
Visitors are awed by the main room, which consists of the round roof measuring 56 feet in diameter. This single room includes the living room, kitchen and dining room without partitions.
“There are no corners,” said Garling, 66. “Who needs them?”
There is a hole in the center where the couple will soon build a spa and indoor pond with fountain.
Walking around this loop on a textured cement floor, there’s plenty of room to display Garling’s one-of-a-kind collections: her mugs from Larkspur’s Renaissance Faire. Your cups from Germany. Her glass animal figurines and her dragon figurines are a nod to her love of fantasy books.
Your many, many plants. So many plants that Garling feels it is “as close as you can get” to living in a greenhouse.
Tilt&Turn windows, another inspiration from her time in Germany, are built into almost every step and offer a unique view of the surrounding nature. Trees downed by the Hayman fire. And tall trees. Wild animals like owls or moose or eagles. snow on hills.
Skylights provide upward views.
The couple can often see when a storm is brewing. The house has proven itself on days with strong winds.
“We don’t feel or hear it at all,” Garling said.
Offshoots of the main room, called “wings,” bring you into the garage, pantry, guest room, master bedroom, and office.
Garling, who works from home as a program manager for Lumin, watches cars slow down to get a glimpse of the house. Her daughter says it’s a house where you “just wander around and see something new.”
She knows that people in town “have heard about it.” Passers-by have come to knock on the door and ask about the strange stone house. She was told to dig a moat around the house to turn it into a castle. From an aerial view on Google Maps, Garling says the house looks like it has ears resembling Mickey Mouse.
But Garling is used to the magic of the house. It just feels like home.
“It does exactly what I want it to do,” Garling said. “Is that a current? I do not know.”
However, she knows this is the kind of house they wanted. A place where they will spend the rest of their lives.
“I like things that are different,” Garling said. “I never want to live in a square box again.”