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Coping With the Slope

A couple breaks ground on their dream house in Boulder, Colo.

Christopher and Tina Herr love living and working in gorgeous Boulder, Colo. Christopher now wants to build the couple's dream house on a plot of land that's been in the family for decades. The build will be complicated due to the extremely steep slope of the land. Meanwhile, the Herrs move into a space-challenged condo for the duration of the build.

Architect Brad Tomecek and contractor James Casanova sign up for the job and start planning to deal with the challenge of building on a slope. They come up with a four-box design that provides 2,300-square-feet of living space, plus four outdoor courtyards.

Just weeks before breaking ground, a budget crisis threatens the project and strains relationships. An unexpected spike in concrete and steel prices causes Christopher to propose some radical design changes. But Tina doesn't want to give up on their original dream design, so after meeting with the bankers they arrange financing that will cover the costs of building Plan A. As excavating begins, the Herrs and their friends and family toast the occasion with champagne.

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