3 Big Differences Between Building in a Subdivision and Building on “Raw” Land

It’s tempting to look at the rural property, the remote wooded land, or the 5-acre lakeside lot when you’re planning a new home.  Raw, undeveloped land can be far more appealing than a rectangular lot in a subdivision with houses on either side.

The majority of my custom home clients build on undeveloped land, because they want the trees, the views, the freedom to build what they want, and mostly, the space.

Raw land has many advantages – but before you commit to building your home in a cornfield, be sure to consider the additional work and expenses.

colonial revival back hall remodel

4 Keys To Creating A Better Family Entry

Getting the design of your house right means making it work for the way that you and your family really live. Trading off useless formal space for very useful informal space is one way to do that – and there aren’t many places in your house more useful than the family entry.

You’ve heard this space called by other names: mudroom, back hall, utility hall – but none of those terms express what this room really is – a very important space that you and your family use every single day.

Adding On, Part One – What You Need to Know About “Massing”

Some car owners love talking horsepower, torque, gear ratios, and 0-60 times. But other car owners just want their car to do whatever it is that cars are supposed to do, without having to think about it.

Turn key.  Press pedal.  Go.

If you’re going to add onto your house, you might like talking about massing, scale, proportion, and detail.

Or you might just want your Architect to get on with it, and skip the yada yada.

Can’t get Started? 5 Ideas to Jump-Start your New Home or Remodeling Project

I think I’ve heard every imaginable reason why prospective clients are anxious about getting started on a new home project. A few of the most common are:

  • I can’t find a design that I like
  • I’m afraid of the whole process of designing and building
  • I don’t know if my ideas make sense
  • I just can’t visualize a design
  • I don’t know how to start looking for land / houses / plans / Architects / builders

A Brief Primer on Stairs – Types, Parts, and Designs

The first home my wife and I owned was a brick Queen Anne built around 1900. I opened my first office there, in the attic.

It was a cool little space and I had a unique view of downtown Columbus, Ohio from up there.

All I had to do was climb the 23 shallow, steep steps up from the kitchen. Every day.

Stairs are probably already a part of your daily home life – you go up and down them constantly, carrying laundry baskets, sleeping children, furniture; stepping over toys, pets, shoes…

But as familiar as we are with using stairs, we’re not nearly as familiar with how they fit into the design of a home – stairs are expensive, complex three-dimensional constructions that take up a lot of space and are highly regulated by building codes.

williamsburg colonial custom home

How To Choose The Right Window Shutters for Your House

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.”

That’s a delightful passage for a young child to hear, especially when it’s Mom or Dad reading it with all the wonder and excitement the line suggests.

Even if the youngster doesn’t know exactly what it means.

Mom and Dad explained, of course, that a sash is part of a window – the part that the writer “threw up” to look out the window, and that shutters are those “doors” on the outside of the window.

The Home Design Process – A Little Like Writing a Term Paper

Very few people ever have more than one custom home or major remodeling project designed for them, which means that almost every time an Architect starts the design process with a homeowner, it’s the first time for at least half of the people in the room.

It’s that “design process” that you probably wonder about the most – how does it work?