How Burning Down Your House can Benefit the Whole Community

It was late in the day when it finally happened.  A puff of smoke appeared just over the rooftop at the far right side of the house; then another appeared, near the chimney.

Within moments smoke was pouring from the entire roof and flickers of orange flame began appearing in the windows.

A cheer went up from the assembled crowd as the flames grew; soon the roof weakened and began to collapse.  A dozen firefighters stood by, cheering along with the crowd.

contemporary home design

Why a Unique, Personal Home Might Be Easier to Sell Someday

If you’re selling houses you want to appeal to the widest audience possible. Houses with tried and true size and style, and with similar floor plans, have a greater chance of a quick sale.

If you’re buying or building a house, however, you want something much more personal – a home that’s interesting and different and that has all of the things you need to support your family’s unique lifestyle.

How do you make a house that does both?

The Top Five Home Design Requests from my Clients

Years ago, I attended a trade show for kitchen and bath products in Dallas. You know the kind – huge convention hall, lots of booths, vendors hawking the latest in…whatever the latest is.

After a couple of passes around the trade show floor, filling my canvas tote bag with catalogs and brochures, I popped in on a seminar, where a representative of a national homebuilder was talking about new home design to a room full of eager builders.

“Master Plan” Your Project When You Can’t Do Everything Right Now

Sometimes it’s not possible to do everything on your renovation wish list right away. Money’s usually the immediate issue, but if you don’t plan the whole project out now, you might waste it anyway, down the road.

You don’t want to have to significantly renovate “phase one” in order to build “phase two” a few years later.  Avoid that by “master planning” the whole project now.

Basement or Crawl Space?

In some parts of the USA this question’s irrelevant – there are few basements or crawl spaces in the desert southwest, the Alaskan tundra, or anywhere else that it’s not practical to excavate a foundation.

But here in Midwestern America it’s a frequent concern.

Most homes I design or add to have at least a partial basement; the real questions are whether to excavate an entire basement, or just part, and how deep.

Collaboration Between Architect and Builder is Essential for a Successful Project

I read an interesting article yesterday, written by a builder. It was about how you must hire your builder before you hire your Architect, “…because Architects don’t know anything about building…”

That might be true for the Architects that builder’s run into, but that’s a pretty broad, self-serving statement. He hasn’t met my colleagues, who spend as much time on jobsites as they can, and put together construction drawings influenced by feedback from people doing the actual construction work.

5 Keys to Good Home Office Design

Years ago I was working out of my home in an office I’d designed for myself. With plenty of space, oversized countertops, and specific places for each piece of office furniture and equipment I use (I’m highly computer-dependent), I was productive and efficient without sacrificing closeness to my family.

In terms of design, space utilization, and ergonomics, I’d thought of everything.

5 Tips For Good Communication: The Essential Ingredient for a Successful Project

How well you and your Architect collaborate will affect how closely the design meets your needs and how much “you” ends up in the final project; after all, it’s your house!

But you don’t need a master’s degree in Architecture to have meaningful conversations with your Architect; here are a couple of ways to make sure the two of you are communicating clearly.