Blog

Over the past 30 years or so I’ve noticed that some home builders (and architects who design homes) don’t see a value in developing framing sheets for house plan sets.  Instead, the home builder will have the lumber company provide header and beam sizes with their material take-off. The r...
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I grew up a builder’s son and spent a lot of time on jobsites from an early age. Working alongside trades and earning money as a general laborer at a young age was great, but the real benefit was exposure to contract negotiations, where I’d see my father negotiate price, payment terms, and ...
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This 2,800-Square-Foot Stunner Makes Them Slam On The Brakes!   I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Schumacher from Schumacher Homes a few years back while doing plan reviews at the International Builders Show. Besides the fact that she is witty and charming, she is also brimming with wisdo...
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Think "Leave it to Beaver." Homes designed for traditional neighborhoods should have the following characteristics: Design that encourages a sense of community. Designed to minimize the impact of the automobile. A sense of historical correctness to the massing and fenestration. Historically cor...
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  Look ma! The war cry for young show offs world wide. I’m sure you have had a “look ma” moment or two in your life. I don’t know about you but mine typically ended with skinned knees and tears. It was 1986 and my car du jour was a 1974 Monte Carlo with a 400 cubic inch motor and a 40...
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  Imagine you are in a cement box quickly filling up with water. The box is sealed on all sides, yet you still find a way out and survive. How? I will get back to that one. This week we have a plan that works to solve the riddles presented by today’s buyers. Read More...
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In today’s market, creating a house that has built-in value is key to sustainability for both homeowner and builder. In an attempt to reduce costs many builders are opting for the “value box” approach. The value box concept is to completely stack the second floor over the first floor walls. Th...
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The lure of a walkable downtown, public parks, and vibrant city life is driving buyers to seek out urban infill properties. When designed properly, new homes will revitalize a downtown area by aligning today’s architecture with the contextual cues of the existing city fabric. The vast m...
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Collaboration is far and away one of my favorite aspects of the building industry. In fact the practice of Lean Design demands collaboration between the architect or designer and the building team to eliminate waste and maximize appeal. This week we are exploring a Lean Design that was created for a...
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In my travels working with builders all over the country, I have the opportunity to see a lot of home designs. I see good, bad, fair, and occasionally great plans and elevations. I am able to walk a lot of models each year and see in the flesh what is working and what is not. I have come to realiz...
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