Posts Tagged ‘small architecture projects’


Backyard Business

August 7, 2012

Wood Worker’s Shop

Way back when I was starting I wrote about the tendency of owners of homes needing rejuvenation  to use design ideas pinched from suburban track houses.  A particular target for this type of application is the phony pediment, as if by its addition a tired old house can be made to fit in with the local aesthetic.   If asked,  an architect might look for more authentic inspiration, which appears to have happened in this backyard  wood worker’s shop.  The pediment marks the double (not garage) doors and ignites curiosity.  A nice way to attract positive attention to home hobby/small business.


Never too small to be great.

July 23, 2012

Bunk Bed Room

With a little careful planning an architect can squeeze one of these bunk bed rooms into a really tight space.  The payoff for anyone having a lot of company, especially kids, is big.  With some extra planning it can be “Mruphied” up to convert into storage space when not in use, or it can go the other way and actually be retrofitted into an already existing closet.  This is especially practical when the closet is adjacent to hallway.  However one chooses to do it, this is one of those “never to small to be great” type of projects that are a whole lot of fun.

Find more bunk bed rooms here.


Thermally Treated and Acetylated Lumber and other things architects can’t live without.

July 12, 2012

Cable Rail

I have found that many architects love lists.  I think it comes from all the years most of us have spent cranking out construction documents, which could be the mother load of all lists.  In any case, AIA  recently publish in “Residential Architect”  this very astute list of essential building products.  If you are building or remodeling a house there is a good chance that at least a few of these are going to show up in your project, and if they don’t you may want to look into why not.  My personal favorites are spray foam insulation and high performance windows.  The complete article, here, is short and worth a read for anyone thinking about building.

Thermally Treated and Acetylated Lumber
Cable Rail
Light Quartz Based Surfacing
High Performance Air Conditioning
Fiber Cement Siding
Engineered Structural Products
Low VOC Paint
Spray Foam Insulation
PolyCarbonate/Resin Panels
Energy Efficient Appliances
Tankless Water Heaters
Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures
Energy Efficient Lighting
High-Performance Windows
Radiant Heated Floors

Not “Belmont Mansion” but definitely somone’s castle.

May 25, 2012

After the last post – and considering that this blog is about real people – I thought that it might be a good time for a dose of reality.  This project is now under way in my office;  not exactly the Belmont Mansion, but definitely someone’s castle.  The problem started when painters, hired to do the entire house, neglected the front porch saying the structure was unsafe and not worth painting.  The home owner, being far away, not wanting to spend a fortune, and not knowing whether to repair, or replace came to me for help.

Many thanks to Gilberto Moldanado, a master at fixing old houses on a budget. There will be updates as the project goes forward, in the meantime, if you are really that interested you can take at the look at the construction drawings here:  Porch


House or catamaran?

January 29, 2012

MLS/Web ID: 206287

In order to  increase the interior living space, many old house owners are tempted to enclose a front porch, an effort that seldom works.  Here the owners worked overtime.  Not only was the porch enclosed, but it double in size,  and centering the new front door only emphasized the offset location of the main house.  It looks like the house was added to the porch,  not the other way around.  I am left to wonder who advises home owners that this type of remodel will net positive results.  For a very small fee a local architect  could have suggested many ways to expand this house that would have netted a very  real gain in property value for the same investment.  Instead we are left wondering if this is a house or a catamaran.


Unintended consequences.

November 10, 2011

If  real people actually hired architects for small projects like this one, home owners could avoid the unintended consequences of otherwise nice design ideas.  In one quick installation this home owner gained a fireplace and lost all of the curb appeal.  Not a great trade.

For most architects, there is literally a one paragraph solution.  Screen the flue to match the house.  Change the roof  shingles to something clean and more interesting.  Remove the storm door, paint the door a bright color, and add some landscaping.