Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Surprise! A new Plat House fully formed!

Most of the time when we send out House Plans to customers it is like sending a message out into the void, never to be heard from again. But every so often one of those houses bounces back, and appears one day, fully formed in the flesh, both surprising and delighting us! This week was one such time.



Roughly two years ago we posted that we were working on a Plat House 3 modification, and gave a preview of the modified house elevations showing the appearance of the attached garage. The Construction Prints were completed and delivered to the Owners a few weeks later, and we moved on to other deadlines and projects. Last week it occurred to me that I had not checked in with them in a long time and sent off an email to see if they had started building. What I got back was a series of photos of the nearly fully complete house - amazing!
Continue reading "Surprise! A new Plat House fully formed!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

New Customer Build: Michigan XHouse2

I am super thrilled to be able to introduce a new customer project that we are going to track on the blog. There has been a drought of customer builds and I hope this one inspires some others to correspond about their builds. Ok, lets go over some of the interesting features of this build.





The first thing is that this build is a First Build of the 0956 XHouse2, or at least the first build of the house from the Stock Plan set created of this house design since it was first built in all steel as the 3030 House. I’m always excited about First Build projects because its great to see a design realized in real space and time!
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Sunday, May 27, 2018

USA New Wall - The never ending question of electrical boxes

Now that thousands of people have learned about the USA New Wall model for easy to build high performance wall assemblies the single most common question is how do you put electrical boxes in the utility cavity? It could not be easier.


Here is the explanation one more time:

In the 1.5" wiring chase you use 4x4x1.5" square boxes. These actually have a few more cubic inches inside than a regular switch box. Then you use a reducer cover to take it down to a normal switch plate - the reducer has a 1/2" or 5/8” extension that reaches through the drywall.

Continue reading "USA New Wall - The never ending question of electrical boxes"

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wonderful photos of the Vermont Plat House

A treasure trove of beautiful photos of the Vermont Plat House have been posted to the Owners’ Real Estate Agent’s web site. Yes, the house is on the market, and our designs have been around now long enough that the first houses are beginning to change hands.

But the bright side of this is that it is wonderful to see the house so nicely furnished, so comfortably lived in, and fullfilling that dream of a modern life we can all identify with. Here are a couple of choice photos from the Gallery, but you will find many more on the realtor’s site. There is also a Virtual Reality walk through,  which is a series of 360 degree images that you can spin around to look at, each “hot linked” to adjacent view points. Its the closest you can come to a walk-thru without being there.

Drone view of the Vermont Plat House
Continue reading "Wonderful photos of the Vermont Plat House"

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Stacked Townhomes - The Site Plan

The Site Plan is the biggest problem with a typical rear garage stacked townhome.

Last time we looked in some detail at the typical configuration of a Stacked Townhome with rear access garages. I promised that next we would look at the site planning implications of this kind of living space arrangement, and that’s what we are going to do today.

Continue reading "Stacked Townhomes - The Site Plan"

Friday, June 23, 2017

Why "Flash & Batt" is a crappy wall system in a heating climate

I get asked this all the time - specifically "How about Flash & Batt", and I seem to write this explanation out at least once a month. So I thought it would be worthwhile just putting it in a blog post.

So "Flash & Batt", what is that anyway? You want to make a better performing wall, so the builder, or the builder's insulation contractor may suggest "Flash & Batt". Or sadly it may be coming from your architect because most know little about the actual science of putting a building together. On top of this all of the above may be bragging about how green this make them. What they are suggesting is this:
Continue reading "Why "Flash & Batt" is a crappy wall system in a heating climate"

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

0971 Plat House 3 modification in the works

We are in the midst of a plan modification for a Plat House 3 bedroom with a garage attached, and a unique metal + stone cladding scheme.



This includes a mudroom and utility space between the garage and laundry room of the standard plan. The garage is an oft requested expansion to the Plat House. Continue reading "0971 Plat House 3 modification in the works"

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Stacked Townhomes - typical configuration with rear garages

The precedent we are going to look at now is one of the most common configurations for Stacked Townhomes today. This is a three story two dwelling unit townhome configured with a 3 bedroom unit stacked over a 2 bedroom unit, with rear facing attached garages built into the volume of the house. Internally the units are in the typical stacked configuration with each unit consisting of 1 story + 1/2 floor.



I resist calling this the most “popular” configuration because I am not convinced that popularity among developers equals popularity among home buyers. Buyers are traditionally stuck with what is offered, and in this case the popularity among developers is more the result of unit yield per acre than a preference for the configuration of dwelling units.
Continue reading "Stacked Townhomes - typical configuration with rear garages"

Saturday, October 15, 2016

New Arkansas Plat House - night views

The New Arkansas Plat House has forwarded some new pictures of their home - night shots showing them enjoying their Plat House from their fire pit at night.



There are a couple of more night photos uploaded to the Flickr album. Continue reading "New Arkansas Plat House - night views"

Friday, September 16, 2016

0385 Tray House in the kitchen



Here is the casual relationship between the kitchen work area and the dining space of the Tray House. This can work for you if you like a large formal dining table and a kitchen table in the kitchen proper, or with a daily table in the dining area, and stools at the island in the kitchen for less formal meals. Continue reading "0385 Tray House in the kitchen"

Thursday, September 15, 2016

1201 XHouse5 backyard



The back of the XHouse5 has a pair of doors into the living room, and right beside it a door to the mud room. Above is the master bedroom, and bath. Continue reading "1201 XHouse5 backyard"

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

0967 XHouse3 the whole place



From this spot in the kitchen you can take in the entire XHouse3. Well.., not all of it, but its a cool view! Continue reading "0967 XHouse3 the whole place"

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

0357 Steel Case House party is always best in the kitchen



The Steel Case House may have a great living room, but the kitchen and family room is where everybody hangs out during a party! Continue reading "0357 Steel Case House party is always best in the kitchen"

Monday, September 12, 2016

0965 XHouse2 overview



The XHouse2 has the same plan and footprint as our iconic steel 3030 house design, but made instead with easy to build stud construction. Continue reading "0965 XHouse2 overview"