May 30, 2009

Color Options

Color options!

We plan to use fiber cement siding from James Hardie. They call it "HardiePlank Lap Siding with ColorPlus Technology". that just means that it comes pre-painted, but since the finish is baked on or something it lasts longer and comes with a 15 year warranty on the color. it also saves you time because you don't have to paint the house when you're building.

i took some of the colors James Hardie offers and put them on one of the elevation drawings. On some of these i also played with the trim and/or window color. and i realize that we need to think about a color for the front door.

so what do you think? we've been planning to go with the first one, Iron Gray with white trim and white windows. but nothing is built yet... and for reference, the roof will be silver.

click on the pic to see the sample elevations.

May 28, 2009

Floor Plans

(revised plans 06.08.09)

you might want to see the house plans, right?

i forgot the north arrow, so just know that north is to the right, where you'll find the garage. East is down, and down hill too. looking that way is the pasture, lower field and woods beyond. South is left, and that's from where the driveway brings you. West is up, and up hill.

the main floor entry porch is at the south side under a large roof overhang. the foyer is the center of the house. from there you can head to the living, dining, kitchen, and screen porch. or you can detour to the mudroom, laundry room, or stairways on the way to the garage. or you can enter the master bedroom suite. powder room is right there too.

the walkout basement has two more bedrooms, a second bath, a family room w/ canning kitchen, and a mechanical/storage room. the family room has doors to a patio under the screen porch. and there are stairs to go back up to the upper level patio.

May 27, 2009

the house that eBay built

dad has been busy again buying things for the house on eBay. i was just
thinking that it's kind of amazing the bargains you can scrounge up if
you have a lot of time and very flexible taste. (ahem!)

here's how it works: every once in a while i get a load of emails in my
inbox asking if we can use this sink somewhere, or why do plumbing traps
cost so much, or if i like any of the light fixtures at this link. i'm
guessing it means that dad is either bored with nothing else to do, or
he's suddenly really motivated to get this house built. or maybe he
suddenly got his hands on some money. ha ha!

whatever the case, i have to work quickly. if it's something we've
already decided on, like some of the plumbing fixtures for the
bathrooms, then it's easy. i can just confirm that it's okay to buy. but
a lot of things haven't been decided yet. i can't choose the products i
usually spec at work because my clients have a lot more money than my
retired parents, so we are searching for something cheap that everyone
still likes. and buying something because it's on sale just doesn't seem
like a great style indicator. luckily dad lets me say no to a lot of
things. or i just show it to mom if i think she will side with me.

but here's what we've got so far, mostly from eBay.

master bath:
(2) undermount sinks
(2) faucets
toilet base (not the tank!)
toilet supply valve

bath 2 - basement:
lavatory sink + wood base
complete shower kit

powder room:
pedestal sink

double sink
kitchen faucet (gift)

laundry: choice of
1-bowl sink (plus an extra)
2-bowl sink
dryer (bring existing)

ceiling fan (location TBD)
exterior lights for the garage area, back door, and maybe the front door or screen porch.
recessed light housings + trims for living, kitchen, hall, family rooms (clearance sale)
light switches and electrical outlets for entire house (taken out of a new condo in NYC)
handrail mounts (form same NYC condo)
chain link fence for dog run (salvage from WI)

what else am i forgetting?

May 14, 2009

1/4" model

here are a few pictures of the most recent model of the house.

the house is sited in the middle of the Homer farm where the old barn stood until a few years ago when it finally collapsed. Like the barn before it, the house will be set into the hill, allowing an at-grade entrance to the main floor on the west side and a walk-out basement to the east.

since this is a farm house, the massing uses volumetric ideas taken from typical farm buildings. The main living spaces are housed in a large gable volume that evokes the scale of a barn. this space will have 10'-0" ceilings with attic storage under the roof. coming off this 'barn' is a long low volume reminiscent of utilitarian sheds and outbuildings that would be added on as needed. this contains the master suite with a cathedral ceiling that spring from a low 8'-0" but rises to a peak of 11'-6". beyond is the attached 2-car garage.

what remains from the barn is the stone foundation, shown in the model in cardboard. the space between the house and the barn wall on the south side of the house will be filled in and used as a patio and small garden space. This area connects to the screen porch overlooking the lower fields with views to the woods and hills beyond. stairs link this area to the basement level where there is a double door to the family room.

The roofs and the main floor of the model are removable so you can get a sense of the interior spaces. that's why you see gaps everywhere. although the window openings are just full openings here, the typical unit will be a 6 over 1 double hung window.


May 13, 2009

railing idea

dad really, really wants to use stainless steel cable rail for the screen porch/deck/stairs on the east side of the house.

I think the stuff is great too. but i'm concerned about the price. (that's funny because usually it's the client worrying about costs, not the architect... but someone has to think about it, and that falls to me somehow.) dad thinks he can save lots of money by getting a deal on long lengths of cable and making the railing himself, somehow avoiding the costly hardware and high price of pre-assembled lengths. i'm skeptical. plus, who is actually going to do this? (probably me.)

i just saw this nice alternative on another house blog, LamiDesign Modern House Plan Blog. the Texas Plat House used hog panels, a type of welded wire mesh used to build hog pens. they slid the wire panel into a groove in the wood all the way around. this could work for us too if we can find the material or something similar.


j o s h

This blog begins in the hope that the dody house will some day be constructed. to modify a familiar saying, "start a blog about it, and it will happen."