Stories & Projects

Wrap-Around Porches

Describing the functionality and romance of porches that run around at least two sides of a house.

Hurricane Rebuild

Michelle Goodman and her family replaced their Hurricane Sandy-destroyed home with a bungalow by Brooks Ballard.

Farmhouse Story

An Oklahoma couple is building our Farmhouse Plan 888-1 by Nicholas Lee.

Architect Visit

Architect/Sculptor/Furniture Designer Olle Lundberg's cabin in the Northern California woods.

New Eichler Modern Home

A fascinating blog about the building of our Eichler-inspired Plan 438-1 in Knoxville, TN

Tiny House Film

A compelling new documentary about a young couple who built a 133 sq. ft. house from scratch in Colorado.

House Building Blog

The story of building their house from Plan 479-4 designed by Peter Brachvogel & Stella Carosso.

Texas Retreat

The story of how four couples built four energy-efficient 350 sq. ft. sleeping cabins and a communal cookhouse on ten acres near Austin, Texas.

Outdoor Showers

What you need to know in order to add an outdoor shower.

New Home After Fire

How one Arizona homeowner rebuilt quickly after a devastating forest fire, using Plan 18-1048.

Raised Pool Surround

The pool was inspired by seeing Donald Judd’s pool in his house in Marfa Texas. A raised pool changes from a flat object at your feet to a 3 dimensional form that also invites sitting on it. Why not go further and add fountains. So we did.

Landscape Complete

My recent theme is not sure when a house project ends if ever…but that said we are trying hard to stop. The landscaping is complete and now its just welcoming the plants to their new home.

Bedrooms Update

The master bedroom at the end of the house has tons of natural light. All bedrooms have access to the covered outdoor living space.

Great Room Update

I wonder if a house is ever finished. My own answer is no. But the rooms are livable and we have just passed our final building department inspection. The furnishings are a collection resulting from years of saving things, along with just a few new purchases. If you start looking way ahead you can find deals and save lots of money.

Kitchen Update

The kitchen is ample in size. Actually we are having a debate about whether we have made the kitchen too large. There is more than enough storage even for trays.

Hearth Update

The gas fireplace and cantilevered bench are key design elements – the main room needed anchoring and this combination of the gas fireplace and the cantilevered Douglas fir hearth-bench more than achieves the vision we had. Planning ahead is crucial for this- you need to tie the steel support into the 2×6 wall and build strength into the structure – inexpensive if you do it up front, expensive if you add it later.

Garden Update

Our theme outside was less is more. Along with the house and pool, we have to incorporate the septic mound, a water tank, and a storage shed into the landscaping.

Kitchen Update

Kitchen Cabinets- we looked closely at Ikea but ended up getting our cabinets made in Northern California- we chose a plastic laminate with no detailing.

Pool Installation

We have a narrow lot. It’s only 100′ feet wide. We decided to raise the pool 18″ above ground to make the pool a seating area as well.

Master Bath Update

Glass shower surround, zinc counter tops, deck-mounted faucet fixtures and large mirror come together to create the sleek minimalist look.

Bathroom Update

The two bathrooms use concrete (floor), ceramic tiles (shower), and hanging, or cantilevered, cabinets.

Hall Skylight

The skylight at the end of the long hallway draws the eye by brightening the space and creating a focal point.

Skylight Update

We ended up installing two skylights instead of three, to save costs: one in the master bath and one at the end of the long hallway.

Soy Insulation

The insulation is pretty cool. Its soy-based and has a very high R value for insulating the house. It is a closed cell green product that also has some structural value.

Siding Update

The siding (shown below). We used plywood and battens. The plywood is structural and also acts as our finish sheathing. We love the look of simple board and batten. By avoiding a second layer of finish material we saved tons of money and time.

Porch Update

The covered walkway is a key element in the design. It runs the whole length of the house and is the outdoor living space protected from the weather.

Framing Update

With the roof trusses in place we get our first experience of the "complete" house. The concrete floors will be polished and used as our final floor so we are careful to protect them from the rigors of the next several months of construction. The framing happens so quickly, It is hard to believe that the house will not be done in a few weeks.

Wall Standing: Proje

The early stages of building supply a range of emotions. The newly poured slab is both exciting and terrifying as it seems that the house will be much too small. <br /> <br /> Once the walls begin to stand we can begin to imagine the space. We used tall walls to make the relatively small rooms feel much bigger.

Building a Modern Ra

What follows is the story of that experience – a diary of building what we call ourOnline Case Study House. We hope it will spark a conversation where you can share your own home building experiences and advice.<br /><br />

Search our library of nearly 40,000 plans and find your dream home today!

Square Feet