Test Your Soils Before You Build

Soil Testing

If you have any worries that the soil on your building lot might present problems during construction, it is a good idea to have soil tests done. I’m not talking about digging test holes with a backhoe to look for boulders or other underground problems may. I usually do not recommend that because test holes like these only reveal what is…

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The Toilet Closet Needs to Be Planned Out

Toilet Closet

Every aspect of your house needs to be planned. You can’t afford to leave things to chance. Good planning improves everything, including the lowly toilet closet. In high end houses, most master bathrooms are compartmentalized. By that I mean the space is divided up with the sinks and vanity in one space and the toilet…

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Size Your Two Car Garage Properly

Garage Door

I wish I had a dollar for every two-car garage I’ve seen that is too small. I would be a wealthy man. Most development houses have garages that are so small, you have to ask your passengers to get out of the car before you pull in. Otherwise they would be trapped in the car…

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Solar Orientation Impacts a Home’s Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Solar Orientation

I was sitting in the Baltimore Washington International airport recently and I was emphatically (and painfully) reminded of the importance of proper solar orientation in building design. Whoever designed this airport must have been tone deaf to solar orientation. And they probably never heard of passive solar design. Concourses A and B in the airport…

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How to Make Your House Your Home

Flowers in Home

Recently, a client of mine sent me this nice photograph. Her note simply said, “The beauty of the sun in my kitchen.” This photo and note pleased me more than I can describe. She and I had been working hard to design a large home that denied its size and felt small and cottage-like. An…

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