Analyze Home Building Sites: Make the Best Use of Your Land

Home Site Design | Compass

It is critically important to analyzing your home building site before starting your house design. I feel it is so important, I devoted an entire “lesson” to the subject in my best-selling book,  Designing Your Perfect House: Lessons from an Architect. If you were to ask me what mistake I see most often in house…

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Learn Some House Framing Words – Studs, Joists, Rafters, I-Joists

Home Framing Terms | Joist

Do you know these house framing words? Studs, Joists, Rafters, LVL’s. I-Joists. OSB.  Unless you are in the construction industry, these words may seem to be a foreign language to you. When an architect and builder sit down to discuss the plans for a building, they speak a common language, the language of construction.  Sometimes…

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Outdoor Fireplaces Warm Up Your Terrace

Outdoor Fireplace

Adding an outdoor fireplace is a great way to make your backyard terrace or screened porch a wonderful place to relax on a cool autumn evening. A recent and interesting trend in house design shows that many new homes include an outdoor fireplace. Sometimes this is a free-standing fireplace on a patio or terrace. It might be…

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How to Keep Your Basement from Smelling Like a Basement

Basement Walls with Rigid Foam Insulation

Most basements have the damp and musty “basement smell.” Why is that? And does it have to be that way? The answer is “No.” It does not have to be that way. It’s not the concrete and earth you are smelling. It’s damp concrete and concrete block that smells like that. And it could also…

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Be Your Home Energy CEO

CEO’s worry about ROI’s. As the CEO of your house, you worry about your home energy efficiency. That may lead you toward geothermal and solar systems. But do they give you a good “Return On Investment” (ROI)? In other words, do these systems save you enough money to be worth the initial cost? “Probably not,”…

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