108 Things You WILL Learn

You really need to check out my book, Designing Your Perfect House

I guarantee you’ll find more than a few useful, money-saving tips that can save you a ton of money. Just knowing some of the language of construction and not being seen as totally naïve will go a long way in preventing builders and contractors from taking advantage of you. Knowledge is power, as they say. You’ll know what you can ask for and what is possible. You’ll see beyond the simple floor plan and look at the design and the construction with a completely new perspective.

108 Things You Will Learn about by Reading Bill Hirsch’s Designing Your Perfect House

  1. How to design a house that is uniquely your own.
  2. Why some houses feel right and others don’t.
  3. The psychology of “purposefulness” in design.
  4. Methods to organize the plan.
  5. The importance of expressing your opinion to the architect, designer, and builder.
  6. Definition of “Architecture.”
  7. What make a space a “place.”
  8. The language of architecture and architectural grammar.
  9. Why and when to break the pattern.
  10. How to make a house a home.
  11. Important spatial sequential progressions.
  12. The design of spaces and spatial edges.
  13. The importance of personal space.
  14. How to control scale and why it’s important.
  15. How to “people” spaces.
  16. Connecting architecture to the human scale.
  17. The process of creating the design.
  18. Symmetry and composition.
  19. The Golden Mean and it use.
  20. The value of changes in height, light, and scale.
  21. When and why to change materials.
  22. How to use focal points.
  23. Breaking from tradition.
  24. How to be creative and not simply mimick what has been done before.
  25. How to honor history, especially when remodeling or adding on.

    All these Valuable Lessons in One Book!

  26. How to deal with a builder who says “No.”
  27. Importance of carrying the design through to the details.
  28. How to make a house feel more solid and substantial.
  29. Working “surprise” into the design.
  30. How to add in nostalgia.
  31. What a “Zone of Retreat” is and why you want one.
  32. Incorporating natural and artificial light into the design.
  33. Working in 3D.
  34. Rules for designing the exterior of the house.
  35. How to avoid building problems.
  36. What “allowances” are and how to use them.
  37. Why you do or don’t need an architect.
  38. How an architect can save you money.
  39. How to choose the right architect.
  40. Learn a little about the Frank Lloyd Wright way and how to avoid it.
  41. Twenty questions to ask a prospective architect.
  42. Why you might need or want an interior designer or landscape architect.
  43. How does Design/Build work and is it right for you.
  44. When and how to choose the building site.
  45. How to think about the way you really live.
  46. 18 key design questions you need to ask yourself.
  47. What it really means to “build green.”
  48. The economics of green building.
  49. Using green building products.
  50. Benefits of using “low embodied energy” materials.

    Learn from a Professional Architect

  51. How reclaimed materials can enhance your house.
  52. Why solar or wind may not be your first “green” things you want to do.
  53. How to be a “good” client and save yourself money.
  54. How zoning, ordinances, and covenants can affect your design.
  55. How to analyze the building site.
  56. Understanding site orientation.
  57. Dealing with building site negatives.
  58. Conquering sloping land.
  59. Planning around views, both good and bad ones.
  60. Identifying potential building site problems.
  61. How to save your trees.
  62. Recognizing wind and noise issues and dealing with them.
  63. How to make problem building lots work for you.
  64. How to read a site plan.
  65. How to write your “program” for your house design and why do it.
  66. Designing in a specific style.
  67. What “inspiration images” are and how to use them.
  68. Establishing priorities and balancing them out.
  69. Making the program match the budget.
  70. Why you might want an elevator and how it can save you money.
  71. What “cost per square foot” really means.
  72. How to calculate square footage. It’s not always the same.
  73. Creating and using bubble diagrams.
  74. Why your architect uses sketch paper (or a computer).
  75. How to relate the bubble diagram to the site.

    Things You Wouldn't Think of On Your Own

  76. Dealing with the automobile on the site and in the house design.
  77. Why “sequences” are important in a design.
  78. How to turn the bubble diagram into a floor plan.
  79. Making the most of the land opportunities.
  80. Designing with the climate and weather.
  81. Optimizing the approach to the house.
  82. Creating a sense of “arrival.”
  83. Placement of stairways.
  84. Some basic stairway language and rules for design.
  85. Turning the plan into a three-dimensional house.
  86. Rules of composition.
  87. How roof pitch is measured.
  88. Why the right front door is important.
  89. Proper and appropriate use of building materials.
  90. Kitchen planning concepts and a list of design questions.
  91. Checklist of kitchen design considerations.
  92. Dining room design concepts.
  93. Living room design concepts.
  94. Bathroom planning considerations and “rules.”
  95. 20 questions for bathroom planning.
  96. Bathroom design checklist.
  97. Designing the right entryway and foyer.
  98. Door placement do’s and don’ts.
  99. Which budget trade-offs are worthwhile or not.
  100. Planning for aging in place. A list of considerations.

    More than 100 Lessons in all!

  101. Many design tidbits to get things right.
  102. How to deal with the budget and get the most for your money.
  103. Some “Bang for the Buck” optimizers.
  104. What details cost a lot.
  105. How to interview the builder.
  106. 20 questions to ask the builder.
  107. Construction contract types and which one is best for you.
  108. How to be a good customer for the builder (to your benefit).

Purchase the Book Today!

If you plan to build or remodel your house, this is a small investment that will pay you back time and time again.