Building a Basement: Do it Right the First Time

Basement Correct

Building a basement the right way will give you a strong, stable house and provide you with additional living space at a bargain price. Every house needs a foundation. In order to be strong, that foundation must be built on solid soil and it must extend below the frost line. Freezing water is amazingly powerful.…

Read More

Home Remodeling Turn Your Old Home into Your Dream Home

Dream Home

Sometimes, a home remodeling project can make more sense than building a new home. It can be a better investment and it can also be a better lifestyle choice. Instead of selling what you have and building your dream home, why not turn your house into that very dream house. If you’ve out-grown your current…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

When Do We Feel at Home in a Foreign Land?


I was asked recently to comment for an article about the point at which we feel at home when travelling to a foreign country. When have we acclimated to the culture, language and place enough so that we feel the place is now our home? Here are the comments I gave the reporter.  I understand…

Read More

Do I Need an Architect?

Phone Plans

I realize that the majority of new homes are not designed by architects. But naturally, as an architect I would recommend using one. But a lot can be achieved by simply doing some homework and thinking through what you want your house to be. Even if your budget can only afford the “cookie cutter” house,…

Read More