Some Solar Energy Is Unwelcomed in Summer

Stone Heart Room

Yikes! It’s nearly 100 degrees here in North Carolina and the humidity nearly matches it. It was still over 90 degrees at dinnertime! I, for one, don’t find solar energy all that welcome this time of year. Maybe if I was generating electricity from it I would feel differently. But the solar energy I’m talking about makes…

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Kitchen Design – The Big Boxes

Kitchen Design Purpose

There are lots of books about kitchen design that are full of many useful tips. But sometimes, the essentials of laying out a kitchen are overlooked. Here’s one i like to point out to my clients. I like to think of the kitchen not so much in terms of work triangles, but in terms of…

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Iron Railings Versus Wood Railings

Metal Railings

I’m often asked about what kind of exterior railings are best, wooden or metal. Like most questions, the answer depends on what your objectives are. If you are simply looking for the least expensive railing, then wood is the answer. Most any carpenter can build it and wood is considerably cheaper than metal. Wood might…

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Designing a Jewelbox

Jewel Box

Have you ever noticed how great athletes make the difficult things they do look so easy? This is what you want to achieve in your house design. I have often said that designing a house well is much more difficult than designing an office building, even though a house is much smaller.Designing an office building…

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Make Your Safe Safe

Home Safe

You don’t have to be rich to need a home safe. Lots of people want and need a small safe at home to keep important documents, cherished jewelry, and other valuables safe from theft and fire. Theft doesn’t just happen when a burglar breaks into you house. Unfortunately, a repairman or a maid service can be a…

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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,…

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The High Cost of Copper – Copper Gutters Cost

Copper Gutters

I often design houses that are the “new old house” type. Those are the ones that are new, but look like thay have been there for many years. I find that an important part of getting the look and feel of these houses right is to pay close attention to the details.Often, an important detail…

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LEED Certification for Homes

Green Leaves

Do you want to know that your new house design is “green,” or as I prefer to call it, energy and resources responsible? There is now a way to certify that it is so. The U.S. Green Building Council conducts a program of LEED certification, a nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of high…

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Brick Mortar Is Important

Brick Mortar

Here’s a discussion that came up today on one of my projects. We were making a brick selection for the exterior of the house. The brick companies readily provide sample boards that have thin pieces of actual bricks, not just photos, for you to see. That’s very helpful, but the problem is that the cardboard…

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A Truly Custom House

Custom Balcony

Make It Perfect I call my book Designing Your Perfect House. The idea is that Your perfect house is different from the next persons’s perfect house. What you want your house to be can and should be unique to you and your family. My message today is this. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings.…

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