Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Something old, something new.

I'll try to stay calm, but no guarantees. As I was browsing through the Sunday paper's real estate section, I couldn't help but cringe. All the new houses for sale were astonishing. And not just the number of them, but the price tag. And not just the price tag, but the amount of house and lack of lot. And not just that, but the LOOK! What happened to craftsmanship? What happened to a love for the job? Why is it all about building as little as possible and selling for as much as possible? I don't think I can take it anymore.

These 3000sf homes on 6000sf lots are selling for $400,000. Do you know what they're composed of? Inefficient building techniques that are overcompensated with by an oversized HVAC system that will fail in three years. On top of that, the houses are built so tight that they can't breathe which means condensation issues in the walls and ceilings which leads to mold, mildew, and dry-rot. Besides that, the houses are so close to the neighbors that you really don't care for all the windows on the side of the house, nor do you feel like you have any privacy in your backyard. On top of that, the entire subdivision is composed of three houseplans, each mirrored or with a different facade to show some variety.

What makes the facade different? Some stone or trim. But it's not just any stone. It's cultured stone. Know what that means? Fake. The stone is manufactured out of concrete or plaster at about 2 inches thick and then glued to the side of the house. And the trim is just an afterthought. Some of these houses attempt to look like throwbacks to an earlier era, but I just want to throw them back. It's like taking a Geo Metro and trying to put BMW badges and tinted windows on it.

Alright, maybe every subdivision isn't that bad. Some actually show variety in houseplans. A few attempt to blend into the landscape rather than tearing down all the trees. Kudos to the builders who work around 50' tall fir, oak, and pine trees. Kudos to the builders who build every home as they would their own. Kudos to the builders who build 7 different plans on 20 lots.

And kudos to the builder who buys from istockhouseplans. We don't want to say our plans are better but they are different. We strive for economy both in building and living. We don't like to max out a building lot. If you don't like our plans because they aren't big enough, luxurious enough, or trendy enough, then we don't mind. There are hundreds of other designers out there who would be happy to have your business. For us, satisfaction comes not on a bottom line, but in seeing our homes built knowing that we haven't compromised our principles.

Please check out our line of models. We have just posted a 2-car garage series to add to our one car plans. We have 16 house plans available with ten more in the works. And in case you aren't yet convinced, our plans are cheaper than the competition. Just so you know.

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