Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Architectural Nods

You may notice that this post is a day late. All apologies. We were at a supplier convention on our normal Tuesday blogging day. Don't ever tell us that there's no such thing as a free lunch because we sure found it!

In the meantime the website was fixed. Now you can enjoy trouble-free browsing of We know we promised also to have the Edgewood available, but the Portland courtyard housing project has kept us busy. We will get our masterpiece of an entry turned in today, and then all efforts will be back to the stock plans. (Okay, masterpiece may be an overstatement. Actually, it looks like a first year college student stayed up until 3am putting the presentation together. Our saving grace is that while presentation is important, the judges are reviewing every single entry. If this was for a client who based their decision to look at a project based on neatness, we would have stayed up until 4am). We will be putting pieces of our entry on the website in the next week or so including the LEGO renderings.

"Would you get to the architectural nods already", you ask? Fine, fine. Rather than our usual diatribe on how much we despise something, we will try to stay more composed this time. Architectural nods are about a 10% (usually less) effort to copy a traditional design style. For instance in an architectural nodding craftsman home you would find gridded windows, dormers, some stone veneer and some nice door and window trim. Sound good? Sure, but what's missing? Brick fireplace, 24" overhangs, gable end brackets, 2x12 barge boards, exposed rafter tails, different siding in the gable ends, deep covered porch, built up columns, 7-piece 1x4 window trim, non-vinyl windows, crown moulding, chair rail, wainscoting, 1x8 stained wood floor trim, and four steps from grade to floor. And don't forget paneled doors, exposed beam ceilings (real or not) and traditional colors.

"That sounds like a lot of extra money! Besides, my setbacks don't allow for 24" overhangs."

Then use thinbrick veneer on the fireplace, standard 1x pine for the moulding (found at rebuilding centers everywhere), and for goodness sake, stop maxing out your building footprint and use some of your side yard for beauty instead of dropping barkdust all over it. And since labor is so expensive do some of it (heck, all of it) yourself. It may take extra time, but you will have a superior product to Joe Builder down the street. Do you want folks to look at your house and say, "Yeah it fits into the neighborhood alright." or do you want them to say, "Wow, nice extensive remodel on that beautiful old established home!" Our experience tells us that the latter would fetch an extra 10-20% or more in price.

Architecturally, I can see you nodding right now.

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