Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Street of Dreams 2008

The street of dreams was almost cul-de-sacked this year. First, with the housing market, nobody was interested in building huge spec homes, then no reasonable lots were found. It all came together though. Six builders claimed lots at Altamont on Mt. Scott in Portland. This is substantially down from previous years. In 2005 there were 13 homes. House size was also reduced much to our appreciation. The Cherith Brook home was 11,000 sf (a quarter acre of heated area). Aside from that the other five homes ranged from 4400 to 6500sf. Sarah Susanka would still not approve.

Last year the Salish Moon home stood out as substantially different in design and feel. This year none of the homes was incredibly different in design. Most had the same recipe: Walk in the front door. To the left is the den and to the right is the dining. The kitchen is open to the great room. All bedrooms have their own bathroom and there are two other extra full or half bathrooms. The more gables the better, and hipped roofs are king. The only feature on any home that stood out to us was the Sonoma with its sunken courtyard. It was a breezy chilly night but the courtyard was at least 10 degrees warmer due to its being a full 10 feet below grade and sheltered by the house on three sides.

Are the homes green? Define green. Efficient use of space? Probably not. Low VOC paints, wheatboard cabinets and renewable floors? Probably. Tightly air-sealed and ventilated well? Only time and utility bills will tell. For a truly green home, check out our catalog.

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