Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Anorexic Architecture

Our current fascination with tiny homes started with one dimension only. Several years ago we were patrolling the web for skinny homes. Not just skinny homes, but the skinniest homes in the world. Our thought was in trying to cram as many homes as possible onto a 50x100' wide lot, assuming zoning allowed. Given that 5' setbacks are typical, we figured there would be a 40' wide footprint. Most folks would say 2 attached 20' wides would be typical. We are currently working on a 3-16' wide building. But you could easily do 4-10' wide houses. Crazy? Consider that building code requires a minimum 7' wide room in homes and you could cram 5-8' wide homes onto that lot.

But history has brought about some even skinnier homes. Boston, MA and Alameda, CA have their 10' wide homes. In Alexandria, VA is a skinny house that was built to close off an alley. The home is 7x25' and two stories tall. In the Montlake neighborhood of Seattle, WA is a house that, while 15' at the front, is 4.5' in the rear.

The most notorious of all skinny homes was the so-called Richardson Spite House at the corner of 82nd St. and the newly punched through Lexington Avenue. Built to spite his neighbor for an insultingly low offer for his 5' sliver of land, each of the two houses built contained 8 suites each which rented for $500 per year.

While we don't recommend building strange homes to spite your neighbors, we are interested in designing homes for lots that seem unbuildable. If you own a piece of property that seems too difficult to build on, contact istockhouseplans and we'd be happy to design a home for you. We appreciate the challenge of taking the zoning and building codes to their limits. Don't be fooled by our stock skinny offering. We can make this thing look like a wide mouth bass.

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