Tuesday, August 24, 2010

May We Suggest?

From time to time Istockhouseplans receives questions about our plans.  Some feel that we are too light with our information, not including enough detail.  If this sounds like you it's quite possible that you have worked with an architect in the past.  Architects are quite notorious about detail.  As we noted earlier, we are not those architects.  A colleague said something very true the other day.  The quote mostly follows, "My plans are more of a suggestion.  It's up to the builder to take care of the details."  While this may sound arrogant or lazy, we see real value in this statement.

We have tried filling detail into plans only to have it ignored.  A good example is stairs.  If you are site-building stairs, there are at least three ways to build the carcass, at least three ways to attach the treads and risers, and at least three ways to attach a finish material.  Right there are 27 ways to build stairs.  We see no need to include every possible detail.  You as a builder are going to build stairs the way you have always built stairs.  If the situation messes up your usual way of doing things, you'll figure out a way on your own based on your own experience.

The same goes for detailing exterior trim.  This is why our houses look fairly plain.  All of our homes are drawn with typical 6" lap siding except for the occasional board and batten or shingle pattern.  Don't like it?  Change it, we don't care.  If you want to throw T1-11 all over it, feel free (but for heaven's sake, don't tell us, send pictures or advertise it as our plan!)  Don't like the kitchen layout?  Fine with us, talk to an NKBA professional.  Porch too small/big/unattractive?  Have a beer, peruse a magazine, and design your dream porch suitable to your region.  It's all in your hands.

Or put it this way: Our house plans are like a cooking recipe.  Add more meat, change the veggies, and spice it up a notch.  Throw in your own special ingredient, change the heat, or create a redux to simplify the whole thing.  (FYI, cooking is a side hobby in the office kitchen).

We feel it is our job to create some space layout, flow, and basic structural capacity.  But the rest we leave to you.  If we feel something is important to a particular look, we might detail it out.  Send us an email and we can give some more suggestions.

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