Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving folks! We are thankful that we are in business despite the housing market. In celebration of the holiday we will be closed Wednesday through Sunday. Any orders placed in that time will be processed and shipped on Monday the 26th.

Finally, the long anticipated Richmond series is making its way online. The Richmond and Richmond A are available on our site. Still to come are three more versions including a rowhouse. Both Richmonds are similar at 1606sf, 3 beds, 2-1/2 baths. They also feature bay windows in the parlor and dining, a large kitchen, and flex space downstairs. The main difference between the two is that the Richmond A has been slightly reconfigured to have stairs going down to a garage. It is 3 stories tall and could be built as 3 above grade or with the garage buried. The facade of both plans is a little funky, but we also include a simpler alternate elevation with the plans. You could go for broke, be conservative, or mix and match. The soon to come Richmond C will feature an even different facade for your choosing pleasure.

As previously mentioned, we didn't place in Portland, Oregon's Courtyard Housing Design Competition. However you can vote for us in the People's Choice Award by visiting the competition website, clicking the 'vote for your favorite' link, and entering '125' in the Inner Portland Site box. Our design can be seen on the site as well at the top of page 3 of the inner Portland entries. Once you visit the page, click on entry 125 to bring up the pdfs. Though we didn't win, we commend the first place winner for their very similar design to ours. It makes us feel good to know that we had the 'right idea' (to be read as 'ability to figure out what the judges wanted'), even if our presentation was a little lacking. We're pretty proud of our LEGO construction, though!

Istockhouseplans wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving and a restful and pleasant holiday.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Portland Courtyard Competition

Wow, Tuesday came quickly this week! Okay, it didn't really, but we had to insert a quick note about Portland Oregon's Courtyard Housing Design Competition. We didn't win. Yeah, big frowny face. However we take consolation in the fact that the first place winner's design was a spitting image of ours. Six units, two stories, same relation of space, same use of space, but smaller units. They also used the same green concepts as we did such as onsite water rentention/use and solar panels. Not to be bitter by any means, but we certainly wouldn't want to live near the winner's units. Why? One reason only; they don't fit into the fabric of the old neighborhoods. The designer hails from Santa Barbara and his design reflects that. Quite frankly, flat roofs and carports are not the way to go in the rainy Rose City. That and the units are neo-modern boxes. (Second and third place winners went further and further down the box road. NIMBY anyone?) We tried to be sensitive to the older neighborhoods in matching design styles and scale.

But we still have a chance at national recognition. You can vote for us in the people's choice award by visiting the website, clicking the vote button, and entering 125 into the first box. If we do win, we will offer an ultra low price on purchasing the design to encourage its building.

See you on Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Free Beer

Sorry, did we say beer? We meant free shipping. Just a reminder that we don't charge for shipping on orders and we haven't even jacked up the price of the plans to make up for it.

The good news is that the Edgewood now lives on istockhouseplans. There are three versions of said plan, one at 25' wide, the other two at 28' wide. The 25' is 1693 square feet, the 28' are 1850sf. Both 28 footers are essentially the same plan, but the 'B' has been enhanced with more period style windows and other slight modifications. All three plans are similar with four bedrooms, two and a half baths and a 1-car garage. Garage? You put a garage on a plan? Well, yes we did and it's all part of a story.

Not so long ago in our galaxy there was a poor young college student and a homebuilder in need of drafting skills. What fate brought them together we know not, but the poor young college student started drafting for the homebuilder. This turned out to be a winner of a relationship and lasted for years. As all good things must come to an end, the formerly poor young college student went on to start istockhouseplans. The student-cum-draftsman and homebuilder still have a good relationship and from time to time take on projects together. One such project brings us up to our current state of affairs, that of the Edgewood. Builder approached draftsman and said, "I've got this great design that I need drafted." Draftsman commenced his skills, made some minor modifications and the Edgewood was born.

In summary, the Edgewood didn't result from our brainwave, but we were happy to work with our builder friend to make it reality. Hence, there are some differences from our usual plans. There is an attached front-load garage (a rarity for us) and you may also notice a standard water heater and furnace residing therein. Overall we are pleased with the plan, otherwise we would not have suggested mass-marketing it from our site. As soon as it is built we will be posting some pictures.

We also wish to announce our Courtyard Housing Project Entry. As we have told you, The City of Portland, OR launched a courtyard housing design competition and we were pleased to enter. You can now find our entry on our site as well as several 'photos' of the project done in LEGO CAD. The houses used in our entry will be available for sale in a month or so. Contest winners will be announced November 14th.

In the meantime we are finalizing up other plans. The Creston was our inspiration for the courtyard houses, the Richmond is a brownstone with three guises, and the Ash B garage is a hybrid design. Look for these plans and others coming soon to an istockhouseplans near you!