What will they say in 20 years about today's new homes?

rcg1When I look at new construction for sale I often wonder if the architect and the builder ever spoke or better yet, if the architect or the builder would ever live in the house they designed/built (I am a builder). I seem to be asking myself that question even more lately as I tour homes built from about 2005+.

I wonder, besides the financial crisis, what will this era’s theme of houses be?
It will for sure be about townhomes, but (on average) I am afraid it will also equate to poorly designed and constructed too.

I was touring a home today that made me wonder if the builder ever asked the question, “where will the couch go

Phinney Neighborhood annual home fair, Sunday, Jan 28th

Phinney Neighborhood Center is hosting their annual home fair this weekend. This is a wonderful event with a lot of great information about home upkeep, upgrading, and overall design concepts. Several builders and architects attend this event and provide their expertise in a comfortable environment. One of my clients, Kirk Jolley, of Kirk Redo is usually in attendance as an exhibitor. He’s got great woodworking and finishing skills as I’ve seen his personal residence that he rebuilt after a former owner’s long neglect and I’ve seen many of his client projects, including the floor of my own home office – and he’s a great guy too! I’ve also volunteered in the past to help at the event as a member of the Phinney Neighborhood Association but sadly can’t make it to this year’s event. However, I do believe it is a great opportunity for people that are considering making changes to their home in the coming year to start getting educated about the process and to get some wonderful design ideas.

HOME DESIGN AND REMODEL FAIR : Imagine, Explore, Build
Sunday, Jan. 28, 2007, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave N.
Admission: $5 for PNA members, $8 for the general public, children under 12 Free

The 10th annual Home Design and Remodel Fair will offer local homeowners a chance to meet with trained professionals and get advice on remodeling and home improvement projects.

More than 75 exhibitors ranging from general and specialty contractors to landscape professionals to architects and designers will be on hand to offer advice and resources needed to complete any home improvement project. Many of the exhibitors have a “green” emphasis.

Presentations will also be featured throughout the day. Topics include everything from choosing a contractor to stocking your toolbox.

The presentation schedule includes:

10:30 Choosing & Hiring a Contractor
11:10 Remodeling for Resale Value
11:50 Financing Your Remodeling Project
12:30 Working with an Architect

12:45-1:15 in the Blue Room
Q&A with Around the Home & More KOL Radio hosts Kevin Liger & John Kappler

1:20 DIY Mini Home Inspection
2:00 Making the Most of What You’ve Got
2:40 Tools for the Homeowner
3:20 Design/Build: What is it?

This is not your father’s woodshed

[photopress:hmphoto3.jpg,thumb,alignright]I’m not talking about the steel side or rubber maid monstrosity of ugliness you pick up at Home Depot. Nope, these are modern architecture with designer finishes. I’ve been thinking about writing this article ever since I saw the well designed sheds by Coast Cabins at the home show a year ago. A recent article in Business Week on the same topic spurred me to get around to it. I’ve often thought of adding more space to my existing home (especially since my son came along – he’s 5 months now) but not really in the budget range yet for the massive remodel I’d like to do. So I thought about putting up one of these sheds as an office and/or guest space. No waiting weeks for contractors, off-track budgets and even better – no permits.

  • These still fall under local ordinances or CC&Rs for outbuildings, so you need to check your neighborhood rules.
  • In King County you can do up to 200 square feet without a permit
  • I live in the City of Bellevue where it is up to 120 square feet without a permit

[photopress:shed_10_12_image01.gif,thumb,alignleft]If you want to go a little more contemporary, there’s a great system designed by architect Michael Graves for Target (yes, that Target — with the bull’s-eye). Or if you like modern ala The Dwell home, check out modern-shed.com,

To some people this might seem a bit trashy, but as the Business Week article said “just think of it as a backyard room“. Me — I’m thinking of heading to the woodshed. 🙂