A Remarkable Home

For decades I've learned about the good and bad designs of homes. Finally this year I'm in a possition to start the process of designing a home that incorporates everything I've learned. This post shares what I plan to build.

I've been learning about construction all my life. I was litterally born into an unfinished house. My dad was a contractor for 40+ years and built the house I grew up in. At the dinner table he'd tell his construction stories. We'd hear what part of a house broke today, who's fault it was and how much it would cost. On the weekends he'd take my brother and I to clean a job site, meet a subcontractor or install insulation.

I ended up getting my bachelors degreen in Civil Engineering and worked as an engineer building water and solar projects.

I've stayed in 100+ different Airbnb's and taken pictures and notes on each of their design.

All this is to say that I've put a ton of thought into the experiences I want from my house and how to build it. Here are the aspects that I'll focus on getting right when building our house.

Make it last.

Its a huge effort to build a home. Spend time thinking how it can last >100 years. This doesn't mean that every part of the house has to last that long but it does mean that you have a plan how to replace it when it does.

Build into the environtment.

Nature always wins. It's better to work with the environment you're given rather than fight it.

A friend who worked at the planning department said rich homeowners will often hire expensive consultants to determine their now home site. He said the consultants always suggest the same location that the old homesteader chose 100 years ago. If you spend time on land, you'll know what to do.

Bring people together.

Life is the experiences we have together. A home can help you create experiences you'll cherish.

Create deligthful experiences.

Avoid frustrating designs and spark joy where you can. Think through the "user experience" of everything you'll do in the home.

Frustrating designs.

  • light switch behind the door or accross the room
  • flooding toilet ruins the furniture
  • not enough storage
  • not enough outlets

Joyful designs.

  • A building material that tells a story.
  • Wake up looking out a window at a nice view.
  • A hook to hang your jackets is exactly where you'd expect.
  • Replacing something is easy.

It should work for you.

A home should save you time and money. Building an energy and water efficient home is an easy way to save money. But homes should also minimize the chores you have to do like cleaning, cooking and childcare.

I'll write another post on the specific design and construction aspects of my home.