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The Morris Residence replaces an original family home that was lost in an accidental fire. Joan and Evan Morris raised a family of seven children who were no longer living at home yet, when their first home was destroyed, they wanted to create a new design which would allow them to enjoy their children and grandchildren in a lake setting. Working with an architecture firm their residential design took advantage of a lakeside location with a daylight basement covered by a two-story, 5,000 square foot home. With five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and several large playrooms in addition to formal living and dining areas, there's plenty of room for everyone on holidays, birthdays, or casual family gatherings. Joan's love of cooking is evident in an expansive kitchen equipped for multiple cooks. Construction costs were approximately $125 per square foot.

The point is to ask yourself:

What am I going to do for my circumstances?

The Universal Design House is the most recent design/build project undertaken by Owner Builder Services. Inspired by Ron Mace, a nationally recognized authority on Universal Design, this 2,000 square foot home incorporates products as well as building features and elements which, to the greatest extent possible, can be used by everyone, all people of all ages, sizes and abilities. The intent of the Universal Design concept is to simplify life by making products and the built environment more usable by more people at little or no extra cost.

Building Systems Councils
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"Using Panelization" with Guest Rick Northcott

Tom interviews Rick Northcott, Vice President and General Manager of Armstrong Building Components. Mr. Northcott lists the tremendous advantages to panelization, and considers how consumers can best select the right building component provider for their remodel or new construction project.

 Visit Down Home Radio for the entire audio archive

Another aspect of the Universal Design House will be the use of factory-built building components. As the skilled labor shortage continues to plague the construction industry, consumers will want to consider using building components as an option to a stick-built home. Almost every production problem stick builders battle can be minimized or eliminated by using a factory-built approach to home construction. OBS considers the Universal Design House to be a custom-engineered system which showcases innovative design with building component efficiency.

The Luthi Residence is a 3,000 square foot A-frame perched on a hill overlooking the Maple Valley with the Cascade Mountains in the background. Sharon and Kirk Luthi took charge of the Design/Build process by utilizing stock architectural drawings as a basis to customize the floor plan to match their lifestyle. They share the upper level with their children, Samantha and Austin, where they enjoy the comfort of a large kitchen open to an informal living room with high vaulted ceilings. Directly adjacent to this area are their three bedrooms and two full baths. The daylight basement remains unfinished for future growth but during rough-in all utility connections were installed to be ready for the next phase of construction. Construction costs were approximately $75 per square foot for labor and materials.

The Ingliss Addition is a 900 square foot extension to a home owned by Janie and Buzz Ingliss. The addition of this master bedroom and bathroom is complemented by a covered hot tub area accessible from the master suite. Doing their own architecture, Janie and Buzz spent several years designing this addition before construction work began so the new elevations would be a perfect match to the existing structure giving the new extension a natural appearance. You really can't tell that the extension is a new addition! Now that their children, Cory, Jason, and Whitney, are out of diapers and very rambunctious, Janie and Buzz wanted their own space at the other end of the house with a secluded hot tub for their personal use. Construction costs were approximately $55 per square foot for labor and materials.

The Wheeler Residence is a 4,500 square foot home designed uniquely for Cindy and Bill Wheeler by an architecture firm which designed from the owner's rough sketches. Bill's love of water and Cindy's attention to detail made it possible to create a custom, two-story residence on top of a daylight basement situated on a lake which was Bill's childhood playground. With two babies still in diapers, the family intends to remain in this home for the next twenty years to enjoy the distinctive styling created by the rounded turrets and multiple decks. Cindy and Bill intend to install the finish millwork themselves after the majority of construction work is complete. Construction costs were approximately $100 per square foot for labor and materials.

The Palmer House is Home Projects a 2,100 square foot, design/build project created by Palmer Coking Coal Company as a rental property investment. Located in an established neighborhood, it was important for the architecture to match the style and cost range of the existing homes. Using stock architectural drawings, this home followed building green principles in its utilization of construction methods and materials which promote environmental and personal health. Don't be fooled by the modest exterior. The owner chose to put the money into interior upgrades like plumbing and electrical fixtures, floor coverings, cabinetry, and appliances to decrease long-term maintenance costs. Not a bad way to go on a rental unit! Construction costs were approximately $65 per square foot for labor and materials.

The Morris Residence is an 1,800 square foot home with a striking veranda across the entire front of the building making this a perfect home for either hot summer days or rainy spring afternoons. Corll and John Morris were responsible for the design of the architectural drawings around their lifestyle with their children, Kayla and Hannah. John was able to take three months off work to become a hands-on participant in all phases of construction. A barrier-free, open floor plan in the center of the home permits a flow of activities between the kitchen, dining area, and living room. Three bedrooms and two full bathrooms allow each family member privacy but the large central hallway gives everyone a sense of being intimately connected. Construction costs were approximately $45 per square foot for labor and materials.

Most important to the Design/Build process is identify a design solution leading to residential construction which fits your unique circumstances. A homestyle should match a family's lifestyle as well as the characteristics of the site.

Knowing what to do before you do it is the key!



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