March 7, 2022: “On the boards” is designer-speak for “whatcha working on?” Since I began building my first Poem Home in 2018, I’ve had the opportunity to design 6 new super-insulated homes for my clients. Each one reflects their unique place in the world and their owner’s design sensibility.
Up north, overlooking a pristine lake (a God’s Drop if you think like Thoreau), an iconic-looking summer camp is taking shape. This stunner is not only complex and a serious undertaking, but also being built almost entirely by the owners, a couple who are truly living their dream. This home has 2×6 framing and 4 inches of sheet foam for an R-40 wall.
Further south and situated along a quiet street in a mid-size city, will soon be an accessible home for a single retiree. It’s an R-45 double 2×4 wall house on a slab, with an R-60 vaulted ceiling in the great room. The design is modern and bold, with a single concrete pillar holding up the front porch.
Overlooking the fields and forests of central Wisconsin, a simple and sturdy home will be built by a capable couple with young children. It’s also a double wall house on a slab with a vaulted ceiling. The exterior will be clad in “barn steel” and the south facing windows will be shaded by a wood post & beam “rooflet”. At one end of the house is a 3-season room with bi-pass windows that can be thrown open in good weather.
When you have an alley behind your house and you need a garage and a workshop, why not also add solar panels, a hot-tub deck, and guest quarters? This double wall house on an ICF (insulated concrete form) foundation with a vaulted ceiling and triple-pane windows will meet the highest standards of energy-efficiency. It will be a place for fun, family, friends, and projects.
A lovely meadow overlooking a quaint town is the perfect place to be. This home will be enjoyed by the owners as a second home and also rented out to the many tourists who frequent the nearby art galleries. The design is an almost-replica of the Poem Home in Spring Green, except the second bedroom and bath are in the lower level. This home will easily achieve net-zero.
Could it be a trend? This ambitious young couple are going to “GC” (general contract) and do most of the work to construct their own home. Located down a country lane and overlooking the Wisconsin River Valley, it will make an enviable retreat from the world. My clients came to me with a well thought out floor plan, a building section, and a list of specifications that needed only a little refinement on my part. It has 2×6 walls with 4″ of sheet foam on the exterior, an ICF foundation, and high-heeled roof trusses for all-around really great R-value.
Do you know someone (maybe you?) who’s thinking about a new house and understands that we really can do better than conventional construction? I have a wealth of knowledge and experience that I’m happy to share, in whatever way is most helpful. Let’s get in touch!