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Rammed Earth: A Cheap, Sustainable Building Style That Can Give Your House a Distinctive Look

Houses April 28, 2016

Rammed Earth: A Cheap, Sustainable Building Style That Can Give Your House a Distinctive Look

How many of you have explored rammed earth as a building style for walls?

Although it is inexpensive and very sustainable, it is an uncommon building technology in the West. However, it is used in many other countries, especially countries where other building materials are scarce or unaffordable.

While rammed earth walls have a distinctive look many people find beautiful, rammed earth can also be used to make floors and foundations.

The drawbacks of rammed earth are that it requires powered tampers (or a significant effort in labor) and it can be damaged by water if it is not adequately protected from rain. In its favor though, is that it is impervious to fire, its strong and durable (not as strong as concrete, but still strong enough for domestic buildings), stores heat or cold well, breathes well (because of the clay) and is simple to make. It can be modified with Styrofoam or other insulation to keep in heat even better.

How is it made? A mixture of sand, gravel and clay, and moisture is poured into a mold or frame and is compacted with force. Lime, cement and asphalt emulsions are sometimes also added, as well as oxides to add various colors, or small objects to add texture.

Sustainability is another thing rammed earth has going for it. For solid masonry, rammed earth is possibly the lowest environmental impact building style.

The technology is ancient, but is currently experiencing a revival due to growing interest in sustainable building styles.

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Family Vacation House is a Traditional Design, But It’s Also a Modular Home

Houses April 28, 2016

Family Vacation House is a Traditional Design, But It’s Also a Modular Home

This prefab home was designed with tradition in mind. It was constructed decades ago by house designer (and furniture designer) Jens Risom, after renting for years on a small, undeveloped island off of Rhode Island.

It was designed partly as a challenge, and partly out of a desire for tradition. The architect had been reading architectural magazines say that a summer house couldn’t be built for under $25,000, and he wanted to show that he could do it. Prefabrication was part of this economizing. On the other hand, he had been renting on Block Island with his family for years, and when he found a nice plot, he wanted to build something like the A-frame’s he had been in as a kid in Denmark.

He was also influenced by his architect father and his ideas about stamped-earth building.

Some notable features of this design: well, besides the location, it has a 20-foot ceiling, cedar shingles, and a wall of glass facing north (replaced recently with safety glass).

The yard is surrounded by low stone fences, which is common to the island.

It was built using prefab in an era when modular homes were not usually held up as ideals of style. The home designer researched various modular home building kits of parts, and found one that had his requirements (Stanmar, our of Massachusetts). The parts were brought in by truck and then by tug boat, then by flatbed on the island. Photos by Floto + Warner.

Jens Risom's Block Island (1) Jens Risom's Block Island (4)

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Modern Mountain Home

Houses April 27, 2016

Modern Mountain Home

Taking a break from our pursuit on Building Homes and Living of finding inexpensive alternatives that will let us all get into a house situation — mostly we look at prefabs and modular buildings in our pursuit.

This mountain home is clearly not one that could be built on a shoestring. But, it is a kind of nice home design.

It’s by Pearson Design Group. Pearson itself is out of Bozeman, Montana:

“Focused on originality, we approach every project with a well-managed, collaborative process, which explores the opportunities and assesses the constraints in order to craft an architectural experience that evolves into an integrated and original story––a whole, a home, a legacy.”

The interior design is by Ann Knight Interiors, though. To contact Pearson Design Group or see more of their work, find their link at our Architects and Home Builders Directory.

Interior:

pearson design group (3) pearson design group (1) pearson design group (4)

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Modern House Design Could Influence Your Prefab Design

Houses April 8, 2016

Modern House Design Could Influence Your Prefab Design

We’ve been looking at prefabricated home design lately and thinking about how we can find affordable solutions for the good people of our countries so they can all have homes. Well, this particular house design isn’t an inexpensive prefab, but we’re talking about it because its design could certainly be replicated or influence your modular home design.

The photo above shows a house called “The Glass Pavilion,” which was designed by Steve Hermann. It’s a 5-bedroom house that’s just under 14,000 square feet. That’s way more than most prefab home buyers are looking for, right?

Right, but look at the layout (picture above and thumbnail photo below). Not the entire structure, but the concept of it. It’s a flat, blocky house design, and the impression of the house and its aesthetic could be done with basic modular construction — even container bin construction — and could be scaled to the size (how many bedrooms) you want your prefab home to have.

Forgetting about the underground parking lot of the luxurious Glass House for a moment, the above-ground visible part of the house could be placed on simple leveling and blocking (without need for a concrete foundation).

To see more of Steve Hermann’s luxury home designs, find him in our prefab and modular homes directory. For more modular homes (click here).

glass pavilion steve harmann (1)

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Tekapo Shed Small Family House Design

Houses February 24, 2016

Tekapo Shed Small Family House Design

Small house builders and those in the prefabricated home market might want to take a look at this gable-form house design, which was a recent winner of a Small Project Architecture award.

This article has moved: Small Family House Design

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Tiny Home with Beautiful Design

Houses January 11, 2016

Tiny Home with Beautiful Design

Tiny homes keep getting more beautiful and more efficient everyday. They are also able to mimic the style of a bigger home. Buyers seeking a traditional looking house but built as a tiny house, have many choices these days like this gorgeous beauty. The pillars in the front give this tiny home an elegant look and also makes it appear larger than it really is; this is the magic of tiny home builders. They know what to do to give the buyer the appearance they’re seeking.

This tiny home has a nice sized living room and is also equipped with a dining room area. The kitchen is larger than many in big city apartments. The colors are outstanding, in earth tones and brightly painted door. It’s a lovely home with two bedrooms suited well for a small family with a child or two small children. The second bedroom can also be an office or guestroom, or both combined.

Living room with size 3.0 x 3.0 meters, dining is 3.0 x 2.3 meters, kitchen is 3.0 x 2.0 meters and the two bedrooms having a size 3.0 x 3.0 meters each. The total floor area is approximately 48.0 sq.m. which can be constructed if your lot is 120 sq.m.

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Elegant Georgian Style Yet Simple Town House

Houses January 11, 2016

Elegant Georgian Style Yet Simple Town House

Taking a pause from prefabs and modular home building styles for a minute here, we found this simple classic styled town house.

“Designed by Stephen Fuller, Inc., of Atlanta, the home combines a classic, good-looking exterior with spacious, livable interiors. Called “Brook Hollow”, this traditional house features deep porches remind us of the Georgian styling. People who love an elegant yet simple lifestyle will surely love this design.

“Of course we encourage people who choose this house for their home to use a high quality steel frame instead of timber frame.

Stats:
3,951 sq. ft. (additional 754 sq. ft. – garage)
4 (6 possible) bedrooms
4 baths

Dimensions 82 ‘ W x 69 ‘ ” D x 34′ H.

Find more from Stephen Fuller, Inc., and other companies we’ve indexed in our Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can search the company’s name and look builders near your area. And to see more houses, click here.

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Country House 2,556 Sq Ft, 4 Bedrooms (with House Plans)

Houses January 11, 2016

Live in this Elegant House

This elegant home is waiting for just the right family and can be customized to suit your needs. With the choice of a fireplace it is cozy, yet spacious. Sized for a mid-sized family, this traditional, yet contemporary home lacks no inconveniences. The interior and exterior elevations gives this home the classiest of looks and any family can rest assured that the detail and construction materials are of the highest quality.

The home is majestic inside and out and the floor plan is a combination of traditional and an open floor plan, that makes the home appear even larger. The kitchen is state of the art and made as beautiful as a chef’s kitchen, while the molding details bring an old-fashioned timelessness to the entire home.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THESE PLANS?

  • Rendering of the Front Elevation
  • Foundation and dimensioned floor plans
  • Electrical Plans
  • Section through house
  • All Exterior Elevations
  • Selected Interior Elevations
  • Door and Window Sizes
  • Fireplace Details, Stair Details, Molding Details, Cabinet Details and Exterior Details
  • Roof Plan

Check out the gallery of photos below (all images on our site are expandable, even the featured image at the top).

Find more from companies and builders we’ve indexed in our Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can search the company’s name and look builders near your area. And to see more home and garden,click here.

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Traditional-Style American Home w/ Exceptional Interior (8 HQ Pictures)

Houses January 11, 2016

Traditional-Style American Home w/ Exceptional Interior (8 HQ Pictures)

Palladium Builders brings you this gorgeous home which resembles a mini mansion. It is exquisite on the exterior with gorgeous roof and window designs. This is a home fit for a large family who chooses to live in luxury. With 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms there will never be any waiting in line morning or night. A home like this one allows a large family to each have access to their own privacy.

The interior has the best of the best appliances and style in each room of the home. This is definitely a social family’s home who will love to show off all of the state of the art design and luxurious style. As beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside,this is the perfect space for the family reunion or summertime BBQ.

Stats:  3,705 sq feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 floors, garage (760 sq. feet).

Find more from Palladium Builders, and other companies we’ve indexed in our Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can search the company’s name and look builders near your area. And to see more houses, click here.

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Cozy Country House with Swing Porch

Houses January 11, 2016

Homely Country House with Swing Porch

This stunning home is perfectly suited for a long-term family residence. It has everything a growing family would be seeking. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and the convenience of a two-car garage, it has a lot of appeal. The 1st floor has a master suite, and so even couples would love the spaciousness and luxuriousness of this home. Since it has an extra room that can be used as a den or home office, varying types of families will be drawn towards this lovely and cozy space.

The two car garage is a great solution for those who want to protect their vehicles from the sun or inclement weather, or if you are a one car family, the remaining space can be used for storage or a small man cave for entertainment during sports seasons. The swing porch tops off this perfect family home.

Specifications: 1,879 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage. More details and features in the plans below.

Special Features:

1st Floor Master Suite
Den-Office-Library-Study

Find more from Architectural House Plans, and other companies we’ve indexed in our Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can search the company’s name and look builders near your area. And to see more houses, click here.

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  • How many of you have looked into these Quonset building kit homes First thing you might notice is that there are a couple of standard types, based mostly on the roof. These are P and S styles. According to SteelMaster, Quonset homes are becoming more and more popular with the DIY crowd; they can be erected quickly and provide a solid, secure, long lasting solution for most housing needs. Quonset buildings were originally developed as a sturdy answer to extreme weather conditions, and are manufactured in two styles best suited for residential applications The P Model is the style most commonly seen in use as a garage, workshop or for Quonset Hut homes. It's straight walls and pitched roof present a more traditional look than other Quonset huts

    These Quonset Inexpensive Kit Homes Start at Less than $8,000

    by on February 1, 2017 - 0 Comments

    How many of you have looked into these Quonset building kit homes? First thing you might notice is that there are a couple of standard types, based mostly on the roof. These are P and S styles. According to SteelMaster, “Quonset homes are becoming more and more popular with the DIY crowd; they can be […]

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    Summer Tiny Home Idea - Super Simple Design

    by on February 27, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Here’s a DIY tiny house unlike any you might have seen before. These fellows did it with just a bit of lumber and that piece of corrugated metal. Interested in trying something like this yourself? They’re a couple of Californians, named Matt & Margo, and they built this one over a dry creek bed (usually dry, anyway). […]

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    This Comfortable Tiny House Design (with Plans)

    by on February 1, 2017 - 0 Comments

    All of us, I think it would be fair to say, want to own a house of some sort, and some of us want a small or even a tiny home. Well, here is a nice smaller-sized house (with plans) we recently came across, and thought we’d share. It’s one that comes in several models, […]

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    by on February 15, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Many people are finally letting go of what we sometimes call “The American Dream”: A marriage, two and a half kids, a dog, a good paying job, and a nice big house. And the accumulation of “stuff” has been at the forefront of this myth. For these folks a more minimal, manageable life holds a […]

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    Building homes out of discarded materials is what Earthship is doing all over the world

    by on March 20, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Earthship Biotecture Tennessee is launching a Kickstarter, and they sent us this update on what they’re up to! so we’re sharing it with you guys … Earthships use discarded materials like used tires and plastic bottles, solar/wind electricity, rainwater catchment and filtration, passive solar/thermal mass design, and contained natural sewage treatment to achieve a home […]