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info for home-making

The long house

A number of years ago we worked on a project in Boulder that held a number of challenges, not the least of which was a long narrow lot with severe building restrictions.  My client's property was 50' wide by 188' long, but because of its corner location, both street-facing sides of the lot require a 25' wide setback from the street.  That setback along with additional side and rear yard setbacks made the building envelope 20' wide by 128' long, a 6 1/2 : 1 length to width ratio

The Great Gear Dilemma

Boulder is known as an outdoor enthusiast's kind of town.  Almost everyone I know has a plethora of outdoor gear - multiple bikes, skis, helmets of every configuration, packs and bags, tents, stoves, and the occasional kayak and canoe.  Largely this equipment has usurped the car from its usual haunt in the garage.  It is a rare Boulderite who can actually fit their car in their garage because of the ever-expanding collection of bikes if nothing else.

house construction and being local

In many ways, building or remodeling is about the most local, job-creating activity within the economy.  Unless your construction is from very unconventional materials, they are most likely sourced relatively closely to the place of construction.  "Local" may mean the US, not the preferred 500 mile definition, but very few of the things consumers typically purchase can even say that.  Most of the wood in residential construction comes from the US or Canada (the importing of subsidized Canadian softwoods is a touchy subject for US manufacturers).

heating and cooling for your house

The types and costs of heating your house

The available array of options for heating and cooling your house is significantly larger than it was just a few years ago.  Heightened awareness of energy efficiency and new, related techologies, have given us options that not only provide a much greater degree of thermal comfort, but do so at less cost and most importantly provide the homeowner with monitoring tools to increase awareness of how these systems can be optimized.

architect's pet peeves no. 17 - fake quoins

architect's pet peeves no. 17 - fake quoins

"Quoins" are the exposed stone pieces that you sometimes see stacking up only on the corner of a building. They sometimes look like a zipper applied to the corner edges of a structure.