What I Build

Prairie Style

Fond of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style, the owners wanted a home with a design that blended in with the gently rolling countryside, with enough space for occasional visits from family and one that they could count on to have low utility bills during retirement. The living room, the gathering place of the house, is bordered by a curved, limestone-faced wall. [More…]

Small Footprint

I built this small footprint home for owners who wanted a small home that lives big. This is a spacious home that requires a smaller exterior footprint due to internal efficiencies. This home incorporates many energy saving features as well as materials that reduce the long-term cost of ownership such as metal roofing. [More…]

Craftsman Cottage Style Home

The Craftsman Cottage Style home shown at right achieves significant energy savings through efficient green building design and construction. Click here for more photos. For example, during a very cold Iowa winter, from October 2005 through April 2006, the cost to heat the entire home was $181. During this period of time, there were two sub-zero periods. The actual heating bills were lower than the $250 projected cost. This house produces about 36,000 pounds less carbon dioxide than a typical Energy Star certified home. It has a 5-star plus rating, which is the highest rating available. Below is a photo of the staircase that accents the center of the home. [More…]

Prairie Inspired Not-So-Big House

This Prairie Inspired home offers similar benefits in efficiency as described above for the Craftsman Cottage Style home. [More…]

Queen Anne Victorian

The home featured below ignores all window shading and solar orientation rules. Yet, with exceptional insulation, air tightness, and highly efficient appliances and mechanical equipment this house became the first five-star energy rated home in Iowa. [More…]

Bathroom Renovation

As well as building new homes, I’m delighted to renew existing ones. The photo below is of a bathroom renovation.

The original bathroom was nothing more than a windowless, cramped space under an attic roof.

While getting to know the clients, we discovered the husband needed only a place to shave, shower, and be on his way, while his wife wanted a private refuge where she could relax and refresh.

We enlarged the usable floor space by building a dormer in the roof, but instead of installing just a regular square window, we enhanced the “refuge” feel by vaulting the dormer’s ceiling and adding a half-round window.

The additional cost was minimal, and the new window better frames a beautiful view.

Not seen is the new glass-walled corner shower, but the claw-foot tub is salvaged and refinished, and the tub’s lower overall cost helped pay for the stone tile.