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  1. Your House, Your Sandwich
    Essay

    Your House, Your Sandwich

    An Architectural Drama in Five Parts

    written by: Dan Maginn
    05.03.10

  2. Words You Should Know: Building Codes
    Design 101

    Words You Should Know: Building Codes

    Arm yourself with the vocabulary needed to navigate the world of building codes.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    09.29.11

  3. Words You Should Know
    Design 101

    Words You Should Know

    Bid: How much the contractor will charge to build the house. Different than “estimate.” (“Bid” is to “estimate” as “getting wife flowers” is to ...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.25.10

  4. Why Is Joe Frowning?
    Design 101

    Why Is Joe Frowning?

    So you’ve brought home a bumbling new contractor who’ll turn your Ritz into a wreck. How to avoid it? Read on.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.25.10

  5. Why Is Jane Smiling?
    Design 101

    Why Is Jane Smiling?

    So you’ve brought home an ebullient new contractor to turn your wreck into the Ritz. How to do it? Read on.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.25.10

  6. Up to Code
    Design 101

    Up to Code

    How one homeowner chose a savvy architect, made nice with the building code, and moved in without a hitch.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    09.29.11

  7. Underdone
    Essay

    Underdone

    At least 19 unfinished renovation projects currently reside within the crotchety old puzzle box of a house that I share with my wife, Keri. Together, the 21 of us live in a spirit of communal...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    03.20.10

  8. Think Volume
    Design 101

    Think Volume

    Creatively separating your functional needs is a key component of Good Small Design—it’s all about overlap, nesting, and double duty.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    11.17.12

  9. Think Outside the Box
    Design 101

    Think Outside the Box

    The final step in the creation of a Good Small Space involves its connection to the 2.5 zillion square feet that exist outside your 900.1

    written by: Dan Maginn
    11.17.12

  10. The Yard Zone

    The Yard Zone

    The space outside your walls should be as thoughtfully considered as the space within. Aside from contributing to pleasant, functioning outdoor space, well-placed landscaping can protect your house...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  11. The Whole House Zone
    Design 101

    The Whole House Zone

    By conceptually dividing your home into zones, you can analyze each of its functions in turn. From there, you can develop strategies to understand how you actually live inside these zones—...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  12. The Utility Zone

    The Utility Zone

    Your garage, laundry room, basement, and other nonglam support areas: These are the silent killers of energy-efficiency in your home.1 Because these spaces are largely “unseen” (and...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  13. The Sleeping Zone

    The Sleeping Zone

    Sleep on this: You probably spend more time in your bedroom than any other home zone, so it’s important to get it right.1 Reducing your resource consumption here requires a close look at how...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  14. The Living Zone

    The Living Zone

    Let’s talk design for a minute. It’s important to remember that potential modifications to your home must be carefully considered before you implement them. If you blindly follow the...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  15. The Food Zone

    The Food Zone

    Fine-tuning your cooking and dining areas pays off in more ways than just saving resources. As in other functional zones, their success starts with awareness: Where exactly does your food come from...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  16. The Bathroom Zone

    The Bathroom Zone

    Reducing your water usage is easy, and it doesn’t mean you have to brush your teeth with a pinecone or weep with remorse every time you flush the can. As is the case with all resource usage,...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  17. Reading Time: Creative Books for Kids
    Books

    Reading Time: Creative Books for Kids

    From picture books for pint-size readers to more involved, didactic tomes that parents can read to their kids, break out these entertaining and educational volumes for more creative play.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    photos by: Peter Belanger
    09.27.13

  18. Permission Denied
    Design 101

    Permission Denied

    Muculus Grigsby runs afoul of the permits department, costing him a chunk of change and loads of time.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    09.29.11

  19. On the Level
    --Done Right

    On the Level

    Sadly there's no blueprint for how to best work with an architect. Follow the example of the Smiths, though, and you'll come out ahead.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.12.10

  20. Moving Violations
    Design 101

    Moving Violations

    Can you spot the 11 infractions in this modern house?

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.05.11

  21. Modern Problems
    Design 101

    Modern Problems

    Love superclean design but fear the building inspector? Here's our guide to skirting those modernist missteps.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.05.11

  22. Measure Your Life
    Design 101

    Measure Your Life

    With less stuff, you’ll need fewer square feet to jam it into. But how small is too small?

    written by: Dan Maginn
    11.17.12

  23. Let's Get Small
    Design 101

    Let's Get Small

    A five-step program for those suffering from too much stuff and not enough space.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    11.17.12

  24. In the Nick of Time
    Design 101

    In the Nick of Time

    Though contractors are unusually deft with tools, accidents do happen. SawStop puts an end to that.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.25.10

  25. Ill Communication
    --Done Wrong

    Ill Communication

    The Joneses went for a splashy starchitect to design their new home. Then things took a turn for the worse.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.12.10

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