Architect Jayna Cooper had never designed a house before, much less played general contractor, when she broke ground on her new home in the middle of Los Angeles in 2009. After a grueling four months of hands-on hard work—managing subcontractors, sourcing materials, driving the front loader—she moved in. Here, she walks us through her completed home and reveals what it took to make this $200-per-square-foot abode a reality.
Our July/August issue (on newsstands now) focuses on the work of talented female architects who found creative ways to solve design problems. One such story is told by Jayna Cooper, an emerging L.A. architect (and Dwell on Design 2012 speaker) who shepherded her home from blueprint to building in just 131 days. Cooper dreamed up the concept, put it on paper, managed subcontractors, sourced materials and products, and completed some of the construction work herself. Check dwell.com Wednesday to read the full story and accompanying slideshow of photos. In the meantime, here are four excerpted tips to whet your appetite.