Here's what you need to know before undergoing a building project with a contractor but no architect.
Here's what you need to know before undergoing a building project with a contractor but no architect.
When not in use during winter, the tub is hidden from the home’s view. The entrance has a sheltered overhang for car parking.
When not in use during winter, the tub is hidden from the home’s view. The entrance has a sheltered overhang for car parking.
Simple wood and brick contrast the industrial character of the concrete and steel, while also serving as sound dampeners.
Simple wood and brick contrast the industrial character of the concrete and steel, while also serving as sound dampeners.
The cathedral also is used for cultural events like concerts and lectures.
The cathedral also is used for cultural events like concerts and lectures.
6. "Am I the 'fixer-upper' type?" 

"The truth is that an additional $100,000 on your purchase price is only about $300 more in payments,” she says. “If you work long hours and don't have a handy bone in your body, you might be better off buying a more fixed-up home.”

7. "Who are all of the decision makers, and can they actually see the home?" 

"There are times when parents may be helping out children with their down payment," she says. “It's always better to have the parents in on the process as early as possible."
6. "Am I the 'fixer-upper' type?" "The truth is that an additional $100,000 on your purchase price is only about $300 more in payments,” she says. “If you work long hours and don't have a handy bone in your body, you might be better off buying a more fixed-up home.” 7. "Who are all of the decision makers, and can they actually see the home?" "There are times when parents may be helping out children with their down payment," she says. “It's always better to have the parents in on the process as early as possible."
“I love the house more each day,” says Tamami Sylvester of her and husband Michael's home by Sebastian Mariscal in Venice, California. The kitchen, which includes all Miele appliances, is sheathed in custom woodwork from Semihandmade. Accessories from A+R complement the Caesarstone countertops and Franke faucet. A LifeSource Water System provides filtration. Photo by Coral von Zumwalt.
“I love the house more each day,” says Tamami Sylvester of her and husband Michael's home by Sebastian Mariscal in Venice, California. The kitchen, which includes all Miele appliances, is sheathed in custom woodwork from Semihandmade. Accessories from A+R complement the Caesarstone countertops and Franke faucet. A LifeSource Water System provides filtration. Photo by Coral von Zumwalt.
If you’re traveling to Puglia in Italy, one of the most iconic sights are trulli (trullo is the singular), an ancient hut that's specific to the Itria Valley in the Apulia region of Southern Italy. Made with dry stone, trulli date back to medieval times.
If you’re traveling to Puglia in Italy, one of the most iconic sights are trulli (trullo is the singular), an ancient hut that's specific to the Itria Valley in the Apulia region of Southern Italy. Made with dry stone, trulli date back to medieval times.
Six-inch-square blue tiles cover the walls and floor of the girls’ upstairs bathroom. The towels and rug are also by H&M Home.
Six-inch-square blue tiles cover the walls and floor of the girls’ upstairs bathroom. The towels and rug are also by H&M Home.
"How would a kid draw a house?" architect Per Franson asked himself when designing the Olivero-Reinius family home. The simple prefab structure’s unusual color comes from a traditional source: falu rödfärg, the historic mineral paint that gives the region’s famous barns their red color.
"How would a kid draw a house?" architect Per Franson asked himself when designing the Olivero-Reinius family home. The simple prefab structure’s unusual color comes from a traditional source: falu rödfärg, the historic mineral paint that gives the region’s famous barns their red color.
Architect Gustavo Costa calls the home library the “project’s heart.” This central space houses the owner’s expansive collection of about 5,000 books, and acts as a meeting place for friends and colleagues. A Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Red and Blue chair completes the space.
Architect Gustavo Costa calls the home library the “project’s heart.” This central space houses the owner’s expansive collection of about 5,000 books, and acts as a meeting place for friends and colleagues. A Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Red and Blue chair completes the space.
5. "What are the top 10 most important things I must have in a home?" 

"If there are two people buying the home, write your answers down separately, starting with your absolute must-haves," Hoffman explains. “Putting together a list separately can give both parties and the realtor a clear picture of what the perfect home will have for both of you."
5. "What are the top 10 most important things I must have in a home?" "If there are two people buying the home, write your answers down separately, starting with your absolute must-haves," Hoffman explains. “Putting together a list separately can give both parties and the realtor a clear picture of what the perfect home will have for both of you."
An outdoor shower was the family’s first construction project. “Doing the shower made us realize we can build things the way we want to build them,” says Meg.
An outdoor shower was the family’s first construction project. “Doing the shower made us realize we can build things the way we want to build them,” says Meg.
“We sought to create a house that would not damage the environment and not be too visible,” says architect Tina Gregorič. A single zigzagging roof stretches over 5,380 square feet, doubling the area of the interior spaces and serving as an ideal spot for sunset cocktails and whale-watching.
“We sought to create a house that would not damage the environment and not be too visible,” says architect Tina Gregorič. A single zigzagging roof stretches over 5,380 square feet, doubling the area of the interior spaces and serving as an ideal spot for sunset cocktails and whale-watching.
He worked around existing oak and eucalyptus trees for the new building, and retained the vernacular of an original barn, at right, where Frankel hosts concerts. Check out MVRDV's Balancing Barn.
He worked around existing oak and eucalyptus trees for the new building, and retained the vernacular of an original barn, at right, where Frankel hosts concerts. Check out MVRDV's Balancing Barn.
At night, the exterior screen provides privacy when the house is illuminated.
At night, the exterior screen provides privacy when the house is illuminated.
The architects inserted skylights in an artful pattern in the rooftop.
The architects inserted skylights in an artful pattern in the rooftop.
The courtyard is just one of many open spaces that will be highly utilized—in the non-winter months anyway. Concrete worked well with developing the language of FlatPak. The second level is a wood panel that can be clad in corrugated metal or cedar—different layers that can be plugged in like covers on your cellphone.
The courtyard is just one of many open spaces that will be highly utilized—in the non-winter months anyway. Concrete worked well with developing the language of FlatPak. The second level is a wood panel that can be clad in corrugated metal or cedar—different layers that can be plugged in like covers on your cellphone.
"The building form was intentionally asymmetric and clad in hand-stained, split-face shakes and metal," says Campos Studio.
"The building form was intentionally asymmetric and clad in hand-stained, split-face shakes and metal," says Campos Studio.
The kitchen is situated in a sunken basement, underneath the staircase’s walnuts steps. The same joiner who built the house’s timber elements built the white cabinetry which are finished in a 40% gloss lacquer. Silestone countertops and integrated appliances maintain the space’s simple lines. Additional storage is fitted under the staircase.
The kitchen is situated in a sunken basement, underneath the staircase’s walnuts steps. The same joiner who built the house’s timber elements built the white cabinetry which are finished in a 40% gloss lacquer. Silestone countertops and integrated appliances maintain the space’s simple lines. Additional storage is fitted under the staircase.
Located on a steep site with limited suitable building ground, the firm decided to cantilever the home over the hillside, which has the effect of helping the structure blend in with the landscape.
Located on a steep site with limited suitable building ground, the firm decided to cantilever the home over the hillside, which has the effect of helping the structure blend in with the landscape.
Best Practice added a new roof but kept the existing siding. A fresh coat of paint helps the casita pop, and a new window opening next to the entrance frames a new kitchenette inside.
Best Practice added a new roof but kept the existing siding. A fresh coat of paint helps the casita pop, and a new window opening next to the entrance frames a new kitchenette inside.
In Montara, California, architect Michael Maltzan designed a home for, his sister and 

brother-in-law. From certain vantage points, the home’s unique angles result in M.C. Escher–like optical illusions.
In Montara, California, architect Michael Maltzan designed a home for, his sister and brother-in-law. From certain vantage points, the home’s unique angles result in M.C. Escher–like optical illusions.
The ADU stands ready for guests—and the owners to use as a temporary home during renovations of the main house.
The ADU stands ready for guests—and the owners to use as a temporary home during renovations of the main house.
Utility equipment and storage is hidden in the hexagonal "systems ring" below the living space modules.
Utility equipment and storage is hidden in the hexagonal "systems ring" below the living space modules.
6 Prefab Companies Ready to Build Your New Backyard Office: These prefab ADUs are the perfect solution for those in need of a separate home office.
6 Prefab Companies Ready to Build Your New Backyard Office: These prefab ADUs are the perfect solution for those in need of a separate home office.
"We imagined how six people would use the space and developed the shape accordingly," says Hello Wood cofounder Dávid Ráday. "We took inspiration from the design of space capsules, and the cabin was refined step by step before reaching its final form."
"We imagined how six people would use the space and developed the shape accordingly," says Hello Wood cofounder Dávid Ráday. "We took inspiration from the design of space capsules, and the cabin was refined step by step before reaching its final form."
Architectural designer Sebastian Mariscal and project manager Jeff Svitak created a house in Venice, California, for Michael and Tamami Sylvester. Known as Dwell Home Venice for its role as an exemplification of modern architecture, the house is an homage to indoor-outdoor living. Photo by Coral von Zumwalt.
Architectural designer Sebastian Mariscal and project manager Jeff Svitak created a house in Venice, California, for Michael and Tamami Sylvester. Known as Dwell Home Venice for its role as an exemplification of modern architecture, the house is an homage to indoor-outdoor living. Photo by Coral von Zumwalt.
The reclaimed hickory facade of the Micro Cabin by BC-OA is punctured by windows that overlook National Forest Service land.
The reclaimed hickory facade of the Micro Cabin by BC-OA is punctured by windows that overlook National Forest Service land.
Architect Minwook Choi’s 710-square-foot Seroro House rises from a tiny urban lot in Seoul that had long been neglected because of its challenging size.
Architect Minwook Choi’s 710-square-foot Seroro House rises from a tiny urban lot in Seoul that had long been neglected because of its challenging size.
A Simple Plan

A Marmol Radziner–designed prefab house, trucked onto a remote Northern California site, takes the pain out of the construction process.
A Simple Plan A Marmol Radziner–designed prefab house, trucked onto a remote Northern California site, takes the pain out of the construction process.
Laminated-MDF cabinetry helps to hide clutter in the kitchen.
Laminated-MDF cabinetry helps to hide clutter in the kitchen.
The oblique concrete roofs for each of the guest suites angle upward to allow for expansive views of the rolling hills and the valley.
The oblique concrete roofs for each of the guest suites angle upward to allow for expansive views of the rolling hills and the valley.
The exterior features vertical, untreated cedar panels. “We tried to use materials that are beautiful in their natural state without excessive treatment or finishing,” Pavonetti says.
The exterior features vertical, untreated cedar panels. “We tried to use materials that are beautiful in their natural state without excessive treatment or finishing,” Pavonetti says.
Architect Sven Matt mixed basic shapes with rich details in this Austrian home. The lattice shell was hewn from silver fir sourced from a nearby forest. Eternit shingles clad the roof.
Architect Sven Matt mixed basic shapes with rich details in this Austrian home. The lattice shell was hewn from silver fir sourced from a nearby forest. Eternit shingles clad the roof.
Kasita prefabs started at $89,000, and they were marketed as tiny houses for those who wished to live simply.
Kasita prefabs started at $89,000, and they were marketed as tiny houses for those who wished to live simply.

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