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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 architects inserted skylights in an artful pattern in the rooftop.
The architects inserted skylights in an artful pattern in the rooftop.
Escape made a splash by launching a property in Tampa Bay filled with its trailers. But you don’t have to live there to own one.
Escape made a splash by launching a property in Tampa Bay filled with its trailers. But you don’t have to live there to own one.
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.
A new office sits at the front of the house, and its moody walls and bookshelves contrast the other rooms' mostly light and neutral palette.
A new office sits at the front of the house, and its moody walls and bookshelves contrast the other rooms' mostly light and neutral palette.
The Perch at sunset.
The Perch at sunset.
Chickens foraging in an enclosed garden with vertical planters.
Chickens foraging in an enclosed garden with vertical planters.
Completed in May 2018, the Crossfield Street House is the residence of architect Jonathan Pile, his wife Katherine, and their five-year-old son.
Completed in May 2018, the Crossfield Street House is the residence of architect Jonathan Pile, his wife Katherine, and their five-year-old son.
In this updated 1950s Portland home, a light gray Neo sofa by Bensen harmonizes with warm wooden walls, ceilings, and floors, as well as a red-and-mustard-yellow vintage rug.
In this updated 1950s Portland home, a light gray Neo sofa by Bensen harmonizes with warm wooden walls, ceilings, and floors, as well as a red-and-mustard-yellow vintage rug.
The box-shaped extension plays off the familiar farmhouse typology, creating a series of intriguing contrasts.
The box-shaped extension plays off the familiar farmhouse typology, creating a series of intriguing contrasts.
A painting by Ginger’s grandmother hangs above a midcentury dining set Ginger found on Craigslist.
A painting by Ginger’s grandmother hangs above a midcentury dining set Ginger found on Craigslist.
The steel structure is suspended two feet above the roof of the existing bungalow, supported by four steel columns, one of which screens utility lines running from the Perch to the house below.
The steel structure is suspended two feet above the roof of the existing bungalow, supported by four steel columns, one of which screens utility lines running from the Perch to the house below.
The wood-wrapped tiny home features a deck pierced by a tree trunk.
The wood-wrapped tiny home features a deck pierced by a tree trunk.
A modular shelf system by Alu provides a more sculptural take on the classic bathroom vanity in this Toronto home.
A modular shelf system by Alu provides a more sculptural take on the classic bathroom vanity in this Toronto home.
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.
Linda Taalman and Alan Koch, of Taalman Koch Architects, completed work on their glass iT House, a lovely, minimal home that tests the limits of living lightly on the land in the desert near Joshua Tree National Park. The bath and basin in the bathroom are by Duravit, and the orange wall is by Three Form.
Linda Taalman and Alan Koch, of Taalman Koch Architects, completed work on their glass iT House, a lovely, minimal home that tests the limits of living lightly on the land in the desert near Joshua Tree National Park. The bath and basin in the bathroom are by Duravit, and the orange wall is by Three Form.
Detail of the kitchen
Detail of the kitchen
Laminated-MDF cabinetry helps to hide clutter in the kitchen.
Laminated-MDF cabinetry helps to hide clutter in the kitchen.

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