Archive for March, 2010

Modern Trim

March 6th, 2010 by KTU | 14 Comments | Filed in 6. Interior Materials and Finishes

The architect Christopher Alexander wrote “totalitarian, machine buildings do not require trim because they are precise enough to do without. But they buy their precision at a dreadful price: by killing the possibility of freedom in the building plan.” (Incidentally, Alexander’s Pattern Language is a fascinating book on design. This link is to his “Pattern 240″ on “half-inch trim.”) While I don’t see trim in ideological terms, the stuff is a vexing challenge in modern residential design.

Concept Evolution – Sleeping Pavilion

March 6th, 2010 by KTU | No Comments | Filed in Montana Sleeping Pavilion

I’ve not devoted much time to documenting the Montana project, but here are the latest sketches. The family has converged on double in-swing patio doors to enclose the pavilion. We’re going to put up a little “Amenity Hut” on the trail, which will contain a composting toilet, solar shower, and sink area.

The likely final concept for the sleeping pavilion.

Amenity hut - typical view.

Amenity hut - view from the working side.

Bid Negotiation in a Recession

March 15th, 2010 by KTU | 1 Comment | Filed in Cost and Budgets, Notes on Approaches

I just spent a week in Park City negotiation bids on the Mountain Modern house. I’m building the house with the help of Steve, the broker who sold me the land. Steve lives a couple of miles from the site and has built a series of homes in Park City and elsewhere, so has a lot of local expertise. So, while technically this is an “owner build,” I’ve hired a “consultant” to arrange the subcontractors and to keep me informed about construction on a daily basis.

New home construction in Summit County is very slow right now. Just two building permits have been issued in the first 2.5 months of the year. As a result, almost no one in the building trades has any work right now.

Our strategy has been to select 3-5 subcontractors for each task based on the quality of their work, and then to make a final selection based on price. We have let these subcontractors know this is how we are proceeding.