How to Build a Home that will Last

The character of a building grows over time. To develop that character a building has to last. So, how do we make our buildings last? There are tricks of construction, of course, such as building foundations and roofs that keep the wood from getting wet, but most buildings don't die from construction problems. People fix construction when they want the building to stick around. Most often buildings die because no one wants to take care of them anymore. 

What makes people want to take care of a house? These are the two major paths to longevity...

The Freedom Path
make it adaptable

The Heritage Path
make it perfect

  • Buildings designed for change
  • Provides inexpensive, adaptable space
  • Encourages occupant creativity; "do anything you want". People become inventive.
  • Use and character is determined by the people who live in it.
  • Easy to modify or add on to.
  • Buildings designed for maximum longevity
  • Provides "just-right" spaces with "timeless" character.
  • Encourages care taking and preservation.
  • Use and character is determined by the initial design.
  • Difficult to modify or add on to.
Freedom home plans should have...
  • Simple, easy-to-build structural layouts
  • Flexibility for material substitutions or owner supplied materials.
  • Options for expansion built into structure
  • Lower construction costs. Can be lived in before completed.
Heritage home plans should have...
  • Maximum durability structural layouts
  • Detailed drawings for built-in furniture, trim and special features.
  • Completed timeless character
  • Higher construction costs but more efficient use of space.

Most custom homes and almost all development plans attempt to build a heritage type house — and the vast majority fail. Most end up being only puffed up copies of better and older buildings. In most cases a simpler house that fits the site and the owners real needs would be more honest and last longer. People who have the courage to design and build for themselves often choose the freedom path. It costs less to build, it is more forgiving of building skills and it allows for change and adaption. With love, many evolve into Heritage Houses.

Visit — Home plans for the owner-designer