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Designing Your Perfect House by William J.…
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Designing Your Perfect House

by William J. Hirsch Jr. AIA

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Architect Hirsch has written a handy guidebook for designing a house that will fit your needs, both now and in the future. Of course, being an architect, he strongly advises hiring one to do the actual design work. But he admits that today the majority of houses are built without an architect, and that makes the book even more valuable than if you had one. He points out the things to be considered, from the feel of a home to energy efficiency to the long term savings that can be had by spending more at building stage.

He goes over the psychology of architecture- how if a room is too large, people don’t want to sit and talk in it unless you make tight groupings of furniture, how the position of the driveway affects if you feel like you’ve arrived at a home, why high ceilings can be a waste of materials (and energy to heat it) because people always end up trying to make them look lower anyway. He goes over balance and symmetry, and why the home owner shouldn’t tell the subcontractors to do things (because you should go through the general contractor, as one change can affect the whole project and end up costing you a fortune). He tells you to decide how you want to use the house before you ever put a line on paper. What is important to you in the house? Being green? Having a lot of family space? Having spaces to be alone? Entertaining? Hobbies? Decide those things first. He gives hints on site selection. There is a section of what needs to be designed in to make a house accessible if one needs a wheelchair.

It’s a very thorough book, and includes a lot of things that most people just wouldn’t think of on their own. It encourages the owner to ask questions of the architect and/or builder rather than just being led- not just design questions, either, but ones about prices, insurance and subcontractors. This would be a good book for anyone building a house, even if you’re starting with off-the-rack plans. ( )
  dark_phoenix54 | Nov 11, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0979882036, Hardcover)

Winner of the 2008 National Best Books Award in the Home: Reference Category

Your Architect in a Book

If you ve ever considered building your dream home, here is a step-by-step guidebook that will take you through the design process. Designing Your Perfect House: Lessons from an Architect concerns the thought process of planning and creating a house, the methodology of the design, and how to get everything right.

Reading this book, you will gain insights about how to:

     Gain control of the design and building process

     Choose a perfect site for your house

     Avoid costly mistakes

     Unify an architectural design

     Not just design a house, but how to design a home

     Budget in a realistic manner

The basic premise of the book is that there is no such thing as the perfect house; there is only your perfect house. An architect s task is to help you achieve that dream. The experience of home design and construction should be controllable, gratifying, and enjoyable. With the valuable advice that Designing Your Perfect House: Lessons from an Architect provides, it can be.



Reviews

This book is an excellent guide for anyone wanting to design the house of their dreams. Designing Your Perfect House contains a wealth of information and know-how from an architect who has been working with residential clients for three decades. It s the kind of wisdom that only comes with practice and is of immense value to anyone wanting an inspiring new home. Herein you ll find everything you need to know about the process of working with an architect, as well as what homework to do before you begin.
Sarah Susanka, FAIA, architect and author of The Not So Big Houseseries, Home by Design, and The Not So Big Life

Take a journey into an architect s mind and see your new house through his eyes.
Catherine Collin, Editor, Loft Publications

This book is a must-have for everyone who plans to build a home. We were lucky enough to have Bill Hirsch as the architect on our project, and he is a trusted and knowledgeable source who led us through the complex and overwhelming process of building a home. Now everyone can benefit from his experience. His book is an invaluable tool to guide the way.

Tracy Gibson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:19 -0400)

"Designing Your Perfect House is ideal for navigating the often mystifying process of house design and building. It's full of sage advice from a master architect about how to design the perfect home. Presented in 12 lessons, this text moves from wonderful concepts to a finished dream home.… (more)

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