Editorial: Your Time to Shine
The third annual Custom Builder Design Challenge is the perfect opportunity for builders, architects and students to showcase their talents.
SENIOR EDITOR, DESIGN
There are challenges, and there’s the Challenge. Yes, the Custom Builder Design Challenge is back for its third year. This time, the program involves a custom home on a suburban lot for a multigenerational household. It’s a situation that should be familiar to most CB readers: a baby-boomer couple on their second marriage living with children from both marriages, plus elderly parents with mobility issues.
In the Design Challenge, though, the clients are fictional. We want to see what kind of solutions you would invent for this family, given basic parameters such as square footage, lot dimensions, easements and setbacks. As far as adjacent properties, climate, neighborhood context and the like, you’ll have to use your imagination, or use your local market as a guide.
Such an exercise is outside the comfort zone of some people. But if you relish the idea of drawing plans and elevations without anyone looking over your shoulder or rejecting your ideas, the Challenge is for you.
ENTERING THE DESIGN CHALLENGE
WON’T COST YOU ANYTHING BUT TIME AND BRAINPOWER,
BUT DO IT SOON:
THE DEADLINE IS
We aren’t dictating architectural style or details. The home can be anything from contemporary to Mediterranean and even eclectic, as long as it meets the contest requirements. More important is that it meets the needs of the client — the primary concern of any custom builder or designer. So your design has to be livable now as well as five, 10 and 15 years into the future. Think flex space and accessibility. Be sure to provide those all-important outdoor living areas, as well as places where individual family members can have much-needed time alone.
The judges will score entries on sustainability as well, so give some thought to ways you can make your design energy- and resource-efficient and reduce its impact on the environment.
Look for a full description of the program and an entry form at www.custombuilderonline.com. It won’t cost you anything but time and brainpower to enter, but do it soon: the deadline is Sept. 15.
Speaking of designs that cater to the client’s needs, this issue’s Centerpiece is a log home in Nebraska that tested the mettle of the builders, Bill and Linda Kuhlman. The Kuhlmans started with a stock plan, but from that point on it was custom, from the white-painted interior trim and piano-shaped kitchen island to the solid log garage. Read all about it on page 6.
Senior Editor, Design