Unusual small house plans?

runcyclexcskiSeptember 20, 2007

So I just got this book on urban small houses, Japanese style:

http://www.amazon.com/Very-Small-Home-Japanese-Limited/dp/4770029993

The book was very inspirational. Most designs are multi-level, and are between 900 and 1100 feet. They show houses I actually would want to live in. :) And most of them are claimed to have been built on a budget. I got numerous neat ideas for my own house which I hopefully will build some day. The designs I saw in the book reflect very closely what I have in mind.

The problem is, the floorplans and construction materials for floorplans that I find attractive are *very* different from traditional floorplans offerred in the US.

How does go tackle this problem? Should I hire an architect and give her/him the list of key features that I want to see in my house, e.g. extensive use of metal, glass, and composite materials? Or can I do the design myself? Has anyone in this group successfully built their own small house per unusual architectural blueprints? What exactly architects do? Was it a big pain having an unusual architectural plan approved by the county ? Any comments will be appreciated.

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skagit_goat_man_

I advise an architect but one with experience using the materials you want. You'll spend a lot of time with this person so hopefully they'll design to your priorities. They still have to make it buildable to code which could influance the exact design but still you should be able to get what you want. It's the architect's job to design it to code and be able to explain it to the county. More than likely it'll have to be engineered which will help in the permit process. Of course a good architect comes with a price $$. Tom

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 8:33AM
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runcyclexcski

I just spoke to my landlord who happens to be a retired professor in acrhitecture (lucky me). He designed his own house according to codes that he got a local library. He was doing it on weekends. It took him about a year to get the project approved with East Bay.

He told me that arhitects charge about 5% of the cost of the house which translates into 20K for a 400K house.

I guess since I am not pressed for time I could start the design work myself and see where it goes. Got myself nice professinal construction books. I should be able to figure out CAD programs.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 6:08PM
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