Stillwater Newsletter – August 2015

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Stillwater, Room & Board partner to develop contemporary furniture plans

Stillwater Dwellings architects have teamed up with Room & Board designers to develop furniture plans for two popular home models.

Stillwater’s contemporary architecture and Room & Board’s classic design complement each other beautifully. Room & Board’s line of furnishings focuses on providing the best of modern design and American craftsmanship.  Their designs utilize natural materials, (wood, steel and granite) that stand the test of time and are responsibly sourced.  Plus, more than 90% of their products are American made.

rnb_logo_cchf_blackLike Stillwater Dwellings, Room & Board is a privately held company, focused on what’s best for their customers—not just their shareholders.  Founded in 1980 Room & Board has 10 showrooms throughout the U.S. and a comprehensive website.

See the results of our collaboration on Stillwater Dwellings plans sd121 and sd161.

Please tell us about your home plans. Please call or email.

800-691-7302  kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com

Stillwater Dwellings is growing. Visit our Careers page for current opportunities.

Tell Your Friends!

Stillwater is active on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  We share news about contemporary home design, floor plans, photography, what’s happening in the prefab industry and more.

To follow us, click on the links below and stay up to date with the latest from Stillwater Dwellings.  Also, please share us with your friends.

 

Stillwater Newsletter – June 2015

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Matthew Stannard working with client on placement of home on Bainbridge Island, WA property.

Matching the Home to Your Site

You’ve purchased the perfect lot. Its in the ideal location, has utilities nearby, the right mix of sun and shade and it fits your budget. Building an exciting contemporary home on your site should be an attainable goal–and it is, with the right considerations. A few helpful tips from Matthew Stannard, Stillwater’s founder and chief architect:

  • Make a list of the what you hope to achieve with your home design. Include everything from the emotional to the practical, from a place for family gatherings to a place to have your dream garden. Its all part of the defining an prioritizing your project.
  • Select a home plan that takes advantage of the orientation, topography and seasonality of the site.
  • Pay attention to what you see when you approach the homesite to take maximum advantage of privacy and/or add dramatic effect.
  • Think about the big picture. Are there trees and natural surroundings you want to preserve or views you want to enhance or block?

Help in answering these and many other questions comes with every Stillwater Dwellings home. Our professional architects visit your building site, help you select the right floor plan, personalize it, and optimize its placement on your site.  We would love to visit your site and hear about your project.

We look forward to helping you create your own personal Stillwater Dwellings home. Call or email us today.

800-691-7302  kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com

Stillwater Featured in Dwell Magazine

swd-june-2015-newsletter-sidebarA Stillwater home is featured in the July/August 2015 issue of Dwell Magazine.  Located in Napa, California the home incorporates a dramatic blend of indoor and outdoor living including both traditional and outdoor kitchens, 10 ft.+ ceilings and a bocce court. Smart home technology was incorporated throughout  the home including wifi enabled thermostat, light switches and sensors to control garden irrigation.  

Tour the home

Please call 800-691-7302 or email with any questions. 

 

Stillwater Newsletter – May 2015

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How Big a House Do I Need?

Everyone contemplating a custom home asks “how big a house do I need?” In addition to the most obvious, your budget, there are many considerations that go into answering this question:

  • The physical features and limitations of the building site
  • Family members living in the home (small children, teenagers, extended family, etc.)
  • Long-term use of the home – now and in the future (family events, aging in place & accessibility)
  • Specialized uses for the space (home office, exercise room)
  • The cost of energy in your area

We believe that space design should reflect your personal lifestyle and preferences – now and in the future. Too large a space wastes materials, energy and money. Too small a space and the reduced scale increases costs.

Stillwater architects work with you to explore combining functions for flex or dual purpose space and other ways to get the most from your budget. According to Matthew Stannard, Stillwater CEO and chief architect, “All of our 20+ plans are designed to maximize livability and efficiency without adding expensive extra square footage. Many homes feature 12 foot high ceilings and floor to ceiling glass. Innovative and efficient design can make even smaller spaces feel spacious.”

We look forward to helping you create your own personal Stillwater Dwellings home. Call or email us today.

800-691-7302  kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com

Get ideas for your new home by visiting the Stillwater photo gallery.

Online Design Seminar, May 28, 2015 – 4 & 7 PM (PDT)

The “Stillwater Advantage” seminar takes the mystery out of building a custom home. Founder Matthew Stannard will introduce the building system and the process of customizing plans. Kaveh Khatabloo, Chief Sales Officer, will detail Stillwater’s three phase planning and production process.  

The presentations will be followed by time for questions and answers. We hope you’ll be able to join us. (No special software is needed.)

RSVP for 4 PM Webinar

RSVP for 7 PM Webinar

Please call 800-691-7302 or email with any questions. 

 

Stillwater Newsletter – April 2015

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The Well Tailored Home

An experienced architect matches a design to the lifestyle, esthetics and budget of its owner. But “unlimited possibilities” can also result in a long and frustrating process.  Stillwater Dwellings was founded on the belief that contemporary design and efficient prefab systems can combine to make the dream of a custom home more attainable.
We understand that building a custom home is new to most people. That’s why clients are guided through each step of the exclusive Stillwater three phase process by professional architects and project managers.
Phase One – Designing and Pricing
Phase Two – Engineering and Permitting
Phase Three – Fabrication and Construction
We help you define and clarify the many details that go into the design and construction of your home. From helping select and personalize a floor plan (from our library of plans), to coordinating with your local contractor and building department, Stillwater is with you every step of the way. Plus Stillwater Dwellings backs it products with an Exclusive 10 Year Limited Warranty.  
Every Stillwater home blends the esthetics of contemporary design with the practical aspects of Twenty-First Century living. We would like to hear about your plans.
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com to start your Stillwater journey.
(The Stillwater home above was shown in a recent Dwell Magazine piece  and will be featured in the July/August issue).

Online Design Seminar, April 23, 2015 – 4 & 7 PM (PDT)

The house to the right was designed by architectural visionary Mies van der Rohe in 1945–seventy years ago!  The influence he and his contemporaries had on modern architecture was profound.  van der Rohe was born in Germany in 1885 and became part of the influential Berlin BauHaus school, eventually becoming its director.  He immigrated to the U.S. in the mid 1930’s and settled in Chicago.   Over the next 30 years he designed some of the most iconic buildings of the 20th Century, including the Seagram Building in New York, 860-800 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, and the National Gallery in Berlin.  He also designed personal dwellings like the Farnsworth house pictured above.  
The “Stillwater Advantage” online seminar takes the mystery out of building a custom home.  Founder Matthew Stannard, and lead architect Jana Hungarter will introduce the building system and the process of tailoring plans to meet each client’s needs. Kaveh Khatabloo, Chief Sales Officer, will detail Stillwater’s three phase planning and production process. 
The presentations will be followed by time for questions and answers. We hope you’ll be able to join us. 
RSVP for 4 PM Webinar
RSVP for 7 PM Webinar
Please call 800-691-7302 or email with any questions. 

 

Stillwater Newsletter – March 2015

Napa House

Blending Indoor and Outdoor Living

Historically, indoor and outdoor living spaces were clearly delineated.  Architects focused mostly on the livability of heated spaces–the indoors.  They might include a well defined door leading to a patio, but it was not considered truly part of the living space–it was optional. The design of most outdoor elements like decks, pools and planting areas were left up to the homeowner.  That has changed.
Beginning in Southern California with mid century modern design the outdoor space became part of the living area.  The generous use of sliding glass doors and floor to ceiling windows made the outside world a more important component of a home’s design.  
Stillwater Dwellings architects work closely with clients to customize floor plans to complement the sight lines and character of each building site. The Stillwater home in the photo above sits on a beautiful site among vineyards in Northern California and takes advantage of both its setting and the lifestyle of its owner. Visit the Stillwater gallery for more photos.
Stillwater has more than 20 home designs ranging from less than 1000 sq. ft. to nearly 5000 sq. ft. Each house is tailored to fit the sensibilities of its owner.
Let’s start the conversation.
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com to start your Stillwater journey.

Building on a Legacy Part II

The house to the right was designed by architectural visionary Mies van der Rohe in 1945–seventy years ago!  The influence he and his contemporaries had on modern architecture was profound.  van der Rohe was born in Germany in 1885 and became part of the influential Berlin BauHaus school, eventually becoming its director.  He immigrated to the U.S. in the mid 1930’s and settled in Chicago.   Over the next 30 years he designed some of the most iconic buildings of the 20th Century, including the Seagram Building in New York, 860-800 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, and the National Gallery in Berlin.  He also designed personal dwellings like the Farnsworth house pictured above. 
    
Learn more about the roots of modern architecture:
http://www.miessociety.org/legacy/
http://tinyurl.com/pnnwkgb
http://www.franklloydwright.org
Matthew Stannard, CEO and Founder
Read Matthew’s Blog   |  Stillwater Floorplans

Napa Valley Home to be featured in Dwell Publication

Prefab Home in Napa, CA
The Perfect Napa Getaway
Charles Willson’s dream was to build a weekend getaway in California’s wine country–a place to unwind from his San Francisco marketing firm. He found the ideal spot in the Napa Valley and looked for a contemporary design to complement the site. His search brought him to Stillwater Dwellings.
With the help of Stillwater architects, Willson selected model sd121, a two bedroom, two bath plan with 1100 square feet of living space. The design was customized to add 9 foot tall sliding doors in the great room and larger bedrooms. It includes a large kitchen island with seating for four plus room on the “working side” for a dishwasher and microwave. Maple flooring was used throughout the home along with clear finished wood trim.
The home was carefully positioned on Willson’s property to take advantage of the view and the shade provided by the generous butterfly roof overhang.
Willson utilized existing mature oaks on the property to provide shade for an outdoor entertainment area and the patio off the great room. He summed up his feeling about the project by saying, “I’m thrilled with the way the folks at Stillwater Dwellings helped me envision what I could do with my property. The next step is to build another, larger, Stillwater home next door and return this one to its original purpose as a guest home.”
View more photos

Stillwater Newsletter – February 2015

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Flexible Building Systems

Although there are Stillwater Dwellings plans with up to 3000 square feet of living area,  a growing number of clients are looking to build even larger homes–up to 5,000 sq.ft or more.   Our flexible systems provide many options for this trend toward larger custom homes. 
One of the benefits of the Stillwater building system is that it can be adapted for homes of just about any size without getting into the excessive costs of one-off contractor built custom homes.  The same design templates and details used in our 2325 sq. ft. sd133 can be used in the 5,000 square foot custom plan shown in the renderings above. Structured design systems and uniform construction details are some of the many tools Stillwater uses to make contemporary homes available to a wide range of tastes and budgets.   
As always, we would like to hear about your home ideas –  big or small.  
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com to start your Stillwater journey.

Building on a Legacy

6335b68c-5236-43dd-833a-8ce1895cb126Art is influenced by what came before, as each generation builds on the last. Today’s modern residential architecture can be traced to visionaries such as Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Gropius. Their clean uncluttered designs, generous use of glass, and blending of inside and outside spaces heavily influence today’s modern architecture.
    
It’s interesting to see the impact of these masters on mid century modern design and on today’s contemporary homes.
See below for modern architecture events. 

Modernism Week Palm Springs 
Modern Home Tours 
LA Conservancy 
Matthew Stannard, CEO and Founder
Read Matthew’s Blog 

Stillwater Newsletter – January 2015

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New Look for an Oregon Home

When Peter and Rebecca Gadd ordered their Stillwater Dwellings home in early 2014, they were on a tight schedule. They were moving their family back to their home state of Oregon and planning to build on land southeast of Portland–and they wanted to move in by the end of the year!  
sd221-web-basicStillwater’s team was up for the challenge. The Gadds selected an sd 221 plan with three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths 2034 square feet of floor space and dramatic 21′ high first floor ceilings. They made only minor changes to the floor plan. Because of the orientation of the home, and the height of the structure, the homeowners took full advantage of the model’s distinctive window “brow” treatment to provide shade and rain protection.
The home shipped in September and construction went quickly.  We’re pleased to say the home is nearly finished and the Gadds plan to move in later this month —  just a couple of weeks beyond their target completion date. 
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com to start your Stillwater journey.

The Stillwater Difference

We founded Stillwater Dwellings because we believe contemporary, architect- designed homes should be available, affordable and achievable for more people.  
  • We developed systems and processes  to reduce the complexity and stress of custom home building.
  • Our library of more that 20 smart  and flexible floor plans allows for creating a design just for you.
  • Our team of talented, people oriented, professionals  guide you through  the planning, design and building process.
We would love to hear your home design ideas and discuss how we can help bring them to life.  
All the best to you and yours in 2015. 
Matthew Stannard, CEO and Founder
Read Matthew’s Blog 

Stillwater Newsletter – December 2014

Architecture and Technology

Computer Aided Design (CAD) is not new to the architectural world. It’s been around, in one form or another, since the 1970’s. As with all technology it’s sophistication has grown exponentially. However, even with its incredible power, CAD still can’t automatically create exciting new designs or find the right plan to take advantage of the unique characteristics of a building site. That takes an experienced architect’s eye.
While Stillwater Dwellings uses the latest 3D CAD systems to produce plans and engineering specifications, all designs begin with a pen in the designer’s hand. Matthew Stannard, Stillwater Dwellings founder and chief architect, starts his designs with a series of hand drawn sketches. Once the spaces are sketched out and defined, the drawings are translated into digital form and construction documents produced.
The illustration above is an x-ray rendering, a 3D CAD technique sometimes used at Stillwater to view the spacial relationships between living areas. This particular home is currently in design for a customer in Northern California.
As always, we would love to hear your ideas about designing your own home.
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com to start your Stillwater journey.

Thanks for a Great Year!

This has been the best year ever for Stillwater Dwellings. Next year should be even better, with our talented staff busy working on plans for homes that will be delivered in the spring. We formed the company to bring contemporary architectural design to more people–and with your support we’re doing just that.
Thanks for a great year! All of us at Stillwater Dwellings wish you the very best in 2015!
Matthew Stannard

Stillwater Newsletter – November 2014

Kitchens are Holiday Hubs

Less than 50 years ago North American homes had small kitchens, formal dining rooms and living rooms, and no family room. How things have changed! Many contemporary designers have eliminated the formal dining areas, scaled down or done away with living rooms, and opened the kitchen and family room into a blended “great room”.
This design trend bows to reality—everyone congregates in the kitchen. It’s the first stop for kids coming home from school, friends dropping by for coffee, and family members in town for the holidays. The kitchen is not just a place to cook, it’s the heart of today’s home.
The photo above shows a Stillwater sd133 with a blended kitchen / dinning / family room which opens through 9′ tall sliding doors to a beautiful deck for outdoor entertaining.
What is your ideal kitchen? Stillwater Dwellings would like to help build your home around it.
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com to start your Stillwater journey.

Napa HouseHoliday Research

As you think about your ideal home design, use the holiday season as a research lab. Observe how your family uses your current home and think about what works and what doesn’t work for family gatherings. What are the most popular spaces, and conversely what areas are rarely used? Take notes and ask opinions.
Helpful design idea links:
http://photos.hgtv.com/rooms/kitchen
http://www.houzz.com/Contemporary-kitchen-
http://goo.gl/4MVFOI

Stillwater Newsletter – October 2014

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Colorado Contemporary

We recently received an email from a client building a Stillwater Dwellings home in the community of Cedaredge, Colorado. Their home, a model sd121 takes advantage of a beautiful view of the surrounding valley and the San Juan Mountains beyond.   
 
The homeowners, Vicky and Richard Nunamaker, chose Stillwater after an exhaustive search of local builders and prefab providers.  Ultimately their choice came down to the design that best fit their tastes and building site.

Recently Richard Nunamaker shared a great story, “Vicky had foot surgery 5 weeks ago and is still recovering.  About five days ago she wanted to see the progress on the house so I took her out there along with our daughter, Rachel.  Vicky went through the main entry door and eventually made it out to the living room. When she stood in front of the vast opening that looks out to the San Juan Mountains she began to cry…..not just light sobbing, but really crying.  When Rachel asked what was wrong she said “I just can’t believe how unbelievably beautiful all this is!  It’s a dream come true!”. 
 
The Nunamakers are the reason Stillwater Dwellings was founded–to give more people the ability to experience the joys of contemporary design.
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com to start your Stillwater journey.

A Remarkable Building Material

As an architect, I could specify a wide variety of contemporary building materials in my homes.  But only one is totally sustainable, never rusts,  is flexible enough to shift as structures settle,  does not expand and contract with the seasons,  is energy efficient,  is both a structural and finishing material, is easy to work with and repair, and is totally recyclable.  Of course I’m talking about wood.

It’s almost a magical material.  Trees takes energy from the sun, and carbon dioxide from the air and converts them into a totally natural, renewable and recyclable product.  Wood building materials continue to evolve.

Read the full story in Matthew’s Blog

An Almost Magical Building Material

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As an architect, I could specify a wide variety of contemporary building materials in my homes. But only one is totally sustainable, is flexible enough to shift as structures settle, does not expand and contract with the seasons, is energy efficient, is both a structural and finishing material, is easy to work with and repair, and is totally recyclable. Of course I’m talking about wood.
It’s almost a magical material. Trees take energy from the sun, and carbon dioxide from the air and converts them into a totally natural, renewable and recyclable product. Wood building materials continue to evolve. In the last 50 years researchers have developed ways to utilize wood to make incredibly strong beams and other structural materials. Engineered wood building systems are now being used to build midrise towers. Instead of steel and concrete, the floors, ceilings, elevator shafts, and stairwells are made entirely of wood.
It is also one of the best building materials for earthquake prone areas. In 1995 an earthquake of 6.0 magnitude hit the city of Kobe, Japan. Among the devastated traditional style houses were examples of modern wood construction and wood-frame houses. Of approximately 8000 “2 by 4” framed houses, none collapsed and 70% reported no damage at all.
Personally I love building with wood. It allows me to bring to life just about any design I can imagine. It comes from the ground and will eventually return to the ground. It’s as organic as the people who will reside in the homes built with it, and there is nothing more wonderful than the smell of a freshly framed home.

Stillwater Newsletter – September 2014

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Concept Homes

Looking ahead.

Automotive designers push the limits when developing their vision of the future. Maybe you’ve been to an auto show and seen “concept cars” in person. Although the designs are often radical, and years ahead of their time, elements introduced in concept cars are often incorporated in future production models.
At Stillwater Dwellings our architects are encouraged to explore the future of contemporary prefab homes. (See the concept home above.) As with automotive design, many of the ideas they envision (often at the encouragement of our very creative clients) end up in new Stillwater Dwellings’ plans.
Tell us about your future home ideas. We would love to help you realize them in your own custom Stillwater Dwellings prefabricated home.
Regards, Kaveh Khatibloo, Stillwater Dwellings LLC
Contact us at 800-691-7302 or email – kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com

Building in 2015?

Napa HouseBy home building standards, 2015 is almost here. Stillwater Dwellings prefabricated systems and structured design development speed up the building process.  Let’s talk about your plans. 
Visit our website to view our catalog of custom floor plans.
See more photos

Stillwater Newsletter – May 2014

New Napa Home Blends Indoor and Outdoor Living

We recently photographed a beautiful Stillwater home in Napa, California. The home will be used as a guest house upon the completion of another Stillwater home on the same property. The second home is currently in the design stage and will be completed next year.
The homeowner selected a modified sd121 floor plan with about 1100 square feet of living area and then did a beautiful job of blending inside and outside living spaces with a thoughtfully designed landscape and hardscape plan.
A recent note from the happy homeowner:
“I just spent a week with my family up in Napa, and somehow we found room for nine people between the house and the barn. The compliments never stopped coming over the home, the design, the ergonomics, and how welcoming the house looked when eating outside and looking back at the glow coming through the glass wall.
So, before the next time we chat I just wanted to say thank you for envisioning, creating then delivering to the finish line such a beautiful home. Let me know how I can help you as a Stillwater evangelist.”
View Photos
To learn more about Stillwater Dwellings prefab homes, call 800-691-7302 or contact kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com

dwell_dod_192_99Stillwater will be at Dwell on Design

Dwell on Design is by far the leading design show in America. We’ll be there and hope you’ll stop by and say hello. (Booth 738)

Stillwater Newsletter – April 2014

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Harmonizing Your Home’s Design and Building Site

If you’re like most people you’re considering a custom home because you want more control over the design of your floor plan and the look and feel of your house. You also want your home’s design takes full advantage of the topography of your building site, the geographic orientation of your lot, and the characteristics of your local environment.
In a northern climates, orienting your home to take advantage of the lower winter arc of the sun can dramatically brighten your home in the colder winter months. When building in an exposed Southwestern U.S. location, the orientation of your home and the sun, takes on an entirely different context.
During the Stillwater Dwellings design process an architect visits your building site, and develops a detailed site plan. The architect fine tunes your home plans to take advantage of your sites physical attributes, seasonal variations and wind and weather patterns. Every Stillwater Dwellings prefabricated home is customized to meet your personal needs and to fit your building site and micro- climate.
To learn more about Stillwater Dwellings prefab homes, call 800-691-7302 or contact kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com

Designing for Natural Light and Lower Energy Costs

What Makes Sense Today?

Some very basic low tech/no tech solutions can make your new home less expensive to heat and cool. But just as importantly, energy wise design can make your home a more comfortable living space. Today’s solutions combine state of the art energy conserving details and joinery; high levels of insulation; advanced heating technology, and a host of basic design principles that work. The best solutions are cost effective and provide major benefits.

Let the Sunshine In!

No house should be designed without serious consideration of passive solar design principles. The most basic principle of energy efficient design is to use the sun wisely. In climates where home heating is a primary concern, maximize your site’s southern exposure to take advantage of passive solar gain. With today’s high performance glass, south facing windows provide a net heat gain vs. lose through the glass area. If you are building in a more temperate climate you should take into account the heating effects of the sun on west facing rooms.
Not only will well-placed windows reduce your heating bills (by as much as 50%), but they will provide the benefit of making your home bright and welcoming. Add the practical consideration of not having to rely on artificial lighting during any daylight hours—and the subsequent reduction in energy costs.
The power of solar gain can be maximized with heat-absorbing masonry (fireplaces or tile floors) in rooms with southerly exposures. Southerly exposures can be shaded from summer sun with floor or roof overhangs, exterior pergolas planted with greenery, or with well-planned landscaping.

Design to Take Advantage of Your Setting and Local Environment

In northerly and temperate climates a simple rule of thumb is to orient your primary living spaces to the south. Devote the northern portion of the design to bathrooms, closets, garages, laundry, mud rooms and entries, to provide buffers against heat loss and northerly winds. A closet on the north wall can provide a two foot thick blanket of insulation. Important living spaces will be enhanced by southern sun and its potential for heat gain. Few sites and house plans can adhere to these principles 100% of the time, but partial benefits are measurable and worthwhile.

Take Advantage of Topography and Vegetation

The temperature of the earth at three feet below grade is roughly 55 degrees year round. That fact provides ample reason to build some of the living space in your home into south-facing slopes. The south side will enjoy the gain from the sun, and the north side will be “exposed” to a moderate temperature year round, the end result being reduce heating and cooling bills. If your site slopes, you should consider this design possibility.
Even in situations where it is impractical or undesirable to berm the foundation to the north, the use of landscaping berms and retaining walls can be an important element in deflecting northeast winds during winter.
Landscape vegitation can be a critical energy design element. Trees to the north side (particularly evergreens) will deflect winter winds (and drifting snow!). Trees to the south of the house- especially deciduous trees- will shade your south-facing glass in summer, but let the warming winter sun in.

Select Energy Conscious Products

When purchasing kitchen appliances pay close attention to the federally mandated energy consumption ratings. The same is true for furnaces, hot water heaters, clothes washers, and dryers. The highest rated appliances often come with an Energy Star (T) sticker that certifies their efficiency. Also be sure to use energy efficient lighting.

How Can We Help?

Principles of sustainability and efficiency are at the core of every Stillwater Dwellings design. Starting with the direction provided by the building site- its solar orientation, topography, and vegetation – our architects will design your home to reduce energy consumption and while maximizing the many benefits of a bright light filled living environment. All Stillwater homes are customized for your site to take advantage of the sun’s path and the benefits of passive solar applications.
For more information…
For more information on this topic or any other aspect of our custom design and building programs, please contact us.

Your Building Site Is Speaking To You. What is It Saying?

When you see a house that looks particularly “at home” in its setting, do you ever wonder why? Chances are the house was designed specifically for that site by an architect or designer who was sensitive to designing from the “ground up.” Surely you want your house to have all the features on your wish list; but first, every great design starts with its setting.
How can you understand what your site is saying to you?

Walk It!

Walk it with an expert in interpreting the site’s message. No building site can be understood from the road (many realtors’ preferred vantage point), from a site map, or topographic study. Every site has natural features that are only apparent when you spend time there walking, feeling the terrain, observing nature, and poking around. Taking full advantage of a site is a thought process, taking as many options and possibilities into consideration. It may take several visits for you to get the full message.
Sound mystical? Not at all! Here are a few of the types of clues that skilled designers and architects study before putting a pencil to paper.

Topographic Clues:

Continue Reading →

Five Important Considerations when Customizing a Floor Plan

One the of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make when designing your prefab home will be deciding the perfect layout of your floor plan. There are more than twenty floor plans in the Stillwater Dwellings library to start from, but making sure the one you choose is right for you takes some thought and planning.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when choosing and customizing a floor plan to fit your family. Read on to learn more!

 

1. Consider your family size

An important thing to consider   when choosing your a plan is your family size. If your family is growing, be sure to include enough floor space to accommodate future family members. A den or office with an attached bath can be converted into a bedroom later.

 

2.  Working from home

If you often work from home, or may in the future,    remember to include space for a home office in your new layout.  The location of this room should be away from busy rooms where there might be a lot of activity such as the family room or kitchen.

 

3.  Entertaining

Do you love to entertain?  If so, a kitchen/great room combination can allow space to    comfortably accommodate a large group.  . If you don’t entertain much, a more intimate space might be right for you.

 

4. Open space or privacy

If you’d like having the family together in one room consider a floor plan with a great-room concept.  If you cherish privacy more, a smaller family room but separate media/game room, and formal den/office may provide more solitude when you need it.

Another thing to consider is the location of the master bedroom and how it relates to the kids rooms. Children’s rooms might be best close when they’re young and further away when older.  An important consideration to make early on.

 

5. The size of your lot

The size and shape of your lot has a big influence on your home’s design. If you have a large lot, a sprawling single floor might work well,    but if you want a large house on a small lot then you’ll need  multiple floors. Be sure to pay attention to any zoning restrictions or CC&R’s that may effect the size and height of home you can build.

Energy Efficiency & Sustainability in Prefab Homes

Prefab Home in Portland, OR

One of the primary advantages of purchasing a prefabricated home is that they are more eco-friendly, energy efficient, and sustainable than the majority of traditionally constructed homes. There are many reasons why prefab houses are better for both the environment and your energy bills. Here at Stillwater Dwellings, our commitment to helping the environment has a huge impact on the way we build our homes. Here are some of the ways that prefab homes are built to be better for the planet.

Insulation 

First of all, prefab homes are much better insulated than homes built with traditional on-site construction. Building some or all of a home within a factory means that insulation can be installed more easily and more efficiently. Better insulation goes a long way in improving energy usage. Joints are tighter and air infiltration and escape are both minimized. You’ll see the great insulation of a prefab home reflected in much lower energy bills.

Less Waste 

Prefabricated homes also generate less waste during construction, which is helpful for the environment. For homes built using traditional construction, having leftover materials is inevitable. In fact, from a contractor’s point of view this makes sense, because having to re-order a material holds up construction. However, this extra waste is bad for the environment.

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