I field lots of calls of homeowners curious about building their own home. In order of frequency, here are the most typical questions: costs (!!!), process (who does what?), schedule, and pros/cons of new vs renovation. Every so often you get a wild-card question too, like yesterday when Craig Claudin (a cameraman who got the green building bug while at Re:Vision shooting this piece several years ago) wanted a homework assignment of readings to begin preparing him for a possible home-building adventure. The question sparked a fun internal discussion about what readings have influenced us. Here is our short-list of impromptu Staff Picks:
- A Place of My Own by Michael Pollan (Alex and Drew)
- House by Tracy Kidder (Alex)
- A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander (Alex)
- The Orange Mode by O.M. Solar (Scott)
- The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard (Drew)
- The Complete Marriage Counselor by Sherry Amatenstein (Justin, and seconded by me through my laughter because residential architecture truly can be 50% design and 50% counseling!)
And for straight-up images of residential design, we find the website Houzz to be addictive and useful, if not a little overwhelming.
If you have a favorite read/resource to add to this list, we’d love to hear about it.