Lean Design

Blogs on Lean Design concepts and implementations for Home Builders and Remodelers

February 03, 2016

The lure of a walkable downtown, public parks, and vibrant city life is driving buyers to seek out urban infill properties. When designed properly, new homes will revitalize a downtown area by aligning today’s architecture with the contextual cues of the existing city fabric.

Collaboration is far and away one of my favorite aspects of the building industry. In fact the practice of Lean Design demands collaboration between the architect or designer and the building team to eliminate waste and maximize appeal.

June 05, 2014

In my travels working with builders all over the country, I have the opportunity to see a lot of home designs. I see good, bad, fair, and occasionally great plans and elevations. I am able to walk a lot of models each year and see in the flesh what is working and what is not.

May 01, 2014

This is a transformer-type plan that offers “plug and play” options without too much of a fuss for the builder. A very popular option as of late is the multigenerational offering.  Having the ability to take a space and convert it to appeal to a family with an aging parent is priceless.

December 10, 2013

Move-up buyers are a fickle bunch, and this blog entry focuses on a Lean Design for that group. It is actually an excerpt from a future House Review article that will appear in next February’s Professional Builder. Let’s take a closer look at this 3,700-square-foot home.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Schumacher from Schumacher Homes a few years back while doing plan reviews at the International Builders' Show. Besides the fact that she is witty and charming, she is also brimming with wisdom.

This 2,800-square-foot plan utilizes Lean design to combat narrow-lot woes.

Imagine you are in a cement box quickly filling up with water. The box is sealed on all sides, yet you still find a way out and survive. How? I will get back to that one. This week we have a plan that works to solve the riddles presented by today’s buyers.

What do you do if a previous best-selling plan hits the skids? Dump it, pitch it, give it the old heave-ho? Possibly, but many builders are using another strategy.

Scott Sedam and I are presenting at PCBC from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on June 5. The program is below and you can get your tickets right now at the PCBC website.


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