Abandoned Ideas

Unusual Construction

For a time I considered building the house from used shipping containers. I had a floor plan all worked out that I seriously considered, and indeed later regretted not using, even if I'd built it in traditional stick style instead. This is no doubt my biggest "woulda coulda shoulda" ideas—even to this day.

Alternate Location

For a very brief time, way back during the project's earliest days, I had my eye on an alternate location for the house. The reason for choosing this spot was a desire to investigate the possibility of a semi-subterranean dwelling. The location has a much steeper grade, and the idea was to set the house into the slope, with just the windowed living space protruding. Such a dwelling would be very energy-efficient. It also provided more privacy. And I liked the longer, more twisty driveway.

But there were too many problems with this idea. I wouldn't have had to remove any trees, but I would have lost about a dozen mountain laurels; construction would have been quite an undertaking, given its limited accessibility and the amount of material that would have to be excavated; and the end of the proposed driveway occupied the only existing clearing large enough for the septic system.

Still, the fan-shaped house with cantilevered deck was undoubtedly my most ambitious and unusual design, especially as the floor plan had no doors (save for the entrance)—a concept inspired by an article I'd read many years ago about the advantages of this approach. I wonder what it might have been like had I found ways around the problems (indeed, long after the fact, I've solved most of them).

Faux Flat Roof

For reasons I can't fully explain, I've always liked flat roofs. But I felt it would have been a construction challenge beyond my abilities—and possibly my budget—hence the low gable roofs I built. Then, one morning in the autumn of 2017 I was struck by the crazy notion of simulating a flat roof by adding a façade of sorts around the perimeter of the roof. To see if this would work visually, I photoshopped an image of the house. But before I'd even finished manipulating the image, I realized that it made the top level of my home look like a gas station. (I'm awfully glad I did the little photoshop exercise, rather than just grab my saw and drill and start building—which I've been known to do.)


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