Deep Dive: Abandoned Ideas

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 laurel bushes; 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 driveway occupied the only existing clearing large enough for the septic system. I did some floor plans, but I never kept 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 recent morning I was struck by the crazy notion of simulating a flat roof by adding a façade of sorts around the perimeter. To see if this would work visually, I photo-shopped an image of the house. But before I'd even finished manipulating the image, I realized that it made my home look like a gas station. So, scratch this idea.

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