#HilltopHouse is in the final days of construction

#HilltopHouse is in the final days of construction

The #HilltopHouse is in the final days of construction and our client is counting down until move in time. The builder, Sauder Builders, Inc has delivered his signature high level attention to finish details home. The cabinetry done by Lantz Woodworking and, as you would expect from them, is like artwork. The interior brick walls, wood floors, floating stair, exposed steel beam, heavy timber, industrial windows, and wrap around porch are just as we hoped after hearing our client describe what they wanted.

This home is truly a result of listening to the dream of a client and putting the pieces together. We have known these clients for a very long time and have even worked with them in a variety of roles in the community, so we know each other well. It is even more special to hear that their daughter was able to flex her design skills in several parts of the interior of the house.

We are fortunate to have been able to work on their house with them and to get to work with Larry to see this project through to construction. It is breathtaking.


This home is less than 30 days from the finish line and the details are almost done. In a time when delays and shortages have become the norm and when the unexpected has become the expected, I am so impressed with the quality that Larry and his team has been able to deliver.

It is a beautiful home and I know our clients are going to love the space and all the memories they will be able to create here, for many generations to come. This is why we design. Taking the dream that someone has in their mind and putting it on paper so that a builder can execute it – this is the process that should happen. I wish I had gotten to design every corner and pick out every finish, but that’s not what needed to happen on this project. This project had a team and each member of the team brought their skills and knowledge to deliver the dream home that our clients wanted in the end.

We will hopefully get finished photos very soon so you can see it all clean and dust free!!! Stay tuned.

#HilltopHouse, this one is amazing

The #HilltopHouse is coming right along and is truly an amazing space. I was just looking back through my notes from the first design meeting: “modern, steep roof pitch, big columns, lots of windows, and connection to outside is everything.” When a client knows what they want it makes the process fun. We really get to dig into the design and figure out what they mean by particular terms and descriptions of space. We get to find special ways to highlight their goals in the design. We get to bring a touch of style to their dreams.

This #HilltopHouse has a very clear style, lets call it Industrial Loft Modern Farmhouse for now. It sits beautifully in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley capturing long views over the land and out to the mountains. The open feel of the home is amplified by the tall vaulted ceilings and plentiful glass. The details are subtle letting the views to the work of “decoration.” The house is designed for family to gather, to connect to the outside places where they play, and to build memories.

Here are some photos from my last visit to the home site. The home is being construction by Larry Sauder of Sauder Builders, Inc.

view from the driveway with driveway installation underway
View from the rear of the house
View from the rear porch
First floor looking back towards the kitchen and loft
second floor looking back at the loft
View from upstairs bedroom

Historic Farmhouse Renovation in Luray

Almost at the end of a dead end road overlooking the South Fork River a beautiful historic farmhouse was deteriorating. The structure had seem many renovations over the years for what I could imagine was a growing family that enjoyed the beautiful setting. A storage room was added, a kitchen was “fit” into a space, some outdoor decks to enjoy the views – but there was never a holistic plan to preserve the beauty and make the home efficient and comfortable. As many of these historic farmhouses do over time, it lost its luster and the owners just could not maintain it anymore. Our clients however, fell in love with the beauty and purchased it with a goal of bringing it back to life and restoring the former beauty. I am pleased to say that this historic farmhouse renovation in Luray is well underway.

Luray Historic Farmhouse Renovation
Luray Historic Farmhouse Renovation

Our clients have worked hard to balance the costs of renovation while thinking through the building science impacts of an old house. You cannot just “add insulation” for instance without thinking through the impacts of such a decision. Sealing up a house that is used to being able to dry out can be very hazardous to the existing old and very dry structural members. You have to protect the old bones while working to make the home comfortable and durable for many years to come. You also run into those past decisions that are now a challenge to handle, like the wet crawl space caused by a new deck and poor grading or a buried cistern that is now under part of the house that was added without thoughts to how that impacts everything.

Luray Historic Farmhouse Renovation

We were able to design a functional addition that will blend well with the historic structure, but also consult with the builder, home owners, and insulation contractor on how to deliver the goal of preserving the house on a budget. There is not one right answer that will solve all the issues and not all right answers are right for every home. It takes a team to get it just right and we are thrilled to be part of the team working on this historic farmhouse renovation.

Luray Historic Farmhouse Renovation
Luray Historic Farmhouse Renovation

Net-Zero Energy Farmhouse in Harrisonburg designed for a lifetime

Net-Zero Energy Farmhouse in Harrisonburg designed for a lifetime

Check out the recent pictures of this Net-Zero energy farmhouse in Harrisonburg. The project has a beautiful site that provides even better views of the western mountains. We worked hard with our client to situate it just right on the slope.

net zero farm house

It sits in the trees almost floating on the site.

net zero farm house

Net-Zero Lifetime Home

However, to me the real beauty of this house is in the performance. The home is designed to use minimal energy, provide even comfort, and to produce the energy used from the photovoltaics on the roof. The other secret this home holds it that it is designed for a lifetime. This means we thought about wide doorways, open floor plan, wheelchair access, as well as comfort. The house can adapt for the clients as their needs change over time. The open floor plan allows for lots of flexibility.

net zero solar pv

While we focused on net-zero and accessibility for a lifetime. The house also has an important feature that all home owners want – beauty. Classic details are used throughout the home to give the little touches that matter. From the stonework to the custom cabinets – this home will most importantly – feel like home for many years to come.

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The kitchen is warm and inviting. It is open to the living space so that everyone can gather together during the holidays.

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The office has large windows for lots of lights and more important, beautiful views.

net zero farm house

The mater bathroom even enjoys incredible views.

net zero farm house