Residential Design

Vol. 2, 2017

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Habitat for Humanity is the go-to part- ner for the dismantling jobs, relying on volunteers to take everything apart and catalogue. "Then there's a tax-deductible donation to Habitat." Determining which houses stay and which go is a delicate calculus. "It's better to reuse things, is my mind set. It's a hard equation, and one that has to be done for each property," he says. And this is how he explains it to his clients: "Especially because we're designers, yes, we could build you a new house from the ground up. So, if it's the character you love, we should probably work to preserve the old house. But if you love it only for the location, trees, and the drive to work, maybe it's not worth saving." Redesign and Rebuild Will's BEDA is what N.C. State calls a four-year "pre-professional" degree. To become a licensed architect in North Carolina, he was required to complete a fifth-year Bachelor of Architecture degree, intern with an architecture firm, and then pass the Architect Registration Exam- ination. He went to work in construction instead and earned his general contractor's license. "In North Carolina, you can do residential work without being a licensed architect, if you have your G.C. license. If you're building something described in the code, a building inspector can approve it. Otherwise, you need a structural engineer to consult. It's an agrarian state, and it stems from the idea that a farmer could build his own house or his own barn," says Will. His company builds for architects and also designs the work they build. He's careful to parse the pluses and minuses of both arrangements, but concludes that design/build is often the better delivery method for most residential work. "I'm not trying to diminish the traditional equation of architect and builder," he says. "But the good thing about design/build is that we control the conversation. There's no builder saying it was the architect's fault, and no architect saying it's the builder's fault. With the good intentions of treating our clients well, we can have good conver- sations, effectively, and there are no parties involved adding tension and stress." It's also a better way to earn a living, he points out, and offers better value to the client. "All architects who practice architecture with a capital "A" have to supplement their income—by building, teaching, etc. We make a few bucks with design, but it's the construction that keeps the doors open." Perhaps it's not as lucrative as construc- tion, but the company's design work has Above: The children's bedroom at 123 Hillcrest. Above right: Hillcrest's clients asked for a "progressive, sustainable house." Striking features include two thin, board-formed concrete walls that slice through the building plane and an inverted roof. PRO-FILE BUILD 24 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 2, 2017

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