In a Phoenix suburb of faux Spanish Colonial tract houses, this modern home demonstrates that a house can be more livable and more versatile than the neighboring houses without any additional cost. The house is notched into the hill, sheltered from the wicked afternoon sun, and its garage is strategically located to create a shady courtyard with a fountain. Inside, a big sliding door can be retracted to create an open office or closed to make a private guest bedroom. A sidebar on how the owner acted as the contractor addresses some common questions about managing your own home-building project.
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