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A Low-Budget, High-Impact House

A design/build team delivers a custom house with copper counters, oak floors, travertine stairs, and a great outdoor space for $126 per sq. ft.

This home in Eugene, Oregon, might be a basic box, but it's played well. Designer/builder Chris Stebbins used standard building materials efficiently; unnecessary framing members were eliminated by aligning rafters, beams, joists, and studs. In addition, building materials do double duty as both the structure of the house and its finished skin: Breckenridge plywood siding serves as both sheathing and siding, and 2x6 decking is both ceiling and upstairs floor. Rooms also do double duty: a large space at the head of the stairs is both a den and a guest room; the upstairs bath is also the laundry; and the kitchen doubles as the dining room. Copper counters might seem like a splurge in a budget-minded house, but they were less expensive than other premium countertop materials. So were the travertine tiles in the foyer and stairway.

From Fine Homebuilding179 (Houses) , pp. 112-117