Hdr Annualissue
Houses 2010
from the editors of Fine Homebuilding magazine

Commute down the hall

Given ever-rising gas prices, congested roads and rapidly evolving broadband connectivity, it’s a wonder more people don’t work out of a home office. It’s a trend that will only gain in momentum, especially when gas tops $4 a gallon again. We’re probably reaching a point where one of the most commonly remodeled rooms in the house will be the home office.

For the last dozen years, San Francisco designer Mark Dutka has focused his energy on home offices, turning neglected chunks of space into finely-tuned work places in whatever style suits the owners and the house. In this edition of Houses, we are pleased to present Dutka’s guide to creating the perfect home office. Comb through it, and the accompanying Design Gallery, to learn what strategies and products you can use to create a brand-new home office, or tune up an old one that isn’t taking advantage of up-to-date office products and applied ergonomics.

Our Buyers’ Guide to Exterior Doors runs down the pros, cons, and costs of the three most popular kinds of entry doors (full disclosure, I bought a metal one last year, but I wish I’d bought fiberglass—where was this article when I needed it?).

In the energy department, we spotlight geothermal heat pumps, and ask the question, “is one of these the right appliance to heat and cool your house”. As is so often the case, it depends. Study this article to reach an informed conclusion.

With every issue of Houses, our aim is to present an eclectic mix of homes from around the country, in a variety of styles and price ranges. And each one has to convey a nugget of information that you can put to use. For example, the 433-sq.-ft. houseboat in this issue reveals the keys to making a small house live large. A waterfront vacation house includes a sidebar on how to put a deck over a living space without causing a leaky roof. And our story about a new house in Illinois shows how an architect used off-the-shelf screen doors to make a first-rate screened porch that looks totally custom.

If you care about making your house as good as it can be, there are lots more inspirational projects and practical design tips that can feed your imagination in this issue. And if you’ve got a project that we should consider for next year’s edition of Houses, please let us know. Find out how to submit a project on our Call for Entries page.

Charles Miller
Special issues editor

Softcover Magazine, 8-7/8 x 10-7/8 in., 112 pgs.
Published 2010, ISSN 1096-360X, # 020211

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