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Monday
Jun112012

A custom brick home for the price of a vinyl-sided tract home?

Builder Clay Chapman says it’s possible, and he’s documenting his effort to build such a house on his blog Hope For Architecture.
 
Frustrated with the disposable houses that have dominated in recent decades, and aware that his building of high-end custom homes for a handful of wealthy people would do little to change things, Chapman set out to build a permanent, energy-efficient, quality home for around $80 per square foot. In brick. Structural brick. $80 per square foot!
 
Chapman’s story is well covered in Better! Cities & Towns by Scott Doyon. What’s amazing is that Chapman, by rethinking the home from the ground up, doesn’t sacrifice anything to stay at $80 per square foot. His home is custom-designed, generous with craftsman-built details, beautiful, and will stand for perhaps centuries. As Doyon puts it, “...a home of true permanence, capable of lasting for as long as it remains loved, at a price suited to the middle class.”
 
Progress photos from Chapman’s blog do a nice job of showing the thick, load-bearing, structural brick walls which are quite different from the full brick veneer and thin brick applications more commonly used.
 
Could Chapman's model be the future of affordable housing?  We'd love to hear your comments.  Give us your feedback!

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