Category Archives: good ideas

Hemlock siding Vermont Modern Robert Swinburne architect

Hemlock – Open Gap Rain Screen Siding

By | affordable modern, cool stuff, education, good ideas, Living in Vermont, products, projects, Small house, super insulated, traditional vs modern, Uncategorized, working with a builder, working with an architect | 2 Comments

My use of eastern hemlock as a siding material has been generating interest. Hemlock is a common wood in Vermont but doesn’t get used a lot except in barns and outbuildings and sometimes for timber frames. My summer job during high school involved working in a small sawmill. We sometimes…

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Grumpy architect time

By | bad ideas, good ideas, mutterings | 3 Comments

From the facebook page Grumpy architect time: 1.If your house is adequately insulated there should be little temperature differential between the ceiling and the floor. 2. Adequately differs from code. Remember, a house built to code is the worst house you can legally build. 3. If you choose not to…

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Old Fashioned Kitchens

By | good ideas | No Comments

As an architect I am supposed to like a sleek modern kitchen with a huge and functional island and lots of beautiful cabinetry. And I do. But what really melts my emotional side is a big old fashioned kitchen with a large table in the center. – The original “family…

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Stone Library Renovation

By | good ideas, projects | No Comments

Here are a bunch of snapshots of the stone library project from a few years back. This was a gut remodel of a stone faced concrete block building from the 60’s that had been used as a private library. We used Loewen windows with Richlite window sills, some cool metal…

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Greening your Neighbors

By | good ideas, mutterings | No Comments

I just stuck this post over at This is more of a musing than a question. When building a new home would it be more environmentally responsible to forego the triple glazed windows and put the saved money into insulation upgrades on neighbor’s houses? 10 or 20k would go…

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Triangles in Kitchens

By | good ideas | No Comments

I have been thinking lately about the work triangle in the kitchen. This was a construct of the 1940’s when men in suits were trying to engineer the function of the kitchen to make women’s lives easier. The work triangle consists of the locations for the storage, preparation and cooking…

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New Home Energy Priorities

By | good ideas | No Comments

A lovely little quote lifted from BSI-014 “Deciding on Energy Priorities when Building New” from Hence, if you doubt energy prices are going to triple over the next 25 years, and have a hunch that PVs will soon get cheap enough to compete with grid-supplied coal power, you might…

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