Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Introducing the ClemDesign blog

Welcome to my blog for ClemDesign. My name is John Clem and I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at ClemDesign. I am re-introducing my blog because I had let it languish for almost 2 years. During this time, I have been busy with a number of interesting projects. So, my plan this time is to be more vigilant in posting updates as well as other interesting architecture related information here for anyone who is interested.

ClemDesign offers custom and stock home designs. Our focus is mainly modern or modernist design, as that is my personal preference. I like classic mid-century modern homes as well as newer modern designs (not so much post-modern designs though). So, typically, everything I design is of the modern style or incorporates modern elements. I do offer a few contemporary designs because I have customers who are not interested in modern.

In case you are interested, I am not an Architect, I have not attended a school of architecture, nor do I expect to do so in the future. I am a residential designer with many years of hands-on experience in residential construction and design. I have always been involved with construction in some way during my life and learned to build from my father. He had an interest in architecture which I share. I am also a LEED AP.

I personally like modern style homes for a number of reasons. I believe modernist designs are a breath of fresh air compared to the boring and monotonous designs built by the millions in every subdivision in the US. I think I most like the lines of a modern home, such as low-pitched roofs (or flat roofs) that do not dominate the structure. I also like the window styles that are associated with a modern style home. There are typically more windows in a modernist home, but it is also the heights, types and groupings that make the difference. I also like car ports on a home as opposed to a garage. It bothers me when driving through a subdivision and all I see are two or three large garage doors and a small entry door on the side. The size of the garage doors on these buildings dominates or overwhelms the front of the house. A car port on the other hand does not really have a front or a back; they shelter vehicles, but in a less obvious way.

Its not that I like modern homes because they are different, I think they offer a better environment for the occupants. There is a different kind of feeling you have when you enter a modern style home. I describe it as a "lighter" feel. They typically have very open floor plans with lots of windows. The windows help to expand the feel of the rooms and to bring the outdoors in. Modern style homes also typically utilize simpler materials and contain very little if any ornamentation. This also adds to the lightness of the atmosphere. I believe that a modern style home can have a positive affect on the occupants by creating a more relaxing atmosphere.

The majority of my home plans are designed to use traditional platform framing techniques. This helps to keep construction costs down. However, some of my designs are a bit more elaborate utilizing large beams and cantilevered spaces and will have slightly higher construction costs. I do specify all the exterior walls of my designs to use 2x6 studs with foam sheathing. This helps to provide the owners with a well insulated home on a realistic budget. I can alter my designs to utilize more energy efficient materials such as ICFs or SIPs upon request.

In this blog, I will post information about designs I am currently working on as well as some past projects and other things related to modern architecture. I will do my best to keep it current. I do hope you find some interesting topics here.

Thanks for visiting,
John Clem

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