CUSTOM AND CHOICE are words not often associated with affordable housing. But in Birmingham, Ala.'s Southampton Timberline development of eight lease-purchase homes, buyers selected colors, hardware, light fixtures, and patios or decks.

For Plan 5, the project's architect, L. Paul Roderick, ingeniously fit three bedrooms and two bathrooms into this 1,303-square-foot, Craftsman-style bungalow and used inexpensive replacements for traditional embellishments. For example, the porch columns were fashioned out of concrete instead of stone, and vinyl stood in for wood on the windows.

CATEGORIES: Production/Semi-custom home, less than 2,000 square feet (merit); Focus on affordability; ENTRANT / ARCHITECT / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT / INTERIOR DESIGNER: Adams Design Associates, Birmingham, Ala.; BUILDER: C&N Contractors and Nation Building Co., Birmingham; DEVELOPER: Housing Authority of the Birmingham District, Birmingham