Table of Contents February 2013

Editor's Notes


House of the Month

  • Swatt Miers Architects

    Water Wise

    A combination of native, drought-tolerant, and animal-resistant plants results in a smart and beautiful landscaping program for a Northern California home.


Field Report



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    Between the Lines

    Vertical steel rods and cantilevered treads may look delicate, but this stairway is hefty and strong.


Jump Ball

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    Above and Beyond

    Sales and marketing get special praise from builders for their work in 2012.


Game Changer

  • A mobile app brings MiTek¢¬¢s SAPPHIRE Viewer to iPads.

    Deeper Insights

    SAPPHIRE Viewer eases the reviewing and confirmation process, especially for roof and wall truss construction.


Success Story

  • Sienna Plantation offers a water feature for every age and ability.

    Water Powered

    Over-the-top water features have helped Sienna Plantation sell well, even during the downturn.



Editor's Pick

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    Counter This

    Stratum countertop surfacing is a mash-up of Smith & Fong’s Plyboo bamboo plywood sandwiched between two sheets of Richlite’s paper-based surfacing.


Top Shelf

Sound Off

Crowe's Economy

  • David Crowe

Chief Economist 


Washington, D.C.

    What Buyers Want

    A recent survey by the NAHB reveals what prospective new-home buyers desire—and what they're willing to pay for it.



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    For Builders that Survived, Flexibility Was the Key

    These 25 builders made it through the dark days of the past five years by adapting to—instead of bemoaning—market conditions. Now, many are poised to expand as business conditions improve.

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    Second Chances

    An aged storefront, an abandoned factory, a historic firehouse—three case studies show how old buildings can be inventively transformed into great places to live.

  • Doug Smith of Miller & Smith in McLean, Virginia

credit: Chris Usher/Sublime Management


    The Rebound

    Home building is finally bouncing back—but some small builders are still struggling.


Build Smart

Construction Detail

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    Hardening Homes Against Wildfire

    In the "wildland-urban interface," houses need protection against wildfire's triple threat: flying embers, flame spread, and radiant heat.


How To


  • Stair Turn

    A production house architect shows how moving the stairway more toward the center of the house improves the floor plan.



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    Winter Holidays

    When doors dry in winter, bare spots appear at panel edges.


National Beat

Chairman's Letter

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    Association Goals

    Rick Judson takes over the chairman post at the NAHB and outlines his top priorities.


Interview With New Chairman

NAHB Research Center Corner

  • Stamp of Approval

    In January, the American National Standards Institute approved the National Green Building Standard.



  • Dynamic D*Haus opens into eight configurations for maximum energy efficiency.

    Seasonal Changes

    Dynamic D*Haus can open up into different shapes to expose more walls to sunlight.