Custom homes tend to cost more per square foot than conventional tract homes, but we pride ourselves in using design tricks to transform everyday materials into innovative design features that can cost less than their traditional counterparts.
1. Contemporary stair railings.
We frequently use electrical conduit in our stair railing assemblies. This approach adds a great contemporary look to an average staircase at a fraction of the cost of a traditional wood or metal stair balustrade. Take a look at the staircase and loft railing on this home we built: [stair railing example] While the support structures were custom metal, the horizontal railing is all inexpensive conduit.
2. Exposed structural steel.
Instead of covering structural beams and supports with mundane drywall, we will earmark particular beams to remain exposed and become part of the overall design, like the ones painted red in this home: [awesome structural beams] This approach creates a great contemporary focal point from a structural component in your home that would have otherwise been hidden behind wood and drywall. These details don’t add any cost to the project, but they can add aesthetic value to the finished home.
3. Hidden organization.
It seems like everyone these days loves to have a flat screen TV mounted on the wall. In most of our homes, we install a simple chase tube in the wall to allow the homeowner to invisibly run cords for the HDMI cables. For just a couple of dollars during the build process, we save our homeowners the hassle of having to deal with a tangled cord mess in their sleek, brand new home. A little forethought can go a long way.
4. Tile Massing.
Utilizing modern architecture can provide some efficiencies in cost if you know a few sly ways to take advantage of it. One of our favorite tricks that we use in tile design is to utilize plain field tile (inexpensive) for the majority of a shower wall, then add an accent color tile (inexpensive). This creates a mass of color that provides interest and accentuates modern clean lines but costs no more than a plain monolith tile wall.
At Hammersmith Structures, we pride ourselves in using everyday materials in unique ways to create custom details that cost less for our homeowners. These are just a few of our tricks – we’ll continue to share more.