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The Houston A 2448A - 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, 1 garage, 1200 square feet

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THE Houston came about as an entry idea for a contest from the city of the same name. The contest goals were simple; 3 beds, 2 bath max, optional garage, no more than 1500sf, ideal for Houston's climate and able to be built for under $99k (land not included). While we don't provide a material list or cost breakdown, a rough estimate shows that the price point was easily met, even for the expensive Northwest market.. However the Houston was designed for the balmy Gulf region, specifically as inexpensive replacement housing for Hurricane Katrina's victims.

One of the biggest problems with building rows of housing in short order is the margin for error and potential cost.  For this reason the Houston was designed on 4' increments to require as little cutting as possible.  Your foundation crew will be able to set up their forms in the morning and pour in the afternoon.  Framers could lift the walls in a day.  The roofers may take just as long.  Sheetrockers, finishers, etc. can be in and out without a shout.  Why?

The Houston A was created at a developer's request to maximize his lot's footprint.  Therefore the 24' dimension has been stretched a little.  Four foot increment walls elsewhere means nailing up sheathing without leftovers.  Incidentally, the trusses call out an 8" heel.  This allows for the sheathing to cover wall height, a couple inches of foundation, and the remainder onto the heel.  If you're using 4'x9' sheathing, again I say, NO CUTTING!  Isn't that great?

The 8" heel in the trusses allows for full attic insulation to the edge of the wall.  This eliminates those thermal bridges that often occur on the edges of a building envelope.  Furthermore, the odd 7.5:12 pitch of the main roof allows for 18" overhangs, charm, AND a roof plane of 16'.  What's this mean?  No cutting!  Just slap down your 4x8 sheathing from ridge to gutter.  The porch roof has the same trick.

Should you need a touch less width, the original Houston was designed at 24' wide and the same material efficiency.

All plans include four elevations, floor plans, foundation plans, at least two building sections, framing plans for the second floor and/or roof, and notes and construction details. This is everything you will need to build, but may not be everything you need to get a permit. Check with your local jurisdiction. Electrical layouts, cabinet elevations and engineering are not included.
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