Lean Design

Blogs on Lean Design concepts and implementations for Home Builders and Remodelers



Sept. 20, 1977, was the day that I breathlessly awaited the conclusion of the shark-jumping episode of "Happy Days." All week long I had fretted about Fonzie’s mid-air cliff hanger. While Fonzie (clad in leather jacket and water skis) successfully made the jump and lived to be cool another day, the series "Happy Days" was not so lucky--it took a turn for the worse and was never the same again.

After my January 2013 article in Professional Builder, “3 Ways to Huge Profits Through Lean Design,” was published, I was thrilled to get a shout-out from a faithful reader regarding a costly insulation mistake. It was too good not to share. Here is what he wrote:

Today we have a ranch (or if you are on the East Coast, a rambler) to review. It is a Lean Design with a ton of amenities, and it is a beauty. I’m betting Brent Musburger would have a field day with this looker. Let’s explore further:

A. Open kitchen plan is perfect for entertaining and allows a direct site line to the Great Room fireplace (and TV).

B. A fan favorite -– the laundry room is accessible from the master suite. This is one of the most popular trends that I encounter throughout the country.

It is clear that a housing recovery ground swell is underway. In 2013 we will be looking past survival and finally able to focus on business growth. That is why IBS 2013 is going to be phenomenal! The country’s best builders are already focusing on Lean as a platform to optimize their profits and maximize the marketability of their homes – here is your chance to do the same. There are two major programs being offered that will help you get started:

For the last several years Scott Sedam and I have been spreading the word about Lean design. Lean design is based on creating home designs that maximize marketability and profit while reducing construction waste. This is done through a collaborative design approach that involves the builder and the building team (including sales) as well as the builder’s trades and suppliers. It is a design approach that focuses on cost reduction while increasing aesthetics and overall amenities.

“Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.” - Eugene O'Neill

Nothing brings up feelings of fairy tale romanticism about a home quite like a turret. With a soaring roofline and endless natural light, it is very easy to fall in love with a well done turret. In this plan the turret becomes a space within a space that is used for retreat. Let’s take a closer look:

 

This little plan has really been a high producer. It is simple to build, lean, and has great curb appeal. As a result this plan has sold very well for several builders.

Whether you call them crickets or saddles, the little patch of roof that is bridging water past a chimney or other element obstructing water flow is one of the hardest things for most framers to get right on the roof. Why is this?

After last weeks blog  about the great match up of Lean and custom homes I received the following inspiring "boots on the ground" letter from reader and fellow Leanista Roger Bess:

Todd,

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