Houseplans.com Exec Builds Wine Country Home Using His Product

When it comes to building a home, Houseplans.com CEO Stephen Williamson is not afraid to put his money where his mouth is. As you can guess from the name, the company sells house plans and, according to their website, the goal is to make quality design available to more people for less. Houseplans.com Editor-in-Chief Daniel Gregory says Williamson and his wife tested the process by ordering a plan from the site (Ranch House 508-2 by Nicholas Lee, the company's design director) just as any other customer might. The result is a Glen Ellen rancher with 2,994 square feet, three bedrooms, three and a half baths and a not-so-scary price tag (the construction costs came in roughly at $225 per square foot).

Mary Jo Bowling
  • Photo credit: Michelle Lee Willson
    Inside-Out

    That inside-is-outside and vice-versa nature is demonstrated in the living room, whose large doors slide open to embrace the pool area and the trees around it. The contractor, Paul Sorenson of Eames Construction, tells Gregory that the key to keeping construction costs in check is that the "structural system is the finished system." For example, the concrete that makes up the foundation slab is also the floor. “The idea was to make the design as natural as possible, without any waste so that the ornament comes from the structure itself," says Lee.

Designers
Nicholas Lee

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