The Ojai Skinny House

The Ojai Skinny House is a design based on the popular idea of modular housing.  Each time I have tried to do a house using modular technology, it hasn’t worked !  Here are some of the reasons:

  • Final cost was more expensive than building on site
  • Design couldn’t be changed to take advantage of the views
  • Too expensive/difficult to deliver to the site

Continue reading “The Ojai Skinny House”

Building a New House in Ojai and Ventura County

Building in the City of Ojai is a fairly straightforward process.  The town itself is quite small, only 4.4 miles, beyond those boundaries you are in the unincorporated area of  Ventura County – a bit more challenging building process.  Call us to help you navigate the building process.


Ojai is located at 34°26′57″N 119°14′48″W

The city is generally at 745 feet (227 m) above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), of which only 0.35% is water, and the rest is land.

Ojai is situated in a small east-west valley, north of Ventura and east of Santa Barbara. It is approximately 15 miles (24 km) inland from the Pacific Ocean coast.

Since Ojai is lined up with an east-west mountain range, it is one of few towns in the world to have a “Pink Moment” occur as the sun is setting. The fading sunlight creates a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes on the Topatopa Bluffs, over 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above sea level at the east end of the Ojai Valley. Nordhoff Ridge, the western extension of the Topatopa Mountains, towers over the north side of the town and valley at more than 5,000 feet (1,500 m). Sulphur Mountain creates the southern ranges bounding the Ojai Valley, a little under 3,000 feet (910 m) in elevation. The Sulphur and Topatopa Mountains are part of the Transverse Ranges system.

The Ventura River flows through the Ventura River Valley, draining the mountains surrounding Ojai to the north and east and emptying into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Ventura. The Ventura River was once known for its steelhead fishing before Matilija Dam and Lake Casitas were constructed, eliminating habitat for this trout species.

The climate of Ojai is Mediterranean, characterized by hot, dry summers, sometimes exceeding 100 °F (38 °C), and mild winters, with lows at night sometimes below freezing. As is typical for much of coastal southern California, most precipitation falls in the form of rain between the months of October and April, with intervening dry summers.

Ojai – New Construction – Radiant Heat and Cooling


By: Otis Bradley

Project: Ojai, California – Radiant Cooling

Architecture: Patrick W. Nolan
Builder: Otis Bradley Company, Inc.
Interior Design: Rhett Judice

In the words of the late great singer – James Brown – I feel good !  Like I know that I should! Ughhh ! Yeahhhh !

Everybody loves radiant heat ! It feels good.  Done right – you don’t even know you have a heating system – it just feeeeeels good!

Our new custom home in Ojai  – is traditionally designed in a French Provincial style, yet includes high tech equipment.  Not only does it have radiant heating tubes embedded in the concrete slabs under the French limestone floors, but … we also have cooling tubes in the ceiling.

Floor tubing
Ceiling tubing
This project – although a traditional, French Provincial style home, still has high tech equipment. The house is super insulated using insulated concrete block, ICF, technology and both heated and cooled using radiant panels in the floor and ceiling.

The problem:

Everyone loves radiant floor heat, but in hot climates everyone wants cooling as well.  Typically this means an entire second – usually a ducted forced air system – is added just for cooling.

The solution:

Use radiant to cool as well as heat.

We did this with the help of special panels and control systems that sense humidity and allow us to cool without creating condensation.

Bottom Line:

It feels GOOD ! In hot or cold weather !Everybody loves radiant heat! You won’t even know there is a heating system in a home if its done right – it just feels comfortable.


More on this project CLICK HERE




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