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

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35 Questions to Ask Before Buying Vacant Land ?

Are you interested in buying your own piece of earth?  There’s nothing more fabulous than having a few acres of your own, and building your own place from the ground up.   But, buying land, especially in highly regulated areas like California, can be a lot more risky than buying a home.  These days of real estate disclosure for a home buyer have come a long way from the traditional law of “Caveat Emptor” (meaning buyer beware)!  Land, however, does not have the same rules.  I constantly hear stories like:

Ojai Land for slae
“I thought we were buying 80 acres, it turned out we got 65!”

“We had no idea this area was in an ancient landslide.  Its almost impossible to build here.”

“We thought we got an amazing deal, $1m for 120 acres, but it turns out its going to cost another $1m to get to the pad before we can even think of starting the house.”

“We bought a small lot in town and it turns out we can’t get water service so we can’t build!”

Unfortunately there isn’t one place to get answers.  Many local departments are involved and sometimes have conflicting information.

Here are 35 questions you can ask
Or you can get professional help – call me 310 963 7900.

Planning and Zoning

  1. Is it a legal lot? If not, how do I make it legal?
  2. What is the zoning classification of this lot?
  3. Does the Zoning on the property permit my project?
  4. Does the County General Plan permit what I wish to do?
  5. Are any planning permits required prior to building on the lot?
  6. Are there any zoning violations on the lot?
  7. Are there any special building restrictions in this area?
  8. Are there any cultural heritage sites on the property?

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Génoise Detail of a French Provincial Design – New Construction ICF House in Ojai

Project: Ojai, California New Construction

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

 
Génoise – although the definition of the word is “an Italian sponge cake” known from the area of Genoa in Italy

 
Génoise also defines the architectural treatment under the eaves of the roof – common in Provence France and possibly originating in Italy

It is said that the wealthier you are – the more rows you have !   The roof tiles continue from the eave back to the house in a sort of reverse pattern.  The trend dates back the middle of the 17th century and came originally from Italy.

 This project, built of ICF blocks,  created a challenge because the 8″ thick concrete walls are surrounded in 3″ of insulating foam.  Unlike the solid stone buildings of 17th c Provence, we had to create a system that could attach – be safe – be structurally sound – without being able to build on top of a stone wall.  The answer is foam! and a bad hair day! Continue reading “Génoise Detail of a French Provincial Design – New Construction ICF House in Ojai”

Ojai – New Home Construction – Lighting Rods

Don’t you just love aerial shots! A cool way to see the lay of the land and a great way to see a new home project progressing.   Our project in Ojai is an extremely unique home.  A “French Provincial” style with super modern materials and systems.  That’s why we are installing a lightning protection system.

Ready to scaffold and start lathing for stucco – the roof is stacked – windows and doors are in – flashings installed

But as you can see – this house is on top of a mountain – right on the ridge!

We don’t often have lightning storms here and I have never seen a lightning protection system installed in Southern California but here is why we are doing it …..

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