1.) Do you remember the moment that you decided you wanted a BrightBuilt home? What lead you to that decision?
J&L: Joe knew early on that looking at energy efficient/green technologies in our next home was the way to go. Our millennial kids where pushing us to shrink our carbon footprint at the same time that we were looking to downsize. Every thing came together when we met with J.
JB: I remember Joe & Lorraine telling me about their “aha!” moment. J was able to give them a private tour of a Foxbird under construction in the area. We’re so fortunate that we have gracious current clients who allow us to do this because I think it really solidified the decision for them. They walked in and knew that it was something very close to their future house.
2.) Tell us a little bit about your process of finding land!
J&L: Initially we did the real estate online searches and most land parcels looked good on paper and in pictures. The reality was that most, in fact, would not meet our needs for building. In stepped Bruce Kaplan, who intimately knew BrightBuilt and the greater Portland area. He was able to quickly tap into builders familiar with BrightBuilt and available land inventories.
JB: I have to say, this partnership was ideal, and made everything from a project manager’s perspective as seamless as possible: A realtor who was on-board with the BrightBuilt concept, a G.C. with whom we have a fantastic working relationship, a team that was collaborative, and, a piece of land that was perfect for the clients and identified as suitable for a high-performance home. I recall Lorraine telling me about touring the site, seeing wild turkeys in the field across the road, and how that event just ruined the chance of any other lot they saw for the rest of the day. When you know, you know.
3.) What element of the house is your favorite and why?
J&L: The southern exposure of the house with all the windows! Even on the cloudiest of days, we have light and amazing views. Winter snows were magical to watch from the comfort of our snug and warm home.
JB: Large windows are a key feature of every home we design, but I have to say, we made some design adjustments here that really kicked it up a notch, like the sliding door to the south. We made it even larger, a whopping 8 feet wide. It really has a fish bowl effect, in the best way possible – think a snow globe in the winter, or a conservatory/greenhouse in the spring, all experienced from a favorite chair in your living room.
4.) The skylights* in the main living space are grand! Do they change how you experience what’s happening with the weather outside, while you’re still inside the house?
J&L: They are grand! Whether looking up to the stars on cloudless nights, watching rain fall, or snow flakes accumulating on the glass — it is an architectural detail that adds so much to the living space below.
JB: Those skylights were made possible by the vaulted ceiling that Joe & Lorraine opted for in the living space. Which is another element that adds to the grandness. Lofty ceilings and portals directly to the sky? Yes, please.
(*To the devoted energy gurus out there, rest assured that the skylights were tested in our energy modeling.)
5.) If someone you knew said they recently decided to build a BBH home, what advice would you give them as they begin the process?
J&L: Be patient. It may take time to find the right piece of property but once the modules arrive it is amazing how quickly the house takes shape. Be ready to make lots of decisions but in the end all efforts will come together and you will love your home.
JB: It was a joy to work with Joe & Lorraine. They came into this process with smiles on their faces, and pretty much kept that attitude the entire time, which made everything from start to finish easier and more fun. They trusted me (and the rest of the team) to guide them through our process, to help with decisions and work honestly on their behalf. Patience is necessary when looking for the right piece of land to start the journey of building a home. We’ve worked to streamline our process so that what would normally be complex can be orchestrated and coordinated seamlessly. As they mentioned, the next thing you know the modules arrive, and you’re almost there!