Five Pillars of Design for Outdoor Living

Beautiful, functional outdoor living spaces reflect elements of balance, nature, longevity, details and convenience
By Jonathan Parks, AIA

As an architect designing high-end custom homes in Florida, one advantage of working in this climate is the opportunity to design outdoor living spaces as an extension of the indoor living space. We find a properly designed outdoor living space works on two scales: getting the big picture right and making sure small details come together. If a client wants a covered area outside and you do not provide it, the big picture is incorrect.

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DOE Rule Change Could Ban Multiple Outlet Shower Systems

A newly issued draft interpretive rule from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that changes the definition of “shower heads” to “shower valves” has sparked significant concern among NAHB members, members of the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute and other groups. The problem is that this change in definition, which was published in the Federal Register on May 19, may conflict…

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Housing starts rise 5.8% in April

WASHINGTON – May 18, 2010 – Nationwide housing starts rose 5.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 672,000 units in April as the deadline for an important homebuyer tax incentive arrived, according to figures released today by the U.S. Commerce Department.

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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates sink to 6-week low

McLEAN, Va. – May 7, 2010 – Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages have fallen to their lowest level in six weeks, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 5 percent this week, down from last week when it averaged 5.06 percent. A year ago, 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.84 percent, Freddie Mac said.

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