Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about houses, which of course, is not that unusual given what I do. However, what I have been thinking about is the amount of houses that are built today that are thrown up in a matter of months, cutting corners at every chance. But that’s not even my biggest irritant – it never ceases to amaze me how many houses are built as if there was no architect involved in the planning and execution at all. Front doors that are a foot off center, windows that are supposed to line up that don’t, roof-lines that are either too steep or too low for the design of the house, materials not intended to last more than a few years. People just accept it. And don’t even get me started on additions – haphazard, materials that don’t match…..it simply amazes me.
More than amaze me though, it actually slightly offends me. Now this is just my personal opinion, but I have always believed that houses are a contribution to the already beautiful world created just for us, and should serve to compliment it, rather than detract from the natural beauty. I believe that a house should be built not just for yourself, but for future generations to come. In order to do that, you need to care about what you are doing, and be willing to take the time and make the effort so that it doesn’t fall apart and need to be bull-dozed after 50 years.
You don’t have to look far to find someone that would tell you that their dream home would be one in the English countryside, or maybe in an idyllic Provençal field. The reason for that is because those homes were built to be there for hundreds of years, and great care was put into the planning and execution of the dwelling. Not all of them are expensive or large, but they share the same thing, which is a good design, executed by seasoned craftsmen.
That said, I am also not a fan of needless excess. There is a difference between quality building and ostentatious building done simply for the purpose of impressing people. I suppose that’s why I’ve always loved Gabriel Builders’ work; While the term “beautiful” is commonly used to describe their homes, I think there is always the implication that it is beautiful because it was done right. Houses come in all sizes and price ranges, and every family is different. But you will never convince me that it’s better to have a bigger low quality home than a smaller one made solid enough to live in for a lifetime and maybe, someday, be passed down to your children.
Houses don’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. They just need to be thought of as more of a labor of love rather than just another commodity to buy and sell. After all, it’s where most of your favorite memories are made.