THE Surf House Model

Inspired by the Surfing Culture

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We've named the first Open Book Build home...The Surf House.  This house design was inspired by the surf cottages in Hawaii where the surf culture lives and breathes on chic simplicity and minimalism.  Minimalism not for the pure sake of it, but minimalism to free up resources to pursue big dreams...whether that dream is to catch a giant wave or to launch a business startup that will change the world.  The Surf House was created to maximize use of space while including higher end design elements to inspire it's owners. 


While an 1170 square foot main floor may sound small, the space lives large with great design, high quality finishes, and a modern open floor plan.  Lots of glass and high ceilings really help make this home feel big.  The open concept kitchen to family room floor plan is designed for modern day living and family gatherings.  The large kitchen breakfast bar allows for up to six chairs, greatly extending the eating area.  

Easy Expansion

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It's easy and affordable to dramatically increase the square footage of this home.  We've designed the lower level to allow for future finished space to increase the home's size from a 2 bedroom/2 bath, up to a 4 bedroom/3 bath.  But forget about that dark, musty basement your parents had.  In The Surf House we've added the most important elements to make a basement not feel like a basement.  Including:


  • 9' foundation walls to really open up the space 
  • Two strategically placed egress windows to add natural light 
  • Specially engineered drainage, insulation, and waterproofing to keep the space warm and dry
  • Rough-in for bath plumbing 
  • Passive radon ventilation system 


Because the initial home construction includes these crucial elements, a savvy do-it-yourselfer could finish the lower level in the future for as little as $15 per square foot, which is 80% less than the typical new home cost per square foot.

Value Engineering

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Value engineering is all about creating building efficiency by carefully thinking through all the details.  Here are just a few of these details that allow us to build this home for such a great price...


  • Bathrooms are located close to each other to shorten plumbing runs which lowers construction costs
  • Basement support beam is a single, centered structural element giving all ductwork a straight run making installation easier and decreasing material used
  • Even-numbered overall house plan dimensions keep material waste down as building materials come in even lengths/widths
  • Clean lines in walls help avoid complicated angles and jogs that drive construction complexity and cost up
  • A-frame roof allows for simplified truss layout for efficient use of materials & labor

Big Time Storage Space

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Do you cringe when you watch these tiny house shows that have a small trap door to storage under the floor where owners are supposed to keep all their worldly possessions?  The Surf House was designed with storage in mind. 


The Surf House has been designed for a large, open attic storage area.  The roof trusses are built with an open center with a steep roof pitch for head clearance. This allows for 500 square feet of storage in the attic, equivalent to the floor space in a 2.5 car garage.  And with two gable windows, there is plenty of natural light to find what you're looking for.


In addition, the lower level was designed for easy access for outdoor gear.  The rear exterior door opens up directly in front of the basement stairs.  And we've strategically designed the  stairs with a straight run and plenty of room at the bottom for maneuvering large items like paddleboards, kayaks, bicycles and let's not forget...surfboards.

Owner Builder Friendly

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 This house design is great for anyone thinking of taking on the general contractor role themselves.  Why?  Because we've put the time and effort into taking the complexity out of this home whenever possible.  So what exactly does that mean?  Here are a few of the steps we've taken to make this an easier build.


  • Material choices with efficient installation processes to speed up construction & simplify quality checks
  • Pre-manufactured components to reduce construction on site 
  • Detailed & forgiving cabinet layouts to minimize potential fit problems
  • Single, lengthwise structural basement beam to simplify mechanical layouts
  • Plan details that remove the guesswork and minimize onsite communications


All of these items help limit the number of vendors needed, speed up build times, and decrease the overall onsite management time required.


Operating Efficiencies

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It's one thing to create a home that is efficient to build.  It's another thing to create a home that is efficient to maintain.  Here are a few of the design elements that help lower The Surf House's operating costs.


  • Centrally located furnace with straight duct runs = reduced heating and cooling costs
  • Hot water heater is strategically located near bathrooms.  Tired of waiting for hot water?  The Surf House design reduces your wait time while saving water
  • Bedroom windows are placed to improve natural cross ventilation during the warm season
  • High efficiency furnace lowers heating costs in the cold winter
  • Instead of large volume ceilings that trap & waste heated air, the 9' ceilings in the living space help keep occupants warm during cold winter days, and still give the feel of a big open space


The Surf House.  A simple, chic designer home that embodies minimalism and allows its owners to pursue big dreams, whatever they may be.