Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dreams Happen 2013

Safari Campout
Architect: Hayes Group Architects, Inc. & Morris Engineering
Builder, South Bay Construction
Photo Credit, Dean J. Birinyi Photography

Modern Point of View
Architect, Gary J. Ahern
Builder, W.L. Butler Construction Inc. 
Photo Credit, Dean J. Birinyi Photography

Box.o.Matic 3000
Architect, Ana Williamson Architect, AIA
Builder, Mediterraneo Design Build
Photo Credit, Dean J. Birinyi Photography

Red Barn
Architect, John Onken Arhitects
Builder, Thor Construction
Photo Credits, Dean J. Birinyi Photography

The 2013 Dreams Happen Houses arrived at Stanford Shopping Center on Saturday, May 4. They will be on display through June 8. There are 11 playhouses and 1 doghouse that will be auctioned off at the Dreams Happen Gala event on Saturday, June 1.   All proceeds benefit Rebuilding Together Peninsula—a non-profit organization dedicated to rehabilitating the homes and community facilities of neighbors in need from Sunnyvale to Daly City.  For more information and to view the other playhouses visit Rebuild Together Peninsula.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Does My Playhouse Need a Permit?

image via: welsh
 Controversial playhouse in Ocala, FL must meet codes or be removed.

With the weather finally warming up, it's the perfect time of year to start planning your playhouse project.  Before you start picking paint colors and purchasing materials, you should determine if a permit is necessary.  Check with your local code officials and neighborhood association.  Many neighborhoods have restrictions or guidelines that you must follow. You may even need to have your design approved prior to construction.  If approval is necessary, be sure to check on submission procedures and timelines. (The review committee may only meet once a month).  If you are aware of the restrictions early enough along, you can plan for them.  It may be something as simple as the color scheme should coordinate with your house colors or the playhouse must be a certain distance from your property line.  If you feel your style is being too heavily governed, no need to worry.  There are plenty of ways for you and your children to express yourself.  Try going wild with color on the interior if the neighbors aren't keen on your psychedelic exterior color scheme.  It has been my experience that most neighbors are just curious, and would even like to be a part of the project.

Personally I love driving through a neighborhood and seeing a quirky little just makes me smile.  The architect in me also understands the importance of  preserving the character of a neighborhood and maintaining property value.  With that being said, please plan ahead.  No one wants to tear their child's playhouse down.  

*For the record, I think the playhouse above is adorable!  From the video, it's hard to get a good perspective on how it does or does not fit into the context of the neighborhood.  What are your thoughts?  Please share.