Nationally known as the innovative architect primarily responsible
for the Katrina Cottage, Marianne Cusato now seeks to address the impact that the current economy has had on the homebuilding
costs by designing a new home that can be built for a family’s needs today and in the future.
Labeled “The New Economy
House, Cusato’s design is the first of its kind, tailored specifically to provide built-in flexibility as well as an
affordable cost of construction.
To conserve costs, the plans are based on standard dimensional lumber, which minimizes cutting
on site. Also, plumbing fixtures are grouped in centralized locations to simplify plumbing installation and reduce consumption.
The building envelope and construction details merge the latest technologies in green building with common sense details that
maximize the value of sun and water, while minimizing the load they place on the mechanical systems. As
an added bonus, every set of plans comes with a full materials list and product specifications.
With 1771 square feet of living space, this four-bedroom, three
and a half bathroom house gives its owners several living options. An adaptable
suite, located on the first floor with a private entrance and porch, can function as part of the whole
house or break off into a private suite or income producing apartment. In good times this suite can be used a a family room
or guest bedroom. In tighter economic times, this suite can be rented to help offset the mortgage, used by an adult child
returning home, an elderly parent, or even one member of a divorcing couple that can’t support two households.
The New Economy Home responds to the realities of our time with a design that is economical to build, efficient to
maintain and adaptable over time. But just as importantly, it is comfortable to live in and attractive to look at. Living
within our means does not have to mean trading down, it can and hopefully will, mean trading up and making our lives better.