Dreaming of an architecturally distinctive house filled with graceful, beautiful materials that has been customized to fit your lifestyle-but think you can't afford it? Blueprint Affordable will dispel those fears and put builders on the path to a home that is personal, beautiful, and affordable. Discover the secrets of cost-conscious design and construction through the examples of ten cutting-edge residential designs, and see how building a unique home doesn't have to be prohibitively expensive. Author Michelle Kodis includes an amazing list of helpful information, guidelines, and tips to follow throughout the planning and building process such as: keep a simple floor plan opt for off-the-shelf stock sizes, which cost less than their customized counterparts choose locally available materials study your building site's climate and weather patterns, and focus on an architectural plan that shields the home from the elements omit a basement where possible-you'll save thousands on excavation costs do your own research and purchase your own lighting fixtures, paint, carpet, and appliances instead of hiring an outside consultant to do so Budget-mindedness and beauty don't live on opposite sides of the architectural block, as the ten houses in Blueprint Affordable strikingly demonstrate. As exceptional as they are in their design, these houses all share one key attribute: from the very beginning, before their owners' dreams were transformed into exciting realities, everything from the floor plan to building materials and finishes was driven by limited financial resources. Since receiving her master of science degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1991, Michelle Kodis has written about a broad range of topics, including architecture and design, the environment, health, business, and cuisine. She lives with her husband near Telluride, Colorado, and is currently at work on additional architecture/design books for Gibbs Smith, Publisher. She is the author of Blueprint Small: Creative Ways to Live with Less.