Book Reviews …
“This book allows readers with little to no experience to design the optimal house for their location, community, and family needs.”
Donald R. Wulfinghoff intends to maximize the relationship between our homes and our lives in his enormously helpful design guide, Super House: Design Your Dream Home for Super Energy Efficiency, Total Comfort, Dazzling Beauty, Awesome Strength, and Economy. Planning and building a house from scratch — or even undertaking a simple addition or renovation — can be daunting in scope. Yet through flow charts, checklists, worksheets, bulleted lists, and ample photographs, Super House breaks down big-picture issues such as architectural styles while also addressing nitty-gritty details such as the optimal placement of a toilet.
For ease of flipping, the eight design steps of Super House are color-coded on each right page. Wulfinghoff devotes the most coverage to creating a superstructure — that is, a house that is resilient to damage by nature, crime, and age. The second largest topic is arguably the most fun of the book: planning the home’s layout and style. Here Wulfinghoff provides plenty of visuals of well-executed style elements, such as groupings of windows.
Aesthetics, efficiency, and practicality are the foundations of Super House. For example, Wulfinghoff encourages those building a home to go stand on the land prior to construction to orient the layout and exploit the best views. He also suggests placing rarely used rooms like formal dining rooms and guest bedrooms toward the front of the house to serve as a buffer to a busy street. He likewise encourages placing rooms in clusters that streamline efficient heating and cooling throughout the day and night. In place of a locked safe, Wulfinghoff believes that every house should have a strong room with reinforced walls and doors in which to store valuables.
Wulfinghoff’s tone is genial and authoritative. He has worked in the construction field for years, and he quickly earns the readers’ trust through exhaustive detail. …”
“Aimed at both users who are designing a home from the ground up as well as home owners looking to upgrade various systems in an existing structure, this book covers everything from choosing windows, landscaping, appliances, roofing, HVAC, plumbing, and more for maximum energy efficiency.
Each of eight chapters covers both basic and more intricate details, along with more than 500 color photographs and illustrations. The tips and techniques are written for the layperson, and there are checklists and worksheets to guide the user along the way. Libraries where there is an interest in home design or energy conservation will want to circulate copies of this book.”
American Library Association BOOKLIST
“Energy-efficiency expert Wulfinghoff brings a lifetime of experience in home design and efficiency to this hefty volume. Breaking the process of building a new home or retrofitting an existing one into eight steps, from planning to completion, Wulfinghoff focuses on choice of materials and systems that work well and support energy conservation and economy. He includes sections on choosing a builder, selecting doors and windows, plumbing, heating/cooling, and lighting. A lengthy section discusses alternative energy sources—solar, wind, geothermal—and earth-sheltered construction.
Without sacrificing comfort or spending excessive amounts of money, it is possible to design a house that is far superior to those widely available, Wulfinghoff asserts. … the volume addresses almost any question a DIYer might have while building or renovating a home. Worksheets and checklists provide guidance for each phase of the process. …”
Praise from Users …
“Don Wulfinghoff helped to make our home a showpiece, totally comfortable and very energy efficient. With Super House, he offers his experience and wisdom in a guide to home design
that anyone can use.”
recycling business owner
“Super House achieves its ambitious goal, which is to enable a person with no trade knowledge to design a home that has the most advanced features. Its excellent organization, illustrations, worksheets, and checklists provide the handholding that a first-time home designer needs.”
Sean Gallagher, facilities manager
Montgomery County, Maryland
“Incredibly useful, it shows how to improve every aspect of a home. It will pay for itself the first time you use it.”
Michael Kilpatrick, home handyman and
former NASA facilities contractor
“Super House is a triumph of clarity and usefulness! It explains virtually EVERYTHING that a homeowner should consider. It advances the state of the art with a host of innovations. Each step in the design sequence highlights the best choices. I especially appreciate the emphasis on health and safety.”
Susan Turner, health care attorney
“Written as a step-by-step guide for novice home designers, Super House is also an invaluable information source for architects, contractors, and code officials. It has the potential to radically improve home construction worldwide.”
Henry Borger, former Secretary of
the Federal Construction Council
and author of The Corporate Prince
“This beautiful book shows how to design a home that is so much better than typical tract houses. I wish that every architect and contractor would learn from it.”
“In addition to guiding the reader through the technical aspects of superlative home design, Super House provides important advice about how to work effectively with your builder and
how to negotiate the construction contract.”
energy regulatory attorney