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Tips on Designing the Perfect Home: An Interview with Mike Munson of Michael Munson Architecture

By Michael Munson

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I am a sole practitioner, and as such, I offer very personalized architectural services. My main focus is on carefully designed, energy efficient homes that reflect the specific needs and lifestyle of each client as well addition/renovations to older homes. The architectural services that I offer range from conceptual design through detailed working drawings and construction observation. Full and partial services are available. I have been practicing architecture in New Hampshire for over 25 years.

What are some of the biggest decisions that someone needs to make when it comes to the design of their new home?

Those who are embarking on the design of a new home or addition/renovation with an architect have usually done their homework regarding the spaces they need and their lifestyle wish list. Often the toughest decisions clients have to make revolve around establishing size, quality and cost parameters and weighing the tradeoffs associated with balancing those three aspects.

Can you briefly explain a few features of a green home?

Obviously, a green home needs to be energy efficient and constructed of sustainable, preferably natural, local building materials. However, proper specification of the types of insulation to be used, windows and their specific types of glazing, heating/cooling methods and the myriad of construction components that go into a home is not the whole story. The best green homes feature attractive, flexible and functional design with bright naturally lighted spaces that express each client's unique interests and project requirements. The home is designed for its specific site and location in a manner that will stand the test of time while enhancing everyday life.

What are some of the misconceptions you've come across about designing a green home?

Perhaps the most common misconception about energy efficient, green homes is that they are inherently stylistically limited.

What are a few of the most in-demand green features for custom homes in New Hampshire?

Features most commonly requested seem to center around the efficient delivery of heating and cooling needs such as radiant floor heating, on-demand water heaters and geothermal heating/cooling. Energy efficient appliances are a must have and various green finish materials such as bamboo and cork are also popular items. However, there is no such

thing as a "one size fits all" green building product or component. Each project has to be approached as a unique entity to determine which features are a best fit.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

Contact: Michael Munson

Email: mike@michaelmunsonarchitect.com

Phone: (603) 731-7511

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