Spicewood, TX | New Construction

Every project has an interesting story. This house was designed to be nestled into mature oak trees – only to have a tornado go directly through the site the day before framing began! Many trees were damaged or destroyed. However, the home was designed to perform well in the Texas heat whether trees were present or not…

This is the first project to use Ready Frame service which pre-cuts all lumber to eliminate jobsite waste. Every space was thoroughly vetted as part of the process, ensuring that lighting and ductwork would fit into very tight attic spaces.

This home was designed to be a family outpost. It includes a separate guest quarters as well as huge outdoor living areas and a pool – to draw family near. Construction is slated for completion early 2018.


  • Site: Rural homestead. Home placed overlooking creek and nestled into mature Live Oak trees which serve as a visual screens, passive solar devices (breezes flow through shade prior to passing through home), and space creating natural features
  • Design: multi-module design parti with shed roofs; huge north-facing porch; deep overhangs; clerestories for privacy and light; reflective and emissive Galvalume roor
  • Building Methodology: Conventional wood framing with supplemental steel at porches; Standard-sized building materials minimize waste and costs; Continuous thermal envelope (rigid outsulation + foam infill); all mechanical devices are centrally located within the envelope. Thermally broken aluminum windows and doors.
  • Durability: Exterior stucco; cementitious siding and stained wood soffits; pre-engineered wood floors throughout
  • Water strategies: water and wastewater treated on site (no energy used to pump water to or from site); Shed roof simplifies rainwater collection and contributes approximately 2800 gallons per inch of rain – all water used in home is rainwater (tentative). Low water use plumbing fixtures; tankless water heaters with circulating pumps for different living zones.
  • Mechanical System:  Properly sized, high performance heat pump systems with sealed ducts located within thermal envelope.
  • Lighting: home is designed for Daylighting; Exterior lighting design minimizes light pollution; Interior lighting is LED.
  • Power: all utilities brought onto site are buried to minimize visual impact.
  • Project Team: Thoughtcrib, Inc.: Eric S. Brown, LEED AP, (design), Green Earth Engineering: Tim Zhang, P.E., LEED AP (structural); OD Custom Homes (general contractor)