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Dear Friends, Customers, and Clients of Sun Plans,

Spring has rapidly turned into Summer. The peak of our business seems to be following the peak of the sun above the horizon. Our working hours seem to be increasing along with the daylight hours. If only the amount of hours in the day would increase proportionately!

We have placed a temporary delay on accepting new custom work. We plan for this to change in September. This does not mean that you should put planning a new home on hold. Much can be done to prepare for the design process.

Accordingly, our slowest season is around the Winter Solstice on December 21st. So now is a great time for you to plan ahead for starting construction in 2009. This is true even if you plan on purchasing a pre-designed plan as that too takes time. In fact, our customers and clients who have the most enjoyable time building start construction about 2 to 6 months after receiving the plans – whether custom or pre-designed.

We thank you for your patience (which is a necessary virtue during design and construction) and planning ahead! Curious about our web site?

Click here.


Solstice 3 (we only have enough time to post one new plan during our busy season, so we chose the Solstice 3!)

The Solstice 3 has 2056 s.f. on the main floor, 964 s.f. on the second, and a full basement. It has the frequently requested north entry and works well with driveway approaches from the northwest to northeast. We designed it for an active family of four. The walls and floors are designed to be constructed with insulated concrete forms which bundle strength, thermal mass, and insulation into one system. It was recently published in BUILDERnews magazine. The back, south side is shown here in the new 3D we are using for custom design.

Solstice 3

See more about the Solstice 3

Plan on selecting your plan or completing your custom design about 2-6 months prior to the start of construction. This allows time for selecting materials, products, builders, home energy raters, structural engineers, etc.Interview general contractors for their experience with energy-efficient residential construction. Ones with formal training in high-performance home construction and/or are Home Energy Raters are good choices. In fact, choosing a home energy rater early is a great first step since they can be the best leads for builders as well as insulation and HVAC subs.

Steve, who sent us the photo of his Adirondack Atrium house (to the right), has been planning and building for well over a year and still seems to be sane despite running his own business!

If your local design professional will be making changes to the plan from our CAD files or Erasable Vellums, allow time for them to provide their services which might average 2 months.

The Sun-Inspired House Book Cover


Quote from review in July 2008 issue of Energy Design Update:
(Reprinted with permission from the July 2008 issue of Energy Design Update. Copyright Aspen Publishers. To subscribe to Energy Design Update, call 800-638-8437.) 

“The Sun-Inspired House, a 247-page book by architect Debra Rucker Coleman, may be the best available introduction to passive solar design.. Coleman’s book is much more useful than three better- known books on the topic…” 

To read the complete review of our book, click here.

If you are considering a pre-designed plan, order the Construction Review Set early in order to get preliminary estimates to see if the house is within your budget. (If you later select a different plan, we allow you to transfer the credit.) With these review sets, builders should be able to estimate within about 10-15% compared to the full set of plans that come with the custom energy information.

To read more about Construction Review Sets, click here.

“….We have now been in our Northern Sun home for more than two years…(after we are away) when we go in the house, we are always overwhelmed with joy by its spacious, welcoming light and warmth. It has always been good to return home, but this is the only house that we have had that gives us such pleasure of “welcome home.” We are so pleased that we found you as an architect and a local builder who built with pride for a lifetime. And when we have visitors it is fun to watch them look around to take in the space and then listen as we explain passive solar. So again, thanks for your creative work. It has brought much enjoyment to our lives.” Shalom, Dave and Sweet

…and here are some comments from custom design clients…

Once again, I would like to sincerely thank you for your continued interest in our Sun-Inspired products and services.

If you are already building or living in one of our homes, we’d like to extend a special thank you to those of you who take the time to not only keep us posted of your construction progress, but send us photos after the home is completed, and share comments on the comfort of the home. (Thanks Bob and Keran for a sending us the photo shown here of the custom woodwork you added to the entry of the Islander 2 house plan!)

We hope that you enjoy our web site as much as Melanie who is in the process of searching for a pre-designed plan to fit her land. “When I’m having a stressful day, this site is where I go to relax and play… I spent a good two hours today playing on your website. I actually save the floor plan images to my desktop, open them in Photoshop, and rotate them, flip them, etc, to match my lot. It’s so much fun!” Melanie Rankin, owner of Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine, Mobile/Baldwin
Visit the Sun Plans website anytime day or night!

We look forward to helping you create a sun-inspired home!

Sun Plans Inc.
Debra Coleman, Architect, AIA
Author of
The Sun-Inspired House: house designs warmed and brightened by the sun
Sun-Inspired Design: the gold lining of green building

(Many thanks to my 10 year old “sun” for help with the proofing and editing…let him know of any suggested changes!)

July 2018
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