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Custom Build up to 3,000 square feet

Trolley Trail House

After purchasing an extra-deep lot along the Trolley Trail in Waldo, Missouri, the new property owners envisioned an uncomplicated home that would be tight and efficient, filled with cozy nooks and thoughtful details. They were drawn to the “Pretty Good House” principles: build as small as possible, be simple and durable, invest in a well-insulated exterior and use common-sense passive strategies—such as an appropriate site location and deep overhangs to reduce cooling needs. To create a budget-friendly, hyper-efficient home, the architects onboarded a building-science expert to bring first-rate craftsmanship to the project.

At just 1,800 square feet, the design needed to prioritize right-sized living spaces and a continual connection to the outdoors. The L-shaped floor plan puts the wooded backyard and Trolley Trail at center stage, supplying each room with excellent views of the historic path. The inverted-truss roof structure allows for superior insulation depth and sets up an indirect-lighting strategy with north-facing clerestory windows, providing soft, ambient light throughout the home. Deep overhangs and a wood deck wrap around the house from the front porch to the private yard and stone patio, setting up a serene space for residents and guests to gather around a fire pit.


McHenry Shaffer Architecture


Catalyst Construction


Nate Sheets


Engineer: Apex Engineers  Landscape Architect: Jeffrey Preuss Landscapes  Landscaper: Land Design Group  Appliances: Factory Direct Appliance (Sub-Zero and Wolf)  Cabinets: CabParts  Countertops: Stone Surface  Flooring: Acme Floor Company  Lighting Fixtures: Arhaus  Plumbing Fixtures: Ferguson (Kohler)  Windows: Andersen

Floor plans, Drawings, Elevations:

Before Photos

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