Subscribe Follow or share

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.

Architect

McHenry Shaffer Architecture

Builder

Catalyst Construction

Photographer

Nate Sheets

Resources

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

Additional Winners

The Manheim

Commercial Design The Manheim Formerly a car wash, this cinder-block structure offered hiding places for illegal activity. The new owner wanted to turn it into a welcoming space for meetings

View Project »

Catalina Wine Mixer

Kitchen Catalina Wine Mixer Wanting a space to entertain, the homeowners needed to transform their 1990s-era home. Instead of generic finishes and a closed-off layout, they envisioned a memorable kitchen

View Project »

Windows to the Walsh

Kitchen Windows to the Walsh When the owner of this 1990s-constructed home purchased it, she knew it had great bones, a fantastic lot and view of the golf course, plus

View Project »

All American Dreem

Remodeled Residence 3,001 to 6,000 square feet All-American Dream After living in their home for several years in a neighborhood they adored, the owners decided to stay and make their

View Project »

Modern English Manor

Custom Build 3,001 to 6,000 square feet Modern English Manor The home-design team had a clear thesis for this new build: to incorporate timeless English-style architecture into a modern design

View Project »

Shades of light

Design Detail Shades of Light This one-of-a-kind light fixture serves as the focal point of the home. At the outset of its inception, the project’s design, transportation and maintenance challenges

View Project »

The Un-Builder-Grade Model

Model Home 3,001 to 6,000 square feet The Un-Builder-Grade Model Though working within a new home’s standard budget, the designers beautifully integrated many unique elements throughout this model home. From

View Project »

Lakefront Modern

Interior Project: Multi-Space Lakefront Modern After his wife passed away, the owner of this 1940s Lake Quivira home wanted to update the main floor to make it feel more like

View Project »