The Dream House Owner's Club

It is our art that has an opportunity to leave a footprint in the sand. They don’t wrap fish in our work.
— Hugh Newell Jacobsen

The Dream House Owner's Club is a moderated forum where owners, contractors, architects and prospective buyers of the Dream House 2.0 plans can ask questions and exchange ideas with one another as well as converse with the fancy-pants architects at Jacobsen Architecture in Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: Comments and answers to questions posted on the Owner's Club are considered a personal matter of opinion and are not to be accepted as professional construction, financial or life safety advice. 

Please fill out the form below to post....

Name: "CC"

Email Address: Withheld

Subject: 1998 Dream House


This house means enormous amounts to me. In 1998, January 4 to be exact, I lost my husband of over twenty three years. Before his passing, I gave him a subscription to Life Magazine for Christmas, as he love the photography. Our home had sold before his sudden death, leaving me and my two children in a quandary of finding home. We had purchased a lakefront lot 11 years before and in northern Michigan, I then took off the market and decide to build a house tailored just for us. With my art background, I began sketching out on paper exactly what we needed. That night I went to the mailbox only to find the publication of the Life's magazine featuring this dream house. Our drawings were very similar, astonishing so.
I build this home, which was stunning, but the neighbors hated it, too modern they would tell me. Being a young widow I simply wanted everything to work and all that went wrong to go away. The neighbors eventually got together and bought the house from me, I moved several times after as nothing felt like home and I became an early house flipper taking historic awards for some, barely saving others. 
Twenty years have passed, I am on my 12th renovation but just purchased 4 acres of flat land in Wisconsin to be able to rebuild this wonderful home, hopefully call it home and not move ever again. I am not going to build the two level this time, only one. I am so looking forward to the day I call it home again.

Answer from Jacobsen Architecture:

Dear CC,

Thank you for sharing your story with us. That is so uncanny that your sketches were akin to the Dream House.

The new 2.0 version as we call it has vast improvements over the original. Are you going to build another Dream House, Hugh and I hope you do, and he is copied on this email. If you need greater info on the new Dream House, it is here at:

Thank you again for sharing your story.



Name: Phil A. Delphia

Email Address: Withheld

Subject: Love this house!

Message: Any idea what the SF cost would be in Los Angeles?

Answer from Dream House Team:

Hi Phil, (fun name!)

Depending where....Compton would be a dramatically different cost than say Beverly Hills. We recommend putting the drawings and spec out to bid as a special pricing set.

Thanks for the email.  I’m excited for Dream House 2.0 and the ways it’s been updated. 


Name: Brian Taberski

Email Address: Withheld

Subject: Dream House 2.0


On behalf of the folks like me, a teacher just trying to do his part to contribute to the Common Good, thanks to both you and your father for making great architecture accessible to us. 

I look forward to the day I can call one of your masterpieces home.

Answer from Dream House Team:

We are speechless! Thank you Brian. 


Name: Len Boesger

Email Address: Withheld

Subject: From Facebook


We bought the plans and built the original Dream House and were extremely pleased with the outcome. The plans were clearly detailed and offered options, although not as many as the 2.0 version. We commend these plans since they no doubt are consistent with the clarity and vocabulary for which the firm is famous. Congrats, Hugh and Simon, for continuing and extending this design. Bravo!

Answer from Dream House Team:

If I am not mistaken, you also had the incredible "Q-Tip door" on your Dream House. You know your Jacobsen projects!


Name: Scott C Hill + Arthur B Johnson

Email Address: Withheld

Subject: Dream House


"I am walking on air thinking of building a HNJ home - my favorite architect of my lifetime. It's the ultimate dream I have had since I started studying architecture and interiors. I have been published a dozen or so times in Interior Design, Our old friend Met Home, House Beautiful, blah blah blah. HNJ is my icon of immaculate and "goose bump" homes. Now just have to pick the perfect property. I can't believe your organization has made this possible. Could never thank you enough!
Scott C Hill + Arthur B Johnson"


A note from the architect:

Many of the buildings designed by me and Simon over the last 10 years have a unique feature that is not intuitive to many. The houses are "Gutterless". The physics of it is explained in the diagram above. Instead of piling exterior plumbing all over the exterior of your house with gutters and downspouts, one can take a far more elegant approach and allow gravity and subterranean pipes carry the water away for you. Naturally, with the advancement of new waterproofing materials and methods, the most traditional vulnerable areas and connections are wrapped and sealed tight like a diver's drysuit. W.R. Grace's Ice & Watershield are ideal for this purpose.


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