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Architect Aims to Preserve Design By Charging For Changes

It's not strange for an architect to be a little testy when a homeowner wants to make major changes to a design. But Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi, whose home in North Carolina was featured in the Times today, are particularly aware of how much California-based architect Stephen Atkinson thought the design integrity of their modern dogtrot home was worth. Atkinson made a special deal: Moffitt and Caspi would get the house plans free of charge, but every minor deviation from those plans would cost them. Replacing clouded windows for clear ones? That'll run $4K. A cathedral ceiling? $2,500, please. Atkinson is extremely proud of his tiny, tin-clad Zachary House, and rightly so: the original, built in 1999, appeared in 39 magazines, according to the Times. Regular folks and architecture devotees alike adored the cross-shaped floorplan, modern aesthetic, and open feel. Atkinson received requests for the plans soon after the home's debut, but it wasn't until much later that the architect, burned by the changes made to his original creation, came up with a scheme that suitably assuaged his fear that his beloved design would be morphed into something unrecognizable. And it seems to have worked for Moffitt and Caspi, who built their brand new dream home for a grand total of $120,000. Not too shabby.

· One Shed Fits All [NYT]