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Inspired House
February 2006

A Better House, Not a Bigger One
by Sigrid Simonson

With the friendly face of a suntanned surfer, our contractor, Tony Hunter, looks approachable. That might explain why so many total strangers felt free to offer their opinions about the one-story house he was building for my husband, Bob Manwaring and me. "Where is the second story?" and "Are they crazy?" were two common queries Tony fielded on an almost daily basis during the construction phase.

No one can remember the last time a permit was issued for a one-story house in our neighborhood. We live in a small island community in southern California, where the typical lot size is 30 feet wide by 80 feet long…

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