Building in a Hot Humid climate

Essie Pearl, Grayson County, Texas

We received these photos from our client today. They are going to be moved in just in time for Thanksgiving! We customized the Essie Pearl plan for them and it was built in Grayson County, Texas. It is no longer a true dog trot, but has a wide center hall with doors on either end. […]

Design Strategies for Hot Humid Climates

There are many design factors that are unique to building in here in hot humid climates. Consider the following when you are planning your new home. Let your house respond to views, vegetation, wind, sun, and neighbors. A house that recognizes its place seems to belong.  Many move here because of the natural beauty of […]


Every Southern house needs at least one porch to sit and enjoy the view or visit with friends. The rules for porches include: The best location for the porch is the south facade. This protects the interior from the hot summer sun and provides a cozy spot for winter days. Never put a porch on […]

Southern Vernacular – I-House

A typical southern house was the plantation plain style or “I” house, named because of the tall narrow profile. This house was two stories with a gable roof on the long axis and a shed roofed one story porch in front and a shed roofed addition on the rear. This simple house was one room […]

Vernacular Traditions – Dogtrot

An European settler early prototype embracing the southern vernacular principles is the dogtrot, also known as “two pens and a passage”. One room was typically used for sleeping and the other for cooking. The covered open center passage was the main sitting room in warm weather that was cooled naturally by the Bernoulli effect. The center […]

Vernacular Traditions

Prior to the advent of air conditioning, an understanding of local environments enabled southerners to build in ways that buffered the harsh climatic realities. As Europeans moved to the southern colonies it typically took them a generation to adapt their native architecture to the climatic conditions of the region. They learned that houses one room […]

Hot Humid Climate Defined

The fastest growing region in the country is the Hot Humid South—defined as areas close to the Gulf Coast in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; all of Florida; and up the Atlantic Coast to southern North Carolina. This region receives at least 20 inches of rain annually, but that level often ranges between 40 to 60 inches. […]