Modern homes should be durable and well-designed enough to last hundreds of years, said Katie Hoke.
Lawrence-based Porch Light Plans combines sleek aesthetics with thicker insulation and fewer windows to achieve a contemporary housing option with the potential to slash utility bills in half, said Hoke co-founder of the boutique architectural design firm.
“If every new home built could have 50 percent-less energy for the lifetime of the home … that’s a really large impact on our environment and our community,” she said.
Crafted with Passive House standards in mind, the home designs come in six customizable styles, Hoke said, and are available for purchase online.
“A customer can take any of our designs and modify them to fit their family and their building site,” she said. “It’s a way to offer our really well-honed architecture design to everybody. It’s the more affordable option, rather than us just being able to keep that higher price point client.”
Along with her husband, Jared Hoke, and their partner, Roy Ley, 15 years of industry experience comes together to provide an abbreviated service of Hoke Ley, the trio’s more traditional, full-service architecture firm, she said.
“Our approach for both companies is really all about customers and we’re very focused on making sure our customers are heard, that we’re listening to them, and providing them with what they’re looking for,” said Hoke, noting most traditional, custom-designed homes are out of the price range for the average consumer.
Although Porch Light is a spinoff of Hoke Ley, the team is bootstrapping Porch Light. With that lack of capital, the completion of the firm’s first physical model home is important to their marketing efforts, said Hoke.
“One of the big comments we’ve had: ‘Well, if you had a built house, we would love to go see it,’ and we do have a lot of built homes from our professional servicing, but we haven’t built one yet for Porch Light,” said Hoke.
Porch Light’s first home in Lawrence is in the works for this summer, she said, noting the firm expects to release four more plan options and build three to four new homes within the next year — all driving the sale of more plans.
Buyers know all costs before any commitment is required, said Hoke, with the ability to purchase directly from Porch Light’s website. Worksheets are available for download to help with budgeting and house planning, she added.
Porch Light hopes to collaborate with builders and anyone in the industry with an appetite for design, she said.