About Us and the Purpose of this Blog

Fri, May 8, 2009

About, History

We are Peter and Robin Asher, designer-builders of unique custom homes. We specialize in view homes on the Oregon Coast and the Willamette Valley. Our company is Peter Asher Designs.

We’ve been designing and building things together since 1967, and Peter has been doing it since he was a child, starting with model airplanes and graduating to boats, as a teen-ager.

Our first project together was the Peter Asher Furniture shop on East 9th Street (the East Village) of New York in the late sixties. It’s possible that some of you reading this still have Peter Asher furniture from those days.

Also in the late sixties, Peter designed and built his first house.  Fire Island is a 30-mile-long barrier island south of Long Island, New York.  In the early sixties,  there was a big storm that carried away or destroyed many Fire Island homes. After that, the stricken lots sold at very low prices. Peter bought an oceanfront lot for $11,000 (yes, that’s the correct number of zeros). He designed an all-wood house with a hyperbolic-parabolic roof, inspired by the concrete roof of the TWA terminal at (then called) Idlewild Airport (now called JFK International). and also by the wooden concrete forms for hyperbolic paraboloid structures by the Mexican architect, Candela. Peter made a model of cardboard, string and masking tape and then he built the house himself, with a few helpers.

Over the years since then, we’ve designed and built or made: furniture, stained glass lamps, woven fabric, leather cushions and slings for furniture, clothing, toys, wooden and leather boxes, small subdivisions, houses, two bed-and-breakfasts, decks and railings, fences, landscaping, tile, stairs (including spiral staircases), and many kinds of build-ins.

As time goes on, we see more and more government and utility regulations, more types of materials and fixtures, more sources of supply and more languages spoken on job sites. Add to that the fact that most people having a home built are doing it for the first time. The picture is further complicated because each custom home is – well – custom! Every home we build has aspects that are unfamiliar and brand-new to us, and we are not building our first house. For the homeowner, the unknown factors can be overwhelming.

The purpose of this blog is to educate and enlighten you about the daunting process of having a custom home designed and built.

We hope you will assist us with comments and suggestions. What would you like to read about? What questions do you have?

We’ll start with some posts about choosing land, so sign up for our RSS feed and stay tuned.

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