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Published Books


Designing a Place Called Home - Reordering the Suburbs

This comprehensive and insightful volume investigates the historical precedents of emerging trends in the design of affordable suburban housing. This is the first book to address the design needs of "production" home builders.

Housing by Lifestyle - The Component Method of Residential Design

This book explains how houses can be designed with "component" areas based on how people live. Each component is analyzed in detail with sketches and diagrams of floor plan considerations that will come together to make an enjoyable and livable house design.

In the Press


As Seen in BUILDER Magazine

Build Smart: Island Living

Guest Architect James Wentling explains how "A hard-working kitchen island that offers multiple functions can be the hub of the kitchen and will result in more flexibility in the overall living area.

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As Seen in Professional Builder Magazine

Remaking Your Past Best Sellers

"Think of it as resetting for the new normal, says James Wentling, principal of Philadelphia-based James Wentling/Architects. Wentling redesigned one of his portfolio plans, the Chadwick, to reduce the number of angles and projections and save money on construction. Fiber cement siding replaced stucco and the roof pitch was lowered. Wentling pushed the garage back to allow for a three car option. The angled stair in the foyer is more economical to build than the curved stair and by narrowing the foyer he was able to widen the living and dining rooms."

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As Seen in Professional Builder Magazine

8 Best-Selling Home Designs

The Chestnut Plan is one of 14 plans offered at the Willows, a community of small-lot detached homes in Wallingford, CT. "It's based on one of the designs in our portfolio," says architect James Wentling. "The builders blew it up and improved it."
The Chestnut has an oversize garage (22 x 24 feet), a 14 x 16-foot master bedroom and secondary bedrooms are a minimum of 12 x 11 feet. The plan emphasizes open space, drop zones and flex rooms. "Those are the types of features buyers really like, not a living room that no one ever uses"' says builder Liz Verna.

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As Seen in BUILDER Magazine

Thinking Inside the Box

Jim Wentling didn't look to new homes on the market for compact lot inspiration. Instead, he checked out some of the older houses in his Philadelphia neighborhood, taking note of how they were designed originally, as well as how people had remodeled them.
One Mid-Atlantic housing type that he found especially compelling was the rotated colonial that makes the chimney part of the front elevation...Wentling envisioned a streetscape lined with a mix of thematic elevations including Arts and Crafts, traditional colonial, and Greek Revival styles.

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As Seen in BUILDER Magzine

GOOD THINGS come in small packages

The new economy's house plans have also gotten developers and builders going back to governments to ask for re-platting to allow for more houses to be built closer together. Since government remains reluctant to increase densities, the new homes end up clustered closer together leaving more open space in other parts of the community, Wentling says."
He thinks the trend toward smaller houses is more than economic. "I think there's just more of a living with less ethic than we have had in the past.""

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As Seen in BUILDER Magazine

Garden State of Mind - Main Street Metuchen

"Architecturally, only modern materials such as vinyl siding, cultured stone chimneys and Anderson windows confirm the true age of the residences. They otherwise honor the prevailing 1920's Dutch Colonials, Foursquares and Victorian styling of of other homes around town. "We tried to make them look like older, remodeled homes," says architect Jim Wentling".

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As Seen in BUILDER Magazine

Builder's Choice Merit Award - McConnell at Davidson

"If you're talking planning, this is good planning," said one judge about this 200 unit family oriented project. Situated on 98 acres near Davidson College, which sponsored the project, the community offers faculty and administration affordable housing.

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As Seen in BUILDER Magazine

Builder Choice - Grand Award - Breckenridge

"The architect and builder set out to create a detached product that would serve a low-income market and at the same time soothe the concerns of upscale neighbors. The judges were delighted to see such "expensive looking" housing for such a low cost. Said one, "You could take this kind of project all over the country.""

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As Seen in BUILDER Magazine

Working with Architects

"Bob Fusari, president of Real Estate Service of Connecticut in Middletown, CT builds about 30 houses a year. "I use Jim almost exclusively" Fusari says. "He's creative, but he isn't sitting in an ivory tower. He understands the economic envelope and market conditions builders have to work with.""

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As Seen In Builder Magazine

Maintaining Rural Character - Summerfield at Elverson

"The Stoltzfus family once farmed Summerfield's 200 acres. Now they're developing the site as an extension of the little village of Elverson -- with as little effect on the land as possible. At build-out, Summerfield will have 700 attached and detached houses, which will be clustered to leave pastureland and existing wetlands undisturbed. Other low-impact strategies include narrow streets without curbs, attractive retention ponds, walking paths connecting to Elverson, super-insulated buildings, ground source heat pumps and low water consumption fixtures.

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As Seen in BUILDER Magazine

Builder's Best - Heritage Fields

Heritage Fields in East Lyme, CT, a 70 lot community which features traditional New England designs, won the title of "Best Single Family Subdivision" from the HBA of Connecticut. The 1,550 to 2,260 square foot houses cluster around a series of cul-de-sacs throughout the wooded site. The builder was Nazarko Homes in Niantic, CT.

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As Seen in Builder Magazine

Builder's Best - Wickford Point

Wickford Point is now 103 single family lots with 24 acres of open space along the water's edge in North Kingston, RI. It's narrow streets, shallow setbacks, brick sidewalks and shingled houses recall old secoast towns nearby.

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