Building the commonhouse later
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 21:11:15 -0500
At Sharingwood we designed and built our commonhouse after the first phase was 
platted and mostly built. Since we are a somewhat lower budget, lot 
development model, we couldn't really afford to do it any other way. We 
remodelled a basement of one of the homes and used that as a very small, but 
workable space for meetings and dinners.

The advantage of that experience was that when we programming our building, we 
knew from lots of direct experience living together (some of us for 6-8 years) 
what we really needed and so we did not overbuild our commonhouse with a bunch 
of stuff we really did not need. Because we had used a very small, cramped 
space, we learned a lot about spaces and what you need.

The disadvantage is that had a commonhouse been clearly designed and built 
earlier it may have (or may not have) impacted some of the individual home 

Before we even created the remodelled basement space, we rotated community 
dinner for two years between homes. We did this three nights a week. This too, 
taught us some lessons about spaces. Of course, it also created a pattern and 
the occaision to be together at meals, a very crucial part of becoming a 

Rob Sandelin

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