By Anthony St. Clair

In 2019, one of the last lots in a new Coburg subdivision kept catching John Webb’s eye. “It was right up against a busy street,” says Webb, who has been designing and building homes in Oregon and California since 1986. “It was not a good lot. Everybody hated it.”

So, he bought it. “Sometimes a building becomes art,” he explains. “It’s about the challenge.”

Fast-forward to 2021, and a 2,454-square-foot, two-level, three-bedroom home now sits behind a winding privacy fence that Webb hand-painted himself. The project has also become part of what Webb considers his legacy: an on-the-ground opportunity to build up a new generation of craftspeople, even while working through the challenges of 2020.

“With all the hard things from the past year,” Webb says, “this house felt like a refuge for the team.”

Inside the open-yet-cozy space housing the kitchen and living room, it’s easy to forget that the house is near a busy road. Not only is the exterior insulated, but so are the interior walls and the space between the ground and upper levels. The outer world falls away, replaced by the comfort of being in your home space.

However, outdoor living is always at hand. Wire brush–painted double doors in the living room and master bedroom provide easy access to the covered south-facing patio, where a full outdoor kitchen, seating area, low-maintenance lawn, and plumbed, yet moveable, firepit await. The curved privacy fence began with a 20-foot board Webb was trying to find a use for. Eventually, Webb had his crew members stand in the spots where they would ultimately set posts for the “organic and freeform” fence that catches the eye of people passing by.

“I love connecting the inside and outside,” Webb says. It’s an attitude that has informed the detail-driven, craft-focused, meticulous care he puts into the puzzle-like projects he takes the most pride in. Webb builds for the homeowner who seeks timeless quality that still feels current.

“I’ve always been an odd builder,” he explains. “I love challenges. I’ve taken the lots no one wanted, and I’ve made amazing places.”

That value doesn’t come from over-the-top design, though. Webb’s homes feel both organic and refined, combining modern lines, cozy farmhouse elements, Oregon-sourced products, and repurposed materials.

“We’re back to old-fashioned craftsmanship,” Webb says. “It’s high quality and it’s planned well. It’s good architecture, with good detail in the landscaping and the structure. When you have a good plan, it’s going to result in something everyone can love.”

Inside, radiant heating in the patterned, earth-evoking concrete floors both keeps the home comfortable and lowers utility bills. The white paint’s soft sheen is, in fact, a washable gloss, brushed over plaster with an old, non-repetitive texture, like what you might see in an old Craftsman or Victorian home.

All systems, fixtures, appliances, and flow, though, are both thoroughly modern and deliberate, including the glides on the oven racks, Sputnik lighting fixtures, shelves made of glass so you can see what’s in the kitchen cabinets, and a garage that’s already been wired to have an electric vehicle charger. The home has also been designed for aging in place, from the walk-in master shower (with a heated floor) to structure and systems ready for adding an elevator.

At the same time, Webb enjoys the challenge of making the most from every inch of materials. Slats left over from the master bedroom’s wooden ceiling were transformed into a gliding door. The texture of old fence posts has been preserved as the corner posts of the spacious kitchen island.

“Everyone throws this stuff away,” Webb says, but for him, these castoffs and leftovers are the raw materials for the attractive, seamless innovations he uses to solve the puzzle of a home’s design.

“The house stands out as being what it is: one of a kind,” Webb says. “The positioning and functioning are great. I knew someone would pay attention to the quality and attention to detail.”

And someone did. In February, new owners moved in.

“I do things that are going to last,” Webb says. “I call it timelessness. It all pays off in the end for a beautiful place to live.”

 

John Webb Construction & Design, LLC  | 1256 Willagillespie Rd. | 541/ 683-3795

 

VENDORS

WoodChuck Engineering | 1120 Arthur St. | 541/357-5532

PRC Excavating and Concrete | 5729 Main St., Springfield | 541/915-0989

Oregon Hydronics Heating & Air | 3498 W 1st Ave. | 541/654-0291

John’s Precision Plumbing | 85635 Hidden Ln. | 541/953-1070

360 Electric | 541/514-8028

Majestic Heating & A/C | 548 Greenfield Ave. | 541/729-3232

Home Insulation Contractors | 34155 Hwy. 99 E, Tangent | 541/926-7831

RH Development Company | 82259 Rattlesnake Rd. | 541/937-2405

Ridgeline Painting | 541/954-3239

Bella Pietra Marble & Granite | 3780 Boone Rd. SE, Ste. #3, Salem | 503/991-5024

Anchor Tile | 541/600-9826

Colby Carter Roofing | 1205 N 16th St., Cottage Grove | 541/868-5972

Hedge Carter Gutter Service | 35929 Shoreview Dr., Dorena | 541/942-3630

RiverBend Materials | 90520 Coburg Rd. | 541/683-6400

Gene Stringfield Building Material | 2540 Roosevelt Blvd. | 541/689-8014

The Truss Co. | 29336 Airport Rd. | 541/688-8671

Coyote Steel | 2030 Cross St. | 541/461-2060

Unique Metal Products | 29322 Airport Rd. | 541/746-5740

American Overhead Door | 1946 Minda Dr. | 541/485-8244

Ferguson Waterworks | 3280 W 1st Ave. | 541/484-0836

Keller Supply Company | 170 Garfield St. | 541/342-7000

Emerald Door and Glass | 722 Wilson St. | 541/485-0497

Stone Works International Inc. | 590 Seneca Rd. | 541/343-7522

Imperial Flooring | 355 Lincoln St. | 541/636-2446

Culver Glass Company | 1657 W 5th Ave. | 541/343-3391

Kelly’s Appliances | 1465 W 7th Ave. | 541/485-6000

Willamette Greystone |  3700 Franklin Blvd. | 541/726-7666

Lane Forest Products | 2111 Prairie Rd. | 541/345-9085

Kate Elise Interiors | 541/844-5091

Rogue Valley Doors | 123 NE Beacon Dr. | 541/479-5354

Dendra Doors | 1256 Willagillespie Rd. | 503/939-2566

Pental Surfaces | 3551 NW Yeon Ave., Portland | 503/445-8600

 

Photos courtesy of John Webb Construction