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Dilbert's Ultimate House 290

angkor writes "Dilbert's Ultimate House (DUH) is the product of the combined wisdom of thousands of Dilbert readers, plus the help of real world experts, and it's online for viewing at Are you tired of tripping over the cat's litter box in your bathroom? Dilbert's house has its own bathroom just for the cat. Do you hate dragging a Christmas tree into the house every December just to throw it away in January? Dilbert's house has a huge closet off of the Great Room where he stores a fully decorated artificial tree on wheels..."
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Dilbert's Ultimate House

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  • by grunt107 ( 739510 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:16PM (#10395563)
    where is ratbert's toidy?

    • "where is ratbert's toidy?"

      Being a rat, anywhere he chooses.

      "I may not be smart, but I'm aerodynamic!" -Ratbert

    • Cat room no good. (Score:5, Informative)

      by temojen ( 678985 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @01:57PM (#10396904) Journal
      The cat won't use that litterbox. She can't see the whole room from it, the window above is a possible avenue for predators, it's not sheltered, and it's too close to the food bowl.

      Move the box behind the door, away from the windows and food/bed, and your cat will stop pooping all over the house.

      Also, cats don't need a stairway to climb 2.5 feet unless you have kittens.
      • Re:Cat room no good. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Kineticabstract ( 814395 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @03:12PM (#10397739)
        Methinks you're over-thinking that just a tad. I have two cats - their litterbox is under an open spiral staircase (fails two of your criteria, since they can't see the whole room from it, and the open staircase it rests under is prime for predatorial leaping), and it sits directly next to the food bowls (though it faces away from them, of course). The male tends to sleep directly above it on the stairway, because that's the best possible location for tripping the humans. I've never had an issue with out-of-the box cat poopage. And the 2.5 foot stairway? You'd like the poor kitty to have to jump with a full bladder? Bad enough they have to go to the loo in a box of dirt, now they have to perform gymnastics to get there? tsk tsk.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:16PM (#10395566)
    It has an excercise room. Sorry.
  • Kids, Wife? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:17PM (#10395583)
    Kid's bedroom? Wife's bathroom? this can't be dilbert we are talking about.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Absolutely. He likes to be prepared but sadly cannot self analyze himself enough to be able to know that they are futile.
    • Re:Kids, Wife? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by datastalker ( 775227 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:39PM (#10395835) Homepage
      When Scott Adams put this project out to the DNRC, he said that it had to be a house that could *eventually* hold a wife and kids, and remarked that it was, after all, Dilbert.

      He also suggested that we (I'm a member of the DNRC of course ;) ) might make the house so wonderful that Dilbert could use it to attract a potential wife.

      Since it's a no maintenance house and has separate areas for the pets and kids, it may stand a chance of achieving that goal! ;)
    • by devphil ( 51341 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:41PM (#10395856) Homepage

      ...and after they'd been dating for several weeks, Scott Adams drew one strip where Dilbert shows up to work with his necktie completely flat.

    • Re:Kids, Wife? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by johnnyb ( 4816 )
      Actually, that's the funny thing. Engineers, while not being datable AT ALL, seem to be the most _marryable_ types around. It's like women go out with cool guys into it gets boring, and then find engineers to settle down with. Either that, or engineers attract people who are more interested in marriage than the cool guys.
      • Re:Kids, Wife? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mikewas ( 119762 ) <<wascher> <at> <>> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @03:05PM (#10397675) Homepage
        Naw, marriage wasn't the intent. It's just that by the time an engineer has figured out what's going on they're already married.

        This could be a poll question. If you're married, what was it that you really wanted:

        A. laid

        B. blow job ...

        I can't believe how many times I've heard a newlywed engineer say: "All I wanted was ".

      • Re:Kids, Wife? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Grishnakh ( 216268 )
        It's like women go out with cool guys into it gets boring, and then find engineers to settle down with.

        Yep, I've seen this behavior all too often. The problem with it is, these stupid girls wait around until they're 30-something until they finally figure out that the loser mental case they're dating is never going to hold a steady job, and when they start looking for stable men with a good income who don't beat her, they've either become so disenfranchised and bitter that they've given up on looking for
    • From the "origional specs":
      If it makes you feel better, assume that Dilbert is building the house as a single guy with the intention of making it so desirable to a woman that she might marry him just to live there.
  • by me98411 ( 754004 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:18PM (#10395586) Homepage
    What do you get when thousands of Dilbert readers put their minds together and design a house?

    slashdot effect? :)
    • Now how long before a true geek (er.. fan) actually builds a house from these plans?

      Surprisingly, The house from the Dilbert TV series looks nothing like this. I Guess dilbert cannot afford the house on his pay in the dot bomb era.

  • by Viceice ( 462967 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:18PM (#10395589)
    ... soon to become Dogbert's Ultimate House...

    And does Bob and his brood still live under the couch?

  • soil (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiftyLou ( 472705 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:18PM (#10395590)

    Come on.
    That greenhouse [] needs a good hydroponics system if Dilbert's looking to get any quality chronic.

    • Plus its own off-grid electrical system (solar, if the climate permits), so the Gesta^WDEA won't come no-knocking when they subpoena Dilbert's electric bills.

      A quality security system [] certainly wouldn't hurt either.

  • Luxury! (Score:5, Funny)

    by daveho ( 235543 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:19PM (#10395603)
    Well, when I say 'house' it was only a hole in the ground covered by a sheet of tarpaulin, but it was a house to us.
  • Look at the Kid's rooms. Ummm. What children would want that?

    Overall nothing thrilling. I got excited but then disappointed with the actual results. I read a lot of Dilbert and don't see why he would be all that thrilled about energy efficiency and all the other mumbojumbo. He seems more a gadget head and as a gadgety cutting edge home it's lacking.
    • I read a lot of Dilbert and don't see why he would be all that thrilled about energy efficiency and all the other mumbojumbo.

      That's because he's an engineer, and a genius one at that, and because, in the long run, this "mumbojumbo" is what matters the most. You can rearrange the interior when you feel like it, you can add toys, furniture, whatever, but you're not going to change the orientation or insulation of the whole house once it's built.
    • by Medievalist ( 16032 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @01:49PM (#10396819)
      I assume you don't have kids?

      What they WANT is nothing that is practical or good for them, at least until they are teenagers (then, they still don't want healthy practical things, but there is no longer any point in trying to fight the tide).

      What you need is things they don't INSTANTANEOUSLY DESTROY. That's the parent's guideline, take it from me.

      For example, in the "kids bathroom" of the DUH there is a sink cantilevered out from the wall. BRZZZT! No fly zone!!

      If you actually construct this thing with a support system that will prevent kiddies from ripping it off the wall (something involving huge stainless steel beams and multi-ton weights, I think) when they and their little friends start doing the mambo on the countertop, then somebody will split his little forehead open when chasing his (shorter) sister through the room and not ducking fast enough. If you pad the edge, it will get ripped apart the first time said little sister passes through the room carrying a cat frantic to escape the Tea Party of Doom. The cat will be leaving gouges a quarter inch deep in the mouldings, so you can kiss your padded bolster goodbye.

      The towel rack off the front of the sink, that's a GREAT idea, though. It'll soak up at least a tenth of the fifty gallons of water any four-year old spills while "washing his hands".
    • The pictures also don't match the description at all.
      The kid bedrooms feature bunk beds with a pull curtain to hide unmade beds.
      Good idea, but the picture is of 3 single beds side by side, not bunk beds.
  • Never heard of that. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chess_the_cat ( 653159 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:19PM (#10395607) Homepage
    Are you tired of tripping over the cat's litter box in your bathroom?

    People keep their cat's litter box in the bathroom? Might as well keep it in the kitchen or your bedroom. Why keep it in a room where you spend a lot of time? Do people like smelling cat shit? I keep mine in the basement. If you don't have a basement keep it somewhere where no one goes.

    • by henrik ( 98 )
      People's cat litter boxes smell? Use the correct litter box sand, please.
    • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) * on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:28PM (#10395716) Homepage
      If you don't have a basement keep it somewhere where no one goes.

      As someone who has lived in his share of one bedroom apartments, I can safely say that a good chunk of cat owners don't have such places in their residence.

      Bedroom, living/dining room, kitchen, middle of the hallway, bathroom: take your pick...

      • bathroom it the worse place for it though. i had a roommate in college who had a cat; the box was in our bathroom. whenever i'd get out of the shower, i'd step on those little clay pellets that the cat would invariably fling all over the floor. and being clayey pellets, they'd stick to my feet and be fairly unpleasant.

        man i hated that apartment. (although the roommate who might have been using my deodorant and comb was worse)
    • by Skater ( 41976 )
      You must not change it often - when my cat uses the litter, it stinks for a couple minutes but then clears right up.

      I keep my cat's litter box in the bathroom because I have nowhere else to put it. I have no basement, no closets that are out of the way, etc.

      • by nordicfrost ( 118437 ) * on Thursday September 30, 2004 @04:48PM (#10398719)
        When I had a cat (May he rest in peace), the litter box was in the bathroom, because it was near the toilet for disposing lumps 'o crap. It was a really bonding experience to go to the bathromm, the cat following behind you and taking a huge dump together. Needless to say, my logs always beat his, thus he was a moody cat...
    • Why have rooms that no one goes? You're paying for a useless room?
    • People keep their cat's litter box in the bathroom? Might as well keep it in the kitchen or your bedroom.

      We do. Actually, there's a little space under the counter for a chair, and the litter box goes there (we don't have the chair). That way, it's protected on three sides, the cats have to walk over a throw rug as they leave (which catches much of the litter spill), and then they've still got a lot of bathroom to traverse before they get to the bedroom (so any other tracked litter stays there). Also,
    • The litter box goes in whatever room the cat wants it in. It's their house and you're just there to feed and entertain them.

      On a side note, those LitterMaid automatic litter boxes are expensive but worth every penny.
    • or, if you have a cat door, they just go outside and crap. We actually have two cat doors, one to the garage to where the food is kept, and one outside. Cat's come/go as they please and the sum total of maintenance is when our one cat that can meow comes by to let me know he's out of food and/or water and I go fill it up. Cat's like these are the ultimate geek pet: extremely low maintenance.
      • by Anonymous Coward
    • People still use litter boxes??

      We keep one around for when we get kittens. First, they're house broken and taught to use the litter box. Then they're taught to go outside instead. Works like a charm. No litter box to smell/clean/change, and nothing to worry about tripping over in the yard either. One of the better things about cats: they look after themselves.

      Even better, is to train them to use the can like everyone else does. We had one cat that just started crapping in the toilet -- didn't have t
      • We keep one around for when we get kittens. First, they're house broken and taught to use the litter box. Then they're taught to go outside instead. Works like a charm. No litter box to smell/clean/change, and nothing to worry about tripping over in the yard either. One of the better things about cats: they look after themselves.

        We used to do that. Now we have 2 kittens, and they'll never go outside. The last cat we owned was loved by all in the neighborhood. He went missing for a couple of days and came
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:19PM (#10395608)
    After reading through the stacks of Dilbert cartoon books in my college apartment's bathroom I was under the assumption that Dilbert's house looked something out of a third grader's art class.

    Turns out I was completely wrong and it looks like something out of Art 453, The CGI of Star Wars and how it can be applied to comics.

    I guess I preferred living in a world of Simpsons where I didn't have to mentally map out the entire episode based on a "fact" or look at Dilbert's house in anything except black and white pencil.

    That's just me though.
  • by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:22PM (#10395630)
    is that in some areas, you simply cannot build them, because your neighbours might complain that your house makes their house's property value go down.

    I live in such an area. :(

    • Then move. Subdivisions with that kind of rules aren't too big not every one of them has those kind of rules.

      Or seek a variance.

      • I'd have to move to another city, find another job, etc. or move in a rural area with an insane commute time.

        The whole area around the city is like this.

        It's even more insane north of Toronto, near Canada's Wonderland. The houses there are so similar, you can get lost like in a rat maze.
        • Ahh - the wonders of city life.

          How much control do your neighbors have over a floorplan?

          • I don't have a house yet, I'm currently looking into getting one.

            My first idea was to get a contractor to build me the house I wanted, but even that is hard around here... I've been told that developers are granted permits by the city to build on large tracts of land, where they sell their cookie-cutter houses.

            There is also a requirement to have a lawn, and not to let it grow wild.

            Damned conformists.
            • Do NOT move somewhere with an HOA. You'll end up regretting it. Our house looks fine - really, but our neighbors mow their lawn twice a week (yes, they do) and keep all sorts of tacky stuff that makes their house look "good" to the HOA and our house look "bad". And I do take care of the lawn.

              Ideally, live somewhere where the neighbors have to follow an HOA but you don't. Like in the original ranch house of a farm that was cut up into a subdivision - the property the original house is on might not have
              • You've got to love those private property rights!
              • In my one brief experience with home ownership, I (and my now-ex) turned down a 5-bedroom behemoth of a house, selling at an outstanding price, because of 2 reasons: the yard was small and there was an oppressive HOA that had rules such as you could only fence off an area of your property equal to less than 1/2 of your home's square footage and you could not have a visible antenna of any kind. Oh, and I believe there were decoration requirements for the major commercial marketing excuses (what we sometime
    • This is true, but honestly, I think sometimes it's just a case of a few eccentric people who came before you ruining it for everybody.

      Case in point. Not too far from where I live, there's a guy (fancies himself an artist, I suppose) who was known for his decorating up the front of his house in bright neon. He had neon lights surrounding his front windows and his street address lit up in neon over his door, etc. Later, he added on a room to one side of his place - and instead of creating a flat, level ro
    • their house's property value go down - what's the reason behind it? Is it that your house is too good and their houses don't look so good in comparison or is it that your house is crazy and noone wants to live beside it?

      I am just asking what you mean.

      • Its that many people would find this house to be an eye-sore, in particular the dilbert tower. Many if not most people in the world want houses around them to look like the same style as their own house, or at least a complementary style so that (a) they don't have to be faced every day with something they find unattractive and (b) when they sell, they wont face the prospect of trying to convince someone that the idiot's house next door isn't too unpleasant to look at.
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:22PM (#10395636) Homepage Journal
    I will have to drag out the pencil sketches of a house layout I drew as a teenager in the 1980s. It has a LOT of similarities to the DUH, including a tower and interior patio horseshoe floorplan.

    Instead of a motif of elongated curvature, though, I was working with hexagons, and mine was a split-level, not a flat ranch. My movie theater was above the two-car garage.

    The tower wasn't a plain observatory, but a hollow tower designed for evaporative cooling: a good way to cool the central patio in the summer is to have a high evaporative "swamp" cooler at the top of a hollow tower, and let the cooled air fall down and into the patio area.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:24PM (#10395660)
    If you aren't organized, having a giant house won't help you. The closet for the Christmas tree will get filled up with other stuff and you won't be able to get at the tree when you need it. One of the first rules about labor saving devices is that labor saving devices don't. They mostly just occupy space.

    I have spent some time on ships and have always been impressed by how neat and orderly they are. Everything aboard is necessary and gets used regularly because there is no room for unnecessary stuff. (Unfortunately, I am surrounded by 'stuff' because I didn't learn from the experience.)
  • by ShatteredDream ( 636520 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:25PM (#10395681) Homepage
    I'd need a room with padded walls to come home to after a grueling day of putting up with the pointy-haired boss.
  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:27PM (#10395706) Journal
    hahaha, it includes a "kids room" ... like that'll ever happen.

    And as for the exercise room, yeah right.

    Home theatre, yes. Home office, yes. He doesn't need a double bed.

    And yes, 6000 sq. ft. in the area of Silicon Valley too ... lol.

    Still, it looks pretty and is more sensible about making areas of the house that will be used rather than not used.
  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara@hudson.barbara-hudson@com> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:28PM (#10395717) Journal
    Dilbert's house has its own bathroom just for the cat.
    I know someone who has the cat litter box in an unused room. The only problem is, "out of sight, out of mind". So the damn thing doesn't get changed often enough. Uggh!
  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:28PM (#10395719) Homepage
    Nice house that seems to reflect the owners tastes and desires without going overboard. Some might disagree due to the turret paying homage to the character that paid for it, but its nice to see a celebrity's home that doesn't try to match Aaron Spelling's mansion.


  • Not quite ultimate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrK ( 39585 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:33PM (#10395775) Homepage
    IMO, the ultimate house has no cats, but thats just me.

    The exercise room is woefully inadequate. And the "Wiring Center" is pitifully small. My home theater room alone has more cables than that. I have an entire wiring closest that is about 8'x 10' with many dozen runs of Cat5 and RG6 coming into it (for a house that is not yet 100% wired, and only about 70% of the size of the DUH.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Only 8'x10' for wires? That's nothing. My entire house is a wiring room. Why, just last night on the way to the bathroom I pulled down two televisions and a G4 Mac when a gap in my coaxial carpeting allowed my foot to take hold underneath and yank seven cables and wake a 13 foot python that had felt at home enough to make its nest there. Some might call this "tripping" or "dangerous." I call it "geek chic."
  • I actually like it. At least parts of it. The site was running a bit slow, but we haven't quite /.'d it yet. I'm gonna fire up some wget's and see what happenes... (just doing my part)

    The pics looked pretty good, and I will probably take note of some of the "requirements" that the house had to have.

    I think that was a mac on his workroom table:)
  • Chi (Score:2, Funny)

    by Outosync ( 214525 )
    But can it pass a Feng Shui test
  • by Windscion ( 712683 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:37PM (#10395818)
    the dork tower.
  • I don't see a floorplan for this wonder house. Interior and Exterior views can't fully describe the layout. I want a floorplan!
  • by elpapacito ( 119485 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:48PM (#10395948)
    Beautiful house, very much approaching an engineer mentality...but hey no matter what I couldn't find a cost extimate or a decent cost analysis.

    Point dear Scott, Dilberts out there probably will never be able to afford that house considering the rabbit exponential breeding rate of pointy haired bosses.
  • Wow. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig.hogger@gmail.NETBSDcom minus bsd> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:48PM (#10395953) Journal
    Remembering the seventies energy crush, there was plenty of designs for underground houses (go to the library and peruse old Popular Science and Popular Mechanics back issues from that era).

    Building underground makes sense; where I live, there is also an extensive downtown underground network (in light gray on this map [];interconnected city blocks are in pink) which everyone raves about (especially during winter), so it's not that silly an idea.

    However, the most striking feature of the house is the master closet adjacent to the master bedroom which leads to two bathrooms. I've been reading an interesting series of books about the evolution of the architectural distribution of rooms as social customs evolved. A long time ago, in France, posh houses had precisely that, dressing rooms adjacent to the bedroom that led to bathrooms (the only difference was that the husband and wife had separate bedrooms). The setting makes a lot of sense.

    And it proves that history repeats itself... There is a lot to learn from the past.

  • Its so artificial (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GabrielF ( 636907 ) <> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:49PM (#10395961)
    This might not be a popular opinion here, but this house looks so cold and engineered and artificial. There's something to be said for the aesthetics of a lawn that isn't astroturf and a house that hasn't been built entirely around the principle of energy (and everything else) efficiency. Of course I'm not currently living in a drafty two-hundred year old monstrosity with leaky plumbing, I might change my mind if I was, but I get the feeling that such a house would be infinitely more livable than this thing.
  • Hee hee hee (Score:3, Funny)

    by TheHawke ( 237817 ) <> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @01:00PM (#10396134)
    I can see playing paintball around this house would be a blast! BUT! That turret would be a deathtrap for any joker that got into the top of it. hmm....

    Veteran: "Ok, I want you to go to the top of that turret and defend it."

    Newbie: "erm, ok!"

    Veteran: *thinks* "at least he'll be out of my hair for the time being..."

    *Splat*Splat*Splat*Splat*Splat!* HIIIIITTT!
  • I happen to like traditional homes, but the commentary brings up some good points. Most people don't use a formal dining or living room. A house should be built for the way it is used, but of course there are consequences when it comes to reselling.
  • by nosredna ( 672587 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @01:32PM (#10396581)
    Generally, when you quote from someone else's work, such as how the entirety of the submission in this case is quoted from yesterday's Dilbert newsletter, you mention that you're doing it and enclose it in quotation marks.

    Here is the original from which the submission was directly quoted: l/newsletter57.html []
  • " The quiet room doubles as a music practice area. When your teen decides to learn the drums, shove him in there and it's almost as good as if you'd never had kids in the first place. "

    hahaha, I love it!
  • Library? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hondo77 ( 324058 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @02:00PM (#10396941) Homepage
    All those rooms and no library. Where am I supposed to put all my books (lots and growing)? My CDs (all 1500 and growing)? My DVDs (also growing)? I want a room I can store them in and be able to read, too.
  • It would appear that Dilbert earns a comparatively large salary for an engineer working at a dysfunctional company. If he can afford a house like that then why is he still working for the boss? Sheesh even Dilbert earns more than I do...
  • Has Dogbert taken to keeping pet cats?
  • by BillX ( 307153 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @09:49PM (#10400782) Homepage
    Let's see...

    1) The house has three, count 'em, three gardens located UNDERGROUND. I'd be curious to know what exactly he's growing down there.
    2) The laundry room is located directly adjacent to the master bedroom. I can't be sure, but the washer/dryer could even be sharing a wall with it. (Man, the shit I would have caught from my old landlord if I were to start up a load of wash late at night...)
    3) Similarly, the "Quiet Room" shares walls with the main entrance, kitchen and gym, and shares a floor with the playroom and possibly the basketball court(!). Hope Dilbert's company has a soundproofing division :-)
    4) Her Master Bath is only accessible from inside by walking through His Master Bath (uggh), or through the closet. (I guess this could be a Good Thing, as it might keep Her Master Collection of Shoes off the closet floor if she's got to trip over them all the time.)
    5) From one angle of the virtual walkthrough, it appears that the windows of the Dilbert Observatory face toward a stone wall. I'm sure you can still see a lot of stuff, but a lot of stone wall as well. Actually, a good geek-grade observatory would be detached from the house so as not to transmit all the vibration from the house and its equipment/occupants...or at the very least, not so close to the basketball court.
    6) The cat's room: Should the lip of the kitty litter box really overhang the food bowl like that? (OTOH, maybe it's just MY cat that somehow manages to spread litter granules in a 3' radius around the box)

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser