January 2013 “Remodeling Magazine” Digital Edition Features “Cost Vs. Value Report”

24 01 2013
Remodel Magazine Digital-page-001

Click on “Remodeling” to view online


Home Renovation And Architecture: Increase And Frequency Of Natural Disasters Including Hurricanes And Tornadoes Highlights Need For “Fracture-Critical Design”; New Homes In Florida 60% Less Likely To Be Destroyed Now

16 06 2011



April 2011 “Remodeling Magazine” Digital Edition Features “Simply Smart” Kitchen Remodel Designs And Details

15 04 2011


Home Remodeling Projects: Using An Architect And Contractor To “Solve” What’s Working And Not Working In A Home Is Critical

21 02 2011


  • Determine what’s working and what’s not in the home
  • A second marriage can blend two families with teenagers making a home remodel necessary
  • A lack of bedrooms, bathrooms and a large gathering space was obvious
  • Now list needs and wants
  • A separate bedroom for each child away from parents’ bedroom was essential
  • Two existing bathrooms would have to become four
  • Space for doing homework, a larger kitchen and great room were the priorities
  • The backyard pool was kept so the room additions would have to be in a second story
  • Talk with and contract an architect and/or a general contractor
  • The architect will refine the renovation list and adress building codes, structural issues, and good design principles, and start on plans
  • Architecture is about solving problems

For more:  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700111820/Analyze-your-house-and-your-needs-before-you-remodel.html?pg=2

Kitchen Remodel Projects: Homeowners Should Use An Architect Or Interior Designer For “Luxurious” Look, Install Premium Countertops While Saving Money On Fixtures, Floors, Hardware And Appliances

23 12 2010

The PROJECT:  To create a more efficient kitchen and better flow between the kitchen,  breakfast area, living room and powder room.  A contemporary, warm style was sought that was still respectful of the old home’s character.  


Kitchen Before....




Costs were trimmed by buying much of their own fixtures such as plumbing, flooring, lighting, door hardware and appliances. Some items were ordered online and had to be returned due to scratches or imperfections. Pre-finished wood flooring was picked over traditional wood floors, while cabinetry was from Ikea. They stuck to mid-grade cabinets and appliances.


Countertops, faucets and mechanical hardware for the cabinets.


The homeowner was keen not to waste even half an inch of space, closely supervised the cabinet supplier, who still managed to order incorrect cabinets which had to be replaced three months after the project had been completed.  Some cabinet doors did not get delivered for 5 months.

“It was time consuming to order all the materials and we took on the risk or errors if the product was not right.”

....Kitchen after.


“Luckily as a professional I was aware of the pitfalls of scheduling and budget,” said homeowner. “We contracted for a 6 week project but were mostly complete in 8.”

And they were 20% over budget once the unknown construction issues were addressed.

She advised home owners looking to remodel their kitchen to use an architect or interior designer to do the layout, saying “even for a budget kitchen, one should feel they have a luxurious renovation when it is complete.”


Before commencing a remodeling project, a home owner should consider the following:

  • How do you use your kitchen/home
  • What feeling do you want to have when you are in the room
  • What style do you like. Pull out pages from magazines that respond to these questions to help you make design decisions.
  • Too many people go with a standard look. The best kitchen renovation is one that reflects your personality.

For more:  http://www.baristanet.com/2010/12/kitchen-remodeling-4-an-experts-eye/

FundMyRemodel.com: Homeowners Must Interview Architects To Determine Their Expertise And Pricing For Their Remodeling Project

13 09 2010

1: May I see your home renovation portfolio?

Seeing past designs of your potential architect will tell you a lot about them — their scope of work, and if they have a discernable style or the flexibility to work well with you on your project.

Like any creative professional, seeing a portfolio will give you a realistic perspective of what this firm can do for you.

Besides design style, look for the range of size of their projects.

Will they do a small project? Do they have the expertise to do a large project?

Make sure you are looking at renovation projects; building a new home from scratch is quite a different process from remodeling an existing home.

2: How many homes have you designed?

Architectural firms typically focus on commercial jobs or larger custom homes. Before the financial crunch, many firms turned down the smaller residential jobs because there wasn’t a high enough profit margin for them.

Now, many firms will take on any sort of project to keep their staff busy.

This is a problem because designing a remodel is a lot different than designing a new commercial building.

There are a lot of details in designing an effective home remodel that you learn only by doing home remodels. If an architectural firm agrees to do your home renovation but they haven’t done many in the past, it may be a red flag.

Don’t be the guinea pig project — unless they are willing to give you a discount for letting them practice on you.

3: How do you ensure your design will integrate with my home?

This question will help you determine if they know what they are doing when it comes to remodeling.

Find out how they are going to get the existing (“as-built”) drawings for your home.

Obtaining extremely accurate measurements of your existing home is critical to a successful project. It is not hard to see how mistakes at this stage could result in problems during the actual construction.

There are ultra-accurate laser measuring devices, digital levels, and computer technology now that architects should use to measure and draw your home before the design starts. Besides the technical integration of the design into your existing home, discuss the aesthetic integration.

Do you want the addition to look as if it was always there, or do you see your home’s style changing during the remodeling process?

What are the implications of the approach you want to take for the finished product?

4: How do you determine the remodeling costs for your designs?

For most clients, budget is a critical aspect of a home renovation project. What use is a beautiful architectural design for your home, if you can’t afford to actually build it? You need to know the realistic budget range of a proposed project before you pay for construction documents and bid the project out to contractors.

If your architect designs a home that exceeds your budget, it may literally be back to the drawing board. And that means spending precious remodeling dollars and time to redesign a more budget-conscious renovation.

Many architects have a poor sense of what the cost of construction will be for the remodels they design. Some will often simply multiply a rough cost-per-square-foot by the remodeled area which is a method that is usually inaccurate for renovations.

Find an architect that does itemized cost estimates broken out by line item. This way you are much more likely to avoid cost surprises down the road.

“FundMyRemodel.com” Landscaping Ideas: American Society Of Landscapte Architects Awarded Outstanding Residential Landscape Designs In 2009 (Video)

31 08 2010

American Society of Landscape Architects 2009 Residential Design Professional Awards, narrated by Susan Stamberg.