Design Process

The Empty Nester Home – Is it Still “Downsizing” if You Move to a Larger House?

“Downsizing” to an empty nester home is what a couple does when the kids are grown and moved out, and the family home has become a house of mostly empty rooms.

It typically means moving to a smaller home, but that’s not always the case.

In fact, many of my empty nester home clients are “downsizing” to larger homes – sometimes much larger. It sounds counterintuitive – you don’t need as much space any more, why wouldn’t you want a smaller house?

Project Notebook #2: Expanding a Contemporary Home on a Wide Open Property

A lot of homeowners dream of building on a large rural property with plenty of space to spread out, with no restrictions on what to build or where to build it. That’s what first attracted the owner of this contemporary house to the property.

From an Architect’s perspective, though, that’s both a blessing and a curse. A blessing for the same reasons as the homeowner’s, and a curse because unlimited freedom – the proverbial “blank page” – can make it harder to get the design process underway. Where to start?

Project Notebook #1: Adding Space for a Family of Four on a Tight Lot

Remodeling a home in an older neighborhood often comes with challenges above and beyond what my clients want and need for their project. In this Project Notebook, we’ll look at a small house remodeling in Upper Arlington, Ohio to see how it was updated and added to within the zoning constraints of a tight corner lot.

This family of four was quickly outgrowing the bedrooms, bath, and garage in their 1,200 square foot Cape Cod home.

Do You Need to Choose a Style Before You Design Your New Home?

When you begin working with your Architect, you might think you need to start by figuring out what style to choose for your new home.

That’s not a bad place to begin if you’re dead-set on a particular architectural style, or if you’re building in an area that requires it. Together you can discuss what you love about it, and figure out how to make that style fit your needs.

But choosing a style first isn’t always necessary. In some cases, it might actually might it more difficult to design the home you’ve been dreaming about.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Problems with Your New Home or Renovation

Two demons wait for unsuspecting homeowners, hoping for their chance to gobble up time and money for those who don’t plan ahead for a new home or remodeling project.

The Ripple Effect lurks quietly in the background. Just like the movements on the pond surface for which it’s named, The Ripple Effect starts out small and grows, expanding until it engulfs the entire project.

How To Get A Design Review Board to Approve Your New Home or Remodeling Project

If you’re planning on building a custom home in a new development or remodeling a home in an older neighborhood, you’ll likely to find you need to get approval from a design review board.

Design review boards go by different names; ARB (Architectural Review Board), DRC (Design Review Committee), ARC (Architectural Review Committee) and others.

They’ve been called less flattering names, too, by homeowners whose proposals don’t get favorable treatment from the board.

How To Measure the Area of A House

One of the most confusing and misleading metrics in the home building and home selling business is area – the “size” of a house. The problem is that there’s no adopted standard – everyone measures it differently. There has been a move in the last few years to create a universal standard like the one architects use (specified in AIA contracts), but it isn’t mandatory, and isn’t yet widely used. There are more than a few ways to measure the area of a house.

4 Strategies for Getting Your New Home or Remodeling Project Past the Dream Stage

So you’ve been trying to get your new home or remodeling past the dream stage for a long time now. You’ve looked at dozens – maybe hundreds – of house plans online.

You’ve built up a huge collection of photos on Houzz, or Pinterest, or both.

And yet somehow, you don’t feel any closer to your dream house. Maybe you even feel a little further away from it. You thought that by taking your time and collecting ideas and information you’d make progress, but instead, you’re stuck.