Knock Knock

What Is Quality Construction?

A friend of mine put me on the spot when she asked me over to take a look at the new home she was looking to purchase.  “I’m not sure what I should be looking for” she asked. “What is quality construction?”

For the price, sure, it was decent quality; it wasn’t in danger of collapse, the doorknobs weren’t falling off, and water wasn’t dripping through a leaky roof – but it wasn’t a showcase of construction skill either.

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.

When Is It Too Cold To Build A House?

Years ago, before I’d thought of Architecture as a career, I worked summers as a construction laborer and framing carpenter. Some days, working outside was great fun for an 18-year old (read:summertime). I learned a lot about construction those two years, including the fact that construction doesn’t only happen on sunny, warm, summer days. And I wondered, when is it too cold to build a house?

Proper House Proportions: A Trick of the Trade

If you’re a house junkie like me, watching the home shows, reading the home magazines, and looking at houses wherever you go, then you’ve seen good houses and not so good houses. You’ve seen charming homes that seem perfectly settled; you’ve seen houses that seem “complete” – like there’s nothing you could do to make them any better. Those are often the ones with proper house proportions.

contemporary home office

Energy Efficient Home Design

If you’re not yet giving much thought to how much energy your new house is going to use, and how much it’s going to waste, then it’s time you started thinking about energy efficient home design.

It should be one of your top priorities – if for no other reason than your own pocketbook.

Energy used for heating and cooling homes is going to continue to get more expensive and as we’ve seen recently, world politics can quickly and dramatically affect your access to cheap energy.