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Category: Remodeling

Home Safety Month Tips to Protect Your Home

Posted on June 9th, by Michael Menn in Aging In Place, Remodeling. Comments Off on Home Safety Month Tips to Protect Your Home

Home Safety Month Tips to Protect Your Home

By: Michael Menn

AIA, CGR, CAPS, CGP

Vice President, (Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago)

 

Owning a home is the most valued long-term investment most Americans ever make. And owning your home is much more than a material asset; homeownership builds a sense of stability, pride, accomplishment and peace of mind. So protecting your home—and your loved ones that live in it—is a top priority for most families.

 

During Home Safety Month in June, here are some tips from the National Crime Prevention Council (ncpc.org) to keep your home and your family safe from crime.

Inside your home:

Install key locks, pins or other secure locks on every window and sliding glass door.
Secure windows and sliding doors with secondary blocking devices such as a stick or broom handle.
Use anti-lift devices to prevent windows and glass doors from being lifted out.
Use high quality Grade-1 or -2 locks with a bolt that extends at least one inch into the doorframe to resist prying open or forceful entry.
Use automatic timers to switch indoors lights on and off if you’re going to be away from home overnight.
If you have an alarm system, don’t write your passcode on or near the alarm keypad. … Read More »

Stunning Whole Townhouse Remodel in the North Shore

Posted on May 11th, by Michael Menn in Bath Suite Projects, Bathrooms, Complete Home Projects, Home Office, Interior Design, Master Suites, Remodeling. Comments Off on Stunning Whole Townhouse Remodel in the North Shore


8 Reasons To Hire A Professional Remodeler

Posted on May 4th, by Michael Menn in Remodeling. Comments Off on 8 Reasons To Hire A Professional Remodeler

Why Hire a Professional Home Remodeler

 

For those of you that don’t know me, I am Michael Menn, an architect and professional remodeler. As a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), I have continued my education and achieved the following certifications: CAPS (Certified Aging In Place Specialist), CGR (Certified Graduate remodeler), & CGP (Certified Green Professional).  What does that mean to you, the consumer? My education, networking, advocacy and the cross country friendships I have made with people that “do what I do,” set me apart from your local builder/remodeler that does not have an 1800 member association to belong to.

 

If you are considering a home remodeling project, the most important decision you can make is selecting a professional home remodeler to do the job. Your home is too important to entrust to anyone but a professional home remodeler who can:

Save you money by doing your job right the first time.
Ensure that your dreams are accurately translated into reality by offering design services in-house with an architect like our firm.
Understand that your comfort during the project and its successful completion depend on effective communication and follow-through.
Maintain a safe and neat job site to prevent … Read More »

Outdoor Living

Posted on April 22nd, by Michael Menn in Outdoor, Remodeling. Comments Off on Outdoor Living

Preplanning for Future Outdoor Living Improvements

Sometimes it’s just unrealistic to build everything you want at one time. However, you can still save yourself a lot of money and headaches by planning ahead. If you have an overall vision for your backyard that you plan to build out in phases, below are some questions you’ll want to consider before beginning the process.

SHOULD I HIRE A PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER?

If you’re talking about a large scale makeover, it’s often a good idea to enlist a landscape designer to design your completed makeover, even if you don’t plan on doing everything at once. For example, if you plan to install a pool now and an outdoor kitchen down the line, you’ll need to know where the gas and electric lines will need to go, as well as footings for any heavy items, such as a porch post or a fireplace. The added cost of a professional design can save you from having to rip up and replace sections of a patio or pool deck later.

WHAT FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS SHOULD I KEEP IN MIND?

When you’re planning an outdoor living space, think of what you would plan for an indoor living space. Think lighting, music, televisions, gas or … Read More »

Technology, We Can’t Live Without It!

Posted on May 8th, by Michael Menn in Remodeling, Technology. Comments Off on Technology, We Can’t Live Without It!

I have enjoyed partnering with Joe Barrett at Barrett’s Technology Solutions for a number of projects.

Joe helps us to help our clients integrate technology into the spaces that we have created for them, truly rounding out their home experiences.

 

Technology integration is the practice of designing spaces where technology is both accessible and future-ready. Technology integrators work with architects and their clients to define technology needs, and then handle the design and installation of customized home automation, security, entertainment and related sub-systems.

Today’s homeowners want features like distributed audio, custom home theaters or open concept entertainment areas, and automated control systems. From a more practical standpoint, they’re interested in security systems, energy efficiency, and secure remote access that not only protects what’s inside but also ensures their network and personal information are secure.

Home Is Where The Office Is

Posted on June 16th, by amanda@amandahart.net in Home Office, Organization, Remodeling, Renovation. Comments Off on Home Is Where The Office Is

More than 33 million Americans are now working from home — an increase of over 17% since 2006 — according to the global HR association WorldatWork. And the smartest ones have spent some time and attention to designing their home office.

 

The kitchen table may be convenient, but it’s usually not the most productive space — too casual, and not effectively separated from the home environment. To do serious work from home, you need to think first about the work you do, the equipment it takes, and the space you’ll require.

 

For starting the process, I like using the five-step approach of designer Neal Zimmerman in his Home Workspace Idea Book. He recommends that you:

Determine your needs.

What office equipment: computers, printers, copiers, faxes? How much filing space? Will you need meeting space separate from your desk? Will you have other employees? What about space for specialized projects — for example, I need a drafting station to work on drawings and plans.

 

Choose a location.

Consider whether the space will have to shared with other family members: that den or spare bedroom that may be fine most of the day can suddenly require negotiation when the kids come home from school and want … Read More »

Home Is Where The Office Is

Posted on June 16th, by Michael in Home Office, Organization, Remodeling, Renovation. Comments Off on Home Is Where The Office Is

More than 33 million Americans are now working from home — an increase of over 17% since 2006 — according to the global HR association WorldatWork. And the smartest ones have spent some time and attention to designing their home office.

 

The kitchen table may be convenient, but it’s usually not the most productive space — too casual, and not effectively separated from the home environment. To do serious work from home, you need to think first about the work you do, the equipment it takes, and the space you’ll require.

 

For starting the process, I like using the five-step approach of designer Neal Zimmerman in his Home Workspace Idea Book. He recommends that you:

Determine your needs.

What office equipment: computers, printers, copiers, faxes? How much filing space? Will you need meeting space separate from your desk? Will you have other employees? What about space for specialized projects — for example, I need a drafting station to work on drawings and plans.

 

Choose a location.

Consider whether the space will have to shared with other family members: that den or spare bedroom that may be fine most of the day can suddenly require negotiation when the kids come home from school and want … Read More »

Making Room For Family

Posted on April 4th, by Michael in Children, Complete Home Projects, Remodeling. Comments Off on Making Room For Family

This month I would like to talk about the efficient use of space and I am going to re-purpose a blog from a friend and architect Bud Dietrich from Port Richey, Florida.

Many of us with children of a certain age are experiencing a “boomerang generation.” Whether because of a desire to save money, a change in lifestyle, a delay in landing a job after college or some other reason, the boomerang generation is coming back home to live with the baby-boom generation.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to our grown children. Whether because of a downsizing, health issues, or simply the desire to be all under one roof, our parents are also coming home to live with us.

What this means is that our society is undergoing a shift from a time when we went off on our own to going back to sharing living spaces. The thing is, most of our houses weren’t really designed for this. For the most part our houses are designed to be for one set of parents and one set of children. Two or more generations living under one roof is just not what we’ve practiced for the last few generations.

But this shift could be a good … Read More »

Remodeling Resolutions You Won’t Want To Break

Posted on February 7th, by Michael in Remodeling, Renovation. Comments Off on Remodeling Resolutions You Won’t Want To Break

Part 2 of 2

 

Last month, I posted these five resolutions for your upcoming remodeling projects in 2014:

 

1)        Put a high value on your time.

2)        Seek inspiration.

3)        Set realistic goals and budgets for your remodeling.

4)        Spend more time with family and friends.

5)        Optimize, not maximize.

 

To complete the set, here are the final five:

 

6)        Learn from the best.

 

Hire professional architects, interior designers and remodelers who belong to professional organizations.

 

Why is this important?  Credentialed professionals are qualified by third parties in their fields of expertise. Members of AIA (American Institute of Architects), ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), NAHBR (National Association of Home Builders Remodelers) and NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) are required to maintain their credentials by attending education seminars about the latest codes and trends.

 

7)        Make memories everyday.

 

When you finally decide to move forward with your new home, addition, or remodeling project, create a space you will be proud of and one where your family and friends will always talk about. Have the vision!

 

Why is this important?  Your living area is one of your most important tangible assets and the place where you spend the most time. Life is often forgettable and moves at lightening speed, so slow down … Read More »

Remodeling Resolutions You Won’t Want To Break

Posted on January 17th, by amanda@amandahart.net in Remodeling. Comments Off on Remodeling Resolutions You Won’t Want To Break

Part 1 of 2

 

If you want 2014 to be a breakout year for your home, your planning should start now for upcoming remodeling projects. January gives you an opportunity to reflect on which areas of your home could better serve your needs, and set some goals to reach your dream.

 

While your resolutions to lose weight or learn French may be history by month’s end, it’s relatively simple to achieve your remodeling goals if you work with the right architect. Of course we hope that would be us. But in the meantime, here’s the first half of a set of essential New Year’s resolutions for the weeks ahead:

 

1)  Put a high value on your time.

 

Take the time to prepare and think about the reasons you want to remodel. Create a list of what “works” and what doesn’t for your current lifestyle.

 

Why is this important?  By taking the time to create a list you have taken the first step in moving forward on this endeavor. You actually own how you want to make your life better through your living environment.

 

2)  Seek inspiration.

 

More and more design professionals are showcasing their work online, making it easy for you to find examples of things you … Read More »