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Tag: remodeling

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 »

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 »

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 »

What Makes Your Home Sustainable?

Posted on November 20th, by Michael in Remodeling, Sustainable. Comments Off on What Makes Your Home Sustainable?

We’ve all talked about sustainability for the last 20 years or so, but everyone seems to define the term a little bit differently. So let’s try for some clarity.

 

While by no means official, the EPA has a definition that rang home with me:

“Sustainability is a simple principle. Everything we need for our daily survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which every human being and their surroundings can coexist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.”

 

It’s a high-level definition to be sure, but it reflects our need to make sure we have, and will continue to have, the water, materials and resources to protect human health and the environment around us. Closer to earth, I tend to measure sustainability with one of the many “green” or sustainable building rating systems in the marketplace. (I have the CGP designation — Certified Green Building Professional — of the National Association of Home Builders, so I’m no stranger to sustainability issues.)

 

To home building professionals, sustainable buildings are designed to be high performance, and through their siting, orientation, design, construction and … Read More »

Creating a peaceful master bath with unused roof space the pièce de résistance.

Posted on September 3rd, by amanda@amandahart.net in Bath Suite Projects. Comments Off on Creating a peaceful master bath with unused roof space the pièce de résistance.

Even in this up-and-down economy, bathroom remodeling is still going strong — as I find one of the best remedies to relieve the stress and strain of everyday life is a nice, relaxing bath or shower, usually followed by a glass of wine and a good book.

 

While turning a plain-Jane bathroom into a spacious and relaxing retreat seems like an expensive luxury, we excel at finding solutions that will meet both our client’s dreams and their real-life budget. One such project was remodeling the master bath in a 1920’s-era home that was lacking both closet space and comfortable amenities.

 

Our clients were husband and wife professionals, and empty nesters, looking to gain more storage and greater convenience. So our first design-build decision was to enlarge the existing bathroom by reclaiming space from an adjacent closet/small office. This enabled us to add a walk-in shower, soaking tub, dual-height vanity and built-in storage. We also added a heated floor, and installed plywood underneath the drywall to accommodate future installation of grab bars.

 

The star of the project was turning an unused roof deck into a huge walk-in closet. This was a simple to complete, yet dramatic, addition that incorporated the two existing small closets … Read More »

Design Trends – Design Practicality

Posted on February 13th, by Michael Menn in Architecture, Change, Trends. Comments Off on Design Trends – Design Practicality

I recently attended the International Builders Show in Las Vegas.

This was my twentieth consecutive year and I walked away with a new sense of reinvigoration and design practicality. If you are planning to build or remodel a kitchen, you will be right on trend if you choose white cabinets – no wait, make that dark brown!  White cabinetry will always be in style, but there has been a rise in dark brown kitchens winning award after award.

Some of the trends that are selling houses today are: the inclusion of large walk-in pantries and the reduction in the actual number of cabinets being used in the Kitchen, more sensible bathrooms and comfy doggy digs.

Practical floor plans were the subject of a seminar I took. Where the 1990s and early 2000s were all about excess in home building (bigger is better syndrome), a new sobriety has settled in and focused on maximizing the utility of every square inch of the floor plan. Consumers have spoken and the Dining Room and Living Room have been ditched in lieu of an open area that encompasses the Kitchen, Family Room and a single Dining Area.

One of the things that many homebuilders have noticed is that … Read More »