Transform Your Kitchen – Without Replacing Your Cabinets

BEFOREAFTERWould you like to improve the function and look of your kitchen without the expense of replacing everything?  This kitchen remodel is proof that it’s possible.   The homeowner was tired of everyone standing in her way while she was cooking.  The obstacle was a center island which blocked the work triangle while encouraging people to stand around it.  The kitchen floor area was too small to accommodate the “standers” and still be able to move around the kitchen.  If chairs were put on the other side of the island, they blocked both the refrigerator and the main pathway between the house and the garage. 

 

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Tips from an Architect’s Home: A Family Photography Display

I admit it, crooked pictures drive me crazy.  I always love looking at a family’s photo gallery, especially when the photos go back to the early days of photography.  But unless the pictures are glued to the wall, there’s always going to be a couple of photos that are crooked.

So when I decided to display our family photographs, I had a trim carpenter build this cabinet for a blank spot in the wall opposite my dining room.  The unit recesses into the 3 ½” framed wall space.  Since this was done after the house was completed, we opened up the drywall on one side and cut the studs where the shelving unit would go.  It wasn’t a bearing wall, so we didn’t need to add a header above the unit.  We did have a cold air return in the wall, but were able to shift it behind the wall to the back of a closet.

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Easy Raised Garden Beds without the Cost or Commitment

If you’ve been craving home grown tomatoes or cringing at the price of store-bought herbs but haven’t had the time, money, or energy to prepare a garden plot, these easy raised beds may be just the answer.  I got the idea from San Francisco’s City Hall Victory Garden, pictured below.  They used erosion control wattles to form raised beds in their project.

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Three Things to Consider Before Deciding to do a Remodel or Addition

Are you improving the house, or just making it different?  Most peoples’ needs change over time:  children come and go, lifestyles change; we age.  Is your home not working for you anymore, but would fit the bill for someone else?  The cost of remodeling and additions is so much higher than new construction; does it make more sense to relocate?  That said, the way we live in our homes has changed over the years.  We desire more open and casual plans; more bathrooms and closet space; bigger garages.  If the changes you would like to make would appeal to many people, then it may be worth the upheaval and cost to do.
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The Ultimate Green - Building Smaller

A home’s energy usage can be reduced by simply building a smaller home.  And a smaller energy bill is just the beginning, there’s also the need for fewer building materials and maintenance in a smaller home.  A smaller home doesn’t have to appear or feel small.  In creating a smaller home that really works, avoid downsizing everything in a large home to a smaller space; doing so just makes everything seem smaller.  Downsize by using the space more efficiently while creating an open plan using these easy tips:
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Five Reasons Why Your Project Goes Over Budget

Not being realistic about what it costs.  When given a range of costs to expect, who doesn’t hear and remember the lower number and completely disregard the higher one?  In both remodels and new homes, just about everything is an unknown at the onset.  Even with a general contractor on board as part of the team from the beginning of design, each home is unique and there’s no way to know what it’s going to cost until everything is finally  bid and all the finishes are chosen.  That doesn’t mean that the professionals involved don’t have any idea of costs during the process, it just means there’s going to be a range  . . . which takes us back to the first sentence.
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Five Tips to Keep Your Project in Budget

 Start with the right budget.  Be realistic about your budget and honest with your construction professionals.  I’m not sure why people aren’t honest about their budgets with the people who are working very hard to help them make that budget.  I wonder if they feel that the same thing will cost less if they throw out a lower number?  Does that make any sense?  There’s no way to know which clients are holding back their real budget and which ones aren’t.  As an architect, it’s hard to watch clients adding items to an already tight budget, not knowing if they’re just getting the house they really want, and are prepared to pay for, or are pushing the whole project to the point of collapse.
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Surprising facts about the Colorado Ranch Style Home

Ranch style homes became popular across the country in the 1960 due to their open and more casual layouts.  They are now seeing a resurgence as the baby boom generation looks for more accessible homes and compounded by the general trend to more casual lifestyles.  According to an AARP analysis of data, the aged 55-plus population has increased by 17 percent, 5 times more than the 16-24 segment.  And this is a trend that will continue, as Census data shows that by 2020 the 55-plus group will total 97.8 million, almost 29 percent of the population.

Ranch style homes are a growing segment of the real estate market in Colorado and the western states.  There are many reasons for their popularity:

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