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The Costs of Remodeling these days: a post-recession update!

  Now that the recession is well behind us, you've probably noticed how much building there is going on around everywhere you look. This intense building economy has caused noticeable cost escalation in the construction industry overall. Its been frustrating for all of us in the trade - architects and builders - to keep tabs on what seems to be a bit of a moving target, but here's our current analysis of rough costs in the home improvement world. Costs of building a new home can run from $200/sq ft. for a bare bones, not-much-in-the-way-of-finishes simple structure; to $250 for something a little more interesting; to $3oo for a house with nice finishes (think stone counters, built-ins, nice tile)…the likes of which you see in our portfolio. And of course you can spend more as desires and budget allow! For remodeling, we prefer not to use square foot costs, as these numbers are subject to the kinds of spaces

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thumbs up for the excavator!

Big View House #3: Navigating Permits and Breaking Ground!

With our permits approved, we have started to dig at the Big View house site! We've started construction on the Big View House, but there was a long design process entailed in getting to this point.  Here's a brief overview of the sequencing of efforts required to put this residential remodel project together. Once we have a good sense of the design, structural requirements, and have pinned down the plan layout for this new project (see earlier Big View House blogs), we put together a basic set of sheets (some refer to these drawings as the "blueprints") to submit to the city for a building permit. Typically, this involves a 16-week review time from the initial application to final comments and permit approval. In recent years, Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has been requiring more and more documentation for a building permit, including procedures for site water management, construction waste and

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Excited about material selections!

Beginning the Remodeling Process: Facing down the Fear Factor

When it comes time to renovate, owners are usually faced with three things: an outdated home, an exciting wish list, and some anxieties about cost and the construction process. To have a successful remodel, each of these needs to be properly considered so that the project can move forward with ease — especially any concerns the owners might have. Whether it’s worrying about the return on investment, dealing with a contractor, or if the project is too large and overwhelming to take on, there are grounded reasons for concern. To work around these anxieties, we’ve put together a few ways to both avoid and overcome fears of home remodels. 0. Understanding What You're Looking For At the first thought of a new project, many owners find themselves not knowing where to begin. By letting potential remodels sit on the shelf for five or ten years though, homeowners can actually be missing an opportunity

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This mid-century rambler features a new front yard addition - kitchen and breakfast nook - that opens up to a south-facing front yard. The deck and front garden court has become a sunny outside room that greets the street in a neighborly way.

The Front Porch Lifestyle

As one of the rare architectural features that is social by nature, it goes without saying that the front porch has a welcoming history. In the same realm of American culture as baseball and apple pie, the porch has been an important cultural and transitional space for both the family and the neighborhood since the 1800s. Prior to 1950, "front porch living” was a common occurrence. Open to the outdoors and inviting to neighbors and passersby, the traditional porch was an extension of the home, a room outside of a room. With shade from the sun and shelter from wet weather, it provided a place of respite and relaxation after work and through the evening. Mid-century, however, showed a marked decline in porch construction. What has tempted us away from this social feature? The disappearance of the front porch can partly be attributed to stylistic changes in building developments. In the ranch house

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