Latest From the Blog

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When it comes time to renovate, owners are usually faced with three things: an outdated home, an exciting wish list, and some anxieties about cost and the construction process.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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owner DD meeting Jan 2014 001 (1)

Big View House update: 3-D Schematic Modeling

Quickly moving into the schematic phase, we have been working with the owners to refine their needs and implement them into the design. After the “napkin sketch” presentation from our first consultation, the owners were interested in completely flipping the floor plan to place the kitchen on the north side of the home, maximizing views to the lake. To better present and talk about these ideas, the next step in this phase has been to input the plans into our ARCHICAD program. Quick renderings and 3D views of interiors can turn sketches and words into a virtual home — and more importantly, it starts deeper conversations about sun angles, windows, materials and proportions that are much more easily expressed through visuals. As with any project, owner feedback is fundamental to designing a great house; it is really what personalizes each project into a home. The design process is always tremendous fun

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