Latest From the Blog

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Update on CTA's work in Haiti

Our Architects Without Borders project, a large campus-style secondary and trade school outside of Cabaret, Haiti, is coming to a conclusion!  We’ve been working for over a year to provide drawings and images for the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, our client and current administer of eight other schools throughout Haiti.  These images describe a large, rural, 3,000 student campus-style secondary and trade school.  The program includes classroom buildings, science labs, and shop space, along with dormitories, a chapel, auditorium, and cafeteria.   Community and sustainability are hallmarks of this project – fundamental ideas inherent in the campus layout that impact the landscape and building designs.  Such a school would provide a continuous stream of graduates, bringing the benefits of an educated population into the community, affecting both the immediate area of Cabaret, and Haiti, country-wide.  It is our hope that these drawings will help the Brothers describe their vision of this community to potential partners and funders. The

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Big View House #5: Design-Build to the Finish!

  Continuing in both architect and contractor mode over these past few months, construction has been moving right along. An army of carpenters and subcontractors has plied their handiwork on the house, and we're now finally wrapping things up. These photos were taken during the "punch list" walk-through - a thorough interior and exterior inspection with owners participating, generating a list of any and all items that need finishing or tweaking. Except for landscaping to be installed, the exterior is complete. With the addition of plantings, the front porch and "outdoor living room" will be a welcoming addition to the home!  The stained cedar siding offers a preview of the warm undertones inside with the wood paneling throughout the house. All windows are framed in cedar for a pop of color to complement the blue paint. As we noted in our previous blog, Fire Works Forge completed three sets of interior stairs and one for the exterior of our Big View House, all with custom

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Big View House #4: A Design-Build approach to Construction

We left off of the Big View House and its sweeping panoramas of Lake Washington and Mt. Rainier just after the permit phase. With several months under our belt, the construction is well underway and everything from stairs to solar panels is going into place! After finding the underground water issue in the garage excavation, sump pumps were installed so that foundations could be poured and framing could begin. The green pump caps are visible at the back of the garage foundation, shown at right. Framing was the next exciting step of the process as our clients were finally able to experience first-hand their new living space, particularly their master bedroom which they are standing in below. As you can see, we are using composite joists which are generally stronger than dimensional lumber, can span greater distances without needing supporting walls or columns, and allow for higher ceilings because the deep channels can accommodate openings for utilities without losing any strength. O Our beautiful fir columns are structural

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Seattle builders are busy everywhere

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 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 $300 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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