People have asked us what are we doing differently in the recession? Our biggest change is in reducing costs by controlling costs. From initial design through move in, cost often is foremost in our clients’ minds, therefore we have changed the way we build to reduce costs. Many clients come to us because as both architects & contractors, we can design more closely to a client’s budget than most. We have found we can also stretch this budget by managing the construction process a little differently. Where previously our in-house crews did all the construction work except for certain highly specialized work, we now subcontract much of the work while still providing close management of time and quality. The subcontracting provides good cost control because these tradespeople are expert at one thing, such as framing — that’s all they do! But an all around carpenter can not be the fastest (thus least expensive) at everything, such as framing and finish carpentry and demolition, etc. So we now often subcontract these phases of the work. How much we can subcontract depends on how the project is designed. We try not to let the cost controls dictate the design, because it’s the design our clients will be living with day after day, year after year, but costs do affect design, just not control design. We work to find the right balance from the beginning and still create great spaces to live!
Julie – Here’s also a picture of the back of the house. I like this because it really shows how one can marry a builder’s box to an architect’s dream, and it works! New forms inserted into the traditional box enlivens the home in a way that, when sitting in the hot tub in the back yard, makes you want to think about how old and new, traditional and modern, can work together to make something much more interesting!
We’re in the final weeks of a substantial remodel to a typical 60’s rambler, and I’ve never been so excited by the transformation of a house! This was one of those ubiquitous 2-story developers’ box house – just not very much going for it.
We’ve added small additions for a new front entry, and in back for a larger kitchen; as well as substantial plan changes inside.
Working collaboratively with our clients – both husband and wife are former architects! – has been incredibly fun and inspiring , and has resulted in a project much richer for it.
The intention has been to transform the home into a very clean, mid-century modern design.
Lots of care has been taken while opening up the floor plan to align walls and vistas, to create a minimalist palette of contemporary materials and colour, and to end up with a home environment that is friendly and light-hearted to support this lively young family, yet also provide tranquil and sophisticated spaces suitable for retreat.
I think the house has achieved all this dramatically. One look at the new exterior and you can immediately see that this home abounds with new change! Keep an eye on this blog as we decide on paint colours! Any suggestions?!