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The kitchen is the key to a happy home - design matters - 11/29/11 08:45 PM
A functional kitchen is the key to a happy home. In today's family structure the kitchen is often the heart of the home where all the activities originate and gatherings happen. The kitchen needs to be practical, have an appropriate work triangle, and be flexible enough to allow for one cook to multiple cooks to be active. The keys to the design should also look at the materials selected taking into account for indoor air quality, natural light, and appropriate active lighting. Designing in drawers that pull out, for easy access, multi-height counters, and front appliance controls will make the kitchen (1 comments)
Energy Efficient Home - Design Matters - 11/28/11 07:48 AM
Energy Costs are rising by an average of 6% every year. So what is a home owner supposed to do to keep up? Energy efficient options are all around your home, you just need to know where to look. A solar hot water system costs around $2,500 to install, has a annual savings of $280 and a payback in 8.9 years. You don't want to spend that much, duct sealing costs around $450 and has an annual savings of $300 or a 1.5 year payback. Still not enough? A programmable thermostat costs around $115, saves $180 annually or a .6 year (0 comments)
Thinking of new solutions - design matters - 11/27/11 06:03 PM
Many developers are looking for new solutions to their traditional projects in this new economy. From live work spaces that allow for small business to start on the lower level and for the owner to live above to smaller footprint lots, innovation is happening. We have recently done projects that mix commercial and residential in the same building, townhouses that have studio space below, and small footprint homes. The solutions that we are going to use for the next economy will not look like those from the past. Sure there will be some exceptions to the rule, but the time of (0 comments)
A home specific for you - Design matters - 11/26/11 09:03 AM
No matter what your goals, you can design a house around the way you live and for your site. This home has a jacuzzi on the roof to take advantage of the views and the way this client lived. While a house this specific to one person may have an issue with resale, if you are designing your dream home, why would you design it for someone else?
The "SAVE" act is going to change the value of homes - 11/25/11 08:17 AM
"The SAVE Act" is legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia). This bipartisan legislation is intended to improve the accuracy of mortgage underwriting used by Federal mortgage agencies by ensuring that energy costs are included in the underwriting process. The bill, S. 1737 (112th Congress), was introduced on October 19th, 2011. It was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban affairs. The proposal is supported by a diverse coalition of organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Appraisal Institute, The U.S. Green Building Council, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. This legislation would (9 comments)
The mystery of design = conversation. - 11/25/11 07:56 AM
The process of design is a mystery to many. The first step is to develop a budget, program, and schedule. With these parameters, you then move into site analysis including zoning and code reviews. These are the first steps and the backbone of any good design. You often are asked to develop schematic design to help the owner visualize the project. Through many conversations you are able find a design that meets the owners goals and you can create construction documents. While the mystery of each job is part of the fun of being an architect, the steps for success does (2 comments)
A Thanksgiving Wish to you. - 11/24/11 10:33 AM
On this Thanksgiving Day, we are reminded of all the opportunities we have had this past year, all the clients we have been able to serve, and all the friends we have made along the way. Thanks to all that have given us a chance to work for you, to help you solve design problems, to help make your homes and businesses more functional and productive. We love what we do and love even more being able to do it for the best clients around. Happy Thanksgiving!
What are your clients energy expectations? - 11/23/11 07:36 AM
I know when we were looking for our first home we never talked about the monthly electric bills. We were pre-approved at the bank for our mortgage, we had our cars paid off, we both had steady income. I thought we were set and understood how it all works. However, nobody ever asked us about our utility expectations. When the monthly mortgage payment comes in the mail, it is always followed by the electric bill and water bill. Why are these not as important as how much you can afford when you buy a home. If your electric bill is 65% (3 comments)
Is your house custom or just new construction? - 11/22/11 07:41 AM
For those looking to build a new home, what is your motivation? Do you want a house that is new or do you want a new home that is specific for your needs? A custom home should be designed around the way you live, work, and play. It should work with your site and not simply sit on your site. It should reflect your values, your history, and your future. A house that is built for you should not be a compromise found in a magazine. It should be the idea thought through and developed based on your goals and passions. (2 comments)
Your clients first impression starts in the Foyer - 11/21/11 07:49 AM
The first impression of a home is often in the foyer. In many homes today the front entry is forgotten and the wow factor has been moved into the living room or kitchen. Your clients immediately form their impression of the home when they enter it so not taking care to make the entry sequence work with the rest of the home is a big mistake made by builders today. This is where you set the tone for the entire house and you don't have to rescue the design with another room. You do have to carry the style through the whole (8 comments)
Energy Efficient Home Renovation - 11/20/11 04:24 PM
Anytime you are thinking of doing a kitchen renovation or bedroom addition, that means you have a chance to make your home more energy efficient. The return on investment for these renovation projects is usually about an 80% value, while an energy efficient renovation actually pays you back monthly. If you are looking for a safe smart investment, look no further than the insulation in your home.
Design Matters - Aging in Place - 11/19/11 10:51 AM
Many people are starting to think about how they are going to age in their homes. Nobody wants to live in a home that looks like a hospital room. So what do you do? So the only solution is to find great design solutions that will make their homes functional for a lifetime. We find solutions that are aesthetically pleasing, functional, and durable and there are ways to make lives better for a long time.
Design Matters - Lighting - 11/13/11 08:13 PM
The design of a home does not stop at the curb. You have to be able to carry your design through to the inside from the lights, faucets, flooring, to wall colors. Not every client wants the architect to carry through all the details for a home, but when it happens, things are so much better. Design is an interesting process, most people think they can do it, very few really are able to carry it through the entire project. Design Matters and the devil is in the details. If you want a project that holds its value, that carries through (2 comments)
Thank you Veterans for your service and my freedom. - 11/11/11 07:48 AM
I have never given my heart and soul for my country. I have never slept in a field across from my enemy. I have never charged into the unknown with confidence and purpose. I have never sit quiet in a hole I dug earlier in the day, listening, praying. I have never known the incredible responsibility of providing a blanket of freedom for my country. Thanks to those of you that have done what I have not. Thank you for the freedom I enjoy every day. Happy Veteran's Day
I am not a % and I don't want to go to your tea party! - 11/10/11 08:33 AM
I am not a %. I don't want to have tea at your party. I cannot be put into a political category. I am simply an American that wants to be able to make enough money to live comfortably, provide for my family, and have some time to relax on weekends. It is time for the name calling and political fighting to end. It is time to stop putting sports stars on a pedestal and then waiting in anticipation for them to fall. It is time to change our perspective. The important things in life are not how much money you (0 comments)
Harrisonburg is a Mountain Bike Mecca! - 11/09/11 07:45 AM
Harrisonburg is a great town with so many features and benefits. It most recently was named one of seven Ride Centers in the World by the International Mountain Biker Association. From the Food Co-op, Farmer's Market, to the Discovery Museum and the local fairs - this is a town you need to visit. Via Kai Degner (Kline May Realty): Harrisonburg is an IMBA Ride Center (Photo Courtesy of HarrisonburgTourism.com) Mountain biking in the Harrisonburg area continues to be recognized, most recently by the International Mountain Biking Association identifying Harrisonburg as just one of seven Ride Centers® in the WORLD! (OK, there's only one city not in (2 comments)
An efficient and neat mechanical system is a clear sign of a good builder. If they are willing to run lines straight, organize systems where they make sense, and have a plan going into the project you know they are going to take care in other parts of the house. Looking at this system in our high performance home in Crossroads Farm, you can see the electrical lines are running straight and organized, the gas supply is next to the gas water heater, and the water manifold system is clearly labeled and organized. Whether you are buying or building, this (0 comments)
The Home Building Industry is Changing starting with the NEST - 11/05/11 08:24 AM
Innovation has been happening at a mind numbing pace over the past ten years. Some have run with it and some have said it is just a trend. The latest innovation in the home industry is going to change everything! The NEST is a simple thermostat. It is intuitive, functional, aesthetically pleasing, and smart. It learns from you and adjusts your homes comfort based on your living habits. This is just the start of a revolution that is switching into high gear. I am just finishing a house that has self cleaning windows, catches rainwater off the roof, is 30% more (2 comments)
The most important feature in your home: air sealing - 11/04/11 08:01 AM
Believe me I understand wanting nice things. This is always the goal when designing a new house or renovating an existing home. You want to be able to enjoy the aesthetics and quality of your home. You should also be focused on the comfort as this will greatly impact the other two goals. The most important factor for comfort in a mixed humid climate (Virginia) is air sealing. If you have a house that is "not built too tight" as the framers often want it, then you are subject to dirty air from your crawl space, basement, and attic. Your air (5 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.