Friday, March 25, 2011

Progress on Many Fronts

A lot of great progress is happening on this job, and in many arenas.

The existing front landscaping is being ripped out in preparation of installing the new design.

More trims have been added inside, and interior doors are being relocated inside the house.

And behind the house, the slab for the new garage has been poured, and the framing is starting to go up.

I wouldn't count on being back in the house to hunt Easter eggs this year, but at this rate, it will happen before you know it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Best Kind of Contractor

There are a lot of things you should expect from your contractor; honesty, ability, good communication--and these are aside from the obvious, such as up-to-date licensing and insurance.

But another trait to hope for in your contractor is integrity. This can take many forms at a job site. A great contractor takes a step back from the work, and is rarely (if ever!) prepared to say simply, "It's okay". When they are great is when they have the eye to recognize that in fact something may not be good enough, and there is a better solution out there...and then, of course, be willing to implement that solution!

At this job site that we've been following recently, the new pergola entrance was in effect completed.

But, when scrutinized, the weight of the second tier of lumber as it related to the rest of the house seemed wrong to the contractor. He called in the design team and client, and the consensus was to replace it with heavier beams. It does make a difference!

This could seem like a minor detail in the scheme of this renovation, but one minor detail here and there soon turns into a sloppy job, and ultimately a costly, and not-so-great finished project.

Be sure to look at past jobs your contractor has completed, talk to the homeowners when possible, and listen carefully when interviewing contractors. You should be able to get a good sense of the degree of care they take with their work, which should ensure your happiness on your own project!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bungalow Trims

In the style of the Craftsman Bungalow, historically the home would almost become a showcase for trims....trims around fireplaces, door openings, windows, built-in cabinetry...the more plentiful and elaborate the trim details, the more it showed off the "craftsman"-ship!

Though in the strictest definition of the term Bungalow, this home we've been following may not precisely meet the terms, but typical craftsman details were evident in the original home design, and are certainly appropriate to the new design.

We saw the windows installed in an earlier posting on the project, but now the interior trims have been added. It makes an amazing and immediate transformation to the feel of the space, as you can see in these pictures.

These trims frame an already beautiful window, and once the walls and trims are painted, they'll stand out even more.

Truly fine trim-work is an art form all unto itself,and one that when properly executed--as this careful contractor is seeing to--can truly make an interior. I'm anxious to see more of the same!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Phase One Complete

Back to the most recent garden project we've been following, and phase one of the project is now complete. The new pavers are beautiful!

This semi-circular area will eventually house a fountain.

Lighting is all in, with a larger version of the light that is on the pergola structure flanking the French doors.

Most of the plantings are in, with some additional to follow in Phase Two of the project.

This will be the view as you enter the garden from the driveway.

And this is the view from the covered pavilion, which is Phase Two of the project to start later this spring.

Now, all that's left to do is sit back and let the plantings grow in. The homeowner is ecstatic, and it is a job we're proud to be a part of!