Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Eaddy residence pool area

Really enjoyed coming back to look at this one and taking a few pics. A local contractor, Bob Lamotte, called me to help him out with this job. The parameters were to upgrade the pool sitting area with a covered area, add an outdoor cooking area, and some landscape upgrades. Wow it turned out nice. Refaced the pool deck, a new hot tub, a trellis, new walks, this one got the works. My part was figuring out how to tie all the structures together and figure out how to get rid of that old awning. And while I'm super proud of my contributions to the effort, my hat is off to Bob for executing excellent craftsmanship for this client. Simply spectacular. A future award winner for sure...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Certify Green at the lowest cost!

My clients often wonder how much more it costs to build their next home green. My builders are always trying to get the best green product at the lowest end cost. That's the way it has been and that's the beauty of green. Competition helps drive prices down! As a member of the Homebuilders Green council (Columbia SC) we are always working to make going green as inexpensive as possible. To that end we have re-developed our own local Green building and remodeling program. Our program is now based on the NAHB Green building Standard ICC 700-2008. With this system you can get as green a home as any of the other nationally administed programs, but a reduced program cost. That's how we roll in South Carolina, making green as affordable as possible! You can now get your home certified through this program for as low as $50 in administration fees! And if you've looked around at programs, that's incredibly cheap! Now you still have to build a green home and go through testing and verification to qualify, just like the other programs, but we feel like lowest cost is a good motivator. If you agree and are interested in this program contact Bin at www.columbiagreenbuilders.com to get your green project started! You can contact me at www.squareoneplans.com also!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lake remodel comes together.

What was once a great home on lake Murray, becomes a great home again!  My clients loved their location, they just needed a new look, a new owners suite and bath, and a better garage with a room over and nicer laundry. You know, the regular stuff.  House is coming along nicely for sure, thanks to Barry Davis Constuction in Lexington, SC. And yes that's the same house folks!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Upgrade to a Lake Murray home

These clients had it all, nice home, great view, except enough space in the right place. We went into the attic, and added a family room, theater, a kitchenette, and mini office space, without covering up the lake view. They already had the stairway and the bonus room, we added a new dormer there so the room would be more useable. Other considerations included beefing up the old ceiling joists to carry more load, and re-locating the old hvac from the attic to under the home. Turned out great thanks to contractor Theresa Lejohn's attention to detail!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dramatically lower your power bill

A couple of years ago I built one of those new "green homes". Learned a lot about how much lower a power bill can be. Though my home was bigger by 500 sf, my bills dropped by over half. At that time most of us thought you had to build a new "green" home to save on energy bills. Fact is, since we've learned to build "green", we've learned how to use the same technology to cut power usage in older homes. Through testing, we can identify where older homes leak air and then the holes can be plugged. Existing homes can be made nearly as efficient as the new ones. Most of the solutions are things that you can actually do yourself. I have another blog called "Green building with Square One Design". Where I detail the 10 first steps to make your home up to 50% more energy efficient. If your power bills are too high these solutions actually work.  If you would like to know more, contact me anytime and I can help with advice and solutions to your problems.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seeing what's not there

Some of my Columbia area remodeling clients call me with a firm grasp of what they would like to do in regards to their remodel. Most do not. They know what they may need to add, or what problems they'd like to fix, but have no idea how to attach it to the existing home. That's what I'm good at, seeing the possibilities and creating the perfect space. People know what they would like to have, just not how to visualize it. They have a hard time seeing past the spaces as they are. An example of this is a client that wants to convert a garage to a playroom and build another garage next to it. When I enquire about leaving the garage alone and building the playroom behind it with a good view of the lake they say "gee, I didn't think of that." They are trying to visualize inside the spaces that they have instead of thinking outside the box. So that's my first task, to analyze the situation and find the best place for the solution. Sometimes it's on the rear, some times the front, sometimes above. You try to solve the spacial problem, keeping an eye out for enhancing the visual form of the home as you go. If the home is less attractive on the front, you can upgrade there. If it's on the rear, that might be a good start. After you've done fifty or sixty, it kind of becomes second nature I guess. Every job is a new challenge, but every project is a new opportunity. I guess that's what makes it so fun.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Keeping it between the lines

When I'm at a Columbia area remodeling site for the first time, I'm absorbing what's there. The physical building, the needs of the owner, the views and sight lines from the property, things like that. But there are some other important elements to the puzzle. A good survey is important. Usually the homeowner has a copy in with the closing papers. Now we can tell exactly where the property lines are. If there are any easements shown. Later on we will want to check with the zoning office for setback limitations on the lot, so we know exactly what we have to work with. Sometimes there are lot coverage guidelines that may come into play also. Along with subdivision restrictions, or review by an architectural review board. Knowing all of the requirements up front really will help drive the future design in a positive direction. You don't want to get all the way through design, bidding, and pricing only to have a setback problem later on. That's stressful. We want your job to be no stress. So do your homework before you design, for a better design solution.