Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Initial Design Angst

When a client sets the bar high for design, specifically hiring me to create for them a space with architectural interest, I'm a bit anxious to hear their first response to see if I'm even close to their intent. Often times clients have an array of magazine cut-outs or printed images off Houzz depicting what they like even though it is hard to decipher exactly what about an image strikes them. These images can be contradictory in nature, or representing a very different scale project and therefore difficult to apply that idea to their specific space. Below are images of a master bathroom design that reflects the above challenge, and the clients response to these drawings (which reduced my angst very quickly).

"Rick, Thanks so much for the drawings.  What a fantastic start. You really were listening and have incorporated so many of the issues we discussed. "Seeing" it is SO helpful."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Merry Christmas From the Rooftops

We are currently framing a house and the crew thought it would be special treat for the owners to put a Christmas tree on the roof.

Here is the owners response when they saw it:
"WOW!I walked to the house  after 5pm tonight and saw our FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE at the new house.   Just LOVE IT!
WHAT A WONDERFUL AND FANTASTIC SURPRISE!  I TOOK PHOTOS TO ADD TO MY SCRAPBOOK AND TO SHOW BOB!   Bob LOVED the photos of this tremendous surprise.   We couldn't believe it!!!!
Tim drove by as I was leaving and said that Dick wanted to surprise us, well...........YOU DID!


We love you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just over 2 months ago...

we didn't know Jim and Jim didn't know us. That all changed when he found us on Angie's List and gave us a call. He was fairly new to the area and therefore didn't have any recommendations or experience with contractors and wanted to finish his basement. Here is an email quote from him on October 9, "By the way, I am really impressed with the level of workmanship and professionalism your team has shown at the house. I looked at the work and it is all top notch."  And followed up with this the next day, "We are very happy with the level of workmanship and professionalism shown by your guys and would like to bring them in a lunch at some point. Will the same guys be here for drywall or is that a new crew?" Well, yesterday he, his wife & mother-in-law brought a pile of pizzas to our shop/office to express his appreciation. It is always great to hear from our customers how much they appreciate our hard-working employees. Thanks Jim!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Entertainment Surround & Bar

We've done many fireplace surrounds with bookcases, mantels, etc. This happens to be one of my favorites (although I have many). Perhaps it's because I love natural wood (especially cherry & walnut), or the balanced asymmetry or maybe just the tremendous transformation this small job had on this lower level family room.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Open House 2012

It was a little chilly, but ended up sunny for our 3rd annual Meyer Brothers & Sons Open House. We are very thankful to all our family, friends, subcontractors, previous & potential clients that came out to make this the biggest one yet! Here are some images that captured the day:

 Dick & Joey's father-in-law
 Rick with his mom
 Vern & Family
 Drew, Jess & Andy
 Bri, Luke, Felicia & Barb

 Great food, thanks Alex!
 Our heating contractor, Joe Sackenheim with his daughter, Greg in the background
 Marty the plumber with his son
 The pregnant wives! Growing the company one baby at a time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Interior Transformation

As our architect, I am involved on the front end of each project with the design, material selections, etc., and I usually don't see the job until it is completed. This one, even though I was involved with all the details throughout and created 3D drawings depicting the final outcome, my jaw dropped when I saw the finished product. And the beauty of this project, like many others, is the combination of the clients style & vision with our experience & expertise. I was reminded how much of a difference removing walls makes, even partial ones, and how using 1 floor material throughout the space really opens things up. Below are some before & after pictures, featuring our custom cabinets in both the kitchen & family room: (scroll to bottom to see clients review on Angie's List)

Here is an excerpt from the review we received from this client, who found us originally using Angie's List:
"Meyer Bros performed a large remodel on our home.  They did everything from drawing up the initial plans to demoing all rooms, floors, walls to removing and moving appliances.  They do most work themselves but sub out plumbing, drywall, floors, HVAC, and tile (their subs have worked with Meyer Bros for 10-20 years -- top notch folks).

Top notch organization -- from start to finish!  They are a family owned business and aside from the subs, everyone is family.  They are extremely easy to work with and make you feel like you're part of the family as well.  Their prices aren't the cheapest in the biz but their work is some of the best.  They are extremely trustworthy and we had no issues with them being in our house for the 2 months it took to do the renovation.  They got their start in carpentry and wood working and it shows.  Their ability to make cabinets and fine trim is absolutely amazing.  They were able to work with us right from the start.  We didn't know exactly what we wanted but their architect was able to work with us and change the drawings several times as we changed our minds.  As the work progressed we reviewed with them every morning what had been done and what was to be done that day.  They were always prompt arriving at 730 sharp every day and working until 5.  If, during the course of the day they had questions, they would call and talk things over with us first.  
Simply put, they are the best contractor we've ever worked with and we will be using them again in the near future (we have several more projects for them).  You absolutely cannot go wrong by employing their services.  They are a wonderful group of folks and their work is outstanding!!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Remodeling your kitchen?

Here is an article I came across and thought it was good advice for people remodeling their kitchen. When we remodel a kitchen, which typically takes 4 weeks, we do all we can to set people up for continued use of some kind of kitchen, for we know what it is like to live without the "heart" of your home, especially for families:

Setting Up a Temporary Kitchen

When good-enough is as good as it gets

Temporary Kitchen

It might be a shell of your actual kitchen, but a temporary kitchen is a must during a remodel.

If you frequently prepare meals in your kitchen, a kitchen remodel will pose you with many culinary conundrums. It will be imperative for you to set up a temporary kitchen, which may not provide you the ability to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for 30 guests, but will at least help you cook an edible meal instead of eating out every day of the week. Here are a few tips for setting up your temporary kitchen:
  • Keep essential items handy: microwave meals and non-perishables like soup; condiments; cereal; microwave-safe dishes and utensils; dishcloths; dishwasher soap; paper plates and cups; coffee; coffee pot and sugar/creamer; paper towels; napkins; and garbage bags.

  • You’ll be without water in the kitchen for a time, so plan to do the dishes in another sink or the bathtub. Or stock up on disposable plates and cups, paper towels and a disinfectant cleanser.

  • Move your old refrigerator or a small mini-fridge to a convenient space close to a water source. Add a table with a microwave above and a trash can below.

Obviously, small appliances such as microwaves, toasters or toaster ovens, hot plates, and small electric grills will be immensely helpful in preparing home-cooked meals. Just remember, the area where you set up your temporary kitchen might not be able to support multiple appliances running at the same time, not to mention any other electronic items typically used in that room. You might need to have only one thing plugged in at a time to prevent blown fuses.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Master Bath Designs

I've recently been designing master bathrooms. Two in the same week and they happen to be within a stones throw of each other. They have different needs, sets of constraints and client wants which is evidenced in the unique designs.
Master Bathroom A

Master Bathroom B

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

34 Years Ago Today...

2 young men, with a small but solid foundation of carpentry skills and entrepreneurial spirits...
 decided to leave their current employer and go out on their own.
There skills and spirit have paid off and here is the current company...
which employees a total of 3 brothers, 1 brother-in-law, 5 sons and 2 others that are close enough to being family. Thanks Dick & Joe and may we continue to add to the solid foundation you built in the generations to come.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Little Press

We were interviewed by Angie's List a couple weeks back and it just ran in last Saturday's Home & Garden section in the Cincinnati Enquirer. It gives some good insight into how our industry has evolved with these recent economic times.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Modern Bathroom

It is always a pleasure working with creative people on a project to push the envelope of design and develop fresh ideas. This project is a perfect example. The client also works in the design industry so she came to us with most of the bathroom designed, model in hand, materials listed out and ready to go. From there we built products she couldn't find, designed & built her cabinetry and massaged the design in order to allow her theoretical ideas come to practical life.

 it was easy to fit more modern fixtures into this clean lined, contemporary home
 Our custom cabinetry
 We maintained the existing redwood on the walls and added new
 The client had trouble finding mirrors she wanted, so we used her existing redwood scraps from the demolition of the bathroom and built these one-of-a-kind chrome mounted, swivel mirrors
 View from the tub deck back to the shower/commode area
 Custom cabinetry
 Custom niche
Shower features linear drain, granite seat with stainless steel tubing for support, which matches her cabinet legs & mirror supports

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Angie's List Report

A great way to start off the week: a gleaming report on Angie's List. Not sure if you use or have heard of Angie's List, but it is a online community where the customer pays to have a membership. With that membership comes an expansive list of service providers, "from plumbers to roofers", who other community members have used and have reviewed. The businesses listed on Angie's List, i.e. Meyer Brothers and Sons, have no control over what reviews people post, so it provides a real, honest reflection of client's experiences with the businesses they use. Below is the unsolicited review followed by some pictures of the items the client highlighted:

Page Of Happiness Nominee


Architects & Building Design
Cabinet Making
Carpentry - Woodworking
Remodeling - General
Remodeling - Kitchen & Bathroom
Services Performed: 
* More Weight is given to a report where work has been completed.
Work Completed Date: 
April 09, 2012
Last Modified Date: 
June 05, 2012
Hire Again: 
Approximate Cost: 
Description Of Work: 
To begin with their architect came out and sat down with us for about two hours discussing what we wanted. Sent us by email an estimate and preliminary design. We decided to move forward. He came back out and went through everything in great detail. He measured and checked walls to see exactly how to open up our space. Gave us starting date and were their on time every day. We gutted our kitchen. They tore out tile in our living room and den. We had all new natural cherry hardwood floors. Enlarged doorway from kitchen to dining room. Crown molding in kitchen. New LED recess lighting, new pendant lights and LED strip lighting. Beautiful functional custom cabinetry with pull out drawers, hidden spice racks, lazy susan organizer and cookie sheet organizers. They moved our not so old dishwasher and range to basement and hooked them up. We needed cabinet to go in where they took two out. They even came up with a reasonable option for that. Also made cabinet for liquor and glasses in our dining room. Did granite counter tops and tle backsplash. We were told the project would take six to eight weeks. It took 5 weeks. They kept us informed of schedule at all times. They cleaned up the mess every night.
Member Comments: 
It went GREAT! They were very respectful of our house. We were kept informed of schedule. They cleaned up every night. Showed up when they said they would and worked full days. It was suppose to take 6 to 8 weeks but only took 5 weeks.My new kitchen is awesome. They also kept me informed of pricing. I was below budget with tile, granite and faucets. We did not include appliances in their estimate but they told us to try Pâté Appliance. They gave us a nice package deal. If you are looking for a honest, hard working, good design builder, I would highly recommend Meyer Brothers and Sons. The price included design, total kitchen remodel, powder room updates with custom cabinetry and vessel sink, custom cabinetry in dining room and hardwood floors throughout our first floor except for family room, moving old appliances to basement and making cabinet for basement.