Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Front Door and Porch

It's amazing how a simple addition of a structure and front door can change the entire look of a home...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Collaborative Master Bath Remodel

This is when I love my job: when I get to work with a very kind & creative family where we collaborate as a team in both design & finish selection which all parties involved are thrilled with both the PROCESS and the OUTCOME. Here are some pictures and also the clients review on Angie's List:
Material palette
Angle's List Review

"HUGE success!  The Meyer crew's patience, attention to detail, emphasis on quality, and flexibility throughout the project made what could have/SHOULD have been a very painful process a very enjoyable one.    I loved that they were willing to listen to our ideas and help us balance the design side of things with the functional side (but never in a condescending way and always with the perspective that they would and could do it however we wanted).  I loved that they communicated with us throughout the project regarding schedule, who would be arriving next and when to expect them, and regarding changes to the budget as we made changes to the project.  I loved that they cleaned up at the end of each day so that, although we were living in a work zone, it didn't feel quite as much like one at night.  I loved that they really know all of their subs and that they worked with the same standards and professionalism that the Meyer crew does.  I loved that when the inevitable small things came up that needed a second look or a touch-up, etc., they didn't hesitate to make it right.    If only they did all of this great stuff for free, I PROMISE you we would have them working at our household everyday to implement the many ideas we have for our home.  But, rest assured, we feel every dollar spent on this project was a dollar well spent.    We highly recommend Meyer Brothers & Sons and are looking forward to our next project with them."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Custom Home, Lasting Impressions

Any building or remodeling project can be challenging, especially a custom home. Here is proof, however, that the right contractor partnered with the right client can not only survive the construction process, but thrive through it and end with a close personal bond:
We have moved into our new home and love it!  The great patio view, the openness and flow inside the home make this house so very comfortable.  This house is well constructed and looks fabulous.  

We wanted to write this note of thanks to you and your team. Too often in our world, people are quick to criticize and to find the negative side of people and things. Compliments and commendations of good work are not given as often as they should be to good people. Good thoughts and comments bolster the soul and keep people working hard and effectively.....someone notices a job well done and says so.  It is important to Bob and to me that we recognize the good work done by you and your staff and to tell you so in writing!   We thought it was well worth our time to compose a thoughtful and sincere letter to you.

Dick, it was a real pleasure to work with you and your guys.  From the first day we met, we liked everyone working at and for Meyer Brothers and Sons.  We found them to be skilled and hard working.  They were also outgoing, friendly, and helped us feel comfortable and welcome on the construction site.  We will never forget you, Jarl, Greg, Luke, Drew, Rick, Jerry, the rooftop Christmas tree, the Angel on the door, and the bouquet of flowers.  It was important to us to have a positive relationship with our builder and his team and we did!  Some good natured teasing and bantering took place among all of us too.   This made for a good work atmosphere and one in which Bob and I appreciated and enjoyed.   We always felt comfortable asking any member of your team a question or to ask for an explanation.  No one talked down to us or disrespected us.
Building a new home requires a huge team of talented individuals. Meyer Brothers and Sons has just that, a knowledgeable and skilled group of dedicated men. It was clear to us from the beginning that these men liked and respected you and each other.
Everyone provided us with top quality workmanship and behaved professionally on the job site. You kept the project on schedule as best you could and provided us with a quality built home.  Thank you. It was also good to have calm and direct conversations with you about a variety of topics.  We appreciated the fact that you did not shy away from or ignore difficult, but necessary conversations.  It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it was huge and important.  We were fortunate to have your company build our home.  We both feel that we have not only developed a strong professional relationship with you and your team, but a strong personal bond that will continue.  
We are glad our paths have crossed.  Thanks again.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Custom Vanities From Owners Wood

A client came to us with some ideas for vanities and a pile of rough sawn, barn dried wood...and we got excited. It is a great pleasure to be able to take a clients own wood, work it down to it's finish size, then build custom cabinetry that embodies personal meaning, creating a unique, one of a kind piece of furniture.
The wood the owner brought to our shop: walnut, cherry & ash

Planing down to finish thickness

Routing the mortise and tenon rails and stiles

Aligning grain in rails and stiles

Mortise and tenon detail

Face-frame construction

Fastening face-frame to cabinet box

The finished product with (2) coats of a clear conversion varnish

Dovetailed walnut drawers, 3/4" walnut interior plywood boxes

Dovetailed ash drawers, 3/4" cherry interior plywood boxes

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kitchen Remodel With Custom Handmade Cabinets Transforms Ranch

This '80's ranch was the ideal blank canvas for an open & beautiful kitchen transformation. See before and after photos below, as well as what the client had to say about the process & product on Angie's List:
before/after 1

before/after 2

before/after 1

Review Date: April 07, 2013
"First of all I want to say that I had personally seen the quality of work that Meyer Bros. & Sons performed.  At that time, I was hoping that one day I would be able to hire them to do a major project for me.
It all started with a visit from their architect.  He listened to my ideas and then gave some options and direction for coming up with a final plan.  After that I was was given a quote for the major work along with optional items that I could select to compliment the design and function.  I decided on going with their higher end product line (cabinetry), a decision I am more than pleased with.  The entire remodel progressed on schedule and finished on time.  Everyone on the Meyer team was professional, prompt, courteous, friendly and dependable.  Any minor bumps in the road were quickly smoothed out.  
After visiting this years Home and Garden show, no one compares to the superior quality of Meyer Brothers & Sons product.  Their craftsmanship was unmatched.  I firmly believe you get what you pay for and I glad that I used Meyer Bros. & Sons.
Overall this was a most wonderful experience and I absolutely love my kitchen.  As far as I am concerned my kitchen is the best kitchen ever!  I can't think of any company I recommend any more highly that Meyer Brothers & Sons.

Monday, April 8, 2013

"6 Must-Know Lessons From a Serial Renovator"

These lessons seems to good not to share:
(excerpt from an article written by Bud Dietrich, as published on http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/9162941/list?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u257&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery11)

"1. When it comes to size, use the Goldilocks rule.
With all the talk about houses that are too big and the trend toward small, what's sometimes lost is the notion of the right-size house.
Rightsizing is just that: making a place that fits you and your needs without excess or its opposite. So, unless you own a catering company, a kitchen that allows for plenty of counter space while avoiding the need to be on roller skates to get from sink to stove to refrigerator is an example of rightsizing.

2. Yes, details do matter.
With all the talk about houses that are too big and the trend toward small, what's sometimes lost is the notion of the right-size house.
Rightsizing is just that: making a place that fits you and your needs without excess or its opposite. So, unless you own a catering company, a kitchen that allows for plenty of counter space while avoiding the need to be on roller skates to get from sink to stove to refrigerator is an example of rightsizing.

3. Avoid saying, "While we're at it, we might as well ... "
Often the trick to managing a renovation project is knowing when to say when. It's really easy to go beyond what you initially thought would be the project, because everything in a house is so interconnected. But unless you have the funds and the desire to tackle the whole house at once, take it in stages. But first make sure you have a game plan, so you know what the end result will be.

4. Understand that the hip bone is connected to the leg bone.
Sometimes tackling the whole house is unavoidable. It just makes a lot of sense to bring everything up to current standards. This is especially true for historic and older homes. And improvements to heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, roofing and structural systems just might be necessary before tackling the fun stuff anyway. It makes no sense to have that dream kitchen if you can't keep the house warm in winter.

5. Make decisions early and often.
You can never plan too much when it comes to a renovation. It doesn't matter if the project is to be done all at once or over several years.
Think of the project as an excursion. Sure, you can just land in a foreign country and figure it out as you go, but chances are you'd have a better time at a lower cost if you plan your trip beforehand. The same applies to a home renovation. You'll definitely have a better experience by making decisions early and not changing things in the midst of construction.

6. Keep your sense of humor.
Everyone considering a home renovation should watch The Money Pit first. The dialogue is filled with classic lines, such as "two weeks" as the stock answer to the question about when the project will be finished. Just remember that if it can go wrong, it will go wrong — and that it'll be all right in the end. So do your homework, trust in the professionals you've hired and enjoy the ride."

Monday, March 4, 2013

Great Kitchen Remodeling Advice

Thinking of remodeling your kitchen? As a professional in the industry, this seems to be wise counsel. Check out this article I came across on Houzz: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1198907/list/Homeowner-s-Workbook--How-to-Remodel-Your-Kitchen

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Virtual Landscape Master Plan

There seems to be a growing demand for 3 dimensional design drawings in order to help homeowners seeking to remodel gain ideas and vision for their potential project. This client has what she refers to as a dated '70's backyard and desires many updates, which include a screened-in porch, relocating her hot tub, new stamped concrete pool surround and landscaping. These drawings were created all via remote communication. From Google Maps I was able to obtain aerial images, from the auditors website a building footprint and the client sent me dimensions and site pictures. In order to gain her design sense, she created an idea book on Houzz containing several images that appealed to her. With this information, the following design was created:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Will I recoup my remodeling cost?

That is a very frequent question I get when potential clients are contemplating remodeling there home. I typically recommend considering cost vs. value but also encourage people to think more personally about their remodel. Do you plan on staying in your home indefinitely  Have you been waiting a long time to do this remodel? Once it is complete, will this be the home you plan on spending the rest of your days in? 
If you answered yes to any or all of these, I would highly recommend weighing your personal desires equally or greater than cost vs resale value data. Only you can answer the personal questions, and here is a resource that can help guide with the statistical data as compiled in the Remodeling 2012–13 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Taking Our Finishes to New Heights

While we have a wide range of services we offer, custom kitchens & cabinetry have pushed the finish envelope. People often come to us with pictures or ideas and I see it as my job and service to our clients to provide them with what they are looking for, even if it is something we haven't done before. There is often an initial learning curve, as showcased in the kitchen below, but the end result is worth the work. And let's face it, if we claim to be a custom shop, we really want to mean it, providing truly customized design & finishing options. This kitchen is an example of a dual-finish, custom, hand-built kitchen with an espresso stain on select quartersawn cherry complimented with high gloss white cabinets. The doors are acrylic, and in order to match the depth & sheen of the acrylic on wood, we used a Euro-build finish. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

"How new home trends can apply to remodeling existing homes"

I came across this article in the local paper and thought it to be very informative to both me as an architect and you as potential clients: 
(ARA) - A significant shift in consumer preference in new home purchases is the latest by-product of the still-struggling economy. The residential construction market is shrinking and so are houses.
Homebuilders expect newly constructed single-family homes to average just 2,150 square feet by 2015. That's 10 percent smaller than previously, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which conducted the survey.
To maintain this compact size, luxuries will be out and practicality will be in. Formal living rooms are going by the wayside, NAHB says, making way for smarter, multi-function layouts. What we'll see more of: eat-in kitchens that eliminate the need for a separate dining room; and great rooms that can accommodate entertainment as well as office space.
Homeowners looking to remodel existing homes - that they will someday put up for sale - would be wise to pay attention to these new home construction trends, which signal what the competition will look like down the road. Choose the right improvements today, and you may be better positioned to sell your home when the economy picks up.
Keep the following tips in mind if you're thinking of investing in an addition or a significant remodel:
* Choose your remodeler with care: Select a professional contractor with experience, knowledge of local codes and a good reputation for quality work, says the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). NARI calls this the single most important step in your project.
* Focus on tried-and-true performance: Remodel to your needs, of course. But before you finalize your decisions, research the improvements that will likely bring you the highest return on your investment. A minor kitchen remodel should return more than 70 percent of its cost at resale, according to the 2010-2011 Remodeling Magazine Cost vs. Value Report. Adding a bathroom pays back more than 53 percent.
* Practicality makes perfect: During the latest housing boom, remodels were all about big and bold. Now there is less emphasis on luxury and appearances-for-appearances-sake. Take advantage of that trend with a focus on practicality in your remodeling project. You'll make your home more competitive at resale, and your dollars will stretch a lot further.
* Multi-function = broader appeal: For today's busy families, efficiency is essential. Can you repurpose an existing room to make life easier? Add a laundry room to save going downstairs? Increase the size of your kitchen, so you can convert the dining room to a guest suite? If you're thinking of creating a family room in the basement, complete the project with a convenient bathroom addition.
Never enough baths
If you've ever waited in frustration for your turn in the bathroom, you know that just about every home could use a spare bath. A macerating toilet system is a great alternative to conventional (gravity) plumbing in situations where no below-floor drainage exists. Macerating, or up-flush, plumbing gives you unlimited flexibility, because there is no need to break through the floors to install drainage piping, which adds substantial cost to the project.
From the attic to the basement, up-flush plumbing lets you create a full bathroom anywhere you like. "It's a pretty good concept," says Otis Dardy, a general contractor and owner of Dardy Construction in Conyers, Ga.
Dardy recently used Saniflo up-flush plumbing for a residential customer's remodel and is now incorporating Saniflo in bids for other jobs. "This saves a lot of time, and it's nice and neat," he says, noting that his bids for the up-flush plumbing are around $5,000 less than their conventional counterparts, thanks to the ease of installation.
In an up-flush system, waste and water are pumped from the toilet, sink, and tub or shower up, rather than flowing down, as with conventional plumbing. This technology is also different from sewage ejection systems, which temporarily store plumbing waste in a nearby tank, which can cause odor problems. With up-flush plumbing, the waste is removed to the sewer line or the septic tank with every flush.
What could be more practical or efficient than an extra bathroom? This is one remodel project guaranteed to improve comfort and convenience in the near-term, while delivering a strong return on investment when your home is sold.