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Articles: Project Planning

Remodel Design
Designing a remodel for your dream kitchen ...
Over the 30 plus years of remodeling kitchens and baths, I’ve learned how to work with home owners' plans, ideas, and dreams for a new look, a new room, or complete home remodel .

Most of the time, homeowners ask me to do the design work, but sometimes they have plans for me to work with. Whether you have your own designs, or have designs from an architect and designer, or whether you use my design skills – I will need a design plan before I can begin any project.

Design Process
I start with the homeowner’s preliminary sketches, plans or drawings. If I am doing a kitchen design, I ensure the project will result in a good working triangle.

That is a three point position of the sink to the refrigerator, to the range – cook top and oven – location. It has to be pleasing to the eye and functionally efficient allowing the homeowner the pleasure and ease of moving about in the kitchen.

You may choose sinks made from cast iron, copper, stainless steel, solid surface, or composite.

Depending on the homeowner’s budget – I then take into account whether any cabinet to be installed will be custom made– or prefabricated. The type of cabinet wood and finish is important to the final motif.

Of course to ensure the most eye catching design, I give careful attention to counter tops, materials color and edge detail for the backsplash design and appliances.

With a choice of cabinets, I then consider the type of flooring look and feel. The homeowner chooses from wood, porcelain of ceramic tile, travertine, stone, vinyl or laminate.

With the overall motif now developed, I now add accessories to the final design. This may include roll-out-trays, lazy Susan cabinets, under-cabinet lighting, soft-close drawers and doors, and other accessories to meet your needs.

You now have an idea of how I design your remodel. Of course other rooms in the home are not nearly as complex. However, I apply the same conscientious design effort to all projects.

If you’re ready to get started, give me call, or send me note with a brief description of your project. We can go from there.



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Architects
When should I use an architect?
You’ve decided to remodel your home, or add a second story. Or perhaps, you simply want to extend your living room. While you can draw your plans on a napkin – that’ll get you started – but it isn’t going to get the job done.

Undoubtedly – someone has suggested an architect. But why? Isn’t a contractor or designer sufficient? Don’t I just need someone to draw up my designs and give it to a contractor?

Well you could …. But then you may be spending way more than you would’ve if you started with an architect.

Here’s what I mean. I was asked to do an estimate. When I was at the home, I noticed a few things, and asked if I could get into the attic. The owner sad “It’s fine, the designer checked it out.” Well, after a brief conversation, I found out the designer did not actually go into the attic. So finally the owner allowed me up. That was a good call.

I found a number of deficiencies. “You can’t do what you want to do because the support beams are not there to support the remodel,” I informed the owner, and then recommended an architect.

You see, an architect isn’t just someone who draws plans, or creates fancy designs. They are trained in structural engineering. After 5 years of undergraduate studies and a few more years interning – they are then able to take the tough exams offered by the state. So while they may be artistic, and can draw nicely laid out design plans – they do so with the integrity of the structure that back up those plans.

The architect creates a design concept to meet your needs and requirements. They will meet with you to get an understanding of all your needs. No matter how trivial they may seem to you, it is important for the overall project. Once the architect has all the requirements and nuances of the project – he, or she, will assimilate the information into a brief, which is basic to producing a plan meeting your needs. In essence – it is a plan to guide the creation of the design concept.

With all the regulations and safety standards needed to withstand or mitigate fire, flood, or earthquake damage – it is well worth hiring an architect for your project.

At DR Construction, we work with a number of architects. Just give us a call and we will put you in touch with a few architects from which you may choose the one closest to your budget you can afford and with whom you are comfortable.



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Energy Savings
Going Green? Solar Tax Credits, Solar Hot Water

Saving energy is good for the environment …. Saving energy is good for your pocket book.

As you begin to think about your remodeling project, why not consider investing in the environment? The US Department of Energy is continuing to offer credit on installation of solar energy.

The policy was set up by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which offered federal tax credit for residential energy property and was intended for solar – electric systems, solar water heating systems and fuel cells.

Here are a few bullets from the DOE:

Solar – electric property
  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.

  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2016.

  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.

Solar water – heating property
  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.

  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2016.

  • Equipment must be certified for performance by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC) or a comparable entity endorsed by the government of the state in which the property is installed.

  • At least half the energy used to heat the dwelling's water must be from solar in order for the solar water – heating property expenditures to be eligible.

  • The tax credit does not apply to solar water – heating property for swimming pools or hot tubs.

  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.
Read more ...


Solar Water Heating
You can also save on your gas bill by reducing your water heating expense.

Solar water heaters – also called solar domestic hot water systems – can be a cost effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use – sunshine – is free.

There are two types of solar water heating systems.

Direct circulation system pumps circulate household water through collectors and then into the home. They work well in climates where it rarely freezes.

And – Indirect circulation systems pumps circulate a non – freezing, heat-transfer fluid through collectors and a heat exchanger. This heats the water that then flows into the home. They are popular in climates prone to freezing temperatures.


Read more ….


At DR Construction, we will make the best recommendation for your needs. Ask about our creative financing for solar energy and for solar heated water systems.



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