House & Home Selection

OK, we’re cruising around with a real estate agent, checking our potential home locations, the time is tight..so, what factors come into play when we assess the “go , no-go”? Hopefully you’ve already done the school research, commute comparison, tax shudder-dance and you’ve narrowed it down to a target area. The final answer is based […]

Value Engineering- (not a political discussion)

The bids start trickling back and , oh snap, they are too high!. What should we do?  Value Engineer it!…We’re not talking about those good values we learn as little kids. But many clients have that puzzled look when we start the  conversation, so here goes…It’s more than just reducing costs after thumbing through the […]

Appliance Buying Strategy

I love saving my customers money and hassle.  Shopping for their own appliances is no exception. 3 little nuggets: The best advice I can lend is to use Consumer reports-which is what I did here.  Here’s the link www.consumerreports.org When you buy matters most across all brands.Lowest prices for TV’s: July 4th and Black Friday […]

Your guys, my guys, those guys? Who is going to build the project?

After months of design, municipal approvals, and funding questions- we often get to the question “Who is going to build it?” Many customers are convinced they know somebody…because the guy down the street had a good experience with some builder.  Or their brother in-law’s friend is just starting out and eager to gain traction and […]

Avoid these 7 rookie mistakes before you start construction!

As the saying goes, ” Those that fail to plan, plan to fail”.  So it is with the need to prepare before construction begins.  There is no way to go back to a point in time when you should have taken these suggestions to heart- so please consider them as gentle nudges. 1. Do you […]

Low Bidder Blues

For most construction projects,  we send out our drawings and specifications along with a bid form to 4 or 5 builders. The bid form is a chart that helps itemize in line by line format so we can understand the various trades like electrical, plumbing, tile, framing etc. In an effort to remain competitive, many […]

What’s Not Included- and why

Among the most frequent questions that I get asked is ” What other costs should I know about?”.  These are among the most common: Property Surveys- When one builds on a property , there is a need to understand the size of the property and the location of the building or improvement in relation to […]

Thumbnail Construction Budgeting

Among the first questions I get asked during an initial project interview is “What’s this going to cost?”.  My response of course is to find out the following -before answering: How big? How quickly? What level of finish? Where is it located? What is it being used for? Who is building it? Each of these […]

Crack Check?

Where do those pesky building cracks and bulges come from? There are many factors, and combinations of factors. There’s no exact method for determining how serious a crack is without hiring an expert to examine the situation.  Naturally,  you’ll need  to analyze the crack and surrounding area to determine whether it’s a surface blemish or […]

Municipal Boards

When one wants to remodel, build an addition or build new, it will require approvals (i.e. a building permit) from the local municipality, and sometimes county or regional review. The approval process includes submission of applications, fees, drawings and related documentation to explain the project to an agency within the municipality such as a building […]