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Menampilkan postingan dari 2010

A Coastal Home Grows…Up and Out

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When the White’s bought their first home it was just the two of them, but six years later they were expecting twins. So, they decided they needed help to develop a design to raise the roof and add on.
The original house had about 2,447 sq. ft. of heated area that contained three bedrooms and two baths. One of the bedrooms was used as a home office for Mrs. White and needed to stay that way. They needed two more bedrooms, a dining room, a playroom, powder room, laundry room and new garage.  

 The main living space in the existing house had a grand vaulted ceiling that the owner’s wanted to preserve and their lot didn’t have much room for growing the house out. Oh, then there were the views…the beautiful riverfront views needed to be maintained along with the compact backyard. This project would require some creative solutions.
The solution was to go up and out in the front of the house. The existing den would be expanded and transformed into the new dining room complete with a side passa…

Why Building a Home or Renovation to “Meet Code” spells TROUBLE…

You know they exist, but you’ve probably never seen them. I am not referring to the rare Orange Billed Nightingale-Thrush, I am referring to the International Residential Code. The 2006 IRC for One and Two-Family Dwellings is the gospel of the residential building industry in South Carolina. Even if you have undertaken a residential building project or hired a contractor to build an addition or renovation for you, you have most likely not read the entire 611 page document and you probably know very little about what is in there. That’s not the scary part though. The scary part is that your contractor has probably not ever read the code either, and even if they have and even if they have followed it to the letter, your project still may not contain the level of quality you expect.


The codes are designed to provide a minimum level of protection and safety. They are not designed to increase your property value, improve your home’s character and function, or guarantee that your addition w…

Keys to Making a House a Home..Part II

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Bedrooms: Bedrooms play an important role in the family dynamic. Typically, the largest bedroom with the most closet space and closest proximity to its own bathroom is reserved for the “master” or “masters” of the house. This makes sense after all, because if you pay the bills you should get the most comfortable room. If you have let your child or children take over the “master” bedroom, you may want to reconsider this decision and reassert your authority lest they grow up and think they deserve the boss’ office without having earned it.


One of the most common trends in new home design it to make the kid's rooms relatively equal in size with comparable closet space and equal access to a private or semi-private bathroom. While I have yet to find a study which proves that sharing a bedroom or bathroom with a sibling is harmful, many parents are opting to eliminate a common source of frustration amongst their children and put an end to the fight over who gets the bigger bedroom. Havi…

Keys to Making a House a Home...

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Think about it, our homes have evolved hand in hand with our culture. As a migratory species our homes were mobile and temporary. Once we became settlers, they became more permanent too. The size was dictated by our available resources and their design was a reflection of how our families functioned. Families began to labor less and recreate more. Homes began to have spaces dedicated to our leisure rather than our need.



The average house size in 1950 was 1,000 square feet, while the average house size in 2000 had doubled to 2,070 square feet. Likewise, the divorce rate inflated along with the size of homes, quadrupling from the years 1950 to 2000. Is there a connection? Would life be perfect if we all downsized? No, our homes are not solely to blame for the ills of society, but when expertly designed they can help to foster a strong sense of family and encourage neighbors to support one another. Our homes can help or hinder our quality of life. In my opinion, these are some of the elem…

Taking Advantage of a Buyer’s Market Without Getting Taken Advantage of …

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The news is bleak, the statistics grim; yet all the reports seem to offer a ray of hope summarized in the oft repeated phrase, “Buyers Market”. We are inundated with rebates, incentives, price reductions, reward points, and tax credits. Building material costs have dropped in some areas and contractors are hungry for work. Whereas, two years ago you couldn’t find a contractor willing to return your call about renovating your powder room, now there are four contractors on your door step competing for the opportunity just to talk to you. What could better, right?  Wrong.
While it is true that building and construction prices are more competitive, it is also true that many builders and contractors need to make more money off each project because there are fewer of them. Herein lies the problem. The residential building and design market has become flooded with contractors and designers that have been laid off from their commercial jobs and are picking up residential projects to help them…

Before & After...a 1980's Kitchen gets a makeover

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This is what we started with…

The existing kitchen was a typical 1980’s eat-in style. The breakfast table was at one end with the cabinetry and appliances at the opposite end. The refrigerator and pantry closet were located on the wall between the kitchen and den. There was a standard size door opening between the den and kitchen. The appliances included the original wall oven with microwave above, cooktop, hood, dishwasher, and a standard sized side-by-side refrigerator. The countertops were plastic laminate with a standard 4” integrated backsplash. The cabinets were site-built and had been painted white over the original dark stain. The flooring was the original sheet vinyl and the walls and ceiling were painted sheetrock. Lighting was also original to the house and was very dated with the large wood framed fluorescent and white and brass chandelier.


This was the problem…

The main task was to design a solution that would provide the most improvement for the least amount of money.  The …

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

You bought a charming home on the edge of the historic district and you fell in love with its character and spirit. It was wonderful when it was just the two of you, but now that you have kids your priorities have shifted. Now you worry about the lead based paint, steep stairs, small bedrooms, and tiny bathroom. Should you stay or should you go?

Perhaps your kids are getting older and that bonus room over the garage was fine for elementary age kids, but now that they are maturing and the bonus room is right next to their bedrooms you’re not sure it’s the best place for them to hang out. You want your kids to have a place to bring their friends with some privacy, but not too much. Should you stay or should you go?

Your father passed away three years ago and your mom really could use some extra care, but your guest bedroom is on the upper level of your house and there isn’t enough space for you and your spouse to move to one of the upstairs bedrooms. You don’t want her to go into full-tim…

What Do I Know Anyway?

I figure a good place to start this thing is at the relative beginning. I wanted to be an architect for as long as I can remember. My dad was an engineer and my mom was an artisan...architecture seemed to be an ideal fit. I attended the college of Architecture at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. The studio is where we lived while we learned the creative process of design. The lights in the studio were never turned off and the doors were never locked, because you can't put a limit on creativity and we artistic types are known for our inability to stop once we get going. It was a great experience and helped shape and tone my creative muscles.

During my senior year I interned with a local architecture firm and they hired me on full-time when I graduated. That is when the real education began. Deadlines, building codes, corporate presentations, sections, details, finishes, budgets, and on and on. I worked on exciting projects like school buildings, churches, assisted living facilitie…