PR August 2006

August 16, 2010


Have you ever been amazed by people who seem to accomplish so much in business yet still find time for family and give their time, talent and treasure to help others? These types of people have made such a positive impression in my life. I ask myself, "How do they do it with such confidence and at the same time be so genuine and caring?" You can just tell they are the real thing and...

Reviewing your internal systems to increase efficiency or reduce costs is something you should always be doing. With the housing market experiencing a period of adjustment because of rising interest rates, materials costs and other factors, now is the perfect time to re-examine everything you do to see if there are any areas where you can save money without sacrificing quality.

Full-service remodelers can have their time nickel-and-dimed with a flurry of little projects. That makes it important to take advantage of the big projects that come along such as a basement remodel. Well-constructed basements have characteristics that make them suitable for daily living space.

As Rick Pratt sat in an auditorium for his daughter's graduation from Syracuse University in May 2005, strains of pomp and circumstance filling the room with inspiration and hope, he had an epiphany. If he sold his business, Classic Homeworks, which he had spent 20 years growing into one of metropolitan Denver's most successful design/build firms, he wouldn't be giving up on anything.

Some designers would be inclined to view a kitchen renovation project in which the square footage remains static and all the existing floors, doors and windows are maintained as a mere pull-and-replace project that stilts or confines their creativity. But Amanda Johnson, project designer with Atlanta-based Small Carpenters at Large Inc.

One improvement sparked ideas for another. Once HartmanBaldwin, a design-build company in Claremont, Calif., had gutted and remodeled the kitchen and master suite, the family room cried for a makeover. Next came the bathrooms. After two years, project architect Hudson Pruitt and project manager Troy Coats had transformed the entire interior of the Upland, Calif.

New home builders may be concerned about rising interest rates and slow home sales, but remodelers can still breathe easy knowing that the bottom won't drop out of their business in the very near future. So say experts at the Home Improvement Research Institute, which is predicting growth near 2005 levels for the rest of 2006.

Whether you use an in-house architect, outside source or home designer, there are benefits and problems. This month's discussion deals with the good, bad and ugly of those different options. Jud: We're talking about the pros and cons of using an in-house architect. Chris, do you have an in-house architect? Chris: No we don't — we're a design/build firm.

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