I’ve been asked to write a monthly column for the Observer-Eccentric newspapers. Here’s a link to the first one. If you have any questions about remodeling homes that you’d like me to address in future columns, post them in the comments.

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We are looking for an enthusiastic architect or designer with residential architecture experience who loves to help make homeowners’ homes fit who they are. Please see job description below.
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Studio Z Architecture’s work will be on HGTV tomorrow.

We’re celebrating our part in the recent renovation of an Ann Arbor home which will be featured on HGTV’s Urban Oasis tomorrow!

The one-hour Urban Oasis special will air tomorrow (Wednesday, October 5) at 11:00 PM eastern time on HGTV.

The word is out! I am excited to share the news that Studio Z Architecture is the architect for ‪HGTVUrbanOasis‬ 2016. From day one, the project has been a rewarding and successful collaboration with the entire ‪#‎HGTV‬ team and Maven Development. Stay tuned for more details on the project in the near future!‬

 

One of my projects recently received a grand prize award from VELUX America LLC in a recent VELUX® Why Skylights Photo Contest for creative use of VELUX skylights! You can read all about the project here. The judges liked the fact that I used two skylights in addition to four windows to provide a light-filled space for my client, a local food writer, who takes photos of her tasty creations in the space.

Watch this space – in the future, I’ll link to a video about the project.

I love skylights. They offer a way to add daylight and ventilation to a space.

I’ve been featured on Designer Insights!

I recently visited with a client whose home is under construction. She and her husband and their two young daughters had lived in their home for about 10 years before they contacted me a year ago to begin planning a major renovation to their first floor. They wanted to build an addition to house a new, larger kitchen and eating area and to expand their existing family room by a few feet. The existing kitchen and laundry/mud room would be used to create a new mud room, a bathroom with large shower, and a dedicated laundry room. Finally, they wanted to change their existing formal dining room into a first floor bedroom in case an ailing parent needed to move in with them.

Their design goals meant that almost every square inch of the first floor of their home would be torn up. The only room that would be left untouched was their living room. Luckily my clients were happy with the second floor of their home, which contains 3 bedrooms and two full bathrooms, so other than a change to a bedroom window to accommodate the roof over the addition and some new insulation, the upstairs would be mostly left alone.

Many clients choose to move out during the construction of such a major addition/renovation project. Moving out often means that the project can progress more quickly because the contractor doesn’t have to clean up so carefully at the end of each workday. Whether to move out during construction is often a difficult decision, though, because most people decide to renovate their existing home rather than move to a new home because they love their existing location or neighborhood. Also, remodeling is so expensive that it’s hard to find the additional thousands of dollars that it might cost to rent a place to live on a short-term basis while the contractors do their work, plus the funds to move their furniture and other essentials back and forth.

On my recent site visit, I was interested to see how my client’s family had adapted to living in one room (click on a photo to enlarge it):

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My client’s temporary kitchen includes cabinets and a countertop from their original kitchen, their old fridge, a hotplate, and a microwave.

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Opposite the temporary kitchen, my clients have a slow cooker that they use frequently.

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The family’s couch faces the fireplace. The children’s craft table is on the right, in front of the sealed archway to the family room.

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The family eats their meals at the round dining table. The room is accessed via the zipper door on the right side of this photo.