Know Thyself: free questionnaire

March 24th, 2010 by Mary Schmelzer

We’ve put a free questionnaire on our site as a preliminary project tool for home owners. It’s called, “Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Residential Project.” There are three sections: the wishes, the reality, and the difficult questions. We encourage everyone who will be involved with the home to review these and discuss them. It will help you narrow down your desires and give you homework to do on topics you may not have considered. Home construction, whether remodeling or new, and design work can take considerable resources of time and money so you want to be as prepared as you can. We will gladly help you find some of the answers, and we’ll ask you more.

Read it over and contact us to help you wade through the decisions you need to make.

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An April Shower

March 19th, 2010 by Mary Schmelzer

Shower being tiled

Above is a custom shower that will see its first moisture in April. The homeowners opted to have a large custom shower in the master bath instead of a tub and separate shower or shower/tub combination. We are seeing this as a trend. If you aren’t a bath person, why not put the space and cost into a shower you love?

Several things are unique about this one: it has two seats, it is built at an angle and the whole front is glass. The front being glass makes the whole bathroom feel larger because it allows your eyes to stretch beyond the front and into the depths of the shower itself. The bathroom isn’t huge, so gaining visual space makes it feel more grand.

We are working closely with the tile installer as he places the unique patterning of the tile. The tile isn’t high-end, but the angles, the decorative band and the peaked niche really set it off. This is part of our “construction administration” service: working closely with the craftspeople to make sure it all works out on site and address any questions or concerns as the project is being installed. Every little corner can’t be anticipated, and often two heads are better than one–thinking out a good solution for tricky areas.

You may be thinking, why is it red? That is the waterproofing substance under the tile. We work very hard in designing and specifying products for the shower that will keep it from leaking. Our installers understand their trade and what makes for a waterproof project. Once the tile is in, it becomes very costly to remedy a leaky shower, not to mention the damage it can cause. Do not skimp here: expensive tile isn’t what keeps the water in; it’s the materials and labor that get covered up. It is worth having the up-front work done well.

Check back for upcoming photos of the whole bathroom as it comes to completion. This shower is part of a master suite remodel with many nice features for its owners: lighted ceiling, custom cabinetry and separate dressing rooms. Let us know if we can help you update your bathroom or provide you a master suite.

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In Progress: Residential Design

March 15th, 2010 by Peter Schmelzer

Here’s a quick update on the work we’re currently doing in the office.

Whole House Remodel on a lake near New Prague: Planning to add bedrooms, remodel the great room, expand the deck, give the house a new exterior image, improve insulation levels for energy efficiency, enhance the heating system with radiant floors, and relocate the garage for a more pleasing approach sequence. This is a master plan to be built in phases in few years.

Kitchen Addition and Remodeling near Cannon Falls: Expand the dining room and kitchen to better suit the owners desires, provide a place for family activities (making music, building muscles, and preserving farm produce,) re-side the exterior, and provide better views.

Master Suite Remodeling in Northfield: Without changing the footprint, provide an upscale master suite with his and hers dressing rooms and an updated master bathroom. Construction completion will be in early April 2010.

Historic Home Interior Master Planning in Northfield: Provide a modern kitchen, improve traffic flow, and open up views within the home.

Energy Efficient Cottage near Lengby: Design a new cottage for a lakeside lot, focusing on keeping it small, functional, and full of character. Construction in fall 2010.

New Lake Home near New Prague: Four bedroom, three bath walk-out for an experienced builder planning a home for his family. Construction in fall 2010.

New Custom Residence near Rochester: one-level living for a newly retired couple with grandkids, featuring structural insulated panels and insulated concrete form foundations. Bids are in and construction will begin in mid- to late-April, when road restrictions are lifted.

This is fairly standard for our office, a variety of larger and smaller projects, all focused on the needs and goals of our clientele. Some nearing completion, others starting design. We find each project to be unique in its pace, requirements and resolution. The variety is delightful and stimulating.

We welcome your call to help you into your new space.

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Thanks for visiting us at the Show!

March 3rd, 2010 by Peter Schmelzer

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show!

We enjoyed meeting you, learning about your projects, and showing off our portfolio. Your interest in our work was both appreciated and energizing! We are currently following up with people who left their names with us, so check your e-mail and voice messages!

Attendance seemed strong and optimism seemed healthy at our booth; perhaps this is a sign of a larger trend in the economy!

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