How Do I Budget my Remodel?

Most homeowners who contact an architect first are going into their project headfirst. Always establish a budget and stand by it. There are times that the money is not sufficient to the scope of work. It is better to know that before the drawings are completed and a builder prices the work and gives you the bad news. Architects don’t refund for overdraws. Get your builder involved at the design phase to make certain that your design phase does not end in disappointment and hard feelings...]

The DIY Trap – Owners Build Their Own

My engineer, Richard, and I sat at the Starbucks at Parmer and MoPac in Austin. I sipped a cappuccino and he his hot cocoa. We had just rolled up two sets of blueprints we were studying for upcoming projects. Our small talk eventually turned to our latest projects and interesting encounters we had experienced dealing with the new crop of neophyte builders filling the local markets. [...]

Installing Replacement Windows in Brick or Stone

What I am about to share with you is probably the most controversial topic in home renovation today. I am going to address the topic of replacement window installation in masonry veneer homes. If your windows were not installed from the inside of your home, behind the masonry veneer, they were not installed properly. Your windows will not stand up to the elements, nor will they provide the performance you paid dearly for. With the average replacement window installation running between $2500 and $3500 per window, you don’t want to face costly repairs in as few as five years. ...]

Is Remodeling Really that Technical?

Why do we Believe we can Manage our own Renovation Project?

I'd like to talk to you about how technical remodeling is. Yeah, it's pretty technical. You have to know certain things to do it. I'm going to point out something about the construction of your home and the process that goes into building it and remodeling it that you may not have thought about before. It's funny because I find that many of the people I talk to; I go to trade shows and I give talks; and I spend a lot of time talking to folks who are either in the middle of a remodel and they have questions or need some guidance, or somebody who's trying to decide if this is what he or she should do...]

When Should I Remodel my Home?

Let’s talk about whether you should renovate or not. Let’s talk about design for that renovation. As homeowners, we live in a house for several years; sometimes it’s as little as a year; sometimes we spend our entire lives there. I do a lot of work in the remodeling business where somebody buys a property and they say, ‘We just want to make a couple of changes to make it perfect for us.’ I would advise you to be patient during your house hunting process and settle for nothing less than what suites you completely...]

Does an Itemized Proposal Save you Money?

As an Austin Builder I interact with many clients. Each has his or her preferred way to do business. A client asked me, recently, if I itemize my proposals. I replied that the proposals I submit are comprehensive and extremely detailed. A few days later he sent me an email with an attached itemization chart. He indicated that the attached document contained the format he desired for my proposal. Was he acting in his best interest? Perhaps. ...]