Skip to content

Your Whole House Plan Part One: A Solid Foundation

You may only be thinking about a quick update to your master bath or basement right now. But have you considered how the choices you are making on this remodel will affect the future plans you may have for your house?

BrownAllen_1957_Exterior_A_2_P_Pro

Creating a whole house plan will ensure that each step you take to improve your home will be thoughtfully considered and efficiently executed with the needs of future projects in mind. This will save time, prevent costly re-dos and offer the peace of mind that each improvement you make will dovetail seamlessly with the projects before and after it.

In this three part series, we’ll break it down step by step to offer what questions to consider and which best practices to keep in mind for each phase of your plan to ensure a result you’ll be happy with for the lifetime of your home.

Part One: Creating a Solid Foundation for your Whole House Plan

1. Identify Your Goals

Hardison_1902_Exterior_Phase1_A_2_Pro
Before you spend any money on your home, it will be important to consider carefully the following questions:

  • What investment will be right for your home based on its current value?
  • How does your plan fit in with the style and scope of homes in your neighborhood?
  • What kinds of improvements are most appropriate for your stage of life and the life cycle of your family? Some remodeling projects recoup nearly 100% of their cost in increased home value- others may not but may be worth the investment for other reasons.

You’ll also need to keep both your family’s long term and short term needs in mind.
Consider:

  • How will your family’s needs change over the time you plan to be in your home?
  • Will you need to accommodate an aging parent?
  • Make room for your family to grow?
  • Prepare for an empty nest?

2. Assemble Your Team

Assembling the team of professionals you’d like to work with at the beginning will ensure clear communication and avoid unnecessary overlap or conflict between the responsibilities of each professional.

ThiesingVajtai_1936_Exterior_A_

At minimum, you’ll want to identify your:

        • Architectural Design Team
        • Construction Team
        • Interior Decorator
        • Landscape Architect

Keep in mind that each of these teams will have existing relationships with city officials and subcontractors who will also end up being an important part of the decision making process as you develop your plan.

As a design|build company, Arciform offers an integrated design and construction team that will stay with you every step of the way and coordinate all of the other professionals you will need to complete your projects.

3. Develop Your Design

Your whole house plan design will take into consideration any engineering, systems upgrades (like new heating or electrical) and structural changes required to meet your long term goals.

EUGENIS & AMY. CONSTRUCTION SET REVISED. FULL SCALE. 18X24. 2.17.15

It will also develop the design details for each proposed project so that they will fit the architectural style of your home while showcasing your family’s unique tastes and personality. Along the way your design team will help you consider the following questions:

  • What layout changes will make your home function better?
  • What storage needs do you have?
  • What appliance or technology upgrades are you hoping to incorporate?
  • What architectural details will integrate well with your home’s era and style?
  • What mood and design aesthetic would you like the finished spaces to evoke?
  • What colors, shapes, textures and design details would you like to see integrated into the finished project?Every detail of your proposed project that can be selected in advance will save costly delays and change orders later.

4. Deal with the Foundation First

If your goals include updating the seismic bracing, mitigating water infiltration or expanding the head height in your basement, these are all projects that should be tackled prior to any interior renovations. This includes digging out your foundation or lifting your house if necessary.

Hardison_1902_Basement_A_5_P_Pro

Getting your basement completely dry will often also require a look at your rooftop water management systems, your landscaping plan (to be sure water is being directed away from your foundation with appropriate grading) and may include the installation of underground french drains to route groundwater around and away from your home.

5. Update your Mechanical Systems

New furnace or heating systems part of the long term plan for your home?

Hanifan_1920_Basement_Hall_D_ (1)

As un-sexy as these basic mechanical upgrades can be, they can make a huge difference to your comfort in the home. They also require ripping into walls, usually on multiple floors, so it is best to take care of them early before you start any internal renovation projects.

The last thing you want to do is tear into your beautiful new paint job to arrange the installation of a  heating duct.

6. Button Up Your Envelope

After your mechanical systems are updated, its time to consider what energy performance upgrades might be needed in your home.

Guitteau_1929_Exterior_MasterBedrm_D_2_P

Sealing the cracks and air holes that create drafts, adding insulation and installing new windows and doors can all happen prior to any internal renovations.

Thayer Perspective

Next Step: The Fun Part! Planning your Interior Renovations

In the next installment we’ll take it floor by floor to offer insight into which projects to tackle first and what questions to ask as you design your dream kitchen, master suite and basement.

Explore the Arciform Project Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

 

Designer Holiday Gift Guide: Part 4

holidays

For Part 4 of our Holiday Gift Guide, Junior Designer Bianca McKelvy shares her favorites local goods…

Not sure where to start? This is a great way to find local businesses, listed by neighborhood.

Slingshot-400x400

My nephew loves this sling shot that I got him for Christmas last year (his sister not so much). Boys Fort has some fun, unique things.

cloud nine

Cloud 9 Comics has an amazing selection of comic books. My younger brother was in heaven when he visited, and they have their entire selection listed online.

loyly

Löyly Spa has two convenient locations – one in NE and one in SE. I like to go just for the sauna visit which you can buy a sauna visit package for. They also offer a variety of massage and skincare services, as well as gift certificates.

bar ware

Bull In China has nice local made barware for the mixologists in your life and it’s all made in the USA.

vintagesilvernativeturquoisering

Adored Vintage has beautifully curated vintage clothing and jewelry.

paxton gate

Paxton Gate has lots of cool little oddities and pretty minerals.

Next up in Part 5, Designer Jeffrey Kelly and Senior Designer Kristyn Bester share their holiday must-haves.

Missed the first part of our guide? See them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Explore the Arciform Project Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Join Arciform in Giving Back this Season

Decorating the city

Client Services Manager Jeremy Gould invites you to join him in giving back to the community. As a volunteer firefighter he contributes 50 hours a month to keeping families safer. He asked to share a few words with the Arciform community about contributing your time and resources to your community.

Greetings all,

I just wanted to say a little something here as we approach the holiday season. I encourage everybody to find something in your communities where you can donate some of your time for a good cause. It can be anything at all. I think that if all of us humans thought this way and did these things for our communities even just one day a year, the world would be such a better place. For example, my daughter and I choose the Toy and Joy program in Newberg to donate our time to.

Kayla delivering gifts in the chiefs rig

Every year in May we hold a huge pancake feed fundraiser at the fire station and everybody works it for free. All of the money goes to purchasing toys for kids whose families may not be able to afford them. Then, when it gets closer to Christmas, we will go down to the station and wrap the toys to get them ready to deliver. Finally, on the morning of December 24th my daughter and I will commandeer the Chief’s rig, load up the toys, and go hand deliver them to the kids at their homes. We get lots of hugs from moms and grandmas, and lots of smiles from all the kids. Last year Makayla and I delivered about 500 presents. Along the way, we will also secretly be looking to see if they have a Christmas tree or any decorations, and if they don’t we will make arrangements to have them delivered. We’ve even brought groceries to a few families that obviously didn’t have much.

Every year my daughter tells me she definitely wants to do it again next year. It is really quite rewarding to know that you’re bringing so much happiness to these families. My point here is that giving even a little bit of time can have a huge impact on peoples’ lives, and the volunteers gain so much joy and build a sense of community.

We’re so grateful to have the opportunity to give back each year and we would love to hear about the ways you choose to support your community. Share your favorite organizations to support in the comments below to spread the good word about the important work being done on behalf of those in need.

Happy Holidays!

Designer Holiday Gift Guide: Part 3

xmas

In Part 3, Design Department Manager Marty Hegg and Junior Designer Tara Keefner share their favorites and must-haves for this holiday season.

Marty’s Picks

pendleton gloves

These Pendleton gloves are festive and long, to keep forearms warm!

light box

For those who have a hard time with the winter darkness, this cheery and therapeutic light box is great!

sunlan

And maybe a stash of full spectrum bulbs for all of our lamps from our favorite, local light bulb lady, Kay Newell of Sunlan.

star wars rug

For the Star Wars fan with an eye for design, a more refined nod toward the galaxy with this gorgeous wool rug.

conway

Look at this practical and pretty gift: an extension cord with USB ports! The Exto USB by Conway Electric, made in the USA.

kiva

And for the person who does not need or want more things, Kiva provides gifts via loan, domestically and around the world.

Tara’s Picks

porch light shawl

I’m recently obsessed with Porch Light on NW 11th & Everett, thanks to Bianca. Specifically, their alpaca shawls and throws.

kindle

Not local, but I’m really jonseing for a Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve resisted for a long time and still prefer real books, but I’m so out of the habit of reading I’d like to remove my last excuse. Plus the Kindle has WiFi, so if I’m connected I can get a new book almost instantly which is cool!

A trip to the Garage Sale Warehouse in Beaverton. Basically a huge indoor flea market, with new goodies all the time. They have two locations now, and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.

Missed our last posts? See what the team recommends in Part 1 and Part 2!

Explore the Arciform Project Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Designer Holiday Gift Guide: Part 2

Cleveland Flea - Holiday -100 (2)

For part two of our Holiday Gift Guide, Senior Designer Chelly Wentworth shares her favorite items and places to find something special for someone special.

danner

Danner Boots

I’m inspired by the Movie ‘Wild’, and this boot is made in America! With three stores in Portland, this should be an easy one to knock off the list.

Appetite bag

Appetite Ann Shoulder Bag

This beautiful tote is hand-made in Portland with local Pendleton wool that is so pretty and practical.

ombre_nesting_s3_1_large

Pigeon Toe Ceramic Bowls

These bowls are made just down the street from Arciform! Another pretty and practical gift, and the celedon interior just makes me happy.

pdx nursery

Classes at Portland Nursery

It’s about time I became a better gardener! Portland Nursery offers a wide range of useful and informative classes.

cotton throw

Schoolhouse Electric Cotton Throw

I’m allergic to wool so this 100% cotton throw would be sooo cozy. And it’s pretty!

If you missed part one, take a look at suggestions from Junior Designer Anna Foltz and Senior Designer Anne De Wolf.

Part three of our Holiday Gift Guide will feature ideas from Junior Designer Tara Keefner and Design Department Manager Marty Hegg.

Explore the Arciform Project Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Designer Holiday Gift Guide: Part 1

go-forth-creative-simple-wrapping-remodelista

The holidays are here again which means it’s time to start thinking about the special people in your lives. The Arciform Design Team has put together lists of their personal favorites to help you get started and satisfy even the trickiest person.

For part one of our guide Junior Designer Anna Foltz and Senior Designer Anne De Wolf share some of their favorite places shop at and items to buy for the holiday season. Take a look and get inspired to brave the crowds to get the perfect gift for the loved ones on your list.

Anna’s Picks

john fluevog

John Fluevog

Canadian shoe designer, John Fluevog draws inspiration from Victorian fashion and Art Deco design. If these funky men’s and women’s shoes are not draw enough, the SW Stark St. store (really more of a shoe “museum”) is well designed and full of eye (and foot) candy. I have a really hard time going in here because I LITERALLY drool over every pair!

joinery

The Joinery

With a showroom/workshop on SE Woodstock Blvd., The Joinery uses classic woodworking techniques to create beautiful handcrafted furniture in modern and traditional designs. I find it inspiring that they take pains to honor the classic craft of traditional joinery to make a variety of pieces that are both sculptural and functional, while celebrating the inherent properties of the wood. The Joinery strives to use FSC certified and locally sourced wood and the manufacturing facility runs on solar power!

iron oxide designs

Iron Oxide Designs

Amy Fox is a local Portland artist who creates finely crafted handmade jewelry from reclaimed metals and quartz. I love the edginess of the metal patinas with the sparkle of quartz. Shop her unique, yet affordable Iron Oxide Designs online at Etsy or at Altar PDX on SE Hawthorne Blvd.

andy and bax

Andy and Bax

The outdoor enthusiast in your life will LOVE Andy and Bax, on SE Grand Ave. Andy and Bax is a magical wonderland of old-school military surplus, and the finest selection of high-quality camping and rafting gear that you’ve ever seen! You will not find rows of neon-colored high-tech fabrics in this store, but what I most enjoy is the air of WWII nostalgia and superb customer service that make this feel more like your Grandpa’s camp store.

melissa jean made

Melissa Jean Made

This Portland artist uses hand-dyed, natural fibers to make beautiful, vintage-inspired macramé pieces. They are wonderful for hanging plants or just adding some decorative, organic texture to a room. Shop her website here.

Anne’s Picks

pouf

Filling Spaces

Located in NW Portland, this could be the one-stop shop for most of the people on your list! I especially like their poufs, they are the perfect boho-chic addition for your home.

liebeskind

Liebeskind Bags at Ink and Peat

Still a favorite, Ink and Peat offers a wide selection of home goods, jewelry and house plants. My current must-haves include Liebeskind bags, I love them!

That’s it for part one of our Holiday Gift Guide, stay tuned to see what the rest of our Design Team suggests!

 

Explore the Arciform Project Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Multi-Faceted Remodeling for Your Multi-Generational Family

Thayer_1926_Exterior_A_P_ (2)

Design by Kristyn Bester.

Historically, there has always been a visible connection between socioeconomic trends and architectural trends. One such example is the current boom we are seeing in multi-generational living.

With an aging population and sky-rocketing property values, more and more families are opting to live together under the same roof.

Perhaps you have an elderly family member who wants to age in place, or young children who need a play space. Maybe your adult child has moved back home and needs an apartment-style living space. It may even be that all of these things are true!
It can certainly be a challenge. You want to stay in the home you know and love, but it needs to evolve with the changing needs of your family.

Here are some remodel ideas that will allow kids, parents and grandparents to enjoy the benefits of living together, while still maintaining privacy and independence.

Thayer_1926_Bedrm_A_P_ (2)

Design by Kristyn Bester.

Thayer_1926_Bedrm_A_P_ (1)

Design by Kristyn Bester.

A master bedroom suite can provide a private sanctuary from the rest of the world. Here, we used a soft, neutral color palette and maximized daylight access, enhancing the feel of calm and serenity.

KitzisStrasfeld_1909_FamilyRm_A_2_P

Design by Anne De Wolf.

With the right design, your basement can be converted to an inviting play space for the kids, or serve as an additional informal family room. Here, we used full-height built-ins to maximize storage for toys and games, allowing for a spacious play area. The stainless steel wainscoting enhances the aesthetic of a modern industrial loft, while doubling as a wall protector when the family wants to play indoor soccer!

When people of different ages and abilities are living together, it is very important to have adaptable design features that can enhance the safety and comfort of everyone in the house.

HirschShimizu_1926_Bathrm1_A_1_P_Pro (24)

Design by Anne De Wolf.

This bathroom shows that you do not have to compromise style in order to have a functional, adaptable space. A European-style curbless shower is a great solution for an elderly family member or any person who has balance or mobility challenges. The teak fold-down seat and adjustable hand-held shower head are elegant and stylish, while allowing for maximum end-user control.

Grab bars are also a great safety feature for shower and wet areas.

JapelSiggelkow_1925_Bathrm_A_3_P

Design by Kristyn Bester.

When more people are living in a space, finishes often need to be cleaned and maintained more frequently, due to heavy use. There are many wonderful finish options that are as beautiful as they are durable.

Tired of scrubbing and sealing the tile and grout in your bathroom? Corian (seen in the shower surround above) is a durable solid surface material that provides a contemporary, easy-to-clean finish for your shower surround or countertop.

Schaefer_1937_Basement_CraftRoom_A_P_Pro (2)

Design by Anne De Wolf.

When it comes to quality of life, it’s the little things that count. When you are starting to think about a remodel, be sure to consider all of the various activities that you and your family engage in. How can your home support your unique hobbies and pastimes?

In this basement conversion, we created a large, versatile room in which the client could enjoy a sewing and crafting area without dominating the space. The built-in bench doubles as storage for crafting supplies to be neatly stowed away when not in use.

Earhart_1904_Basement_A_1_P_Pro (6)

Design by Anne De Wolf.

Earhart_1904_Basement_A_1_P_Pro (2)

Design by Anne De Wolf.

Your basement can also be a great opportunity for a private guest suite or “mother-in-law” suite. In this hip, loft-style basement conversion, we utilized the existing structural posts and beams to create perceived spatial allocations for sleeping, cooking, dining and lounging/entertainment. Multiple lighting layers allow the spaces to feel light and bright or soft and cozy. With this type of autonomous living space, your guest or adult family member can enjoy the privacy of apartment-style living, or you could even rent it out as an ADU or Airbnb unit!

Ready to start planning your phased multi-generational living remodel? Schedule a design consultation to begin planning your next project here.

Explore the Arciform Project Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Meet Jason Stephens: Estimator

Jason is the newest member of our Estimating team, he joins us from Kennedy Restoration. Find out what inspires him…

You’ve been brought on as an Estimator. Tell us about what your areas of responsibility will be.

As an estimator my primary responsibility is pricing. Whether it be contacting subcontractor, material suppliers or estimating labor hours I need to shop around and sharpen my pencil to get our customers the best quality goods and services at the best price.

You have a background in construction, flood and fire restoration, remodel and design. What aspects of Arciform’s work and process are most similar to your previous work? What’s the most different?

I graduated from Idaho State University with an A.A. in General Education. I also have a design degree from the Art Institute International Portland in Multi Media and Web Design. The most similar part of my new job here at Arciform is the construction process. It does not matter if you are dealing with an average home in an average neighborhood or a huge luxury home in a gated community, the bones of the home are built the same and in the same order. I would say the biggest difference is the client base, Arciform specializes in older, historic homes. I am used to working more on the average home in the average neighborhood or the occasional light commercial project.

Describe one of your favorite past projects. What were the challenges? What were some of the features that made it memorable?

One of my favorite projects was a residential fire in the West Hills. This two story home had a major structural fire on the main floor and we ended up tearing the home down to only a few standing walls in the basement. I was able to use the insurance proceeds to re-design and value engineer the home to increase the square footage of the home by changing the livable attic space into a full master suite. The owner was thrilled, he couldn’t believe I could get such a great new space using only the insurance proceeds.

What are the top 3 things on your “bucket list?” 

Travel to see the ancient ruins of Cambodia

Sail the Caribbean Sea

Visit Cuba

 

Meet Roger Muller: Field Carpenter

Roger is one of Arciform’s newest field carpenters, read on to find out what inspires him and why he loves restoring homes…

What inspires you about restoring and renovating older homes? What drew you to this line of work?

I love the challenge of taking on a project that most others would pass on and updating it without sacrificing or compromising the architectural integrity. It drives my wife crazy, but I am always pointing to rundown/neglected historical homes and commenting on what potential they have – she would prefer I focus on our 1928 Dutch Colonial Revival’s “potential” instead!

What drew me to this line of work? I grew up around the business, my dad was a builder in Florida for nearly 40 years, and I spent summers from high school through college working on his projects. That’s where I learned carpentry. These were old school guys who, except for a circa 1950 Skil circular saw, didn’t believe in power tools. You really understand the meaning of “measure twice cut once” when you are cutting 8” high baseboards on a miter box with a back saw!

Do you have a special skill you want to tell us about?

I have a green thumb and I enjoy nothing more than working in my yard.

Describe one of your favorite past projects. What were the challenges? What were some of the features that made it memorable?

While living in Mobile, Alabama I tackled a project that comprised four homes adjacent to one another. The houses were abandoned and condemned, no one thought these homes were worth saving. However, beneath the neglect and remuddling there was architectural beauty: heart pine floors, ornately carved fireplace mantels and custom trim. They ranged in age from a circa 1850 Creole shotgun to a 1910 foursquare. Just cleaning out the debris and gutting them took four months and filled six 40 cubic yard dumpsters. In the end, all four houses returned to being single-family homes. The City of Mobile awarded me the restoration of the year and the houses were featured on Bob Villa’s Restore America TV show.

What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?

This I where I’m supposed to say something hip and exciting like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and watching the sunrise or having a one-on-one over an IPA with the Dalai Lama but, my bucket list is to spend as much time with the ones I love.

Explore the Arciform Project Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

What Color Should You Paint Your House?

By selecting a vibrant color palate for this Victorian, the intricate millwork is highlighted.

Is your home a traditional Victorian or craftsman cottage? The style of your house is an important consideration to take when selecting an exterior color palate.

A neutral color for this Cape Cod cottage complements the roof and landscape.

Think about the roof: the colors you select should complement your existing roof.

The bright door on this mid-century home adds a pop of character. 

Choosing a pop of color for your front door is an easy way to add some character. If you love your current front door, be sure to select an exterior paint color to complement it.

A multi-toned color palate for this Victorian showcases the exterior details but is subtle and sophisticated.

Consider your neighborhood: will your color selections be neighbor approved? Do you live in a historic neighborhood that will need to approve your new color palate?

We ran across this fun quiz on Houzz that can help you identify the best exterior colors for your home.

Take the quiz here and then let us know what your results were in the comments below!

Explore the Arciform Project Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 64 other followers