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Richard De Wolf Interviewed on StreetTalk’s Podcast

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This week Richard was interviewed by Amy Rosenburg on Veracity’s StreetTalk Podcast which digs deep into Portland’s ever-changing communal landscape. Listen here to hear why Historic District’s are important and how you can help save them.

 

Adventures in Remodeling, Part 3: The Kitchen

If you imagine your ideal kitchen, do you dream of a spacious room connected to the outdoors through a sunny breezeway that provides lots of storage?

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In this 3rd chapter about our 1920 bungalow project, Arciform’s lead carpenters Jamie Whittaker & Eric Delph share stories about the kitchen addition, with all of its special touches.

Jamie tell us that this kitchen is the hub & heart of the home, a space for living & creating. It’s full of ideas from the whole team that became reality, but not without challenges.

Some of his favorite features: the two beautiful dutch doors, one leading to the new covered back porch & the other to the the side yard.

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The custom kitchen table, which provides space for eating or lounging while watching a TV that can be concealed behind a drop-down panel in the wall.

Another favorite piece is the fridge. It started as a big, modern appliance & we “dressed it up” like a vintage cooler you might see in an old general store.

The spacious salvaged island provides plenty of room for family time, & the built-in storage has a pressed tin door panel to resemble a pie safe.

Eric lists the 1929 Magic Chef range as a gem. Our client bought it online from some distant state & had the seller store it while we remodeled. When our client called for delivery, he learned that the seller had passed away & the range could not be found! Our client had to fly someone down to find it & bring it home.

He also lists the large vintage sink as a favorite element, with its built-in double drainboards and legs.

We turned the original kitchen into a little walk-through library

Jamie installing the cabinetry in the breezeway

& PM Adam enjoying a hard day at work

Arciform & Versatile Wood Products Teams on this project included:

  • Brad Horne, senior drafter, responsible for documentation & working with the city of Lake Oswego. We could not have done this without him.
  • Marty Hegg did all the fixture & finish specifications.
  • Principal Designer Anne De Wolf worked closely with the creative clients.
  • PM Adam Schoeffel led the construction team, helped with detail development & found treasures like the kitchen island.
  • Devin Morrow assisted with project logistics.
  • Dave Thomas managed deconstruction, salvaged material organization & labeling, which was crucial.
  • Eric Delph was our primary site lead! Among many contributions he personally co-designed (with the client) & constructed the garage storage & its icebox doors, & kept the crew on track.
  • Jamie Whittaker was our co-site lead, chief of special projects & master of craftsmanship.
  • David Gamble built the cabinetry, walnut kitchen table & worked on the salvaged table & fridge panels.
  • Dan Brindusesc & Eric Voss built the exterior doors & did sash work on the stained glass windows.
  • Rene Flannigan & Brent Dickey did all specialty finishes on the salvaged table, wine cellar door & panels in the garage.

Thanks to our wonderful, creative & inspiring clients, we were all able to do what we love to do!

If you missed part 1 or 2 of this series, check them out here.

Professional photos by Photo Art Portraits & Blankeye.

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Adventures in Remodeling Part 2: the Garage

The new garage was built to closely match the original structure

When you hear the word garage, adventure doesn’t usually come to mind. Garages are supposed to be functional and practical.

But our clients at the 1920 bungalow in First Addition, Lake Oswego have a pretty special garage. Arciform‘s talented craftsmen created the structure just for them, and it had stories to tell before it was even completed. It’s sure to be the setting of many future memories.

There was a carport before we started the project

Project Manager Adam Schoeffel shares 4 reasons this garage is such a special place:

#1: Roof Trusses & Interior Paneling

Adam redesigned the trusses to accommodate a grading issue which caused the garage door to impede the plane of conventional truss design. He upsized framing members and ordered a vaulted scissor truss for a more hand-framed look. The trusses were painted to contrast with the aged patina of the salvaged lap board which clads the walls and ceiling.

Adam’s scissor trusses look sharp!

 #2: Storage with Icebox Panel Doors

Adam and Site Co-Lead Eric Delph (the bearded one above) collaborated on this project, but the idea came from the client. Eric co-designed and constructed the unique storage with its icebox doors, and it looks as if it’s always been there. It is a real conversation piece, and everyone wants to open and close those doors.

Douglas Fir shiplap on walls and ceiling were sourced from local homes being demolished and from Portland area reclaimed wood vendors

#3: The Seed Cabinet

Our client found a handsome antique seed cabinet and knew it would provide great storage. It sat in the garage for many months while Arciform worked on other parts of the home.

One day, four of the cabinet drawers vanished! Without hesitation, Site Co-Lead Jamie Whittaker took charge of creating replicas. The old walnut was tough to match, but Adam found an alternate species that was very close and poked around several salvage shops to find the right hardware. They even matched the original drawer boxes, using flat-sawn fir. Jamie’s four drawers were so convincing, it was hard to tell which ones were new.

About six months after the project was completed, the four missing drawers were returned with an apology note attached to them!

 

#4: The Rodeo Sign

This is no small souvenir, but a family heirloom which holds years of memories. Our client has roots in St. Paul, OR, and has remained involved in the St Paul Rodeo for years.

The sign is made up of planks bolted together, then carved and painted. It needed stabilizing, so our crew disassembled it, stored it and later installed new pipe through it, slowly compressing the boards. They took great care to keep the words and images in alignment and looking crisp.  Our clients intended it to be hung on a basement wall, but it was way too big, and looks truly at-home in the garage!

There are still more stories to tell about this project! Don’t miss our final post in the series next week: Adventures in Remodeling, Part 3: the Kitchen.

Professional photos by BlankEye and Photo Art Portraits

Adventures in Remodeling Part 1: the Secret Wine Cellar

How do you make your home something special to you? This series of 3 posts will share stories about how we helped clients make this home all their own.

In 2011 on a corner lot in the heart of Lake Oswego sat a charming 1920 bungalow for sale. It captured the hearts of a globetrotting family living in Florida, and they purchased the house with plans to relocate closer to their Oregon roots.

They hired design-build firm Arciform to help turn this gem into their forever home. With plans for a cross-country move, a flurry of emails, team meetings, and trips to local salvage shops started.

The home sits in First Addition, one of Lake Oswego’s oldest neighborhoods. Many homes in this area were first owned and occupied by Oregon Iron & Steel Company workers, built in a variety of architectural styles.

Principal Designer Anne De Wolf worked closely with the couple on a thoughtful interior remodel and additions. They shared a respect of the home’s style and era, using this to guide design decisions: from how to increase the footprint, down to door & cabinet hardware.

Reconfigured spaces and more square footage were desired, so the new plans provided a larger kitchen, a mudroom, a master suite, a new bath for the kids, and an outdoor living space.

 

The couple has a knack for finding wonderful old pieces with stories to tell. There are many antique fixtures, finishes and furnishings integrated into the project. Reclaimed sinks, shiplap paneling and more were salvaged from all over, including demolition sites, Salvage WorksAurora Mills, eBay, and The ReBuilding Center.

The clients’ inspired vision brought so much fun to this project. One of many examples is the creation of the secret wine cellar.

It all started with four existing concrete steps in the basement. Though he didn’t know what to do with them, our client knew he wanted to do something. What purpose could those serve: storage of some kind? He needed somewhere to keep their wine…but how would they access it?

The adventurous spirit of the client inspired the trap door in the new kitchen floor.

 

Before: the abandoned steps in question

After: vision and teamwork gave this area new purpose

Site lead Eric Delph says, “When thinking of all the work accomplished at this residence, the one thing that stands out in everyone’s mind is that wine cellar! It evolved from an idea to reality with many hands and great interaction with the clients. From the hidden hatch doors to the storage system and that great final touch by the client himself: a confessional door!”

There are more stories to tell about this project! Stay tuned for the next chapter: Adventures in Remodeling, Part 2: the Garage.

Professional photos by BlankEye and Photo Art Portraits

Arciform is Your Resource for Historic Review Expertise

As the built environment of Portland evolves at an astonishing pace, we place an immeasurable value on the preservation of our city’s architectural integrity. One of the ways that Portland protects the charm and character of our city is through the designation of Historic Districts. These are neighborhoods that have been deemed to be of particular historic or cultural significance and are protected by certain rules and regulations. If you are lucky enough to own a home in one of these special districts, (or if you are considering buying a home in one), you need to know what this means for your house and potential remodel projects. Luckily, you have a team of experts at Arciform to help you stay informed!

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If you are considering a remodel that will alter the exterior of your Historic District home, it is very likely that your project will have to pass Historic Review. During this process, we are required by the City to produce detailed drawings and documents that demonstrate how the proposed project will enhance (and not degrade) the historic architecture of the home and neighborhood.

Whether you are building a dormer or adding a window and door (as in the above Alphabet District home), the City will carefully analyze the proposed design to make sure that the historically significant details of your home’s architecture are preserved and incorporated into the design. These details include (but are not limited to) such things as: balance, proportion, massing, roof pitch, building materials and millwork profiles. As experts in historic remodeling, Arciform is well-versed in the requirements for Historic Review and thus, we are able to effectively get ahead of the process and set client expectations for budget and timelines.

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The beautiful home pictured above (located in the Irvington District) underwent an extensive Historic Review process for the proposed exterior work and new back steps and patio. Upon completion, the homeowners had a newly invigorated and more functional space, while maintaining the integrity of the 1915 Prairie Style architecture.

If you have been considering a remodel on your Historic District home, we are the firm for you! We can educate you about tax incentives and the Historic Review process, as our experienced Designers and expert carpenters ensure that your very special home will stay true to its unique character and to the intrinsic value of your neighborhood.

-By Anna Foltz

Designer Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Part Three

Today brings you our final edition of our Designer Holiday Gift Guide for 2016. Over the weekend we put up lights, festive greenery and baked gingerbread unicorns, angels and crustaceans, naturally. Now it’s time to for us to check things off of our gift lists!

Part Three of our guide brings goodies selected by Design Associates Anna Foltz and Bianca McKelvy. Maybe you’ll find something for someone on your Nice List?

Anna’s Favorites:

For your Favorite Dog 
Do you love outdoor adventuring with your canine companion? Ruffwear dog boots are a wonderful way to protect your pal’s paws from the elements. Find an assortment of colors and sizes locally at Pet Loft on SW Macadam Ave.

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For the Kitchen

Out of the Woods of Oregon
These beautiful wood cutting boards and utensils are made in Eugene, OR from sustainably sourced native red alder. The cutting boards are available in the shape of any of the 50 states, so offer a home-state gift to your friends and family in any part of the USA! Purchase locally at Presents of Mind on SE Hawthorne Blvd.

For that Quirky Friend

In a city that prides itself on weirdness, Paxton Gate is a source for oddities and ephemera for those who might appreciate a gift that’s a little. . . different. The shop feels a bit like a neo-Victorian biology lab, with eclectic displays of framed insects, taxidermy, exotic plants and jewelry/apparel inspired by nature. This is a fun and funky shopping experience that you don’t want to miss!

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Adornment 

For the discerning fashion enthusiast in your life, Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique  is a gem on SE Clinton St. This charming boutique features a choice array of vintage apparel, jewelry and accessories, all in impeccable condition.

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For the Home

Obsidian Windchimes
Handmade in Portland, these unique wind chimes are made of obsidian dug from lava beds in Eastern Oregon and driftwood from the West Coast. The delicate music they make is as enchanting as their organic sculptural designs.

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Bianca’s picks:

Something to Make

I love getting my hands dirty and am always trying to learn how to create things instead of buy them. Gifting a workshop from WildCraft Studio School would be great for a crafty friend.

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For the Home

Maven Collective on SE Stark in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood always has a well curated selection of vintage home goods, furniture and plants.

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Last Call at Jimmy Maks

Jimmy Maks, one of the last great jazz clubs in Portland, is closing at the end of the year. So if you’ve never been, I highly recommend you make it down to the Pearl District and treat yourself to the awesome sounds of the Mel Brown Quartet before their closing night Dec 31st.

Wearables

Ace & Jig creates some of the most beautiful and eclectic textiles and turns them into comfortable, fun garments.

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Ceramics

I found local artist Martina Thornhill on Instagram and fell in love with her beautiful ceramic pieces.

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Animal Handmade

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Have you ever seen embossed leather this fun and creative?! I want one of every bag, in every color.

Here’s wishing you all the best as you create or look for that special something for all you hold close in your hearts this Holiday Season!

-edited by Marty Hegg

Designer Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Part Two

It’s Friday, and time for Part Two of our Designer Holiday Gift Guide! Today we feature picks from Design Associate Tara Keefner and Design Department Manager Marty Hegg. You might find inspiration for your weekend shopping or crafting below.

Tara:

Clothing and Home Goods

Modcloth is a vintage-inspired online retailer I am unreasonably obsessed with. They recently had a pop-up store in Portland, and will soon open brick-and-mortar locations in a few lucky places around the U.S.!

Kitchen & Dining Accessories - Thanks So Matcha Tea Set in Rose Garden

Date Night

Little Bird Bistro serves French cuisine (the seared duck breast is my favorite). The atmosphere is intimate and they have a great wine list! There are gift certificates available, and they take reservations: a great idea for someone who deserves a night out. 215 SW 6th Ave in downtown Portland.

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Charitable Donation

Cure Tay-Sachs Foundation (or a charity organization of your choosing): make a donation in someone’s name! My aunt and uncle started this foundation when my cousin was diagnosed with juvenile-onset Tay-Sachs disease. They discovered that not much was being done to find a cure, in spite of progress made in genetics and disease research. This particular cause is near and dear to my heart, but any donation to a good cause, made in the name of a loved one, is a meaningful gift for someone who doesn’t want more material goods. Every donation, no matter how small, can do so much and go so far.

Marty:

For the Kitchen

For the baker on your list, Williams Sonoma carries the 11-lb capacity digital scale by OXO.

OXO Food Scale, 11-Lb. Capacity

For the home

You can’t go wrong with a wool blanket from Pendleton Woolen Mills. I like this Crater Lake design. Wool is durable, resilient, a natural flame-retardant, and long-wearing.

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For your favorite Portlander

A brick in Pioneer Square is a fun way to commemorate someone in Portland’s Living Room. My dad loves seeing his name out and about. He was born here in 1934 and has always loved living in his special City of Roses.
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For the homebody

A few years ago, my daughter broke her leg. A wiggly child in a cast + so much time on the couch = one shredded upholstery job. I would love to have it reupholstered locally by Revive!

For the coffee lover

I have two favorites to share, both smooth, dark and spot-on:

First, the Kobos Bistro Blend, served by my favorite local spot, the John Street Café.  

Second, by Nossa Familia, is Mathilde’s French Roast. This is what we drink at home. Muito obrigada, Mathilde!

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Rain Gear

People say true Portlanders don’t use umbrellas. Well, this native who walks a lot AND wears glasses loves umbrellas. Panorella lets you put a 360 degree view inside yours. Remember when you hiked the trails of the Cinque Terre, took your first look at the Grand Canyon or saw an amazing sunset at your favorite beach?

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Gifts for kids

The Art of STEM is a small but mighty gem in St Johns. They have toys, books, events and camps to encourage young, creative minds to learn while they play.

Homemade Gifts

If you’d rather make than buy gifts, here are some winning ideas!

Your favorite berry jam, fresh bread and cloth napkins make a sweet gift, via Martha Stewart.

A fragrant culinary herb wreath would be lovely and fun to make, year-round.

Make a fresh herb wreath that smells terrific

Charitable Donation

Give in someone’s name via a microloan through Kiva. Enterpreneurs in 80 countries (US included) apply for loans, Kiva takes it through the underwriting and approval process and posts to their site for crowdfunding. After funds have been raised and granted, the borrower will repay the loan. Then the lender can re-lend to another cause, donate or withdraw their funds.

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Did you know you can donate the sound of your voice? This is quite amazing. Check out vocaliD and help someone who cannot speak be heard in more than a generic, robotic tone.

We’ll wrap up our Designer Holiday Gift Guide series with Part Three next week. Enjoy your weekend!

-edited by Marty Hegg

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Designer Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Part One

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Tomorrow we flip our calendars from November to December! If you haven’t already started, it’s time to make or buy holiday gifts for those special people in your life. The Arciform Design Team has some ideas to share with you!

For Part One of our guide, Principal Designer Anne De Wolf and Senior Designer Chelly Wentworth have picked some of their favorite shops and goodies for those on their lists:

Anne: On a neighborhood run, I found some cool places to investigate near our office.

Lark Press is a small letterpress studio with lovely cards made right in the building, books, art prints and other gifts. 3901 N Williams Avenue.

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Tree House Children’s Boutique carries new and resale items for little ones, and is owned by a mom who knows her stuff.  3954 N Williams Avenue.

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Flutter is a feast for the eyes and a fantastic place to find unique gifts for that someone who has everything. 3948 N Mississippi Avenue.

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Just off of busy Interstate Avenue is a small gem called Lowell, where you can find anything from a beautiful vase to Southwestern antiques to clothing: 819 N Russell Street.

Chelly:

Find beautiful guitar straps here in a wide variety of styles and colors. I want one to replace a broken strap on my large leather bag. Feedback Straps

Vintage Folk Flowers Guitar Strap

Who could resist a cooking class from a local chef in a beautiful setting like Middleground Farms in Wilsonville?

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A wearable gift with a conscience: a gift certificate to a store with ‘Radical Transparency’, like Everlane:

A useful gift: a high tech design studio, like this Surface from Microsoft:Surface Studio

A philanthropic gift: for every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from our world’s oceans and waterways

Winter is Coming Gift Pack | United By Blue

An experience gift: set up a private session or join a drop-in event to paint while drinking wine at centrally-located shop Bottle & Bottega

Private Painting And Wine Parties Portland

-edited by Marty Hegg

Envisioning Your Basement and Bonus Room’s Potential

As the seasons change, many of us dream of creating cozy spaces for our families and guests to curl up in. Your basement has the potential to add the living space your family needs and get you that bonus room you have been dreaming of for years. Here are some considerations to help you look past the cracked walls and cobwebs of your basement.

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1. Work the structural elements into the design

When looking at the layout for your basement remodel, try not to fight the location of the existing structural members. Moving posts and beams can be costly and trigger upgrades to meet current codes. Your best bet is to integrate the posts and beams into design elements. This can be as simple as hiding them within new walls. Posts can be used as an end point for half walls or could be exposed as design features.

2. Don’t forget the rest of your home

In finishing your basement, you will be restricting access to the systems that service the rest of your house. This is the perfect time to look at the state of your electrical, plumbing and HVAC. If your remodel requires these systems to move, then think about what upgrades can be combined to get the most out of your investment. Central air, re-piping of your house and additional outlets for the floors above are great additions to the scope of a basement remodel.

3. Level of finish

It’s up to you to determine what level of finish and investment you want to put into this project. If you are not looking to add legal livable square feet, there are plenty of ways to clean up your basement and make it function better for you and your family. You’d be surprised how big an impact you can make by cleaning and painting the walls and ceiling. Pair this with a lighting plan to brighten the dark corners and add warmth with furniture.

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4. Classic or Contemporary?

Understanding the architectural details that define the era of your home will help you when planning the aesthetic of your remodel–whether you want to design within the style of your home or move in a different direction. Looking at the architectural elements, like existing millwork and built-ins, can help. Think of your basement as a blank canvas and have fun making it reflect your personal style.

5. Flexibility is key

One great way to approach your basement remodel is to plan for the spaces to have multiple uses. Do you need a dedicated guest room or can that also be a home office? If you are adding a bathroom and currently have laundry on this level, think about combining these rooms to save on plumbing costs and space. Are you comfortable with your new guest suite being used as a part time rental? Better to ask yourselves these questions now than later.

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6. Creative Storage

It’s easy to focus on how much space you will be gaining by finishing your basement, but don’t forget about what you are giving up. The typical basement acts as a catch-all for the items that we don’t want in the rest of our house. It is important to plan on how and where those items will get stored once the basement is finished. Hidden doors, built-ins and creative pantries are all great options to keep your basement looking spic and span after the remodel.

7. Does your remodel have the potential to work for you?

It’s hard to escape the ADU and Airbnb discussion when considering a basement remodel. The first step will be to assess what the current structure of your home lends itself to. There are differences between the requirements for an attached ADU and converting your basement to a livable space. Make sure you explore how each option affects the scope of work and what benefits you will see once the project is complete before moving forward with your design.

These are just some of the topics that will be addressed at Arciform’s Basement and Bonus Rooms Workshop on November 9th at 6pm at the Hotel deLuxe.

Contact martha@arciform.com to be added to the event wait list.

Click here to hear more from the Arciform design team.
http://www.arciform.com/

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Understanding the Design Process: Final Steps

Whether you’ve never tackled a remodeling project before or you’re a seasoned home-improvement pro, the design process can seem daunting at times. Many firms have their own way of doing things and sometimes these methods are a bit convoluted or mysterious.

In this series, we’ll take you on a step-by-step tour through the Arciform design process so that you know what to expect when planning a home improvement project. In case you missed them – be sure to start with Part 1 which covers measuring and documenting existing conditions, and part 2 which covers conceptual design & details.

 

Step 5: Construction Documentation

Most of the projects that we design require city permits, and many require engineering. We take care of that for you! As the design process unfolds we have multiple scheduled check-ins and walk-throughs with our construction team members & subcontractors to get eyes on the project from all parts of the process. Our goal is to address as many potential issues as possible long before the hammers start swinging.

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Here you can see an example of a structural page for the nook addition on the cottage we’ve been talking about.

 

Accurately developing the plans and getting all of the details onto paper is the most critical step in our process. We do this to make sure that every detail of your project gets built as closely as possible to the finalized design. There’s no way to catch everything, but the more we address from the beginning the fewer headaches there will be during construction – something our Project Managers definitely appreciate!

 

Step 6: Build & Enjoy!

 

As you can see from this side-by-side comparison, the rendered perspective is remarkably close to the finished product!

There’s a whole new ball game to go along with this last step (the entire construction process, for example!) but you’re now equipped with a highly detailed set of plans and specifications to get you through. Our designers make it a priority to remain available to you during the construction process as well; you can rest assured that you’ll have the help of a professional to deal with anything unexpected that may come up during the course of building your project. Because of all the steps you’ve taken to fully flesh out and detail your design plans, you’re well prepared for construction!

-Tara Keefner, co-author