Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Continued Networking

The power of networking seems to be kicking in now that the weather is warmer and people are thinking of work on their homes. Serving on the board for the local soccer league should net a project for a client wanting to stay within the existing footprint. Keeping in touch with people and the continued presence of my cards, emails, t-shirts, hats, and signs is starting to pay dividends. You have to spend money to make money, this is very true!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Continuing data from various publications and organizations that track construction continue to show a stronger remodeling market compared to custom or production building. I sincerely hope that this does continue and that the production market takes a back seat for both design and land grabbing reasons. Remodeling existing stock can improve the aesthetic and reduces the amount of farms that are being converted into residential developments. I think that this will make homeowners and architects revisit design decisions and reduce construction waste by renovating what we have already. Time shall tell.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Smaller houses

This has not been just a trend, but my mantra for years. We have too much space in our houses that take up too much land. I am not on a soap box here, but there are repurcussions to the large land grab and over building. As we continue to push for this land/house deal, I am questioned about the size of our proposed house and people are surprised by the modest size. I hope this becomes the new norm and I know that I have the designs to back up the move to smaller and traditional.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New options for land, houses

As I/we search for land to either build or heavily renovate/expand an existing house, I have noticed a similar trend in the sprawl-burbs as in cities, dead zones. Not cell phone dead zones, but areas that are prime for development to increase density in a positive manner. I do love to preserve "green space", but what the concept of sprawl infill means is fewer farms going the way of the dodo. Parcels of large developments that are not water retention ponds, or being utilized, (or taxed) can be filled in to create a closer, more urban fabric. I know there are enormous parking lots sitting vacant, along with the big box stores that have gone belly up in the last three or four years, so reexamine zoning. Encourage mixed use development and stores, institutions, etc., that are not corporate monsters that erect sprawl one year and gone the next. Re-use the Blockbusters, Circuit Cities, K-marts, into more localized/regional shopping, dining, living experiences. This can only happen when townships and boros examine lost revenue and visual blight. Residential infill of small shops can also act as a local, greener, alternative to hauling the kids to the mega mart each time a quart of milk is needed. I believe this will happen when the distances traveled and the farms going away reach a tipping point towards home owners and business owners feeling an ethical responsibility after this market meltdown.