Stock Plan Shocker — Hidden Costs

Here’s a shocker, stock plans will not save you money! Stock plans will cost the same or more than a personalized home designed for you and by you. A home is not like clothing where one-size-fits all or like food where generic tastes almost like name brand. A home is as unique as you are and often more expensive than clothing and food combined. It is a long-term investment you keep much longer except for those of you who still have clothes you wore in high school stuffed in the back of your closet. Save yourself the Shock of Stock and think personalized! read more →

31 Aug 2009
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WishingRock — The Name

Do you ever wonder how people name companies? Sometimes, names are the founder’s initials like HEB (Henry E. Butts) grocery. It could be part of the founder’s name like Wal-Mart (Sam Walton). A name may tell location or function like 3M (MN Mining and Manufacturing) or Ebay. And sometimes it sounds catchy like Nike, but in the case of WishingRock, it was destiny and this is the inspiration behind the name. read more →

28 Aug 2009
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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — The Responsible Remodel

In the movie First Knight, King Arthur (Sean Connery) said, “There’s another kind of peace on the other side of war”. That is my perception of home remodeling projects. You have to endure some pain to reap the reward. Remodeling is rarely fun because it is disruptive, challenging and costly but “after the war” you have a rejuvenated space and in my experience, the best way to rejuvenate a space is to follow the “Four R’s” reduce, reuse, recycle and responsibility. read more →

31 Jul 2009
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Media is the architect’s nemesis

Mainstream media can be the architect’s nemesis! Television shows such as Extreme Home Makeover, and Design on a Dime (HGTV) mean well, but they undermine our credibility. Many clients think we can build or remodel entire homes in a weekend and can construct everything for <$2,000 and will design it all for free. That’s a.. read more →

What does “green” mean to an architect?

What does “green” mean to an architect? You’ve heard the real estate mantra, location, location location…well, “green” means thoughtful and responsive design and it’s all about location. No matter what synonym you use — “sustainable design”, “green building”, “passive design” “LEED”, “environmentally friendly” It’s about relative location – where you put the house on the.. read more →

13 Jun 2009
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How to Pick Your Architect

How hard can it be to pick an architect? Gee, they are a dime-a-dozen with similar education, internship and licensing credentials so you open a phone book or search engine and browse for names you’ve heard or that appeal to you. Then you call the list, set appointments and pick the one who has the best pedigree, is most attractive or is the cheapest. If it’s a tie, you can draw names from a hat. You can’t go wrong. That sounds simple enough, but the problem is architecture is a creative service and you need a partner who can get to know you and bring your idea to life, but how do you find that person? read more →

24 May 2009
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Why do architects talk funny?

Why do architects talk funny? You’re referring to the affliction called archispeak. It is the architect’s dialect peppered with phrases such as functional hierarchy, concept continuity, urban fabric, structural rhythm and juxtaposition to name a few. We don’t talk that way to impress or intimidate others. Archispeak is a byproduct of education, strategy and passion… read more →

23 May 2009
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How Green is my Granite?

Do you like a challenge? Do you tackle the daily crossword or sudoku puzzle and celebrate a triumphant victory? I love challenges but few puzzles parallel the thrill or complexity of a residential design/construction project. Like the client who calls and says, “Hello, I am interviewing architects and I need an architect who can make my 3,000 square foot house respond to my every lifestyle whim, on my steep and heavily forested lot, with top of the line appliances and finishes and full perimeter porches and all within my budget of $80/SF. Oh, and while you are at it, make my house ultra-green.” I waited a moment and asked, “Is that all?” It is challenging to create a personalized home that blends with the environment, but the green buzz adds a new dimension to design and construction that is difficult to quantify and integrate. read more →

30 Apr 2009
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