Month: January 2010

A Upturn for Remodeling & Home Improvement in 2010?

One of the remodeling industries trade journals Quaified Remodeler reports that: LIRA [Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity]Suggests Remodeling Upturn in 2010 Home improvement spending is likely to reach a cyclical bottom in the current quarter and steadily increase through 2010 according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. (Read more…) Nicolas Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which researches and publishes a steady stream of reports and anyalsis of the building, remodeling and home improvement sector says: "Sales of existing homes are on the rise and home price declines are moderating in most markets across the country,…Financing costs are also favorable, although credit availability remains tight for many households.”...

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Green Building Advisor Article: Pro/Con: Is Vinyl Green?

Thanks to Green Building Advisor editor Daniel Morrison we have two articles with contrasting opinions highlighted in the blogs over on the Green Building Advisor website: Pro/Con: Is Vinyl Green? Yes, Vinyl Is Green By Patrick Moore Expensive green products will remain niche products with little chance to have a positive effect on the environment. Vinyl is affordable and versatile. Read more…   No, Vinyl Is Lethal By Bill Walsh The environmental, health, and social equity effects of vinyl over its life cycle make it the worst plastic for the environment and the antithesis of a green building material. Read more… Personally I have an aesthetic bias against vinyl. Even when it looks good you touch it or tap it with the back of your hand and it sounds like it’s plastic and that has always bothered me. Getting beyond that bias I still find myself agreeing more with Bill Walsh and his Vinyl is Lethal arguments but I do find the Patrick Moores arguments worthwhile listening to and...

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Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live

Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live while the title for latest book from the talented and renowned architect by Sarah Susanka is also one of project specialties and part of the way we think at my company Paradigm Projects, Ltd.. Many of us in the trades first took notice of Sarah Susanka ten years ago with the release of her now seminal book The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live and saw it spark a movement in a direction away from the over-sized ‘McMansion’ direction that so many builders anxious to make money selling square feet over quality were pushing on the market in the late nineties and the first part of this century. With the downturn of the housing market in 2008 a lot of people find themselves now thinking of remodeling rather than buying or building expansive new homes. Sarah Susanka is famous for having said “build better, not bigger” and while we have longed believed in that sentiment that thinking is particularly relevant today and looking ahead into the future. The book is packed with ideas and inspiration that can help the homeowner in identifying the small things we can do that deliver the greatest bang for the buck and have the most visual and aesthetic impact. "It is my fervent hope that...

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Interior Koi Pond & Tropical Environment

One of my own personal specialties has always been designing and building what call ‘Theatrical Spaces & Environments’. I was trained as a theatrical set and lighting designer and have always pulled employees and subcontractors from my contacts there and the exhibit building trade. All the way back in 1996 we got a call for an interesting project that called on not only my company’s skills as framing carpenters but also those years of artistic experience we had building and painting scenery for the theatre, trade shows, and exhibits. We had a homeowner out in Hewlett Harbor, L.I that wanted a Koi Pond & Tropical Environment designed and built inside the space above a garage addition he was having put on his home! Click on the images below to view as a slide show of the projects development Notes on the Construction Techniques: Koi Pond: fiberglass reinforced epoxy in a sheathing application over a wiggle plywood form. Rock Walls and Waterfall: fiberglass reinforced plasters; Structo-lite & Hydrocal, over metal lathe and styrofoam forms. Stream Bed & Waterfall: fiberglass reinforced epoxy. Synthetic Rock Surface Texturing: patching plaster and auto body putty. Faux Painting of Synthetic Rock Surface: done in modified sponging, airbrush and glazing techniques. Flagstone Floor: It’s the real thing “1” Pennsylvania Irregular flagging that we got from Bedford Stone & Masonry Supply Corp. in a medium bed thin-set...

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The Design-Build Process

Design/Build – What does it mean?… an Overview While in recent years the term has seemingly swept the country, You may wonder, is it just a marketing slogan,… a buzz word,… a hot button,… or does it really mean something? The concept is really the reincarnation of a way that things used to be done. For the better part of history builders were often designers and vice versa and it was only around the turn of the century that found themselves splitting apart. Design/Build today gives you the client a seamless cost effective functional product from one accountable source....

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