Landscape architects, remodelers team up to ensure the outside is as beautiful as the inside March 19, 2014
The Cost of Remodeling October 3, 2013
Everyone wonders what their project will cost. Will I be able to afford what I want to do? If I have a budget, what can I get for it? Will it cost more? Remodeling Magazine provides a great Cost vs. Value report every year that can give you a very good idea of what remodeling projects cost in every area of the country. For instance, a midrange, major kitchen remodel in Portland can easily cost $55,000 according to the Remodeling 2012–13 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com). Take a look at their charts to get an idea of costs vs. what you might recoup at resale. You can also compare your city to the area or the national average.
How Hiring Small Businesses Helps the Economy and the Community February 10, 2009
An Opinion Article by Daniel Milligan
Our government is struggling with the economy. It is trying to get people back to work and start the money flowing. The problem is that government can’t do it alone–the economy needs your help too. Wondering what you can do? Spend money on small businesses.
You hear it all the time on the news: Small business drives our economy. It’s true. We are a nation built on small business. The media says this in one breath, and in the next talks about Corporate America and Wall Street, and then we forget all about small businesses. But try not to forget–they provide more jobs and contribute to the flow of money more than anyone else.
I am going to give you an example from my own small business. I help run a small remodeling company that does design/build in Portland, Oregon. When you hire me, this is what you are doing:
First off, you are putting money in my pocket–thank you. Second, when I start putting a job together I go to other small businesses. So for example, lets say you want to remodel your kitchen. I am going to go out and hire someone to do your demo, frame your walls. install your sheetrock, cabinets, flooring, tile, sink, lights, and than paint your new kitchen. That is nine other small business that you just put to work because you hired me.
This means that those companies can support their employees by paying them with your money. Your money becomes their money and their money is than flowing again and your community’s economy is working.
This is true for other small companies as well. Think about the chain of people you effect when you go into your local coffee shop: the baristas, the building owner, the drivers for their deliveries, and their suppliers. And this is just the upfront business, there is more going on behind the scenes.
Small businesses hire other local small businesses to do business with. In my company, we hire graphic designers, print houses, search engine optimizers and a host of other small companies to help with our marketing, insurance, and accounting. In turn they are hiring local people and talent and again the economy is working.
So next time when you have a choice of going to Lowes, Home Depot, Starbucks, or even the Apple Store, look to see if there is a small business to support instead. Go to your local hardware store, or coffee shop or independent computer store. When you support them, they support others in the community and in turn it will help support you too.
Buying, selling or thinking about remodeling your home? January 28, 2009
I just found out about EcoBrokers (certified RE brokers) – they can help you buy or sell your house with a “Green” emphasis. A link from a local EcoBroker took me to a article on website I haven’t seen for a while – the Sierra Club. The article reviews many steps you can take to remodel your house to make it more energy efficient and therefore – “Greener” whether you are thinking about selling or staying put. We have a link on our website to resources where you can find green and beautiful fixtures, finishes and other products to help you remodel “Greener”.
It seems that I keep reading about more and more industries that have people that are not only eco-conscious, but can be certified! In the building industry the USGBC sets LEED standards; that was truly a grass-roots effort. Now it really has cache for buildings (commercial and residential) to be LEED certified and a person to be accredited. Take a look at the Green Home Guide that the USGBC put out for some tips for your home. Enjoy.
It’s so good to find people who actually do green remodeling on their own. We enjoy passing on our green information on products and methods and get a kick out of having clients request green materials. I just read a blog posted by Green Mama – love her attitude.
…and now, a little more on color. January 17, 2009
It seems that January is the month to talk about color. Maybe it’s that we feel the need for brightness and color in the month that can be the darkest and dreariest. Pittsburgh Paints has come out with their “Hacienda Colors”. The colors are warm and evoke the sunshine of Mexico. I managed to miss Portland’s massive snow storm in December —- we left JUST before the BIG storm and were sitting in the sun in Mazatlan and Oaxaca. I can attest to the warmth of the colors and how inviting they feel. But, you can bring that warmth to your space by choosing a color palette like the Hacienda colors. You can also choose your color scheme in no-VOC paints, like Benjamin Moore’s EcoSpec. Enjoy!
Up-to-date or Over-the-top January 16, 2009
I was watching Color Splash the other night. The host was taking a lovely pre WWII home and painting the moldings and built-ins lime green. The worst part of this was what I was thinking: “Wow! That looks really good.” Okay, to my own defence, it was not just the lime green, but the whole color scheme.
Is it okay to do this to these old houses? Or should we really be conservitive like This Old House. I guess my answer is that if you like it, then it can’t be that bad. And if it looks good–then what the hey! Go for it. In this day and age, I think we need more color. So call your color designer and start splashing!