Client Resources: Around the Web

By January 2, 2013Ideas

It’s no small thing to go from this:

to this:

Undertaking a major home remodel or new construction project is a daunting task, but there are many resources available that help clarify the entire process.  Several informative posts from around the blogosphere have caught our attention in recent months.   As we move into a new year, we’d like to share several of them.

We love Build LLC’s blog.  They’ve taken the time to document details of construction and several of their posts last year have focused on specifics, like demolition, everything you ever wanted to know about a concrete pour, and notes on what to watch for when using an existing foundation. (Admittedly for most of us, none of this is terribly interesting until it’s your concrete pour and your dime.)  To see all of their technical posts, visit here.  Perhaps a little more fun to dream about–especially as we are enveloped in a winter wonderland here in Utah–is how to create a landscape plan.  (One of my favorite discoveries when we moved to Utah from Seattle a decade ago was Red Butte Garden. Visit their website for information on native Utah plants.)  And the reality check? Construction IS expensive, though a potentially great investment if done right that will yield priceless benefits for years to come. For the grand finale of the year, Build Blog posted an evaluation of a case study home they wrapped up, complete with costs and timeline.

We recently learned of this blog, an online photo library of construction details with an equally extensive index to browse, i.e. cedar shingles, radiant flooring, and even a green wall is documented. Because this blog is out of the Northwest, some construction practices will be different due to the climate, but it’s still a very helpful resource in understanding the level of detail in a well designed construction project. also has several idea books and articles on topics of interest to homeowners.  Their photo library continues to grow, now approaching 1 million, up from 250,000 earlier this year.  We’ve blogged about them before, but are including a few links here that may be of interest to our residential clients, including contractor tips, elements of green building, and tips on how to work with an architect.

Residential Architect recently published an article on the color forecast for 2013 and top design trends of the past year.  A couple of other color resources we’ve discovered in recent months, both from Sherwin-Williams: snap it that allows you to take any photo from around the web and create a color palette from it,  and this color tool app. Though colors often look different on a computer monitor, it’s at least a starting point.

And a little food for thought if launching into a residential project. The Wall Street Journal’s article about a recent study of how families really live in their homes is worth considering when making plans for a new home.

In November, we heard a seminar from these Canadian architects at the Residential Architect symposium in Chicago. They are producing an entire video library with advice on just about everything to do with home design. We love their “slow home” design philosophy in response to the mass produced “fast homes” of the past few decades.  Pretty entertaining stuff and we’re amazed (and grateful) at their stamina and commitment to educating the general public about basic design principles.