Monthly Archives: May 2013

5 Elements to a Quality Design Experience: Details

Part 5

By Marty Morse; CR

A beautiful design is not useful if the client or contractor cannot cannot acquire the proper information in order to build it.  A  quality design requires detailed drawings and specifications in order to facilitate an accurate and timely construction process. A skilled designer can accurately portray the 3-dimensional world in a 2-dimensional form, allowing the production team to accurately develop the final product as expected by the designer and client.YETMAN PIC 3yetman-patio-night-2653

Before you embark on engaging a design professional to map out your new home or custom remodel, it is important to make sure that the designer has the experience and knowledge of  how the project will be constructed. Details of intersecting materials, such as kitchen sinks with solid surface counters, are an important part of the finished project. Designers should have the knowledge to specify the transitions between materials and how they will be finished upon completion of the installation. Accurate drawings and specifications eliminate the last minute field modifications, or costly changes due to unfinished design details.Donald-SINK-926

Clients hire professional designers in order to eliminate the element of the unknown and make sure they are getting exactly what they and the designer want the finished product to look like. This communication is done graphically and with detailed specifications. A quality design will include a detailed description of the products used for the project, such as manufacturer, finish, size, and appropriate options. It is quite common for a detailed design to have several pages of product descriptions, sizes, finishes, colors, and detailed specifications.

Blog Feature Wall - Knutson

Conceptual 3-D image developed during schematic design phase.

Knutson Wall Plan Blog

Preliminary details are developed during construction drawing phase.

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The result of upfront design and details concludes with stunning results and happy customers.

Furthermore, detailed drawings assist the production team during construction. This is especially important when the design is unique; cookie cutter designs can be built from more simplistic drawings, but a design that is unique and custom should have drawings that spell out each detail.  A good designer will typically consult with a trade professional to make sure the design idea can be implemented properly with the production team.

Quality design is a very important part of the home improvement process.  The 5 elements we have discussed in this series are; communication, strategy, creative design development, experience, and details. They are all extremely important and crucial to a a quality design experience. I hope you have enjoyed reading our 5-part series and you have found the information useful when you seek out your next professional designer for your home renovation project. Design, Build, and most importantly, Enjoy!


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National Association of the Remodeling Industry Revives Center for Underserved Kids

Partners in Philanthropy

By Ed Goldman, Correspondent; Sacramento Biz Journal; May 3rd, 2013

The GreenHouse, a nonprofit organization that provides after-school tutoring and a host of activities for underserved young people, has been working with professional carpenters, designers and a cadre of volunteers to restore the dilapidated community center that used to be its headquarters.

The facility is located in the Gardenland/Northgate neighborhood, which one project volunteer referred to as “one of the largest areas of Sacramento’s working poor.” That volunteer, Brenda Kress, executive director of the Sacramento chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, said that the neighborhood “has more children per capita, per square mile or per square inch — however they measure areas that are greatly impacted and under-resourced — than any other area in Sacramento.”

Members of her association and a group of local partners, including the Sacramento Waldorf School, have donated more than $30,000 in labor and materials to the restoration of the clubhouse, near the intersection of Northgate Boulevard and Garden Highway.

“The professional members of NARI, as well as their vendors and (subcontractors), are getting the building put back together,” Kress said. “In a few weeks, we expect to host what I’m calling an ‘unskilled-labor weekend’ for parents and other volunteers to come in and finish the project.”

Nar Bustamante, owner of Nar Fine Carpentry in Carmichael — and a new showroom on Town Center Boulevard in El Dorado Hills that should be open by Mother’s Day — has been spearheading the professional phase of the project. He said he’s been working with Morse Remodeling of Davis. “Morse really stepped in to help,” he said. “Their guys are taking on the kitchen remodel, and my company’s doing the bathrooms, but we’re both doing a little bit of everything.”

Dave Horne of Morse Remodeling, Inc. volunteers his skills by laying tile at the GreenHouse rehabilitation project.

Dave Horne of Morse Remodeling, Inc. volunteers his skills by laying tile at the GreenHouse Rehabilitation Project.

Bustamante said a teacher at Waldorf, the private pre-K-12 school in Fair Oaks that his children, Kamilo and Kailani, attend, approached him to take on the job. “I was invited to her home for a bowl of soup,” he recalled, and then laughed. “I had no idea what that single bowl of soup would commit me to.”

Waldorf affiliated itself with the Oasis Games, an international community-building program. Oasis inspires groups to go into “needful neighborhoods” and help them make their dreams for the area come to fruition, according to Kacie Stratton, founder and outgoing executive director of The GreenHouse.

“The seniors at Waldorf got involved with the program a year before we could even think about rebuilding the community center,” Stratton said. “When you think about it, students at a Waldorf school in Fair Oaks don’t necessarily have a lot in common with students in a neighborhood that’s filled with low-income housing. “It was a wonderful experience for each group to learn from each other and to work together.”

After a bunch of neighborhood projects, such as park cleanups and gardening, Stratton said the neighborhood’s residents decided it wanted to next restore The GreenHouse, whose staff of five had moved into a much smaller facility next door when its building fell into disrepair.

“We’ve done very well in the other building but have had only about a fourth of the space we’d had in the original building,” Stratton said. “We have waiting lists for kids wanting to get into our programs.”

Stratton, her husband, their 8-year-old son and twin 6-year boys, recently relocated to Oakland. The center’s new executive director, Brian Heller de Leon, began his job last month. “The most comforting thing about leaving,” Stratton said, “is in knowing that there’ll be a new clubhouse and greater capacity for helping kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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Remodeling is Picking UP!

By Marty Morse

Have you noticed more construction vehicles in your neighborhood lately? It is impossible for me not to notice since Morse Remodeling relies heavily on its clients wishing to make improvements to what is most likely their biggest asset, their homes.

Home sales are experiencing multiple offers over asking price, supporting growth in home values. Additionally, there is a very low supply of housing on the market for sale. Some clients of Morse have come to us after searching for a new home, only to find out that there is not a whole lot of inventory on the market that meets their needs. This is leading many homeowners to really look at their home, its location, and its potential for a remodel. As a result, these homeowners are beginning the process to improve their current home for the next 20 years, and customize it for their needs and lifestyle. My personal situation is proof. I have recently upgraded my home by adding a photovoltaic solar panels to my roof and painting my exterior.

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I have enjoyed assisting others in making their dreams for their remodeling ideas become a reality. There are thousands of homes in Davis and surrounding communities that experienced huge home developments 15-20 years ago. Many of these homes were cookie cutter model homes that were built with tract style products and finishes. These homes in the Sacramento Valley are in dire need of improvement and customization. It is amazing how these homes can transform from builder series to custom spaces that represent the homeowners taste and lifestyle needs.

If you are interested in learning more about the potential of your current home, please give us a call and we will coordinate a free consultation to review the possibilities. But don’t wait too long. Large scale projects can take up to 5 months to plan and acquire building permits. It is not uncommon for design build firms to engage with their clients for a 12 month period, from initial consultation, to enjoying their remodeled space. I hope to visit you home soon….Design, Build and Enjoy!


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