Factory-Built Housing Can Be Better than You Think

Well Designed Factory-Built Homes

If you are like most Americans, when you hear the term “Factory-Built” or “Modular” housing, you probably think of what you see rolling down the highway on a truck with the house-wrap flapping in the breeze. You think of a tiny house that is just a small step up from a trailer. You think of…

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Latvian Symbols in Art and Architecture

Latvian Symbols Art Architecture

Latvia has a rich cultural heritage of meaningful symbols that are prevalent in their art and architecture. The Latvian wooden houses incorporate a lot of detail in the wood trim. And much of this detail can be traced to symbols that have roots in the Pagan origins of the Latvian culture. Author Dan Brown brought…

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Understand Your House Plans (Karen’s Method)

I think it is always a challenge for my clients to thoroughly understand the architectural drawings, or house plans, for their new house. Floor plans and elevations are a new language to most people who are not in the building business. It is like hearing a foreign language. You can get some of it, but you probably will miss much…

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Bleaching Oil for Cedar Siding

I was on a job site the other day and we were reviewing the transformation that occurs when you apply bleaching oil with stain to cedar siding. The contractor had already built a sample wall and we were discussing the finishing process. He indicated the siding would be stained, and then stained again six weeks…

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Our Word of the Week – Ogee


Ogee – Ogee, pronounced like saying the letters O.G., refers to a shape seen often in architecture, woodworking, and even aluminum gutters, of all places. An ogee shape is a curved shape that resembles an “s” shape (on its side) as shown below. It has two opposing curves that make up its length. The shape you…

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Choosing Paint Colors Is Challenging

Home Design Color Swatches

Recently I was asked for tips to help homeowners navigate the ocean of paint swatches at the home improvement store. Selecting colors can be challenging. It can be a daunting task. With so many colors to choose from it seems it would be easy to find just the right one. The fact there are millions of colors in…

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Do I Need a Building Permit?

Building Permit Requirement

Get a Building Permit if you are planning a home improvement project such as finishing your basement or rearranging your bathroom or kitchen. The jargon in the construction world is to “pull a permit.” Weird, but that’s the jargon. Often, folks decide to not get a permit for home improvements because they worry this will…

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Dealing with High Ceilings in Small Spaces

High Ceiling Small Space

High Ceilings in small spaces can be disconcerting. High ceilings in most rooms of a house rooms are great. But high ceilings in small spaces can create the dreaded “elevator shaft” effect. That’s what you can end up with in small rooms with high ceilings.  In high-end houses, ten-foot high ceilings, and above, have gotten…

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