Custom versus Semi-Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing between semi-custom kitchen cabinets, (factory-made cabinets) and custom kitchen cabinets can be difficult. True custom cabinets are the top of the line. They almost always cost the most. But they do give you every style, option, color, and finish possible. But most budgets can’t handle the cost. So what are you giving up by choosing…

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Don’t Let Your Hardwood Floors Turn Yellow

Hardwood Floors Yellow

I have had many people ask about the yellow look of oak floors. The good news is that the oak is not actually yellowing. It is actually the polyurethane finish that has yellowed. If you want your floors to remain oak colored and work well with your other stained items, I would suggest using a…

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Reinventing Your House with a First Floor Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

These days, with lower real estate values and the economic uncertainties, reinventing your house may make more financial sense than building a new one. I hate to admit that. Being an architect, I love building new houses. But I understand that selling a house these days can be tough. Real estate commissions, fixing up your old house…

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Pay Your Builder To Break Your Glass

Broken Glass

In these uncertain economic times, more and more builders find themselves faced with the problem of getting paid. When the work is complete, some homeowners are slow in paying the last bill. This could be for a good reason. There might be unfinished or improperly done work. If non-performance is an issue,  a surety bond can…

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Living Small – Efficient House Design

Small Home

The days of “Living Large” may be numbered. House design is changing. We might soon be bragging that we’re “Living Small.” With the current economic conditions, we are seeing our dreams and desires in a whole new light. High energy costs, environmental concerns, maintenance costs and the cost of the house itself are strong motivators…

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Home Lighting – Light Fixtures and Daylighting

Light Fixture

People tend to not place enough emphasis on the lighting in their homes. It is often taken for granted and as a result, it is poorly designed.  There are lots of things you can do to reduce your electrical costs, improve the quality of the lighting in your home, avoid construction cost over-runs, and make…

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A High Ceiling Problem

High Ceiling Issue

I recently was asked a question from a person in Philadelphia about how to deal with a very high ceiling in a living room. Here’s the question: My nineteen-eighties condo has a 19′ ceiling in the living room that merges with the dining area where the ceiling drops to eight feet. The 19′ fireplace wall…

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