Picking the right siding for your house is a delicate balancing act between good looks, durability, maintenance, and affordability. With wood, vinyl, stone, brick, or stucco, you might get only two or three of these. But with fiber cement, a resilient mix of wood pulp and portland cement, you get all four. It’s the only siding that combines the performance of masonry—minimal upkeep; rot-, fire-, and termite-proof; unaffected by wind or cold—with the look of painted wood clapboards, shingles, even stone or brick. Yet fiber cement goes for just a fraction of the cost of these other materials. No wonder nearly 15 percent of new homes—and many TOH TV projects—are clad with the stuff.
All this has happened in just 25 years, since fiber cement was first introduced. Now architects regularly specify the siding because it holds down costs without compromising aesthetics. It’s even accepted for use in many historic districts. Continue reading
The subject of choosing windows can cause trepidation for many homeowners. It’s understandable given the relative complexity, importance and cost that windows represent. But don’t panic. The path to overcoming any apprehension you might have about choosing new windows involves some education, broken down into manageable chunks. Once you understand the important parts of any window-buying decision you’ll be able to make informed decisions and good choices. Continue reading
Controlling construction costs is among the most important things an owner can do in order to realize a successful project. The best resource available to the owner in managing the cost of construction is the general contractor. Construction cost projections presented by the contractor generally include: Continue reading
Tenant improvements (TI) turn commercial spaces into places where businesses can thrive. These design and construction projects can vary in scope—from building out previously unused square footage to completely gutting and remodeling a space for a new use. The prospect of creating the perfect space for a business is often exciting but can also be overwhelming, especially for those business owners who haven’t previously gone through the commercial design and construction process. Continue reading
Up or out? That is the question. You need space and you want the most for your money. Your home site might make the decision for you. If you don’t have much of a yard to the sides of your home or behind it, up might be the only way to go. Local zoning laws also come into play. The cheapest solution depends on various factors, as each situation is different.
Ground Floor Additions
If you’ve got the yard space for it, ground floor additions are generally easier. There’s far less disruption of your house than when adding a second story. Depending on the configuration of your house, an addition might be built off an existing doorway, lessening the expense of taking down walls. You might also save on architectural design costs that would be required for building up. If you have to move power lines or work around sewer lines, that can add to the expense. Continue reading
When executing a lease, most tenants will need to renovate an existing space. The scope of this work can range from new carpet and paint to the complete build-out of empty shell space. It is important to have a very clear idea of what it costs to design, permit and construct the new improvements for the new space. What may seem initially to be a simple remodel can grow in complexity and cost as unforeseen complications emerge. Continue reading
New homes can be a superior value.
Newly built homes are often priced higher than resale, but, with a new home, everything inside and out is brand new. Conventional thinking is that a new home will cost more than an existing home. The rule of thumb seems to be that buying a new home from a builder might run you 15 percent to 30 percent more than buying a comparable older home in an existing neighborhood. Continue reading