Renovation with Green, Efficiency and budget in mind
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Category — Architect

Rainwater Collection For Reuse In The Landscape

LAI has designed an affordable solution for collection and reuse of rainwater in cold climates to essentially eliminate the need for potable water to be used in the irrigation of the landscape. This can be done with both new construction and renovation projects. As shown in the image below we are demonstrating one of many ways to effectively disconnect your irrigation system from either a well source or city water source as a means to conserve the valuable resource and save money!  [Read more →]

March 13, 2010   2 Comments

Great architectural advice

Once again Phillip, the architect from Architron, saves the day. I needed to figure out what I want to do in a few months time with some windows. In a few short minutes he was able to advise me on my options and give me renewed insight into the lay of the land and how I want to use the space. A good architect is Cyrano Debergarac whispering in your ear. Well, maybe not that, but I guess my point is that a great architect helps you find the solutions that are already in yourself, that reflect your vision, likes and lifestyle needs. They do this through working with you, working with your ideas and helping you visualize your options. It’s hard to explain, but it is something that is pretty amazing. Something that I could never do without the right help. Thanks, Phillip!

November 21, 2009   Comments Off on Great architectural advice

Renovation decisions

In going through this process, I am amazed at the difficulty of making decisions on floorplans and architectural details based on lines on paper. I think the thing that really gets me is the finality of those decisions. Give me the digital world and I can make decisions in a heartbeat, and stick to them. Give me a choice on a placement of a physical wall and I go blank. [Read more →]

November 1, 2009   1 Comment

Egress windows

Egress windows are one of the best ways to increase the usable space in a home as well as one of the best ways to increase a home’s value (IMHO.) One thing people forget is the landscaping and the look of the well itself. Jason Stinson from Minneapolis’ Stinson Builders and Stephen Mastey, from St. Paul’s landscaper, Landscape Architecture Inc., have been very helpful in discussing these factors. [Read more →]

October 29, 2009   Comments Off on Egress windows

Grading and plans

Landscape Architects Inc.

Landscape Architects Inc.

Stephen Mastey, Principal at Landscape Architecture Inc. Came over today and discussed fixing the grading on the East side of the house. The current situation is dire with a deep recession in the middle and a high berm in the front and elevated area in the back. This is a recipe for disaster. The only reason that the basement is dry is because of the fine sugar sand below which drains like the dickens. [Read more →]

October 15, 2009   1 Comment

Renovation project starts

OK, so I recently bought this house. It’s a small 1955 rambler on the border of St. Paul and Minneapolis, in Desnoyer Park (a very unknown gem in the Twin Cities.) I purchased it with some significant renovation work in mind. I have a limited budget and I would like to go “Green” as well. Through this renovation blog you can learn the process I went through, learn from my mistakes and successes (mistakes can be successes too!) and hopefully have a good time doing it. Wish me luck.

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September 18, 2009   Comments Off on Renovation project starts


You can’t start a good renovation project without a good architect. A good architect knows not only the form and function of a home but incredibly important details like how a person lives in a space and maddeningly complex things like codes, appliances, materials, good contractors, certifications, rebates, etc… Now that is a tall order. Fortunately I found all of that, and more, with Phillip Broussard from the St. Paul-based Architron. [Read more →]

August 15, 2009   Comments Off on Architecture