Renovation with Green, Efficiency and budget in mind
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Category — House in Desnoyer Park

Landscape Design with Salvaged Stone

The use of salvaged stone and salvaged building materials is becoming a great way to be green and save money on your renovation and landscape projects while adding tons of character. Our office is known with the local quarries and stone yards for scouring the back of their lots for salvaged, special order materials that have been returned, or what they would consider left over scraps and incorporating these one of kind materials in our design process early on. [Read more →]

December 21, 2009   Comments Off on Landscape Design with Salvaged Stone

Basement concrete patching

After taking out the chimney and old furnace room we found the floor, bashed up a bit, with holes as well as not-so-flat. The original furnace must have been put in before the concrete floor, as there was a pad that had clearly been wet when the furnace was dropped in and the floor sloped away from this in all directions. [Read more →]

December 12, 2009   Comments Off on Basement concrete patching

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

Best HVAC installer in Minneapolis and St. Paul

I think the Stafford Home Service guys are the best HVAC installer in Minneapolis and St. Paul. They have been so helpful and patient with this crazy process. They have found very creative ways to work around the old framing and our need to pack things in tightly to maximize usable space. Many contractors would just go the direct, and easy, route and take up a lot of space. –It maximizes their profits but minimizes your usable space. [Read more →]

November 21, 2009   Comments Off on Best HVAC installer in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Minature recessed lighting

Kris from Stafford Home Services’ Minneapolis electricians suggested a miniature recessed light for the tight space above the basement landing. The unit he suggested, and has installed before, is the Gimbal Ring – HR-1137 from W.A.C Lighting. It’s a slick little unit at a mere 3″ high and 2 3/4″ wide. I also noticed that uses an easy to find MR11 bulb which even has LED options out there. Nice!

November 10, 2009   Comments Off on Minature recessed lighting

Media center

I had a great meeting today with Jesse Korsban from Stafford Home Services’ low voltage and audio/video department. We discussed the location of TV screens (can we even call them that anymore? I guess I should have said, Flat Panels), the speakers and the consolidation of the hardware. Stafford will be consolidating all of my equipment (receiver, Cable box, Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii, OPPO DVD player, DVD recorder, iPod station, and Mac Mini) to a single location under the basement stair. [Read more →]

November 6, 2009   1 Comment

Stafford Home Services

The Stafford team descended on Desonyer this week like an parachute brigade. A particularly effective and talented brigade at that. The week started with George from Stafford HVAC laying out the ducts and discussing placement of ducts as well as the placement of the new furnace and AC unit. He was very patient and helpful, offering many options and their benefits. These guys don’t just know how to do things one way, they are full of ideas and are flexible as heck. That’s a good thing in my book. [Read more →]

November 6, 2009   1 Comment

Basement bathroom addition

I decided to add a bathroom to the basement to better utilize the space. Stinson Builders of Minneapolis came in today and put in the framing. It looks fantastic. [Read more →]

November 2, 2009   Comments Off on Basement bathroom addition

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