- Building by Design: The Design-Builder Concept
A design-builder is a modern form of an ancient approach to building structures — that of the master builder. A master builder of old was a combination architect, engineer and builder, responsible for every phase of building a structure from initial concept to completion. Design-building firms such as StarCraft Custom Builders continue this oldest of building traditions.
- The Construction Process
Once your blueprints are completed, the real work begins. Your project manager works with you to develop a construction process that minimizes disruption to your household while work is in progress.
- The Design & Planning Process
If your plans include substantial changes to your kitchen or bath, or another room, or you are contemplating an addition; then a construction plan is required. Learn how your ideas are turned into a concept plan and then a construction blueprint in a three-step process using computer-assisted design.
- Finding Some More Kitchen Space
In many cases, existing kitchens are just too small for any real improvement in space management. Learn where to get more space, or at least the illusion of more space for your new kitchen.
- Getting More Bathroom Space
Our fondness of open spaces within the home doesn't end at the bathroom door. Unfortunately the acreage needed to create that spacious feeling just is not available in many older bathrooms. Often the key to updating a bath is creating more space — or at least the illusion of more space. This article examines where additional space can be found both outside and inside your existing bathroom.
- Insulating Your Old House
Is your old house drafty in winter, swampy in summer? Almost impossible to heat and cool? That's because when your house was built a half-century or more ago, no one thought insulation was necessary — or, better said, experts believed that the 4" of dead air space inside the stud cavities of your walls was adequate insulation. Now we know better, and in an age of declining energy resources, adequate insulation in your old house has become a critical requirement. Learn how insulation works, and when and wear you should insulate your old house.
- James Hoban: Master Builder (Sidebar)
An Irishman designed and built the most famous house in American: The White House. Learn about this little known master builder.
- Jungle in the Dining Room, The Solarium Addition
These owners wanted to view a tropical forest through the French doors of their dining room. See how we built an indoor garden of tropical plants that doubled as a source of solar heating.
- Living Through Remodeling: A Homeowner Survival Guide
Remodeling will disrupt just about every routine you have; including some you are not aware of having. But this noisy, gritty process doesn't necessarily mean you will be tearing out your hair. With a little advance planning, it is possible to live through even major renovations with your sanity and good nature largely intact. Check out our remodeling survivors guide.
- Whole Wall Insulation (Sidebar)
The R-12 insulation in your walls may be providing only R-8 thermal protection. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has come up with a new technique for measuring actual R-value that is a lot more accurate than the current methods. Which materials are winners and which are losers in the R-value rating game? Find out.
- Your Old Windows
If the fine craftsmanship and charm of your old windows is quickly being eroded by cold drafts and frost on the panes, it may be time to consider doing something about them. Can your old windows be saved? If they are saved, can they be made as energy efficient as modern windows? The answer is "yes" and "yes". Most heritage windows can be restored and upgraded to rival the performance of a standard replacement window, and usually at a fraction of the cost.