Diary Entries

Consider Multipurpose Spaces

Rooms with multiple functions are more adaptable to changing needs. Think ahead when designing spaces - it will save you the time, energy, resources, and money involved with renovating again!

You can read more about David's remodel experience and learn valuable knowledge about green building standards, materials and best practices in his book Green Remodeling.

Green remodeling is new to most people, so I want to share my experience remodeling my 1973 vintage home and building a new office addition. They represent two entirely different approaches: 

  • working within the confines of an existing house with incremental improvements
  • putting a second-floor addition over a detached garage that was designed to be as green as I could make it

My intention is to introduce you to some new building materials in the hope of easing their integration into mainstream construction, and to make green building standard building practice for you. What is unique about green remodeling is that each green material holds importance to your home; in a sense, each material has a story. You end up telling people about the retaining walls that were reclaimed from your dentist's yard or the structural beams that were compressed together from fast-growing aspen trees.

Building green is a thinking process, not a contest to see how many green things you can incorporate into your home. Do what you can within your budget and motivation. Here's my story; I hope it encourages you to create your own.

Remodeling: An Emotional Rollercoaster

I love my new office, but I have to remind people that remodeling is a wild ride. It seems like it should be straightforward, but in reality, it is an emotional experience from start to finish. There is the excitement of the design process, the shock of the first cost estimates, the thrill of the initial construction, the frustration with contractors, the elation of seeing the structure in form, the impatience of wanting it to be finished. All are part of the process. The more prepared you can be for the experience, the better you will handle the ride.