Posts Tagged ‘Development’

Designing A Family-Friendly Home

October 15th, 2010 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

I’ve been in the throws of re-designing a 2800 square foot home to accommodate all the needs of a growing family of four.  The main criteria for this new and improved home, is to ensure it is highly functional, extremely comfortable and impeccably styled.  In other words – create a family friendly and welcoming home environment for everyone who passes through the door.

The scope of the project and my client’s wish list goes something like this:

The First Floor:

  • Enlarge the kitchen by bumping outward thereby changing the roofline and adding new windows.
  • Create a more open floor plan by opening up the kitchen to the dining room to improve the flow and allow for ease in entertaining.
  • Add floor to ceiling windows in the front and back to allow in much more light.
  • Adding on to create a new front entrance.
  • Transform an office for one into a family friendly workspace for four.
  • Expand the existing living room and family room by integrating the interior with the new exterior living space.
  • Incorporate a service/bar area under the stairwell.
  • Re-design a family friendly family room for children and adults by borrowing some extra space from the adjacent bathroom.
  • Reduce the existing full bath into a sleek new powder room.

The Second Floor:

  • Change out stairwell and railing design.
  • Renovate and re-plan the boys’ bath by providing a stall shower and second sink.
  • Create a master bedroom/bath spa environment by re-planning the entire master suite.
  • Add a full balcony off the master bedroom overlooking the back yard and outdoor living space.
  • Add ample storage throughout the entire home.

Practicality and style can reign supreme in a family friendly home – all the while keeping connected to family and friends while cooking, working online or paying some bills. This is the underlying theme in this home renovation project.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.

How Smart Is Your Home?

February 10th, 2010 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Brown Residence, Week 13
If you’re building, renovating, adding on, or remodeling your home, you may want to take the time now to research if integrating a home automation system is right for you.

Whether you’re interested in implementing a complete lighting control system, a high-end audio/video system, a home theatre system, or a whole house integration system into your new home plans – it’s imperative that the technology integrate seamlessly with your design.  Learn what’s available out there then determine how far you intend to go in the world of home technology.

If you’re ready to move forward and implement some of these technological advancements into your home – then I highly recommend consulting with a home technology integration specialist early on in the design development phase of your project.

Introducing this expert to your design team early on will be the difference between a good home renovation project and a great one. Many of these consultants have been trained in home construction, as well as specializing in home entertainment, low-voltage wiring, telecommunications, lighting and security.

It is typically much easier to plan for a successful integrated system before construction begins since accessibility to the walls, ceilings, attics and crawl spaces may be utilized to conceal the inner workings of these systems.

These specialists analyze the preliminary floor plans and will design, program and install these systems into your home renovation plans as expertly and efficiently as possible.  They determine the prime installation locations of low-voltage wiring, wall mounted control panels, and any note any structural changes that are project specific.

To learn more visit www.dsientertainment.com.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca.
© 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc

Attention All Men: What Type Of Client Are You?

December 30th, 2009 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

The other day when I was on the phone with my client scheduling our first preliminary plan review meeting she asked,  “Does Mark need to be there for this one?”  With so many meetings on the agenda, we really need to hand select which meetings are best for him to attend.  But first we need to assess what type of client he is.

More to the point, the answer to this question really depends on your husband’s level of interest in renovation process, his personality type and his schedule of availability – and that in turn will provide you with your answer.

In all my years of designing homes for singles – couples and families, I’ve learned that when it comes to men – there are typically three categories they fall under.

The Enforcer.The Enforcer 7-2
He is the boss, chief, or micromanager who insists on controlling every aspect of the home renovation project from beginning to end.  He is “Master of his Domain” and has an insatiable need to control with excessive attention to minor detail.  By nature, he tends to distrust the very professionals he’s hired to do the job.

The Endorser.The Endorser 7-2
Has a minimal interest in the design process, supports his wife’s decisions and trusts her implicitly to work hand in hand with their design professionals – knowing without hesitation that they will deliver the best product.

The Contributor.
Provides his thoughts and opinions when necessary, but speaks out loudly when it comes to specific details that are important to him.  He sees his home as a sanctuary and wants it to reflect his personality as well as his wife’s.  He has a certain design criteria and really enjoys participating in the decision making process – particularly when it involves media rooms, master baths and outdoor kitchens.

Young couple purchasing on internet

Ok.  Now be honest.  Which type are you?

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca.
© 2009 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc

Put Your Soil To The Test

December 24th, 2009 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Brown Residence, Week 6

Week 6-2 Image1After hours of boring, drilling and digging, the geologists are finally able to gather the soil samples extracted from the front and rear of the Brown’s property, and conduct their experiments.

This Geotechnical Engineering Liquefaction and Foundation Investigation is a written evaluation and assessment for the proposed One Story and Second Story Additions for the Brown’s home renovation and addition project.

It will document the findings of all soil sampling, testing, engineering liquefaction analysis, seismic hazard findings, and seismic design factors. It will also include grading and foundation design recommendations for the proposed construction.  This is very valuable information for the Structural Engineer as it relates directly to the design of the new foundation plans.  The contractor will also need to be aware of what will be required of them to build that foundation.

So what are we looking for?
Knowing how critical the soil conditions are when it comes to designing this renovation and addition project – and the direct relationship between the foundation and the soil, we now wait for the results.

The engineers are looking for soil classification type, the cohesiveness of the soils and its density (or blows per inch).

A test is conducted where a 140 lb. weight is dropped, and they count the number of blows it takes to advance one foot.  The more blows it takes to compact the soil, the more dense the earth – and that’s a good thing.

We should have a preliminary opinion within 3 weeks, with the full report concluded within 5 weeks.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca.
© 2009 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc

Week 6-2 Image 2

Digging Deep For Clues

December 22nd, 2009 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Brown Residence, Week 6Week 6-1 Image 1

After submitting the Typographic Land Survey and the site plan – complete with the locations of the proposed additions – the Geologists were able to analyze the Brown’s canyon property and determine the number of drill sites, test pits and drill depths required to collect sufficient soils for sampling.

The Geologist’s assessed that only one major drill site was necessary in Liz and Mark’s driveway – boring down 50’ for soil sampling rather than a more typical 30’ – and an additional 4 hand tool excavated test pits are required throughout the front and rear yards, relative to the proposed additions.

What To Expect:

  • A truck mounted drill rig and other equipment showed up in their driveway for 3-4 hours on that schedule morning to collect the samples at varying levels on the site.  It was an invasive, arduous and time – consuming process yet fascinating at the same time.
  • The test drilling created an 8” diameter hole in the driveway, which was filled with concrete to even out the surface.  Unfortunately the repair to that hole wasn’t as smooth as Liz had expected and it needed to be corrected.  Since the Brown’s will be living here for some time before the construction begins, we expect all repair work to be as done as neatly as possible.Week 6-1 Image 2
  • Days later, several laborers showed up with the soils engineer to dig 4 hand tool test pits.  These pits disturbed, 2’x3’ areas of sod that were cut, soil removed for testing and were finally re-filled and sod replaced.  It should take the sod just a couple of weeks to recover.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca.
© 2009 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc

Week 6-1 Image 3

Laying A Solid Foundation

December 15th, 2009 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Brown Residence, Week 5

The Brown’s home renovation and addition project is a massive one.  We’re proposing to enlarge the main floor plan by an additional 1,000 square feet – by substantially increasing the existing kitchen, adding on a new bedroom, garage/laundry/mudroom, raising the roof and ceiling – not to mention building an entirely new second floor of an additional 1.000 square feet as well.

In order for us to ensure that these augmentations to the home are built on a solid foundation we have to first be aware of the land conditions – and more importantly understand the conditions of the soil we’re currently dealing with. Without this information, we run the risk of a sub standard foundation with a potential disaster just waiting to happen. These foundations must be able to support the weight of the new and improved structure – and the soil below must be able to manage that load.

Because this home is nestled on a canyon floor surrounded by hillside, the city building and safety department requires a geological/soils report, which will thoroughly analyze and document the property’s current soil conditions.  This is invaluable information when adding on to an existing structure, particularly with these existing site conditions.

We also need to determine whether the Brown’s property is situated on an earthquake fault zone, prone to flooding or in any way is likely to suffer from any slope stability issues.

Tasks Ahead:

  1. Time to call in a reputable Geologist and request a bid for conducting a geological assessment of the property – which will provide us with valuable information on the soil conditions.
  2. After a detailed phone conversation and doing some preliminary zoning research of the property, the Geologist determined that Liz and Mark’s property was situated on liquefaction soil.  That required a “Geological Engineering Liquefaction and Foundation Investigation Report.”

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca.
© 2009 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc

Week 5-1 Image

When You Need Architectural As-Built Drawings

December 10th, 2009 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Brown Residence, Week 4Measuring1  4-2

One of the main objectives for Liz and Mark Brown’s renovation and addition to their current home is to ensure the new construction blends in seamlessly with the old.  And a well conceived home renovation project hinges on the precision planning and accurate measurements of a quality set of as-built plans.

These valuable drawings will be used to show what’s existing, what’s to be demolished, what’s remaining and the proposed new construction.   Due to the size and scope of this particular project, we are required by our local building and safety department to submit a comprehensive set of as-built plans (Site Plan, Floor Plan, Exterior Elevations and Roof Plan) attached to the construction document set.

Unfortunately the only plans Liz was able to provide were partial plans of their home, from a past project that never happened.  So I called upon my draftsman to meet at the site where we rolled up our sleeves and got to work measuring the exterior of the building – all doors, windows, roof pitches and soffit details.  He then returned the following day with a plan of the building’s shell in hand, and over the next several hours measured the interior from top to bottom. All interior walls, cabinets, doors and windows, fixtures, appliances – the list goes on.  It should take a week or two before we get them back.  In the meantime there are plenty of other details to work on.Measuring 2  4-2

If your project involves a renovation or addition of any kind – before you even begin – take a trip down to your local building and safety office and tell them of your plans. They’ll be more than happy to guide you down the right path.  Ask them for a Residential Plan Check List which will educate you on what you’ll need to provide the office for permitting and who you’ll need to hire to help get you there. A little research up front will save you time and money in the end.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca.
© 2009 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc

What Are Architectural As-Built Drawings?

December 8th, 2009 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

When planning a major remodel, renovation or addition to your existing home it’s likely your local building department will require a set of as-built plans, which illustrates your home in its current condition.  Think of these drawings as the “BEFORE” set, and the final and approved construction documents as the “AFTER” set.

In a nutshell as-built drawings are detailed plans of your property that represents all structures and site conditions, as they exist today.  These drawings are site measured and field verified and may include any of the following:

Site Plan.

This is an aerial view of your site that depicts your home and all existing structures situated on your plot of land, bordered by its property lines.  It details all streets, driveways and easements, as well as all front, side and rear setback measurements specific to your property. Typically you’ll also require an assessor’s parcel map of your property, which is easy to obtain at zimas.lacity.org. (Zone Information and Map Assess System).

Floor Plans.

The floor plans are scaled diagrams of one level of a structure as seen from above.  It not only shows room sizes, but detailed door and window sizes and locations, existing cabinetry, appliances, fixtures, stairwells, ceiling heights, and mechanical equipment locations.  This documents everything that exists on each floor of your house – now.

Exterior Elevations.

This is the vertical view of the building’s exterior, which typically shows the front, rear and sides of the house, including all door and window locations and heights, soffit and fascia details, siding materials, chimney locations and roof pitch, as it currently exists.

Roof Plan.Roof Plan Sample 4-1

This depicts the layout of the rooflines complete with dormers, gables, ridges, hip and valleys. In the case of an addition, this plan will help you integrate a new roof seamlessly with the existing roofline.

Check with your local building and safety department and learn the extent of what type of as-builts plans they’ll require for your home renovation project.  Depending on the scope and size, you may be lucky and only need to provide them with a portion of the existing house.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca.
© 2009 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc

Developing Your Home Renovation Wish List

December 1st, 2009 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Brown Residence, Week 3

By analyzing and assessing the way they really live, Liz Brown provided me with a thorough list of what they envisioned for their home and family, and primarily the direction in which this renovation project was headed.

To get a sense of the scope of the Brown’s project, let me share just some of Liz’s wish list with you:Wish List Image 3-1

Downstairs Bedrooms & Bathrooms:

  • Add one additional bedroom and connecting bathroom downstairs.
  • Add one or two additional baths to the existing children’s bedrooms.
  • Remove the current children’s bathroom due to bad location.
  • Add good size linen closet.

Kitchen:

  • Expand current kitchen dramatically and raise ceilings throughout.
  • Dining for 6-8 in kitchen.
  • Like big island with bar stools.
  • Include large picture windows.
  • Lots of cabinetry.
  • Need door to close off kitchen.
  • Design separate laundry room.
  • Can reconfigure current office, maids, and bath for better entry from garage.
  • Add butler’s pantry if possible.
  • Appliances:  8 burner range, warming drawer, XL microwave, separate sub zero refrigerator and freezer, and wine refrigerator.

Main Living Area:

  • Problem areas:  bad entry/foyer, walk through dining room to get to family room. (poor traffic flow).
  • Bad location of powder room, and low ceilings.
  • If ceilings are raised, big custom windows to bring the outside elements inside.
  • Like side lights on either side of front entry door.

Upper Master Bedroom Suite Addition:wish list image 3-1 (2nd)

  • Add one master bedroom suite upstairs.
  • One bedroom – with or without balcony.
  • Window seat if possible.
  • One room for office or treadmill with windows.
  • One bath with two toilets, one bidet, 2 sinks, shower, tub and make-up vanity area (if possible)
  • Two separate walk – in closets

I think you get the idea – Liz’s detailed wish list provided me with a strong vision as to where to begin and the direction this renovation project was headed.  From that point forward, it became my job to turn Liz and Mark’s vision into a reality.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca.
© 2009 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc