Our beliefs are grounded in ‘triple-bottom-line’ management and design – often referred to as the ‘Three P’s’ of planet, people and profit:
Caring for our Planet: Providing for all life systems to continue and thrive. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, life cannot flourish.
Caring for our People: Providing for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.
The need for Profit: money provides the resources by which to care for our planet and our people. Consider profit as surplus. Returning or re-investing surplus back into our people and the community provides for the first two ethics of planet and people. This third ethic – profit — is sometimes referred to as ‘Fair Share’ to reflect that each of us should take no more than what we need before we reinvest the surplus.
We design by principles rather than by rules, giving us the most flexibility when considering your budget, your home’s architecture, and your lifestyle. Consider these principles:
Design from patterns to details – by stepping back, we can observe patterns in how a client lives. These patterns can form the backbone of our designs, with the details falling into place as we go. As well, from this broad vantage point – observing patterns as well as seeing the whole picture of design and construction – we can more smoothly take a project from beginning to end.
Integrate rather than segregate – by putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those elements; they work together to support you and your family’s way of moving through life, as well as how your home relates to the natural environment. During the design process, we integrate the work of other professionals into our designs, as needed – appliance and lighting specialists; structural engineers; planning and development officials… to name just a few.
Use and value diversity – our project mix is very diverse. The right solution for you is a unique recipe, given your house, your personality, your goals, and your budget. Your project should be a true reflection of you… not us. Our design projects are diverse; our solutions are diverse; the scale of projects is diverse. ‘Universal Design’ and flexible floor planning are just two ways we employ diversity in meeting many people’s needs for their changing lifestyles. By ‘universal design’, we’re referring to design standards appropriate for people of all ages with varying capabilities and disabilities. We also value your time and money, offering diversity in how much design help you hire us to perform. For example, we can help you select all of your exterior and interior elements, or we can give you a ‘long leash’ to do much of the research yourselves.
Personalization of a project – by taking the time to engage and interact with you and your home we can design solutions that suit your particular situation. During the design process, we develop conceptual designs. You get to see the project in three dimensions, give us feedback, and refine the project, making sure you get just what you want. Modifications and changes are a natural part of this design/build process – especially when remodeling within pre-existing conditions. With a design/build firm like ours, you have one team and one goal – to make sure your project is a smashing success!
Use and value renewable resources and services – let’s make the best use of your finances as well as nature’s abundance, aiming to reduce overly-consumptive behavior and a dependence on non-renewable resources. From design through construction, we do what we can to create minimal waste; to re-purpose or recycle everything we can. We place a high value on the long term energy use of a home. Rather than just choosing short term ‘green’ products for your home, we encourage clients to consider the amount of energy their home will use over its life time in order to keep it a comfortable and healthy home to live in. We build responsibly, consistent in our dedication to minimizing the carbon footprint of our projects… working towards supporting our local community as well as the planet.
Attention to detail – the interface between space and time is where the most interesting things happen – examples include what happens at exterior doors, where people are coming and going; or that time between getting the kids out the door for school and getting yourselves off to work. Paying attention to these spaces and times can be critical to the success of a project but are often marginalized as insignificant.
Estimating costs – from conceptual designs through construction, we believe that thinking the design through each detail, early on, is the most cost effective process and leads to the most successful projects. We select products prior to giving a firm bid rather than giving you potentially unrealistic allowances. And our estimating staff is remarkably accurate, achieving overall costs within about 3% of projections. One of the tools we use to achieve this unheard of accuracy is the ‘cooperative bid’. Our estimating staff will work with you to provide preliminary cost estimates, helping you to establish an initial budget. Then, if the actual bid exceeds your budget, we’ll work with you to revise the design to reduce the costs to match your requirements and constraints.
Life cycle assessment – a term that describes how long a product or system lasts. For example, a low initial cost, or first cost, can cost you far more money in the long run, if it needs to be replaced in short order. We pay a lot of attention to this dance between first cost and life expectancy, ensuring that the project we design together offers the rewards you are seeking. We keep a constant eye on the return on your investment and work closely with you to responsibly design and build a home that will withstand the test of time. Your home is likely your most important financial and personal asset, and we’re driven to carefully manage, protect, and add value to your home. As such we often refer to ourselves as property preservation specialists.
Excellent customer care – we understand the inherent stress of living through a remodel. We minimize this stress by employing high quality, experienced, empathetic employees, where integrity is top of mind. Timely and open communication is a critical success factor. We listen to you. We believe communication is the key to a successful project. From the start, we listen to your ideas and thoughts, formulating a design strategy based upon your needs. If open communication is established from the very beginning the chance for errors or misunderstandings plummet, leaving you, the homeowner, at ease, with the assurance that your project is being managed the way it should be. We work towards a design process that is enjoyable for you by providing excellent customer service, ongoing, dependable communication, and attention to detail. You can rest assured that our full team, including owners, project managers, carpenters, and sub-contractors are all fully engaged in your project. We create beautiful, practical, functional, and inspiring spaces!
In September of 2015 we celebrated our 60th anniversary. Our design/build philosophy, anchored by the core values and principles described above, have driven this success, and we hope to use these same tools for you and your home. We’ve successfully served this region since 1955 and hope to show you why so many others have made this choice to have us alter their world.