February 2006 Table of Contents

Tips From the Trades

Ask a group of remodelers what they can learn from trade contractors, and you'll likely get a lot of muttering and more than your fair share of smirks. Trade contractors ómore commonly known as subcontractors ó are not perfect, of course, but they do some things very well, even better than (gasp!) general contractors. Read more

Refer Madness

Could it be any easier for homeowners to find home improvement contractors? Only if the online referral industry maintains its current torrid growth rate. Having emerged in the 1990s and then largely imploded in the dot-com bust, this industry is back and bigger than ever. Hundreds of services exist today, from national behemoths that “match” contractors and consumers automatically to one-person companies that know every client by name. Read more

Hirer Beware

Most states require corporations offering design services performed by its own employees to obtain a Certificate of Authority to practice architecture. Without it, the contractor is practicing illegally. Read more

Architectural Solution

Control. In a remodeling project, everyone wants it ó contractor, client, architect. In the traditional remodeling process, the three-way struggle for control creates instability. For many remodelers, bringing an architect in-house is the best way to achieve balance. Read more

Before + After: Suite Heart Before + After: Suite Heart

Seventeen years ago, on a drive through the hilly, leafy streets that surround Nashville, Tennessee's Vanderbilt University, Dan and Evelyn Raines found the house of their dreams. The modest 1920s French-cottage-look-alike sat high above street level, perched on a deep, double lot that climbed the hill behind it. The three-quarter-acre property promised plenty of room for Evelyn to pursue her passion for gardening, and the convenient midtown location meant Dan could easily commute to his job as a music producer. The diverse neighborhood with excellent schools in walking distance made it ideal for raising a family. Read more

Reader Panel: Designed. Built. Reader Panel Reader Panel: Designed. Built.

Among respondents, a substantial number of remodeling company owners ó formally trained or not ó are designing projects. This is true whether a firm bills itself design/build (65.6% of respondents) or is a traditional remodeling company (34.4%). Read more

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