Domestic Arts and Design-to-Build Construction – A Woman’s Perspective

I have to say, I’ve never understood why people buy residential remodeling projects from people who are not domestic. There are scores of contractors and builders in the business who can handle the technical aspects, the nuts and bolts, of home renovation – but it ends there. They don’t understand the finer points of home renovation, including how homeowner emotions are so closely tied to how a home looks, feels and operates. I like thinking of this as the “soft touch” aspect of the business.

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In Praise of the Little Things


Take a look at our white board notes from a recent company-wide meeting. Our agenda was simple: discuss the little things – or “soft touches” – our company members do every day to take care of our customers.

We asked our whole team to attend this little lunch meeting, and we asked them to list things they routinely do to lessen our customers’ anxiety while their projects are underway. We came up with quite a list. And we found that we do most of these things just because they are the right things to do. When you hire nice people, this kind of serendipitous “good stuff” happens. 

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Finding a “Healthy” Remodeling Contractor

Remodeling is a very complicated business in which it’s very difficult to be successful. Each project is custom, which means there are unlimited ways for a company to make a mistake and lose money. And a company that loses money will not be in business very long. A contractor in trouble may even go out of business on your project or, worse, entangle your home in their business quagmires with liens or other legal problems.

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Multiple Bids = A Race to the Bottom

Most home-renovation buyers have heard about multiple bids. Lots of people will tell you that you should collect three bids from contractors when you are considering a remodeling project. Is this even good advice?

“Bidding” means that contractors involved in that process are trying to find the cheapest way to complete your project so they will be awarded the job. Do you think these guys are going to bring care, consideration or thoughtfulness to your project? Will they go beyond code to do something “right” not just get it done? More than likely, they will bid low to be awarded the project, then tack on lots of extras as the project develops. In the end, conflicts and arguments arise from the bid process.

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Welcome! A Great Entryway We Helped Create

Here is an example of a great entryway we helped create.

Photo: Damon Landry

This used to be an open breezeway, unsuited for four season use. Now its a warm welcoming entryway with radiant heat in the slate flooring. These doors let in a lot of light but are super insulated.

A new life for your space. A better life for you.