Creative Smallness: Thinking Big About Smaller Spaces

Tamara at KBIS/IBS
It’s January, and we at Myers Constructs are super excited about the year ahead. As we all reflect on the past decades and look to the new year, we are grateful for the many opportunities we have had to work on many really wonderful homes.

Of all the types and sizes of homes we work on, we have found that smaller houses often offer the greatest design and construction challenges. And, as is often the case, these challenges make it all the more rewarding when a project is complete!

I have drawn on these experiences to create universal principles that guide not only our design build/projects but also a new #TamTalk called Creative Smallness: Thinking Big About Smaller Spaces, which I presented this year as one of the Voices From the Industry at next week’s Design and Construction Week. Held at the Orlando Convention Center this year, this event is one of the largest gatherings of the trades in the world, combining KBIS – Kitchen and Bath International Show with IBS – International Builders Show. My presentation focused on some of the whys, whats, and hows for renovating small spaces — and looked at how many homeowners are choosing to downsize or live more simply. I reviewed principles, tools, products, and other resources, and I shared some great examples of successful living spaces that Myers Constructs has designed and built.

Traveling to Design and Construction Week each January offers me the opportunity to keep up to date on the fast-moving technology of the construction business, to exchange knowledge with other experts, and to see the latest and greatest products, designs, and technologies from major manufacturers. Stay tuned over the next few weeks to our website and social media feeds (see feeds at the bottom of our front page), as I post photos of these great products and new technologies.

As a real-life example of Thinking Big About Smaller Spaces, we will begin unveiling an exciting whole-home renovation for a lovely historic Trinity in Center City Philadelphia via our website and social media later this month. The Trinity Project is full of creative wonderfulness developed by utilizing my universal principles. I’m really proud of all the work we did on this historic renovation/rebuild, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Tamara Myers on The Value of Adaptive Reuse

Concrete Windows
Concrete Windows!

This past week, I was honored to visit The Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA, to present a speech on Adaptive Reuse to the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. The museum, which houses an enormous collection of tools and products from pre-Industrial Revolution American artisans, provided the perfect venue for this event. Henry Mercer — a true “maker” — was an early pioneer of sustainable practices who conceived of and built that museum for the LONG term! Unusual for its time, the building is made entirely of concrete, including not only the foundation and walls, but also the roof and windows. As a window expert, I just had to smile when I saw those concrete windows again.

Myers Constructs was founded upon the philosophy that renovating existing structures helps folks raise the quality of their lives in their homes, businesses, or institutions. Over the years, we have worked on scores of adaptive reuse projects that include church renovations, transforming a former Catholic convent into a home, and an award-winning major window renovation and repair project at The Fleisher Art Memorial , a historic Philadelphia-based art institution. We have always understood that good design is critical to sustainability. It’s a simple equation: good design, coupled with well chosen materials and methods, will net a successful renovation that will be used for the long term. Renovations with poor layouts, poorly considered or inferior materials, and ignoring underlying space issues can easily trigger the need for another renovation within a short time. As stewards of the environment, we want to use our resources wisely and look to create renovations that will last for generations to come.

Mercer certainly embraced that philosophy. We’re thankful for a long and loyal list of clients who do, as well.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday on behalf of the Myers Constructs Team,

Tamara Myers

Video Clip: Tamara Myers Interview

Tamara, who serves as Chair of the Membership Committee for the DelChester chapter of NARI, recently sat down with NARI’s Morgan Zenner at the National NARI 2012 CotY judging to discuss Myers Constructs, and the role NARI membership and certification plays within the company.

Watch it here.

Tamara Myers to Judge 2012 NARI Contractor of the Year CotY Awards

I am honored to have been asked to be a judge for the Contractor of the Year (CotY) 2012 Awards. These are national awards bestowed by NARI, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, to projects that represent excellence in our industry.

This coming Monday, January 9th, I will join other NARI members to begin the 3-day job of reviewing the entries and casting our votes. Later this year, a formal ceremony — the academy awards of our industry — will take place at the Spring national meeting, which is being held this year in Dallas, Texas. I had the honor of attending the awards ceremony for 2011 in Jersey City, NJ, in April, and it was an impressive and fun evening.

As designers and remodelers, we love having the opportunity to support with our vote the projects of our peers that shine and show the melding of good design, creativity and craftsmanship. It is our idea of a good time. And it’s a win-win for the industry, for the homeowners, and for those of us who learn and grow by setting a high bar for what good, professional remodeling should be. The wonderful thing about these awards is that, by choosing from NARI members in good standing, they are already selecting from the best in the industry. NARI’s multi-faceted focus ensures its members follow best practices from their industry, maintain and follow a code of ethics, engage in continuing education, and give back to their remodeling peers and their communities.

NARI Meeting Update

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Spring Business Meeting of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) held in Jersey City, NJ. At this meeting, some of the top leaders in the remodeling industry discussed how to improve their roles as professional leaders, and they also had an opportunity to celebrate their professional successes. I’m happy to report that all of the meetings I attended had clear agendas and came in ON time and ON budget! It was exciting to be among peers discussing common issues and concerns, meet professionals from companies both larger and smaller than Myers Constructs, and find a generous spirit of knowledge across the board.

NARI is a professional organization that sets standards of practice and ethics in the remodeling industry, and provides educational opportunities and certifications for its members. Myers Constructs, Inc., is a proud NARI member, and I received my “Certified Remodeler” certification from the organization earlier this year. This signifies that I possess “skill and knowledge in a broad range of business management and technical areas.”