A Child’s Perspective on Remodeling

Most of the renovations we do are to help families with their growing pains (from a space point of view), along with updating. I encounter many children in my business and always want to know what the kids think. I have 5, from 6 to 25 years old, and that helps me understand the phases families will go through, but not the real desires of the family unit. I have witnessed the extremes of complete lack of care (insert stereo type of high school male here) to children who have their own idea book on http://www.houzz.com/. The important things I think that parents can benefit from are tools on how to address the desire for a hot pink room, and how to know what is in it for their children so the during process is easier to navigate.

I asked my daughter Rachel to write a blog on what remodeling is like from her perspective. I read through it, and started editing the content, but then I thought- let me just put it out there and read between the lines for you after you read the unabridged version. Keep in mind; a typical project of this size (I took a 1,000SF ranch and turned it into a 2,000SF contemporary) would take 2-3 months to design and 5-6 months to construct.

I’m Rachel Wiese and the past year my dad has bought a house and it was very small. I was super excited because I couldn’t wait for it to get out of the small red house that was behind the office. When he showed me and my family the plans on renovating the house we were all so happy. I couldn’t wait for it to be done! After about a month or two through the renovation both the first and second floor were built and the kitchen cabinets were being put in, by this time it was January or February. By April and May, me and my step sister’s rooms were painted and the closets were installed. The kitchen and the lighting were almost done. By this time I was so anxious to move in because everything seemed perfect! Then finally in June we moved in. But some things still needed to be done like sanding the deck and painting the outside of the house.

The timeline went like this: June 4, 2014 – make offer. August 4, close on house, design and go through town approvals (this takes longer when you are the cobbler). October 2014- begin construction… framing done and weather tight in December. I probably don’t need to remind you about the winter of 2015… but our company was busy helping with our clients disasters… so we move in in June.

The important part of my children’s experience was that as a family, we went through the plans and discussed the changes as well as their hopes (including some additional space!), we toured the construction site regularly so they understood the progress since a year to an 11 year old might as well be a decade, and when it was time to move back, my 6 year old step daughter had already become familiar with our new home, certainly removing any anxiety about the move.

As for color decisions- when you hear “I want a pink room”, have a choice of 3 pinks that will work and be OK with saying that hot pink is not an option- your children would never go to sleep with a color that bright. Happy renovating!

 

Kitchen Cabinetry Trends

Trends in cabinetry are as important as fashion trends, and present in every part of home and décor. The main difference other than the obvious… you don’t wear cabinets… is that we seek long term trends for these capital improvements so that we have a longer period of enjoyment for our investment. A recent report from our Custom Line, Plato Woodwork, shows that nationally white still represents over 50% of selected finishes. Plato is the oldest cabinet manufacturer in the US and offers products from a semi-custom line through a fully custom shop making them a great source for the direction of the industry.

One of the longest running trends has been the white kitchen with the wood island. This white cabinetry is most prevalent in the North East. About 75% of our kitchen installs are some version that includes white, and that is pretty significant considering all the wood species available as well as other colors. This trend of white started out with baby boomers like me, waxing poetic about “mom’s” kitchen and the nostalgic feeling it provided. Kitchens were white in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s because they were often built in place and often painted to match the trim. White is also very classic and bright which makes people gravitate toward what feels like it will last.

Before you give up on breaking the trend, it is important to note that any defined architectural style doesn’t lose it beauty or timelessness when it is designed well. There will be times when contemporary is in more favor than traditional, it is usually the finishes that were poorly selected that may look dated, like the wallpaper or fixtures… or avocado appliances :)

Here are a couple of kitchens that may make you think about what color is for you.

Inset Kitchen Remodel in Wellesley

White Shaker Cabinets in Wellesley Kitchen Remodel

 

Join us for a Food & Wine Pairing!

 WHEN:  APRIL 30, 2015

WHERE: OUR SHOWROOM–28 N. MAIN ST.  SHERBORN, MA 01770

TIME: 6-9PM

With your help, The Wiese Company and our friends will install a much needed powder room at the Wellesley ABC house.   Wellesley A Better Chance is a great organization helping academically talented young women from underserved communities through enrollment at Wellesley High School.  We will be holding a fundraiser at our showroom on Thursday, April 30th to help raise money for the installation of a powder room.  This year our special guest is Jen Ziskin, who is the co-owner of La Morra in Brookline and recently purchased the former Sherborn Inn.   Jen and her team will be providing us with some tasty treats paired with some delicious wines and will be mingling to chat about the future of the new restaurant “Heritage of Sherborn”.  We hope that you can join us for a fun evening!  If you are unable to attend, we will also have two fabulous raffle prizes available:  One roof clearing redeemable next winter and a dinner for 2 at Heritage of Sherborn after the opening.  Follow the links below to donate or attend!

Raffle Tickets $25

Attend Event $50

  • Includes (1) raffle ticket

Silver Sponsor $100

  • Admission for (1)

  • (2) raffle tickets

Gold Sponsor $250

  • Admission for (2)

  • (6) raffle tickets

  • Donation will go towards electrical, plumbing, paint, and tile labor

Platinum Sponsor $500

  • Admission for (2)

  • (12) raffle tickets

  • Donation will go towards lighting fixtures, toilet, sink, tile, and window treatment

  •  

 

Ice Dams, Again!

We written about preventing ice dams in the past, but given the number of calls I’ve been getting recently, I thought I would write about it again.

Whenever someone calls with ice dam problems, my credibility initially depends on whether or not I was the one who provided the roof. I hear people tell me that the person who installed their roof probably did something wrong and the truth is, that even the best roof installations are no guarantee against ice dams. For a look at what is happening under the ice, check out buildingscience.com. http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-046-dam-ice-dam

There are things that help prevent ice dams, and the key word is “help”. The reason is, all of these things can contribute to better performance against ice buildup and water intrusion- they just won’t guarantee against it for one simple reason; Roofs are constructed to shed water- not hold water. Ice dams create pools of water- and only pools are meant to contain water. Here is the list of things that will “help”:

  1. Install ice and water shield when your new roof is installed- as long as this is above the freeze line by 18″ (it is sold in 3 foot sections for this reason), when water penetrates the first layer of protection, it will stop water from entering under the shingles as long as the roofing nails self-sealed the way the product is supposed to work. Request Grace Brand ice and water barrier in your new roof- it is the best.

  2. Make sure the roof is well vented (unless you have a modern, foam insulated, non-vented assembly-see pic. below). Allowing a good flow of air will help keep the temperatures more consistent on the outside eve and where the heat starts to melt the ice.

  3. If you can- use metal roofing- because it has the best chance of sealing out water, and I don’t remember ever seeing water from ice dams make their way in.

The best prevention is removing the snow… if you remove the snow too late and the dam forms, you will still be susceptible to the water intruding on the next round. I know that many of you that found this article on our blog are probably frustrated because you want to know what you can do now! The best chance of hiring someone is to drive around and speak personally with the roofer. In our area right now even our roofer has put a message on his phone line that he is unable to take on anymore, and hopefully this will be helpful for the next round.

Example of non-vented assembly in Sherborn

Watching the weather, converting one story to two

We do many projects that involve opening a home in a way that could make it vulnerable to the elements. I am often asked if we do large home renovation projects in the winter season, or how we protect the home against the elements. Believe it or not, I have actually done a few projects where we removed the entire roof structure to add a second floor in the middle of winter while we had clients living in the residence- here is how we plan for it.

The first step is to have a scalable plan. It is important to know how long certain assemblies take and what the resources are. This is construction so contingency is needed in case we have some ebb and flow to certain pieces. Step one, do not remove the roof first without knowing what the next steps are-even if it seems like the obvious first thing to go. We know in advance if we are keeping the ceiling (and if that is a viable floor structure), we may also have some items that require or benefit by pre-cutting or building some of the walls. Step 2, we live in New England so the weather can change without much notice, so it’s crucial to be watching the weather daily. That may sound obvious, but in the construction business our planning is so vital around the weather that we are almost as aware of the dew point as the time of day.

In the case of this current project, it rained a bit every day the week before this photo was taken, so we were busy cutting all the roof rafters and wall studs so that we could make progress this week. We also built a 2 story wall inside that we will lift tomorrow morning, and built a couple of the interior bearing walls as well as prepped the steel beam. The weather called for possible showers this Wednesday so the project lead decided to remove only half the roof in case we had to cover- that forecast changed yesterday :) so we continued to move forward… and watch the weather. Every project is different and every week offers different weather- so plans will change, but our customers will always stay dry.