Welcome to the Landmark Services Old House Renovation Blog

Fixed-Price or Cost-Plus Fee: Which is better?

My dear friend David reached out recently on the eve of starting a construction project on his home. He said that he’d received two quotes from reputable builders and that one of them wanted to work Fixed-Price and the other offered a Cost-Plus Fee model, and he wanted to know which I thought was better.

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Topics: New construction, Renovations, Cost Plus, Fixed Price, Contracts

Renovation of an Historic Carriage House

As renovation contractors, we love it when we have the opportunity to take a neglected old building and - with the help of dedicated clients and a good designer- give it a new life.

Brookline MA carriage house resized 600
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Topics: Historic Preservation, Renovations, Kitchens

More innovation in home construction products...

While we're talking about innovative products I thought I'd mention another pretty cool new idea.  A company called Trufig has invented a line of wall switches and outlets that can be flush mounted with any surface, and therefore made to almost disappear.

Trufig outlet resized 600
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Topics: Historic Preservation, materials and techniques, Renovations

Renovating your home? Watch out for the hidden costs!

From time to time I see projects tabled or postponed due to budgetary reasons. It's unfortunate at any point in the process but it's particularly heartbreaking when the clients have spent many months and many thousands of dollars on design fees, only to learn that the beautiful project depicted in the architect's drawings will cost much more than they are able or willing to invest.

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Topics: exteriors, Renovations

Case study: Planning a Kitchen Renovation

We have worked with the owners of a ca. 1895 Shingle Style house just south of Boston for over five years.  We started by renovating the exterior, stripping the house of its shingles and installing new ones, rebuilding the porches, and restoring the carriage house. Two years ago we completely renovated the third floor (I'll post an article about that at a later date).

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Topics: Renovations, Kitchens

One approach to old house kitchen renovations

Kitchen design is a very personal thing, especially when it comes to old houses. Some people want the kitchen to match the period look of their house while others don't mind having a more modern looking space.

old style kitchen renovation
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Topics: materials and techniques, Renovations, Kitchens

Additions to Historic Houses, more design guidelines

As a renovation and restoration contractor here in Massachusetts, I have built a lot of additions on to historic houses. Contrary to the philosophy of some preservationists, who feel that new additions should read as new additions and not pretend to be old, my philosophy is that additions are much more pleasing when they complement the architectural style of the original house.

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Topics: exteriors, Renovations

Case Study: Using fake wood (!) in a historic renovation project

In the course of a recent renovation of a ca. 1795 home in Milton, we needed to replicate an original rooftop balustrade.The one surviving section displayed a "spider web" pattern composed of many small pieces of wood nailed together.

We restore historic houses in Massachusetts and beyond
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Topics: materials and techniques, Renovations