New construction

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

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Make Your Historic Home Energy Efficient!

A historic home has numerous perks for its owners; original hardwood floors, high ceilings, intricate detail, and the fact that you have, and are living in, your very own piece of history. However, with the good also comes the bad; poorly insulated...

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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...

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Dealing with Lead Paint on Historic Houses

Most people have probably heard by now about the new rules put into place by the EPA concerning lead paint and renovations. The goal of the rules is to increase awareness of the danger of lead paint and decrease the risk of harm to occupants of old...

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Restoring the original look of your historic house

Last time we did a survey of the Greek Revival houses in my town of Medway, Mass. There are some great examples of the style in town, ranging from humble to high style.  Now let's take a look at the potential pitfalls of altering the original siding and...

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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...

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Additions to Old Houses Part 2: Exterior trim

Last time we discussed how important it is to place the roofline correctly when adding on to an old house.  If the roofline is too high or set at the wrong pitch, the addition could look awkward or even overwhelm the original part of the house.

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Building an addition on a historic house? Don't make these mistakes

How many times have you seen a nice old house ruined by an unsightly addition? Some additions "read" as additions from a mile away. It doesn't have to be that way. With some careful planning, it is quite possible to design and build an addition that...

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