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Architectural Detail Experts | A Blog by Worthington Millwork

10 Home Areas That Likely Need a Pro

Posted by Holli McRae on 7/5/16 9:30 AM
If you are working on a DIY remodel, deciding whether to call in a specialty contractor to perform a specific task comes down to several areas you'll need to consider:
  • Skill. Do you have the necessary skills to build a sound structure, and do it safely?
  • Scale. Is the size of the project one that you can handle in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Cost. When factoring in the value of your own time, can the project be completed for less cost by a professional? Do you have the tools you need?
  • Aesthetics. Can you finish the project attractively enough that you're not sacrificing resale value? Would a rough grout joint or wallpaper seam bother you?
Learn more about the specific problem areas that often require professional help below.
 
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Topics: DIY

Construction Contracts: How to Understand What You Are Buying

Posted by Holli McRae on 6/28/16 10:00 AM
It’s always important to know what you’re buying. When you buy something at a store, you get the hands-on experience of seeing its size and how it looks, feels and works. You leave the store knowing exactly what you’ve bought.

When you agree to pay for construction work, though, it’s up to you, your architect and your contractor to agree on what will be built. This can be difficult, because the “product” you’re talking about is something that’s never been built and doesn’t even exist yet except in everyone’s minds — and in documents.

And it’s the latter that will make all the difference in understanding what you’re paying for. Typically, when you contract for residential construction work, the documents for plans, scope of work and specifications can help define the work to be done so that you can be sure what the finished project will look like and include. Understanding these documents will help you feel confident that you know what you’re buying.
 
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Topics: DIY

Your Complete Guide to Building Permits

Posted by Holli McRae on 6/21/16 10:00 AM
Yes, the building permit process can be a frustrating, costly and-time consuming affair, but there is purpose to the process and no getting around your local jurisdiction if you want to do your project right.

Here we recap the building permit basics, with links to more in-depth analysis of various stages of the planning, permitting and inspection processes. It’s an overview of a subject you should familiarize yourself with before tackling your home remodel project.
 
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Topics: DIY

The Hidden Problems in Old Houses

Posted by Holli McRae on 6/14/16 9:14 AM
Whether you live in an older home or are considering buying or remodeling one, there are old-house problems you should familiarize yourself with. Some may be seen as mere nuisances (charming even), but others can be downright dangerous. Before you take the plunge, get to know the signs and costs associated with the repair of some common problems.
 
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Topics: Case Studies

Construction Contracts: What to Know About Estimates vs. Bids

Posted by Holli McRae on 6/1/16 2:32 PM
When planning a home remodeling or new construction project, one of the first things homeowners usually want to know is how much the work will cost. Part of asking about cost is not just defining what the work will be but also knowing what form you would like the contract to take — fixed price (also known as a bid) or time and materials (also known as cost plus or estimate of cost). Understanding the subtleties of these contract forms will help you decide which is right for you.
 

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Topics: DIY

10 Tips for Choosing and Working With a Builder

Posted by Holli McRae on 5/19/16 10:00 AM
You may have heard horror stories about problems with builders, budgets spiraling out of control and sites left half-finished. But the reality is that the vast majority of builders are both professional and capable, and you can do a great deal to avoid bad experiences simply through the way you choose, manage and communicate with them. Here’s why it’s worth laying the foundations for a good relationship with your builder — and how to do it well.
 
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11 Things to Expect With Your Remodel

Posted by Holli McRae on 5/16/16 4:05 PM
If you’ve never remodeled before or are taking on a big project, you may feel a little nervous. How much will it cost? How long will it take? Between the large expense and the excitement of anticipating your finished remodel, it’s hard not to feel a little apprehensive. Knowing what to expect can help allay your fears and make you better prepared for what’s to come.
 
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How to Hire the Right Architect: Comparing Fees

Posted by Holli McRae on 5/11/16 9:32 AM
The only thing harder than choosing the right architect is understanding how architects charge.

Why is it so hard to know what you can expect to pay before you begin? What’s the difference between an hourly rate, a fixed fee and a percentage of the construction cost? And, more important, which one is best for your project and your bottom line?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, with some basic understanding of architectural fees, you should be able to devise an apples-to-apples comparison when one architect give you a proposal based on an hourly fee and another proposes a percentage based on the cost of construction.

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Topics: Case Studies

Wright's Jaw-Dropping Hollyhock House

Posted by Holli McRae on 5/4/16 9:01 AM

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Topics: Case Studies

Victorian Dining Room Keeps It Formal Yet Fresh

Posted by Holli McRae on 4/28/16 8:53 AM
This Queen Anne home certainly hadn’t been treated like a queen. A series of bad renovations had stripped away her beauty and left her looking washed-out. After a thorough renovation, though, she’s regained some of her stateliness, especially in the dramatic dining room, which respects the home’s Victorian architecture while feeling fresh and updated.
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Topics: Architectural Columns, Moldings, Polyurethane

Are Fiberglass Porch Columns Hollow?

Posted by Kyle Boatwright on 1/11/16 3:43 PM

Are Fiberglass Porch Columns Hollow?

Yes!

In fact, all porch columns, no matter if they are round, square tapered or non-tapered fluted or plain are all hollow. Also when you look at the different materials: polymer stone, fiberglass, PVC and even wood they are all hollow. This has to do with the way each of them are made. The fiberglass and polymer stone porch columns all come from a mold that has the shape of the part. The fiberglass mixture is poured into a closed mold, rotated very quickly, and then then the columns dry while they are spinning leaving the column hollow. FRP porch columns are made in halves by spraying with fiberglass strands similar to the manufacturing of a fiberglass boat. The halves are glued together in the factory or on-site creating a whole column once assembled, glued and after Bondo is applied. A wood porch column is made by gluing staves together in a circular form and then turning and cutting them on a lathe. Lastly, PVC porch columns are made from a cut out of a flat sheet of PVC and then assembled in our factory (or on-site) to make the finished square product.

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Topics: Wood Columns, Architectural Columns, Porch Columns, Fiberglass Porch Columns

How Much Do Porch Columns Cost?

Posted by Holli McRae on 1/7/16 10:28 AM

The vertical support that holds up your porch roof should not be taken lightly. Porch columns are pretty important for someone to have on their home. They come in all different shapes and sizes and with that comes all different prices. Because of that, it should come as no surprise that prices are all over the place!

There are so many different things that can affect the price. Here a few...

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Topics: Wood Columns, Architectural Columns, Porch Columns, Fiberglass Porch Columns, Decorative Capitals

What is the “Made in USA” Standard and Why is it Important?

Posted by Holli McRae on 12/21/15 9:00 AM

In a world full of “natural foods” and “safe drugs” it’s disconcerting to find that some of these terms which give us buying comfort actually have zero government regulation, and mean absolutely nothing at all. What is assuring is that the label “Made in USA” does not fall into this category. In fact, it is a highly regulated, very specific, black and white term – it either is or it isn’t, and the FTC sees to it that consumers have that assurance.

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Topics: Case Studies

10 Questions You Should Ask Before You Buy Fiberglass Columns Online.

Posted by Holli McRae on 12/17/15 9:39 AM

(1)  Are the fiberglass columns you are looking purchase really made of fiberglass?

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Topics: Architectural Columns, Porch Columns, Fiberglass Porch Columns

What is an "All Fiberglass" Porch Column?

Posted by Holli McRae on 12/14/15 9:46 AM

If you conduct a search online for the phrase "fiberglass porch columns" a hand full of companies pop up in the search results on both Yahoo and Google.  There are many different brands, materials, pictures descriptions, sales pitches and offers.  With all this information it is sometimes hard to tell what you are actually purchasing and that should be SCARY as it could be a costly mistake if you don’t purchase the right product!  Most E-commerce companies offer a picture, a part and a price and call it a fiberglass column.

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Topics: Architectural Columns, Porch Columns, Fiberglass Porch Columns

Origins and Interpretations of the Bungalow Style Home

Posted by Holli McRae on 11/23/15 8:48 AM
The term bungalow arose in a region of India known as Bengal, of which most has become the country of Bangladesh. Small dwellings in the area were referred to as bengali, or being of Bengal. These detached houses on small plots of land were usually one story, modest in size and had a full-width front porch, or veranda. British expats working with the East India Company around the early 1700s became familiar with the reference and brought the term back to their native country. The association spread to America with the Arts and Crafts movement and traveled nearly full circle to Australia, where the “California bungalow” style became popular in the early 20th century.

While the term originally implied a single-story modest house, wide and large two-story homes of the bungalow style exist as well. The reference to a modest single-level home tends to be the more accepted connotation and has transcended several styles of architecture in the United States. “Spanish bungalow” in Southern California refers to the thousands of small, single-level stuccoed dwellings common to the region. Some refer to modest Tudor and Colonial Revival houses of the early 20th century as bungalows as well.
 
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Porch Posts Versus Porch Columns, What is the Difference?

Posted by Holli McRae on 10/30/15 10:00 AM

Did you know that there is a difference between a porch post and a porch column? Don't worry, you are not alone. The main differences are really in the detail and you can't go wrong with either application. It really depends on the look you are trying to achieve with your home. Never be afraid to consult with an architect to make sure which would fit best with your style of home and how many exactly you will need to hold up that front porch.
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Topics: Wood Columns, Architectural Columns, Fiberglass Porch Columns

How to Read a Floor Plan

Posted by Holli McRae on 8/28/15 9:25 AM
The floor plan, or plan, is the most common of all architectural drawings. From builders to architects, Realtors to appraisers, everyone uses a floor plan. More than likely this is because the floor plan is the one drawing that tells us the most about a house. From the type of house to the size of the house, a floor plan reveals area, structure, circulation pattern, stair location, door and window locations, room layout and so much more.

While floor plans do reveal a lot about the functional characteristics of a house, they often lack the information needed to describe the home's overall feel. This is because they can't easily show us what is going on in the third dimension. So when looking at a floor plan, remember that you're looking at just one view of the house and you'll need to look at other views to really understand all of the house's features.

Having said this, let's look at what a floor plan shows.
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Topics: DIY

How to Bring Out Your Home’s Character With Trim

Posted by Holli McRae on 8/21/15 9:02 AM
When it comes to architecture, details count. They also define. The places where floors, doors, ceilings and windows meet the walls are usually accompanied by trim. The way that trim is executed has refined and defined our houses throughout history. Trim adds character and flavor to a home, the way pearl buttons finish off a shirt or cinnamon completes a coffee cake. And it helps distinguish one style of architecture from another.

Project: New interior trim.

Why: Whether you want to embellish or change the character of your space, trim will give your rooms more personality and a stronger identity.
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Topics: Moldings

11 Shutters to Enhance Every Window

Posted by Holli McRae on 8/18/15 8:59 AM
The architectural detailing of traditional shutters can enhance the interior and exterior of a house. Often custom made, shutters offer full privacy with the ability to manipulate the individual louvers into the up or down position. Shutters can cover any window or door, let in as much or as little light as needed and serve as a spectacular companion to any fabric top treatment. Full of character, shutters are durable investments that can enhance a home's resale value.
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