Outdoor Lifestyle in Wilmington

People who call Wilmington home, either as a primary residence or as a vacation retreat, know how blessed we are to have such a beautiful climate and be able to participate in outdoor activities year round.  When architects and clients design here, they will be incorporating outdoor living in the plan.  Decks, porches, and patios for eating and relaxing are automatic. The transition between indoor space and outdoor areas can be designed to have the affect of extending the living space.   Windows and doors let in light and frame views of the landscape or scenery beyond.  One of the primary purposes of remodeling is to open up views.  Perhaps what could be wonderful sight lines to the exterior are obscured by small windows, or a feature such as a fireplace right in the middle of the view.  Maybe better access to decks or porches could be accomplished by relocating a door or adding one.  An outdoor cooking or eating area may need improved access from the kitchen. The mix of sun and shade is a critical consideration in planning the location and design of outdoor spaces.  What direction does the planned feature face and how does the sun travel over that spot in different seasons?  What affect will a roof over that spot have on the light entering the adjacent interior?  Is the wind a factor in enclosing the space or leaving it open?  What materials are suitable for the expected elements and how long might they last? If your home is missing an outdoor structure that would enhance your lifestyle, or it is time for an update, The Farlow Group can help. Dream it.  Build it.  Live it.

North Carolina Energy Code

On June 2, 2011, Jim Farlow of The Farlow Group attended a day long workshop on the North Carolina Energy Conservation Code. Adopted in 2009 by our state, the N C Energy Code for residential and commercial buildings provides technical data and solutions for achieving efficient use of energy resources through prescribed construction methods and recommended materials. The workshop was conducted by Mathis Consulting Company, whose presentation was both enlightening, and inspiring. Jim’s favorite part was a discussion concerning costs and benefits of retrofitting existing buildings to improve energy efficiency, and the corresponding affect in reducing, or even eliminating, the current ever expanding need for increased energy production. An example was given of how the cost of constructing a single nuclear power plant could be applied to update enough structures to make the plant unnecessary, while substantially increasing the safety and comfort of existing buildings, and employing many more people across a wide geographic area in the process.

Aging In Place and Parental Care

In these times of sluggish home sales, and rising costs of assisted living facilities, homeowners are often opting to stay longer in their current home or to have parents move in with them.  Families who elect these options will often need some remodeling to bring their homes up-to-date for current interests, or to achieve mobility-friendly changes or enhance privacy.  In addition to addressing how rooms are configured and what materials to include, design changes can necessitate updates to heating and cooling equipment or other systems.  Remodeling costs may be somewhat offset by potential energy savings over time with newer appliances or equipment, and by installing water saving appliances and fixtures.  Remember to count the value to your lifestyle in savings of time and convenience with better functioning designs and features!  The vast number of choices in materials and fixtures at every price point mean that you will certainly find options that suit your budget and tastes with a little research, and help from your contractor and design professionals.   If this will be your first experience with remodeling, be sure to read our blog post “Remodeling Basics” for pointers on how to plan and execute a project.  Then, contact us, to get started on this new adventure of living in your home sweet home!