sheep in a pasture | havelock wool insulation

Wool Insulation Protects Your Home and the Planet

Southeast Michigan goes from cold and dry winters to hot and humid summers. Those kinds of extremes demand insulation that can live up to the task.…


10 Home Design Trends in 2020 That We’re Excited About

When it’s time to refresh the look of your home, you’ll probably spend time learning about the latest trends in home renovations and design. Some…


Should Your Design-Build Firm Prioritize Design or Build?

In home construction and renovation, a design-build approach affords advantages over the traditional method of hiring an architect and a builder. A…


new ensuite bathroom

New Ensuite Bathroom Recreates the Island Spa Experience

Sometimes, reentry into everyday life can be a bit of a letdown when returning from a beautiful vacation experience. Southeast Michigan enjoys less…


Huron River in Ann Arbor | Building on a floodplain

Building Your Dream Home Near a River

One of the timeless appeals to building a new home in the Ann Arbor area is the scenic vistas afforded by the many streams and rivers in Washtenaw…


creating large spaces in small rooms

Creating Large Spaces in Small Rooms

Jan and Rob were in love with their home along the Huron River, but they weren’t in love with their cramped kitchen. Multiple additions and updates…


Ann Arbor winter home construction

FAQs: Can You Build an Ann Arbor House in Winter?

Groundbreaking is an exciting day when you’re building a new home. All of your dreams and design discussions have culminated in this moment. At…


sustainable vacation-style home during construction

Designing a Sustainable Vacation-Style Home

Cristian wanted a summer house on a lake in Northern Michigan. His wife, Pilar, didn’t like the idea, because they would have two houses to maintain…


renovating an old home in Ann Arbor

What to Expect Before Renovating an Old Home in Ann Arbor

Renovating an older home can be a more involved endeavor than remodeling a new house. While a relatively new home can be a fairly straightforward…


2 contractors building a home renovation | handle change orders

How Will Your Contractor Handle Unexpected Renovation Problems?

One of the things that makes home remodeling shows so popular is the drama that inevitably unfolds. An expensive problem is discovered hiding under…


home design affects emotional wellbeing

How Does the Design of Your Home Affect Your Wellbeing?

Why is it certain cathedrals inspire a hushful reverence when you enter the sanctuary? Why do you immediately feel more peaceful when you enter a…


Do You Need a Rain Garden for Your Ann Arbor Home?

If you’re building a new home or an addition in Ann Arbor, you’ll be required to show that you’re managing rainwater appropriately. As a homeowner,…


Home featuring inspired design and excellent craftsmanship

The Rare Intersection of Excellent Craftsmanship and Inspired Design

For Giraffe Design Build, there is no point in excellent craftsmanship if we don’t bring inspired design to life, and vice versa. If you have an…


accessory dwellng unit and garage

Accessory Dwelling Units Provide New Opportunities to Ann Arbor Homes

Many families need to bring someone into their home—either to care for a relative or to rent a room. The loss of privacy and personal space can be…


Will Your Renovation Project Increase the Sale of Your Home?

Not every home renovation pays off when you sell your house. Some homeowners are surprised to discover that their $100,000 renovation didn’t improve…


exterior of renovated Ann Arbor home

Transforming a Tired Ranch into a Refreshing Retreat

When these homeowners moved to Ann Arbor, they bought a modest little 1950s atomic ranch as their starter home. Situated on nearly an acre of land,…


before and after photos of the Beals house

New Home Build Combines Bold Modern Lines with Natural Warmth

Joel Beals is a designer at Giraffe, and he’s also a customer. He and his wife Patricia just completed a home build in Ann Arbor’s Water Hill…


tape measure | square foot pricing

What Does Square-foot Pricing Really Mean?

Home build and renovation estimates can be something of a mystery for many clients—particularly as the final estimate can be much larger than the…


new home construction in progress

How Long Will Your Design-Build Project Take?

If you’ve never undertaken a home renovation or home building project, you may be surprised by the length of the project. Any kind of home…


Beals home from the back porch

Be Our Guest at the Fall Home Tour

Begin the Fall Remodeler’s Home Tour with Giraffe Design Build, September 21st & 22nd. We invite you to be our guest, with complimentary…


field of purple wildflowers | what to look for in a build site for your house

What to Look for in a Build Site for Your House

One of the joys of building your own house is that you get to choose the location of your property, the topography, and who your neighbors are. But…


Should You Build or Renovate Your Ann Arbor Home?

When your current home no longer meets your lifestyle needs or fits your design aesthetic, it can be difficult to decide between remodeling your…


Can You Age in Place in Your Ann Arbor Home?

With a reputation as one of the best places to live in the United States, Ann Arbor has established itself as a special town comprised of many…


rendering of the Beals house | design-build process

Get an Inside Peek on the Design-Build Process

Joel Beals is our newest designer at Giraffe, and he’s also a customer. He and his wife Patricia are building a home in Ann Arbor’s Water Hill…


This Sustainable Home Is a Sign of Things to Come

Pilar and Cristian were dreaming of building a home away from the busy neighborhood of their children’s youth. They needed a home that would be easy…


Can You Afford a More Sustainable Home?

Many homeowners come to Giraffe with questions about lowering their heating bill or creating a more comfortable climate for their living space. Their…


What to Expect During the Design of Your Home

The dream you have for your home is the genesis towards realizing a living space that’s custom-made specifically for you. It’s the…


Spare Room into an Office and Personal Oasis

A Spare Room Becomes an Office and Personal Oasis

Jessa and Tony blend careers, family, and personal growth—all with a dash of grace. But their living space wasn’t conducive to that balance. With…


basement hallway and stairs leading to first floor

Transforming a Drab Basement into a Warm Sanctuary

For many homeowners in Southeast Michigan, a basement is an afterthought—a spare area for storage, laundry, and utilities. For others, it’s a fun…


Designing Your Home Build Journey: Take Time to Dream

The dream you have for your home is the genesis towards realizing a living space that’s custom-made specifically for you. Your vision for your home…


design-build project drawing that fades into a photograph

How Important Is a Design-Build Approach for Your Project?

Transforming your living space is anything but trivial. You have a dream for your home, and as you work with a designer your dream begins to take…


Gilman kitchen

Traditional Kitchen Reimagined with Organic Inspiration

Chris and Bob are homeowners who had recently moved to Ann Arbor from Boston. Their beautiful Colonial house has a classic charm that is evident from…


Kitchen renovation brings Northern Michigan feel to Ann Arbor

Jan and Rob enjoy the tranquility of their home that is more reminiscent of a Northern Michigan retreat with views of woods and river than its…