home renovation

Design Build /

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 since its construction in the early 1900s had compartmentalized several living areas from each other. This, combined with a mid-century approach to home design, had created a cramped kitchen that no longer met their needs.

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Design Build /

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

Ann Arbor winter home construction

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 last, all those plans are bearing fruit and you have something tangible to celebrate. But what if winter arrives just as construction is about to begin?

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Design Build /

What to Expect Before Renovating an Old Home in Ann Arbor

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 project, there are unique elements to a design-build project on an old home. 

What should you expect when you renovate an older home in Ann Arbor? Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

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Design Build /

Accessory Dwelling Units Provide New Opportunities to Ann Arbor Homes

accessory dwellng unit and garage

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 difficult on family members, and the changes in lifestyle often add stress to the home.

Some recent developments in Ann Arbor’s zoning laws may provide a welcome relief for homeowners who open their house to new tenants.

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Design Build /

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 their home’s value by the same amount. They expected to earn back that investment, and perhaps more than that, when they sold the house a few years later. 

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Design Build /

Transforming a Tired Ranch into a Refreshing Retreat

exterior of renovated Ann Arbor home

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, the house was convenient to natural areas and close to Ann Arbor’s downtown. Yet, the quaint house featured tiny rooms and small windows that had a “cramped brick fortress” quality. 

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Design Build /

New Home Build Combines Bold Modern Lines with Natural Warmth

before and after photos of the Beals house

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 neighborhood. This dynamic new home replaces a 1950s one-story bungalow of less than 800 square feet. It had a simple, functional construction with the hallmark elements of short ceilings, small windows, shutters, and vinyl siding—an aesthetic contrary to Joel and Patricia’s modern and minimalist design style.

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Design Build /

How Long Will Your Design-Build Project Take?

new home construction in progress

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 construction requires a commitment to thoughtful design, attention to detail, and a purposeful process that doesn’t take shortcuts.

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