Monthly Archives: December 2012

Home Design is Looking Up

Don’t let your ceiling become an afterthought.

When designing a new space or updating an old space, there is a lot to think about. People can spend hours mulling over paint colors, hardware options, cabinetry finishes, and other details, but one aspect that tends to be neglected: the ceiling.

The ceiling is just as much a design opportunity as elements such as light fixtures or flooring. It can be an unexpected focal point, drawing visitors’ attention upward and adding character to a space.

Now, let’s take a look at just a few options to turn your standard ceiling into something spectacular!

Tin Ceiling

Tin ceilings not only add texture to a room, but they also offer historical charm. They became popular in the 19th century because they were a more affordable option than plaster, but tin ceilings are finding their way into more and more homes today.

Tin Ceilings

Vaulted and Barrel-Vaulted Ceilings

In general, vaulted ceilings give a room height and the illusion of more space, but it’s important to consider the scale of the room. If the ceiling is too high, the area can feel too large and become a cold echo chamber. Barrel-vaulted ceilings offer a soft arch and depart from a typical vaulted ceiling, which can provide more architectural interest to a room.

Left: Vaulted Ceiling with Box Beams; Right: Barrel-Vaulted Ceiling

Tray Ceilings

With a recessed area resembling a tray, these ceilings can contribute to the spacious feel of a room. There are many ways to highlight a tray ceiling – paint, moldings, wood planks, and other details. It is also a great opportunity to feature lighting.

Tray Ceiling

Coffered Ceilings

Coffered ceilings use recessed panels and a grid pattern to add dimension and architectural charm to a room, often created with beams or plaster. They can also offer space to hide ducts, pipes, and other mechanical items.

Coffered Ceiling

Beam Ceilings

Exposed or painted beams often give a space a timeless, rustic elegance. It is a great way to add a touch of masculinity to a room, whether you use reclaimed or paint-grade wood to match the space’s color scheme.

No matter which style you choose for your space, consider getting creative with the materials you use. There are many options other than drywall – painted or stained wood, barn boards, tin (as previously stated), metal, brick, and other interesting items.

It’s okay to think outside the box!

Top: Beam Ceiling; Middle: Beam Ceiling with Barn Boards; Bottom: Beam Ceiling with Brick

The Remodeling Process

A common remodeling question we get is, “Where do we start?” You have the need to remodel and have ideas for your space, but how do you get the ball rolling? Here is a brief overview of the Bartelt remodeling process to help you understand where to begin and what to expect as your project progresses.

Initial Meeting

After your first phone call, we set up a complimentary meeting with a project designer to discuss your needs, wants, and wishes for your home, helping you define your priorities and budget. Check here for the “Needs, Wants, and Wishes” template to get started.

Design Agreement and Field Measure

Once a fee is paid and a preliminary design agreement is signed, the project designer schedules a second meeting, or a field measure. During the field measure, we review the project goals and measure and photograph the existing conditions of the project site. The design process also includes a mechanical walk-through to coordinate the electric, HVAC, and plumbing systems.

Design Review Meetings

The first design review meeting is scheduled three weeks after the field measure. Over the course of these meetings, your design will evolve from a general concept to specific details. Elevations, hand-drawn perspectives, and a 3D rendering help you visualize your project. We also continue to develop your budget, discuss materials, and revise the design.

Client Full Presentation

After reviewing the specifications and plans, the project designer schedules a client full presentation appointment to review the paperwork. The designer then works on the construction documents, obtaining engineering calculations, municipal design approval, and permits.

Ready to Build

The design team works with the production staff to discuss details and unique challenges. Shortly after signing the construction agreement, you begin meeting with our on-staff interior designer to finalize selections of finishes, products, and materials.

Pre-Construction Meeting

The project designer and production staff walk through the remodel site with you. This meeting is a great time to meet the team and ask any questions you may have regarding the logistics of the project. Our goal is to set up a communication system that will guarantee a smooth, safe, and timely completion of your project.

Construction Phase

Our production team works diligently to keep the lines of communication open. To ensure all of your expectations are met, an on-going relationship with the production administrator and manager is vital. The production administrator handles day-to-day schedules and accounting and coordinates all subcontractors. The production manager and lead carpenter oversee the crew and field work.

On most projects, Rick Bartelt, your designer, and the production manager meet with you onsite on a weekly basis to review progress and discuss the next steps.

Completion

When the project nears completion, the production manager walks through the project with you and forms a “punch list” of items that need to be addressed before we leave the site. The project coordinator makes a final visit to receive feedback, give you warranty and product usage information, and offer operation tips. Then it’s time to enjoy your new space!