Happy New Year! May your architectural dreams come true.


As the sound of midnight rings in the New Year A brand new opportunity for quality architecture will appear.   Let’s raise our hopes that good design will be included in the budget for your building dreams.   May your columns be proportional, kitchen efficient, your closets large, architect proficient.   May your energy bills…

The Gaines Group 2013 in Review


As we stand here on the verge of a New Year, I cannot help but look back and evaluate what we accomplished in our 26th year in business. To sum it up, 2013 was a good year, but there is still work to get done. We continue to be one of the fortunate firms in…

Happy New Year, we don’t like your design. The life of an architect.


My professional life is filled with emotional extremes. While there is tremendous satisfaction from winning a new project, delivering on expectations, and seeing your design built, there is a dark side to our profession. I live in a world of rejection, constantly being judged by others for our designs.  My ability is compared to a…

Green Term Defined: HERS (your home’s Miles-Per-Gallon Rating)


Most of us know the miles-per-gallon of our cars. I just went through (for me) the very painful process of purchasing a new (used) car. I weighed the options looking at asking price, insurance premium, maintenance costs, and miles per gallon. These should all be factors when purchasing or building a new home. However, we…

Building Code – The worst possible building you can build by law


I respond to a lot of request for proposals and do a lot of interviews for new design projects. Sometimes there is a higher standard to which the new design needs to meet and sometimes the potential project is only aiming for building code minimum standards. What quality do you want for your home /…

Basement Renovation near Mt. Crawford


We do a variety of renovation projects from basements, garages, to kitchen additions. The one consistent element between them all is our clients want a healthy, energy-efficient, and durable building solution. This basement renovation is no exception. Here is a blog post from our client about the energy audit performed on the entire home including…

10 Tips to maximize your space and to deliver the highest value


On a tight budget or want to reduce your environmental footprint? Build smaller, here are some simple tips to get you thinking about how you can achieve this goal. Maximize your usable space – get rid of rooms that don’t add value to your way of life. Do you need a formal living room? What…

Green Terms Defined: Mastic


In a home with a forced-air heating and cooling system, the system used to distribute air is called duct work. In an average home, 30% of the air sent through the duct work system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly executed connections. The result to your wallet is higher electric bills and lower…

Snow on the Roof – Building Science Analysis


The snow is falling this morning with ice expected tonight. This is an excellent time to look at your roof to find out where the heat is escaping from your home. Look for areas on your roof that are melting faster than others and also compare your roof to the neighbor’s roof with the same…