Tag Archives: Phoenix

I Love Architecture But I’m Not An Architect.

I love to watch it, learn about it and try to understand it. I enjoy figuring out why some buildings are a great success and some hurt my eye to look at them. I guess I could be characterized as an alert observer; someone who knows enough to be dangerous.

With that disclaimer firmly in place, I will add that I love Pioneer era homes in downtown Phoenix’s Pioneer Park. To me, these are the hot homes of our time. Pioneer homes, built from 1842-1870 are charming and comforting. They have beautiful physical exteriors that provide meaning to our great respect for the men and women who settled the state. A red brick, two story, decorated home from the late 1800’s is hard to beat. They are larger, have more ornamentation and elicit “oohs” and “aahhs” each time I see one. They maintain principles of balance, mass, proportion, rhythm and scale beautifully.

The post WWII , mass produced Sears bungalow kits although humble, were pleasing to look at and had character. They were functional, attractive and still stand as a good example of how the country stepped up to the plate when the boys came home and needed a place for their families.

 In the late 60’s and 70’s the design of homes took a turn for the worse, in my view, as the horrible split level was invented. I know. I grew up in one in Los Angeles. We lived in a neighborhood full of them, one exactly like the next, any unique character stripped away, placed on curved, confusing streets where addresses became hard to find and cul-de-sacs were valued as a new important feature in some neighborhoods. Contractors started to eliminate parking strips containing trees and grass, favoring the asphalt, curbs, concrete look, and neighborhoods without a speck of street presence became the norm. Profit drove the builders’ choices and my parents, glad to move up from the bungalow or rectangle, were glad for the space that our split-level provided. Little did we know that the contractor was saving money on the footprint of the house at our expense.

I would propose that a house has a job to do besides providing comfort and protection for its inhabitants. A house has a responsibility to be a contributing member of its community. The places where people live become living, changing organisms and houses in all their forms add or detract from the experience. This is not to say that houses must be big or expensive. Some of the most charming neighborhoods contain the most modest homes.

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A Garage Door’s Value: Well Worth the Cost

Garage DoorA quality garage door adds value to your home and increases security. There are many styles to choose from including traditional tilt up designs. For most homes door on the garage is selected to enhance the exterior home design and for most homes brings added curb appeal to the overall look of the property. An ill fitting or sloppy looking garage door is a turn off to potential buyers but can easily be fixed with proper repair, maintenance service or with a beautiful new model.

A garage useful for many purposes is a space that adds value to the property. Many people use the garage for storage space or even convert it into an extra room. It is large and can provide a smooth surface for games or sports practice. In summer weather the garage might be used as a summer patio area, offering protection from inclement weather.

If the heating and cooling system for the home is located in the garage area having an insulated and weatherproof garage will help keep utility costs down. A secure garage space gives the homeowner additional peace of mind along with monetary utility savings and is well worth the additional improvement costs.

Experts can install a door of various sizes in width and height. Single, double and one and a half size doors are made in standard widths from 8 to 20 feet. Most overhead doors are 7 to 8 feet tall but a custom unit can be made to fit openings with special sizes. Materials include wood, vinyl, steel, fiberglass or aluminum. Door sections may be flat, paneled, or have windows. Styles include simple lift up, sectional, barn door, sliders and swing-out doors.

A good reason to fix or replace damaged doors on your garage is the security factor, since most garages have direct access to the interior of a home and often the entrance to the home is unlocked or easy to force open. A well-designed door system operating properly adds security to the entire area including entry to the home. Units that fit snugly in the frame are not easy to jimmy open and heavy systems operate easily with remote control devices and mechanical lifting systems. Being energy efficient helps reduce energy consumption while adding comfort and protection from weather.

Proper installation is important for the alignment and fit of the door to the opening. Costs are determined by the type of garage door, materials and installation.

Remember, a good looking garage door will add to your home’s value in the long run.

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