Bringing the outdoors in

Bringing the outdoors in

Bringing the outdoors in

Our client wanted a modern home in a forested property that would allow an open view of the outdoors with a large patio for entertaining.

Birch Bay Modern

Birch Bay Modern

Birch Bay Modern

Having waterfront property can be an ideal place to live. It can also provide some challenges in the building process, which was the case for this home. With required setbacks from the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM), steep slope, property lines, and septic system directly influenced the shape of the home’s footprint. Careful attention was paid to Aging-in-Place and Universal Design to accommodate an aging parent. Another major focus of the design was to allow a lot of natural light to help offset the long gray seasons we experience here in the Northwest. This was done through the use of large windows, skylights, and highly reflective materials.

6 Steps to Consider for Project Planning

6 Steps to Consider for Project Planning

Step One: Budget

No matter the size of the project, an appropriate budget should be the first thing you establish, for all projects you can do this yourself. During this preliminary stage, through careful research you can establish an initial project budget, then once the project design gets moving along you can contact a local contractor for more a more accurate budget.

Step Two: Feasibility Study

Can your project be accomplished? While your project may sound like an amazing idea, that doesn’t mean it’s feasible, like commercial ventures in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Although it sounds great to be able to walk two doors down to the grocery store, in an established residential neighborhood, it is highly unlikely it would ever be permitted by your jurisdiction! Do your research first, or hire a professional to do it for you. Spending a little time and/or money now could save you from going down the wrong path in your investment.

Feasibility Study
Step Three: Contractor or DIY?

You may not have a choice about which route you take, but either route you need to know exactly what you’re signing yourself up for. From financing, to permitting, to ground breaking and beyond, it may all be your job. No matter what though, you need to be clear on who’s responsible for what, because soon your contractor will be on your speed dial and talking to them will likely become a daily routine. Be sure to interview several contractors, getting along with all parties involved will help to ensure the success of your project.

Step Four: Design

Depending on the scope of the project and your own abilities, you could execute this yourself. However, depending on the complexity of the project you may want to consider interviewing and hiring a design professional. This nominal cost should result in a better design and help avoid extra costs as your project is being built. Keep in mind, there are many types of projects that by law require the stamp of a professional thus ensuring the safety and welfare of the occupants.

schematic design
Step Five: Permitting

This may not even apply to your project, but it does apply to most. This step is integral and should be started as soon as possible. Depending on your jurisdiction, and the complexity of your project, this process could take just a matter of days, to months, to quite possibly even years, the whole time costing you time and money. Doing a thorough Feasibility Study should inform you of the task you have ahead of you in your planning and development departments.

Permit Approval
Step Six: Ground Breaking!

Now, this might not be a very big deal for some, as they are now set to build their backyard chicken coup, but for many others, this is the project they’ve dreamed of for years and now they’re finally going to watch (or literally make) it take shape. This can quite literally be the most exhilarating, and exhausting, months, or even years, of your life. Although this is a momentous occasion and worthy of celebration, you should be sure to take the time to mentally prepare yourself for the task ahead as it will likely test you. Many people come out of it ready to start their next big project, like both Sean and I, however, just as many come out with more grey hair, or less hair(!), and a tremendous sigh of relief and thanks that it’s finally done and they’ll never have to go through it again! Whatever the outcome of your emotional state, in the end, you will be overjoyed that it is all over and done with, and, if you took the proper steps, it will have been a successful and far more enjoyable process. Keep in mind why there even is the saying, “On time and under budget,” and why it’s regarded as such a good statement to be able to make!

Ground Breaking

After all these steps have been taken, or taken into consideration, I hope you are able to enjoy your chicken coop, remodel, new house, or maybe even your new grocery store, or at least the profits from your well thought out venture for years and years to come, I know I will!

Using the Sun’s Energy

Using the Sun’s Energy

Traditional Net Zero home
Sean & Jaimi Hegstad’s new home

The 33-panel system installed on Sean & Jaimi’s house will create an average of 25 kWh every day. With electric appliances and heat, it’s not clear how much energy the Hegstad family will use annually. But with rebates currently available, the Hegstads will receive an annual check from PSE based on the kWh their panels produced.

New tech

Solar panel technology has come a long way in the past few years. Previously, it was only recommended to install solar panels exposed to the south and propped at an angle equal to your latitude. For us here in the Northwest, that means 45 degrees (or a 12:12 roof pitch), which is steep. On the Hegstad Residence there are three locations of solar panels: one catching the suns energy from the east, one from the south, and one from the west. And they’re not at a very steep slope either.

Glacier Retreat

Glacier Retreat

Alpine Lodge inside
A place to work and play

We had our annual retreat at a “cottage” in Glacier, Washington. As you can see, the word cottage doesn’t seem appropriate. The retreat wasn’t all fun and games though… although we did have a lot of good food and fun… we discussed goals, employee needs, and how we might work together to serve out clients needs. But, yeah, maybe we were there for the food too.

Surprize Chef

Previously unknown to the rest of us, Haven Design Tech, Douglas Greene, has amazing culinary skills. He made Shakshuka for dinner at the company retreat in Glacier, Washington. Yeah, I didn’t know what it was either. According to Wikipedia, Shakshouka is a Maghrebi dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, olive oil, peppers, onion and garlic, commonly spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper.

Chef Douglas
Kyle Gillette
Planning for the Future

Business Coach Kyle Gillette, of Gillette Solutions, conducts a workshop for the Haven crew.

Game Night

After a long day, the team plays a hot game of Code Names. Turns out we’re a pretty competitive group.

Game night at Glacier Retreat