Designing and Building Your Dream Home

Tune in as the show’s host, K.T., keeps the conversation lively and entertaining. K.T. is the Director of Sales & Marketing for a well-known architectural product manufacturer. Prior to this position, K.T. founded four industry-leading firms including two information technology firms; one specializing in the creation of web-based process management tools for Fortune 100 corporations and one that specialized in building predictive modeling applications for federal agencies. He also founded a real estate development firm that spearheaded the restoration and redevelopment of an historic seaport communities’ downtown waterfront, as well as organizing and founding a community bank. K.T. currently serves on the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Architects Custom Residential Architects Network (AIA CRAN). Additionally, he serves as co-chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Leading Supplier's Council, and as Trustee for both the NAHB Remodelers Council and the NAHB Custom Builders Committee. 

Latest Episodes

Remodeling an Historic Home

In this show we make the case for creating your dream home from an historic home, a Landmark home. These are properties built from the 1950’s back to the Victorian homes built in the 1800’s. Remodeling Landmark homes is not for the faint of heart, and yet, those who undertake this journey will be rewarded with a home that will be recognized by all as an architectural treasure in their community.
Our distinguished guests, Stuart Cohen, FAIA and Julie Hacker, FAIA; practice residential architecture in the greater Chicago area. Their expertise is in taking gorgeous historic homes and remodeling them to serve the needs of a modern family; while preserving and enhancing the aesthetic features which make these homes. One-of-a-kind, works of art.
Remodeling an historic home, is a lot different from remodeling other homes. Landmark homes are often located in recognized historic districts. To maintain the character of that community, you will typically find the city has appointed a committee to oversee any proposed changes, to any property located in the community. And, proposed changes which could affect the exterior of the home, are especially frowned upon.
Julie and Stuart walk us through some of the things that you should be aware of, and how best to handle them. For example, is the work you are proposing for this historic home best classified as a remodel or a restoration? Should the proposed changes to the historic home be indistinguishable from the existing home, or should it be clear which portions of the home are original to property and which components are new? What role does contextualism play in the remodel of an historic home. You’ll hear answers to these questions and others in this program.
Stuart, a professor of architecture, also shares a little history of residential architecture in Chicago and helps us to appreciate how much beauty Landmark homes add to a community, and, how truly fortunate you are if you get to call one of these gorgeous historic homes – yours!
Website:             http://www.cohen-hacker.com/

Virtual Reality, 3D Modeling and Artificial Intelligence in Residential Architecture

In this program AIA CRAN ® Executive Committee member, John DeForest AIA, walks us through some of the amazing tools available to help architects guide their clients through the design process.
John DeForest received architectural degrees from Yale and Harvard then gained experience working for firms in San Francisco and Seattle and on the East Coast before starting his own practice in 1999. DeForest Architects is recognized for making the design process more engaging and inclusive and has projects in eight states ranging from 15 to 15,000 square feet. John co-founded CORA NW, a peer network and discussion forum for residential architects in the Pacific Northwest then helped launch AIA Seattle’s Small Practice and Residential Committee (SPARC) in 2016. He currently serves on the Executive Committee for CRAN ®, the AIA’s Custom Residential Architect Network.  www.DeForestArchitects.com

An Experienced Custom Builder Shares Some Words of Wisdom

Scott’s ascent to becoming a Custom homebuilder and remodeler began when he was a child growing up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. His father, an accomplished carpenter, often took a young Scott to his construction sites. “I guess you could say from an early age, building has been in my blood. I went to college, even thought about law school, but in the end, I decided I really wanted a career in construction.”
While working for a northwest suburban builder as a project manager, Scott began building homes on his own. Ultimately, he decided to leave the builder and on June 9, 1983, Sevvonco, Inc. was born. For the next 25 years, Scott and his team built well over 260 homes with a cumulative total over $500,000,000.00. Although many of these have been high-end residences located primarily in the North and Northwest suburbs, there have been exceptions. 
“At one point or another, we’ve built homes ranging in size from 1,400 square feet to 30,000 square feet and prices ranging from $150,000.00 to over $5.5 million and in locations from Oakbrook to Huntley,” says Scott.
While Scott is known primarily for his design/build custom homes, there is an ever-growing design/build remodel division that takes on projects of any size. Scott has remodeled, renovated and built many additions over the years.
Scott is very active in the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago, for which he serves on many committees. He is also involved in the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers Council where he currently or has served on many committees such as: Trustee on the Remodelers Council Board, Chairman of the Remodelers Council Membership & Communications sub-committee, Chairman of the Remodelers Council, Chairman of the CGR Board of Governors, Chairman of the CAPS Board of Governors, NAHB Build-Pac Trustee, Chairman of the NAHBR Green sub-committee, NAHB Design Committee, and NAHB Convention Committee. Scott is one of a very few “Senior Life Directors” of the NAHB Board of directors. 
He is dedicated to maintaining standards and healthy practices throughout the building industry and is fanatical about professionalism. His peers seem to gravitate toward him as he is always being consulted by industry professionals and is continually elected to positions of influence throughout the industry. The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago awarded Scott Builder of the Year in 2004 and Remodeler of the Year in 2006. Scott was also awarded from the National Association of Builders/Remodelers these awards for the entire nation, 2006 NAHB Graduate Master Builder of the Year, 2010 NAHB Graduate Master Remodeler of the Year, 2015 NAHB CAPS of the Year and the 2016 NAHB CGR remodeler of the year.
Scott is also very active in Green and Healthy building projects. On these projects, Scott works with the American Lung Association and Health House. In 2001, Sevvonco built Illinois’ first, award winning, American Lung Association Health House, in Glen Ellyn. Sevvonco, Inc. is also the first ever Illinois American Lung Association approved builder. In 2010, Scott was a consultant for the Museum of Science and Industry “Smart House: Green and Wired” that opened on the museum property.
In the fall of 2008, Scott teamed up with Remodel One to create MAW CHICAGO LLC and became the managing partner in Belgravia Plus LLC, a renovation firm specializing in renovation within the city limits of Chicago. MAW CHICAGO LLC is extremely active in the city of Chicago’s renovating market. MAW CHICAGO LLC is also recognized by HOUZZ as a premier builder and remodeler.

Prefab and Modular – Their Growth in Custom Home Design & Construction

MethodHomes.net. Custom-designed, prefabricated, modular homes. If offsite fabrication and construction techniques can improve the quality of certain components of your new home; what about building the entire home offsite?
Brian Abrahmson, Founder and CEO of Method Homes, a leader in prefabrication, helps us to understand modular construction and the impact it’s having on the custom home market.

How to Receive an Accurate Appraisal of Your High-Performance Home

In this program we review the appraisal process. Whether you are a current or future homeowner, a real estate agent looking to grow your client base, or a residential property appraiser wanting to increase your knowledge and expertise – you will learn a great deal from my guest, Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA, LEED Green Associate. We discuss;
1.      How to properly value ADU’s so they qualify for financing.
2.      How to ensure that the investment you make in high-performance products and processes in your home are reflected in your appraisal.
3.      The role energy rating plays in the appraisal process.
4.      What impact a solar installation will have on your appraisal.
5.      How to recognize if the appraiser is qualified to properly value your home, and if not, what options are available to you.
Guest Bio:          Sandra K. Adomatis is a member of the Appraisal Institute since 1984, has served as Chapter President, Chair of two national committees, and Region X Education Liaison. Internationally, she is working with Canada to adopt the AI Green & Energy Efficient Addendum to their residential properties. She is an Appraisal Institute instructor, developer of seminars and courses, Appraisal Journal author, contributor to textbooks, and author of Residential Green Valuation Tools. Sandra is a national spokesperson to state and federal government agencies, energy organizations, REALTOR groups, state coalition, national and local homebuilder groups, and utility companies where she passionately promotes the Appraisal Institute, its members, education, and publications.

What To Look For When Choosing Your Windows And Doors

Guest: Eve Guilbaud, Architectural Manager, Loewen Windows and Doors

Which windows and doors you choose for your home will probably be one of the most important decisions your make in the design of your custom home. Among other considerations, this decision will impact how much outdoor noise and heat penetrates into your home – as well as how much it costs to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. My guest, Eve Guilbaud, Architectural Manager at Loewen Windows and Doors; walks us through which raw materials make for the best window and doors, and why. She also discusses how to identify custom windows and doors created by artisan craftsmen; versus windows and doors manufactured for a mass audience. Don’t make your choice based on brochures and internet images alone. To get the highest quality products, Eve teaches us what questions to ask a window and door manufacturer, and why these questions are important.

Converting an Abandoned Building into Your New Custom Home

In this program we discuss the advantages of restoring and repurposing existing structures; converting an abandoned warehouse into a custom home, and converting an existing home into an office. We also discusses how the time my guest spent practicing architecture in Japan influences the homes he designs.  
My guest is Warren K. Lloyd AIA, LEED AP. Warren has been practicing architecture for 20+ years. He received a Masters of Architecture from the University of Washington in 1991. During his graduate work, he was a Monbusho scholar at Kobe University in Japan for 2 years.  
Warren’s personal interest in architecture has led him to seek innovative and sustainable uses of traditional wood construction in his projects located throughout the Intermountain West, the Pacific Northwest, and Japan. He worked in Seattle and Japan for several noted architects, including NBBJ, The Miller-Hull Partnership and Thomas L. Bosworth FAIA.  
Warren was named a partner of Lloyd Architects in Salt Lake City in 1998, managing partner in 2000, and principal in 2001. Warren is the 2023 AIA CRAN National Chairman and Lloyd Architects was named 2022 Firm of the Year by AIA Utah.  

Why Choose Custom-Designed, Stainless Steel Railing for Your Home

Do you want to learn how to purchase many of the brand new architectural components you will need in your new home at up to a 50% discount? Then listen to this week’s show.
In it, we discuss how certain architectural products can serve a dual purpose in your new home. We illustrate this concept with one of those dual use architectural products; custom-designed, stainless steel railing systems.
I use this product to introduce you to a trending construction process known as “offsite construction” or “prefabrication”. We discuss what prefabrication is, and how the prefabrication of some of the architectural components in your home can really benefit you.
By the way…I work for AGS Stainless, Inc. (AGS), and 100% prefabrication is the process we use to fabricate our railing systems.
To learn more about AGS Stainless, go to AGSstainless.com.

Good Design is the Foundation of an Award-Winning Custom Home!

My guest today, Brandon Bryant, discusses just how important elegant design is to the successful creation of a custom home. A home you can be truly proud of! As he says; “Red Tree builders builds beautiful custom homes – that also happen to be high-performance homes.” 
In this interview, Brandon discusses the importance of having your builder address a number of essential elements of a successful project; including indoor air quality! He further explains that you should expect more than just a gorgeous home from your builder. Brandon explains that custom home builders should take the time to think through, and implement, a well-defined customer engagement process. That process should make the construction of their new custom home a truly enjoyable experience for the owners!
Brandon is a highly-awarded custom home builder from Ashville North Carolina (NC). He is the President and Owner of Red Tree Builders; he serves as President of the NC Home Builders Assoc. as well as on the Board of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). He is a Master Certified Green Builder (Master CGP) who prides himself in building healthy, environmentally sound, and sustainable homes in the mountains of Asheville, NC. Brandon can be reached at RedtreeBuilders.com.