Our clients had purchased this Tudor style home that had a major addition done prior to their purchase. The addition wasn't all that sensitive to the style and massing of the existing. The homeowners approached Brehm Architects wanting to change the look and improve the curb appeal without altering the massing of the addition. We proposed a new front porch, a few simple architectural changes, new materials and staining the existing brick. We think these moves really transformed and dramatically improved the look of a house. What do you think? Leave us a comment below!
Construction is still ongoing at our Edgemont project but check out the progress on the elegant grand staircase! It has an elliptical curved stringer and continuous stained oak handrail that extends from the basement to the second floor.
Our partner company, Vine Street Design has expanded into a beautiful new showroom in Uptown Park Ridge. Vine Street Design was founded by Greg Brehm, who is also the founding principal of Brehm Architects and O'Connor Brehm Design-Build. Together his three firms offer a single source for comprehensive stress-free home design and construction. Vine Street Design is your source for all your custom cabinetry needs.
Construction work on the new, custom, single family home we designed for clients in Park Ridge is proceeding well. The masonry details and brick arches fabricated on site turned out great! The windows are in, the roof is on and copper gutters/downspouts have been installed. The custom carved limestone front porch components are currently being installed. If it ever stops snowing, they'll be able to start the stucco work. See if you can spot the flying piece of drywall in the photos!
Work is nearly complete on our Elmore English Cottage Style Project in Park Ridge. We always love to add another great project to our portfolio of custom homes. Our clients are ecstatic with the result and can't wait to move in! What do you think? We'd love to hear your comments below.
Work was recently completed on the remodeling and addition to a tudor-style home in Park Ridge. Check out the stunning blue kitchen! We'll have more pictures of the exterior in the spring so that you can see the seamless transition at the rear addition.
Click on the photo to see the project page on our site.
Our clients were thrilled with the result and love their new home. Here's a portion of their houzz.com review:
"Greg Brehm, and Project Architect, Tim Hawkins, have an excellent design eye and even more important, they are great listeners. During our meetings Tim would always capture even the most mundane or minute details that we mentioned. When we met with him and Greg, we gave them a VERY rough idea of what we wanted and the two of them really brought our vision to life."
Click here for the full review: https://www.houzz.com/viewReview/775702/O-Connor-Brehm-Design-Build-review
We recently had four of our projects featured in the Marvin Windows Architects Challenge. The projects were published alongside other entries in a elegant little book. Our Cumnock project was featured on the cover of the chapter with the Traditional New Construction categories. It was nice to see our work published alongside other high-caliber designers.
We recently read a very helpful article from the New York Times about maintaining your home and thought it would be useful to pass along:
We work on homes of all sizes with sometimes very small renovations all the way to a new home but no matter what the scale of the project, new or old, they all require regular maintenance and care. People sometimes are under the impression that because their house is new, that it doesn't require any maintenance. Old or new, all houses require regular maintenance in order to prevent future and potentially costly repairs.
We won't re-hash all of the great content from the NYT article but we wanted to touch on a few specifics that we often encounter:
Zero Maintenance Cladding?
Another common misconception is that some siding and cladding products like fiber-cement siding from JamesHardie, moulding/trim from Versatex or Azek require zero maintenance. While, these do not require as much maintenance as traditional wood cladding, you still need to make sure it's clean and the caulk is properly adhered. Keep in mind that there are some places, particularly near flashing where caulk is not supposed to be! If you caulk that joint; bad things can happen, so make sure you hire someone that knows what they're doing. It's also important to keep your siding material clean but please DO NOT USE A HIGH PRESSURE POWER WASHER! This can damage the siding material and get water into your house in places that it's not supposed to be. Your home is meant to keep water out from heavy rainfalls that come from the sky but not high pressure water being sprayed perpendicular to the building's surface.
JamesHardie's Maintenance Guide
Keep the Leaves Out and the Mulch Away
An important maintenance item that all homeowners should stay on top of is keeping leaves and debris out of your gutters and window wells. If gutters get clogged, it could damage your eaves and roof as well as potential ice damming problems in the winter. Also, make sure that landscaping beds and mulch aren't up against the exterior cladding and siding material. If it's up too high, it could prematurely damage your cladding material, create mold and worst of all, it could allow to enter your home.
The HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) system in your home is similar to the engine of a car as it requires regular tune-ups. Change your furnace filter on a regular basis. The frequency of how often will depend on your filter and how often you run it but as a rule of thumb, you should plan on replacing them around once a month. Most homeowners handle this themselves. A qualified HVAC contractor should also service and check your furnace, ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator; this is required on at least one furnace in new homes), humidifier and A/C condenser annually. Schedule it in advance and try to avoid the times where there's a big shift in temperature as most HVAC contractors are busy dealing with emergency problems (for the unfortunate souls that don't get their systems regularly serviced).
Disconnect Your Garden Hose
Most garden hose bibbs (sometimes called a spigot) are "frost free", meaning you don't have to drain the pipe seasonally so they don't freeze. HOWEVER, if you have a hose connected to it and it's full of water, bad things will happen when it freezes. SO, please be sure to disconnect your hose before the frost hits.
Pheasant project garden shed featured on Houzz.com articleRead More
We were recently asked again to contribute to This Old House Magazine's Photoshop Redo Segment. Take a look here and be sure to click through all seven pages of the article. You can also find it in the July/August 2017 issue. Thanks again to Kate Wood and all the staff at This Old House Magazine for inviting us to contribute to their great publication!
Our rear covered porch addition in Glenview recently wrapped up just in time for a family party. Thanks for another great effort by our project team! Most importantly, our greatest reward comes from our homeowners' satisfaction with the result: "We are loving our new space and thoroughly enjoyed working with all of you! We hope to work together again soon."
Construction is well underway on our new single family home in Park Ridge, IL. The foundation work is completed, backfilled and with all the nice weather, the framing work is moving at a rapid clip. Here are some images of the latest progress:
Our Glencoe Facelift project is wrapped up and the homeowners are delighted with the transformation of their home. Here's a portion of an email we received from them thanking us for the effort: "We are thrilled with the overall look, it looks like a totally different house. Your design work, without making major changes to the house, has made an exceptional difference. Thank you for your hard work. It is greatly appreciated."
Welcome to our new website. Our Blog will feature any news about our firm, developments on projects being designed and under construction. We also plan on having all kinds of interesting information, thoughts and all things related to single family residential design.
Construction is underway on a new home in Park Ridge. The exterior shell is nearly complete with interior finish work ongoing.
Work is proceeding nicely on our facelift project in Glencoe. The new brick is completed and the new garage door is installed; both are awaiting a paint job! New sconces were being installed and looked great. We also made a trip up to Lake Bluff to check on progress of the custom steel canopy, which is looking great. As it turns out, creating a compound curve out of steel is not that easy to do.
The design and documentation for a new single family home in Park Ridge is wrapping up and we thought we'd share some concept renderings before construction commences early this summer
We were asked to contribute to This Old House Magazine's "Photoshop Redo" segment for a Park Ridge home in need of some help. The article was featured in their January/February issue. Click here for the link to the website: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/photoshop-redo-warming-blank-box
Thanks to Kate Wood and the rest of the editorial staff at This Old House Magazine for inviting us to participate in this fun design exercise