Why a good GC offers value and savings that a homeowner cannot find by themselves

Recently we replastered and repainted our own home. The 1960 concrete ceiling was intact but the paint was not. We picked out our favorite white color, White Sand from the Emerald Designer Edition Line at Sherwin Williams, and asked our painter to pick up the paint in satin, semi-gloss and flat from the local Sherwin Williams store. “Put it on my account.” I told him. Usually we ask Edgar to put the paint on his account but since this was my personal job I thought “I’ll just use my account.”

The retail price of a gallon of White Sand paint is $110. My professional account price is about $90. 

Guess how much he paid for it!

$48 a gallon or a savings of about 60%.

When people watch HGTV, they think they can do construction jobs themselves. (I recommend watching This Old House instead because it is MUCH, MUCH better and it’s real.) They also think they can save money. Architecture and construction are a discipline and a trade based upon relationships and the goodwill and credit built from them. So my painter uses a lot more paint than I do and, therefore, he gets a better price. It’s the same with my steel fabricator. His longtime clients get better pricing. Ditto for my mason. So before you push headlong into a building project solo, remember that having an experienced architect with longstanding industry relationships will generally produce better outcomes than going alone.

Emerald Designer Edition from Sherwin Williams 

#Alignment #SherwinWilliams #WhiteSand #EmeraldDesignerEditions #ArchitectsAddValue #InteriorDesign #Plastering #Mies #renovatingMies #updatingMies #thisoldhouse

Dear Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson

We confess that we didn’t vote for you in the first election but you are now the Mayor for all of Chicago and we support you in making our “City in a Garden” work for all Chicagoans again.

What’s one of the first things you can do to make the city better???

Make the City of Chicago Title 14B Building Code available in PDF form for free again. That’s right. Deprivatize the code from the ICC overlords. We the citizens own the code. We the citizens of Chicago paid for it with our tax dollars. Now, we the citizens of Chicago should have unfettered access to what is ours.

If you want to have more public compliance and empower the public so they better understand what’s required, then a free, searchable PDF version of the City of Chicago Title 14B Building Code must be made available in the first 100 days of your administration.

And, Mayor-Elect Johnson, please contact us. We have 100 ideas of how to make our city better for ALL of Chicago.

Link to the ICC landing page where the ICC wants to be paid for what the taxpayers of Chicago already paid for 

#ICC #MayorBrandonJohnson #Mayor-ElectBrandonJohnson #BetterGovernmentAssociation #CityofChicagoTitle14bBuildingCode #First100days #urbsinhorto #March41837 #Chicago #ICCsucks #InternationalCodeCouncil #CityofChicago

FL Wright’s joy of hiding the entry door and playing with scale to make you look closely (see as in Wittgenstein’s parlance) and consider his building

When Wright worked for Sullivan, he designed an apartment building on West Randolph. Half of it was torn down for the widening of Randolph in 1923 (source: Urban Remains and the other half after a fire in 1974. But there was a piece, a starwell, still extant around the corner...

The first image is the doorway today. The new door is centered on both the wall and the door–neither is in  their original location. The second photo is by Richard Nickel, John Vinci’s friend, and shows the wall setback from the street wall. The wall is opaque and brick with a door off the right. Yes, the door is NOT centered!

Next, an arch like this usually towers over the person passing beneath it. Here the pier stops two thirds the height of the door and the beautiful cut limestone begins. The base, capital detail and the piers are a master class in proportion, restraint and simplicity. I am very curious about the stairwell beyond the door. 

I hope this fragment is preserved and Ward Miller  Preservation Chicago leads a campaign to save it.

#Alignment #FLWright #SizeandScale #wardmiller #preservationchicago #architecturaldetails #classicsm #louissullivan


What is the Alignment?

Why is it important?

What is the benefit?

In a recent podcast, Second Studio podcast spoke with Toshiko Mori. Alignment is the foundation for a successful project. It’s more than getting the bench (on the left) to line up inside and outside. They are one tactic in an overall strategy where an architect acts as a magician to make a space small space feel much larger and roomy than it is. The discipline of keeping a project strategy alive in the details is what make Architecture does well and why we do what do. That’s alignment.

Second Studio Podcast Toshiko Mori

#Alignment #ToshikoMori #projectsuccess #architecturaldetails

What is the first step in the ADU permit application process in the City of Chicago?

The first porthole you will encounter is 


You will need to contact your alderman and the neighbor on either side of your residence with an affadavit via certified letter with a receipt that is returned by mail to you. For many, this can be the most difficult part of the process as many City of Chicago residents are not home when the postal carrier rings the bell. We have had our clients meet the postal carrier on their route and then contact their (friendly) neighbor via text message so they would meet the carrier and sign the required return card. Once the US Postal service returns the card, you can upload the return receipts and your are ready to submit your application!!!! Here’s the link of to what the City of Chicago is looking for:   

ADU Document including an example of the affadavits

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us for more details! #aduChicago #CityofChicagoADU #CityofChicagoZoning #AdditionalDwellingUnits #Andersonville #WickerPark #Chatham #NorthCenter