Qualified Remodeler Magazine

MAR 2014

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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Photo: ForResidentialPros.com QR March 2014 25 PROJECT 1 Looking more like a Disney theme park attraction than a back deck, this entertainment and play space designed by Clive, Iowa-based Silent Rivers definitely is not what one would expect in a suburban Des Moines backyard. The sprawling structure incorporates unusual details small and large — from flag-shaped gate handles with family-heritage significance to a working drawbridge. Designer Tyson Leyendecker knew from this project's inception that his clients were looking for something beyond standard-issue outdoor barbecue-and-cocktails space. "In our first conversation, they had said they wanted something 'Swiss Family Robinson-esque,'" he says. With that meeting began a design effort filled with firsts — among them, Leyendecker notes, "It's the first time I've worked with rope as a building material." The clients' initial hope had been for a grown-up version of a treehouse, built into a large elm and designed to replace the play structure their children had outgrown. An arborist was consulted and fears of Dutch elm disease nixed that idea, but dreams of a treetop getaway continued to bloom. The design process included a mix of high-tech modeling and high-touch craftsmanship. For example, many of the angles are precisely placed toward the directional headings of locations of bridges the family's company has built and Olympic Games the family has attended. Google Earth came in handy for that task, Leyendecker says. Digital models helped the Silent Rivers team understand overall scale and give structural engineers the data needed to evaluate support requirements. The local building department faced its own firsts in its efforts to classify the structure and determine its requirements. "We initially went in trying to say it's a play structure. They took one look at it and said, 'no it's not,'" Leyendecker says. Deciding what category the proj - ect actually fit took more effort than deciding what it wasn't; however, they eventually filed it as a deck. Beyond the sophisticated software and variance appli- COMPANY INFORMATION Donatelli Builders, Wayne, Ill. donatellibuilders.com Full-time employees: 3 Annual remodeling projects: 5 to 10 Residential: 100 percent Single-family: 100 percent Design/build: 100 percent PROJECT INFORMATION Lake House Renovation, Johnsburg, Ill. Square footage: 4,500 Project cost: $230,000 PRODUCT INFORMATION Roofing: Duradek Siding: Smooth cedar Doors and windows: Marvin Paint/stain: Benjamin Moore Decking: Trex Railings: RailPro Eve/overhangs, deck trim and window trim: MiraTEC Left photo: This Illinois lakefront home underwent a renovation to allow the clients to fully enjoy the beautiful setting of their home. Top photo: The Iowa clients wanted an outdoor living area that paid homage to its bridge-building roots while providing a fun space. COMPANY INFORMATION Silent Rivers Inc., Clive, Iowa silentrivers.com Full-time employees: 16 Average annual revenue: $1,913,685 Annual remodeling projects: 42 Residential: 100 percent Single-family: 99 percent Design/build: 89 percent PROJECT INFORMATION Play Structure, Johnston, Iowa Completed: June 2013 Square feet: 1,045 PRODUCT INFORMATION Railings: Feeney Lighting: Tube Lighting Products Des Moines Family Robinson Photo: RichSistosPhotography.com PROJECT 2 PROJECT 1 Photo: Chaden Halfhill, Silent Rivers QUR_24-27_MDS314.indd 25 3/3/14 1:52 PM

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