Qualified Remodeler Magazine

MAY 2018

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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landscaping rank at the top of the list" of popular home improvement projects, coming in at 43 percent. [For context, 31 percent of homeowners plan to undertake a bathroom remodel and 26 percent plan to remodel a kitchen, according to the LightStream survey results.] Qualified Remodeler's annual outdoor research reflects a similar trend, as far as what remodelers report as clients' most requested elements: Decks, railings and post caps ranks highest (56 percent) followed by hardscape patio, pavers and concrete (42.5 percent). Homeowner preference and budget, as with most re- modeling projects, can dictate whether a deck or patio area is created for an outdoor space; but the site itself plays a role, like it or not. e landscape where McCutcheon Construction does most of its work—the company is based in Berkeley, California, and works in and around the Bay Area—plays a large determining factor in what may be possible for an outdoor area. Jim Tibbs, senior vice president of sales and development, notes that decks can be built more readily in the common hilly areas, whereas patios require a flat grade. "I would say most people [here] understand where a patio will or won't work. en, many times budget may drive the decision [between a deck or patio] because, for the most part, decks can be built less expensive- ly than some kind of stone patio or more complicated hardscape," he says. "And I guess the other thing that comes into play is the architecture of the house, be- cause within our region there are some very specific architectural looks. "e Craftsman homes, of which there are many in this area, have a lot of wood incorporated into the house so a deck, many times, would look very appropriate," Tibbs explains. "I would tend to say that a flagstone patio or some kind of hardscape would be more appropriate for a Mediterranean home—there are quite a few in the Bay Area—because that's what you would expect to see." Projects such as decks, patios and landscaping rank at the top of the list of popular home improvement projects, coming in at 43 percent. LightStream Home Improvement Survey Tibbs recommends planning any trees and plants during the design phase to ensure they will work with a hardscape over time. The architecture of a home as well as its surroundings can factor into the decision between a deck or patio. LONG-TERM PLANNING When creating the design for a patio area, McCutcheon Construction, which often works with architects and landscape architects, recommends a team approach among the homeowner, designer and contractor to en- sure a comprehensive plan. How such projects come to McCutcheon Construction—whether a client reaches out directly or is brought in by a designer—varies, but the company is responsible for estimating project cost, coordinating its details and executing the design, Tibbs says. e company's team of carpenters would usually handle a deck build, but subcontractors who specialize in excavation, masonry and concrete are brought in for Photo: Eric Rorer Photography Photo: McCutcheon Construction QualifiedRemodeler.com QR May 2018 35

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