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Par for the course
e didn’t have much of a spring this year — at least not one that was up to par for me, or anyone I know, for that matter. It was windy, chilly and it rained a lot — not untypical for spring in the Columbus area. But, then it rained some more. I’m not sure how many wet days we had, but I know the local weather forecasters were keeping count. Thankfully, by the time this issue of Central Ohio Home & Garden reaches your doorsteps there will be less than a week left of spring and we’ll have the whole summer ahead of us. If you have children, summer is the time of year most families take vacations. My family and I recently returned from a trip to Hilton Head Island, where we attended my niece’s wedding over the Memorial Day weekend. We extended our stay throughout the week and enjoyed many wonderful days at the beach and pool with family and friends. It was hard to come back. Some central Ohio families, however, need look no further than their own backyards for vacation-like days. In this issue, we put the spotlight on luxurious swimming pools (see Dive In on page 8) and putting greens (see Just Putting A Round on 14). For these homeowners, every day is like a summer vacation as they splash around, soak up the sun and practice their short games. This putting green, in the photo above, doubles as an ice rink during winter months. Whether you are planning a trip or staying close to home this summer, I hope it is filled with sunshine and lots of laughter. See you in the fall. •
Rebecca Walters Editor
04 Central Ohio Home & Garden
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Central Ohio Home & Garden is a publication of The Columbus Dispatch’s Advertising Department. For advertising information, contact Deborah Jackson at 469.6136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Dive in 8
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Inspiring Ideas 14 Just Putting A Round
Best of Home 20 Stairways to Heaven
Great Outdoors 49 Made in the Shade
At Home With 56 Bill Nicholson of Nicholson Builders
By Design 60 Scratching the Surface
Our Backyard 66
PhotoS BY JOHN KNOUFF
49 06 Central Ohio Home & Garden
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On the Cover
DiveIn Story by
Quality Pools designed this pool in Powell. It features classic lines and a river-rock aggregate surface, which gives the water its deep blue tone. Itâ€™s heated as well, so the family can enjoy it during late spring and early fall.
Central Ohio Home & Garden summer 2011
Whether splashing around or taking in the view, homeowners are lapping up the luxury of their pools
amilies typically travel during summer. Their destinations usually involve a beach, pool or water park. But for some central Ohioans, the trip to a watery oasis doesn’t require a plane, train or automobile as the family vacation is just steps away in their own backyards. Home pools come in all shapes and sizes and serve numerous purposes — from executing the perfect cannonball to hosting elegant gatherings to simply relaxing poolside.
With your own pool, you are going to attract a party, especially when the temperatures soar. If you enjoy entertaining, then a pool is going to give you a reason to do more of it. The ultimate goal in a home pool is to stay cool, but if you add some extra touches you also can be cool to neighbors, friends and family — even when you aren’t in the water. “There is nothing more exciting than building someone a pool,” says Matthew Ray, president of Columbus Leisure Pools.
“Kitchens are cool and room additions are nice, but there is nothing like the emotion that goes with their new vacation in their backyard.“ Today’s pool areas have become true outdoor living spaces. “Water features, like water shears, cultured rock formations and rock waterfalls are becoming more predominant now in owning a pool,” Ray says. “Only half the time is it used for swimming, while the other half is (spent) enjoying a glass of wine by the pool and relaxing.” Jeff Sidwell’s concrete pool was fine years ago when his children were growing up. Over the years, however, the elements took their toll and it was time for some serious repairs. Instead of fixing the old, Sidwell had Leisure Pools install a new fiberglass pool that includes a rock waterfall. Leisure Pools is an authorized dealer for Rico Rock, a company based in Orlando that creates rock formations made from fiber-reinforced concrete. “My kids grew up, and now we have grandchildren coming over,” says Sidwell, who lives just south of Zanesville. “I wanted some kind of waterfall, and I wanted something that was new.” “The pool is great, but we also get a lot out of the area around the pool,” he says. Leisure Pools completely reconstructed the area, which includes a bar set and grill. “It’s a comfortable place to hang out. You still get the atmosphere with the rock and waterfall, and just hearing the water.” Last year, Quality Pools installed an 800-square-foot pool for a Powell homeowner with twins who will turn 10 this summer. The homeowner wanted a pool large enough for the children to play volleyball and basketball. When it comes to pool accessories and gadgets, the quality and durability has improved greatly, says Quality Pools General Manager Brian Miller. If a person wants a slide, for example, the options are limitless. “The manufacturers used to have plastic stuff that would last just one season and then need to get replaced,” he says. “Now there’s stainless steel, with a nicer finish and more durability.” Her children’s safety was also a major consideration, so the Powell homeowner requested that the pool be positioned a good distance from the house and that a surveillance system be installed. “The first thing that popped into my mind was someday we’ll have teenagers
On the Cover Photos COURTESY first
here swimming,” she says. “I made sure that we built this pool far away from any roof — not that any of my friends did that in high school, but you never know with kids.” A security camera runs 24 hours a day and microphones allow sounds from the pool to be heard from inside the home. Some pool alarm systems can alert owners if something or someone enters the pool, and they can differentiate a child from an object such as a basketball or tree limb. In addition, Quality Pools incorporated a patio area and fire pit into the outdoor living space. “It’s really turned out to be a fun family event, and we can have adults come with their kids and we can cook out,” the homeowner says. “Every day becomes the Fourth of July.” Although nothing tops the fun factor of having a pool, having one that is easy to maintain is just as — if not more so — important. For that reason, Leisure Pools deals almost exclusively with fiberglass because of the ease of maintenance. The surface is nonporous, similar to that of a car finish, so algae can’t harbor and take root in
the material. “Once you set your water chemistry, you shouldn’t have to worry about much else,” he explains. “We tell our customers they should expect to work on their pools for about 30 minutes per week, but most end up only spending five to 10 minutes,” Ray says. And when you’re not using the pool, automatic covers make life easier, and they are safer than a fence, adds Ray. “Last year, 48 percent of our customers put automatic retractable covers on and it almost takes the maintenance of the pool to nothing,” Ray says. “It keeps the dirt, kids, leaves and animals out.” •
‘It’s really turned out to be a fun family event… Every day becomes the Fourth of July.’
Jeff Sidwell’s grandchildren are enjoying this fiberglass pool, which features a rock waterfall. Leisure Pools completely reconstructed the area, which includes a bar set and grill.
10 Central Ohio Home & Garden
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This six-hole putting green at the Wick’s Upper Arlington home includes two chipping areas.
JustPuttingARound Homeowners are taking their own course of action to improve their short games and unite the family
he 2011 men’s U.S. Open Championship started June 13, but some people are holding their own tournaments — both real and imagined — right in their own backyards. Away from the hassle of tee times, crowded courses, wayward drives and inconsistent long irons, central Ohio
14 Central Ohio Home & Garden
residents are working on their short games in a much more relaxed atmosphere. Although some setups are more elaborate than others, the goal is the same: Knock the little white ball into the only somewhat larger hole. Each homeowner is on a different path, but all are enjoying a similar course when it comes to personal putting greens. There
are the grandparents who installed a green for their grandkids. There is the father who wanted to give his son, a high-school golfer, the opportunity to practice at will. And, there’s a family that has a golfer and a hockey player, so they designed a dualpurpose green that could be converted to a miniature ice rink in the winter. Then there’s the guy just trying to
Chris Perry practices his short game on this 1,500-squarefoot putting green at his home. The PGA golfer is hoping to make a comeback on the Champions Tour.
Rob Maloney had At Home Putting Greens install a putting green to help his son improve his game.
‘I basically spent the last 15 years studying the best golf courses in the world and we use that knowledge and apply it to our greens.’
make a comeback. Chris Perry finished in the top 10 in 14 PGA Tour events in 1999 and finished 10th in the PGA Championship. Injuries to his left hand and wrist in 2001 caused him to miss a number of tournaments and large chunks of seasons. His last PGA tournament was almost five years ago, but now the 49-year-old former Ohio State golfer is readying for a
16 Central Ohio Home & Garden
comeback on the Champions Tour after he turns 50 in September.
Five years ago, Perry had Southwest Greens of Ohio install a large green in his yard in Powell, complete with nine holes, a sand bunker and a pair of chipping areas. The green is more than 1,500 square feet and is designed like a horseshoe. His son used it in recent years to hone his skills for his high-school team. Perry likely will use it more now in his pursuit to get back into competitive golf. “I put it in so I wouldn’t have to go anywhere to work on things, and it’s nice to look at,” Perry says. “And now my focus is to prepare for the Champions Tour. It’s part of my job. So if I can have it at home, it’s beneficial.” Southwest Greens owner Rick Dodson says his greens are extremely durable and that he can adjust the speed of the green to mimic U.S. Open conditions, if a homeowner dares.
Southwest Greens’ designer Carl Hart, who caddied for Perry on the PGA Tour, says every green is designed from scratch, based on the skill level of the golfer and what he or she wants to accomplish. Having been on some of the most famous golf courses in the world, he sometimes receives requests to design an area that replicates a famous green. “I basically spent the last 15 years studying the best golf courses in the world and we use that knowledge and apply it to our greens,” Hart says. “I have all the yardage books from courses all over the world, so if someone wants to simulate a green, we can do that. I have the exact dimensions and scales and slopes and everything.”
Jeff Stewart’s green in Tartan Fields in Dublin serves two purposes. He has two sons with different interests — golf and hockey. Six years ago, he brought in Nikki Fetingas, owner of At Home Greens, and asked
her to design a putting green that could transform into a skating area in the winter. “When I come to someone’s house I want to find out their golf game, how many golfers live in the household and what they want to practice, and then I want them to get the most out of the area,” Fetingas says. “We built (Stewart’s) with a little different shape and put some stone around the outside.” Stewart’s green/rink employs a heavy, rubberized vinyl liner fitted to the surface. All he has to do is add warm water to soften the liner and then wait for the freeze. “It’s basically for footwork, not really anything you can build up speed on,” Stewart says. “We put a net on the outside, but it’s more about working on moving quickly in a small space.” The investment paid off — older son Shane is playing golf for Penn State and
Brennan is preparing for his senior year of playing hockey at Dublin Jerome High School.
“When Brennan was little, he would spend hours out there,” Stewart says. “We wanted to create a place where the kids would want to come to our house, and this was like a magnet.” Stewart added an outdoor fireplace to the area and hosts events, like Ryder Cup parties, that evolve into putting and chipping contests. The space also provided some father-son moments with Shane. At Home Putting Greens also worked with Sarah and George Wick of Upper Arlington on a design that is all-inclusive. In addition to a six-hole layout, there are two chipping areas, a shed called “The
Pro Shop,” an area with a net that allows golfers to take full swings and a bench, ball washer and matching small trash basket — just like you would find at a golf course. The Wicks added some other amenities to enjoy the area with their two teenage sons and friends. “We have a fire pit and there’s enough light out there so they can chip and putt at night,” Sarah Wick says. “It’s nice to have this backyard.” At Home also designed a green for Rob Maloney in Galena. Maloney’s son is golfer at Worthington Christian and just finished his freshman year. “I pointed out a spot in the yard, and I wanted some undulation and to be able to chip,” Maloney says. “Nikki drew up some different layouts and designs and made it work for us. It’s definitely helped my son. I just want him to use it more often.” •
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Best of Home presented by the BIA
Grand stairways evoke intrigue and charm — they set the tone for the entire home.
stairway describes a functional part of the house that allows a person to move from one floor to the next. Put “grand” in front of it and the stairway becomes more than just an upward or downward path, it becomes a focal point and sets the tone for the entire home. Grand stairways imply glamour and romance. They are stately and dramatic structures found in castles, courtrooms and major office buildings. They can be straight or curved, single or dual, and they can contain designs within the designs.
20 Central Ohio Home & Garden
to heaven Story by
And when they are grand, they inspire curiosity about what lies ahead. For Chintan and Kanishka Patel of Delaware, the stairway was one of the most important design aspects of their newly built home in Nelson Farms. Finding a builder who shared their vision was the tricky part. “We hadn’t seen anything — anywhere — like what we wanted,” Chintan explains. “When we were out looking for builders, one of the things we asked was how they would design the house around the type of stairs we wanted.” The Patels knew they wanted to tie together traditional and contemporary to achieve a clean, open look and feel. They also knew they did not want to employ the typical iron or wood balusters. “The vision we had was for a double-bridal look, and we wanted to have as much open space as possible, without encroaching on any forward space,” Chintan says. They chose P&D Builders Ltd., because its designers embraced the couple’s design principles. “The designers at P&D are amazing and they envisioned what we wanted,” Chintan
says. Ishan Dillon, marketing and design associate with P&D Builders, suggested the Patels go with a wide and angled design for their stairway. The finished product is a hardwood staircase that is stained a dark chocolate brown. P&D utilized sheets of glass that serve as side railings on both sides and along the top of the catwalk. “The cost to do a radius staircase is astronomical, and I thought an angled staircase would have the same effect,” Dillon says. “It saved them a substantial amount of money, and it looks brilliant with the glass panels and the straight sections.” Kanishka says the idea was to create something with style that can transcend generations. “Contemporary might be completely out 10 years from now, so we wanted to keep some traditional elements because that’s going to be lifelong,” Kanishka says. Situating the staircases to the far left and right of the entryway also provides for tremendous open space. Walls and closed-in spaces are few and far between in the Patel house. One of the reasons is inspired
by the Patels thinking ahead. “We wanted the first floor to be as open and visible as possible,” Kanishka says. “We don’t have any children yet, but when we do they can run around here and this can be a playground.” John Wilson, owner of CRI Interiors, says open floor plans with bigger staircases and a cleaner approach are becoming more popular, as is the idea of mixing contemporary and traditional elements. “If you add a touch of
The Patels wanted a stairway that would â€œtranscend generations.â€? The result was a seamless blend of contemporary and traditional styles.
Best of Home presented by the BIA
This stairway by M/I Homes appeared in the 2010 BIA Parade of Homes. This yearâ€™s Parade takes place through June 26 in Olentangy Falls in Delaware County.
contemporary to a traditional piece, it makes it more approachable,â€? Wilson says. â€œI think a lot of people are seeing the value in traditional and classic with a splash of modern or contemporary.â€? The mixing of colors is one way to display the combination of styles, or by adding subtle touches to fixtures. On the surface, clashing styles might seem a faux pas, but itâ€™s happening more often and is being received well. â€œThereâ€™s more neutralcolored palettes with a strong color kicked in with a piece of art, and that adds a positive energy to the room,â€? Wilson says. â€œOr you can add an antique gold finish to the balusters, which is an approach we are seeing more.â€? Scott Humphrey and his wife, Audri, recently purchased a home in Westerville
with a large, curved stairway already in place, but they wanted to make some changes to the area. â€œItâ€™s kind of a Georgiancolonial look. We wanted to maintain some of that design and element on the outside, but my wife and I have more of a contemporary taste in furniture and art,â€? Humphrey says. â€œShe happened to see a picture of something done by Elegant Iron.â€? Elegant Iron Studios, based in West Alexandria, is a custom metal-fabrication company that specializes in curved and complex railings. Owner Patrick Dalton says that although trends in design certainly change, the desire for high-quality, unique pieces never fades. â€œThere is a drive lately for people to have a really custom product, like a railing that
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Best of Home presented by the BIA
The Humphreys wanted to make a few changes to the stairway when they purchased their home in Westerville. Elegant Iron helped them make the stairway the focal point of their home.
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is completely fabricated and totally iron,” Dalton says. “There’s more of a focus on the material and craftsmanship and that’s what really gives you a quality look.” The Humphreys added a chandelier and a piece of art they enjoy to the space, and transformed the single-door entry to one with double doors. “We wanted to make it a focal point, and we love the way the railing turned out,”
24 Central Ohio Home & Garden
Humphrey says. “The house is open, the stairs widen as they come down and we have a view of the lake behind the house.” Modern or traditional the function of stairways remains the same – moving people from one level to another. When it comes to form, however, the designs are ever evolving. When done right, they can look like stairways to the heavens. • summer 2011
A GUIDE TO REMODELING RIGHT
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Experience the difference with NARI During the past 26 years, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) has been connecting central Ohio consumers with top remodeling professionals. NARI has grown to more than 250 trusted professional members since its founding as a not-for-profit trade association in 1985. We invite homeowners to see for themselves why consumers say NARI members are making the difference in their remodeling experiences. For those who have had
difficulty locating a skilled contractor, NARI is the best resource in which to turn. NARI contractors undergo a thorough background check and are screened using stringent criteria for experience and craftsmanship. NARI contractors also must display a commitment to the NARI code of ethics. By reading this and future issues of NARI TODAY, homeowners can learn more about locating and working with the most trusted professionals in the remodeling industry.
Without fail, this special feature introduces homeowners to the professional members of NARI and serves as a guide to remodeling right. In this issue, homeowners will find tools to help them feel comfortable with making decisions about their remodeling projects. Using these guides will give peace of mind and help produce winning results with your home remodeling project. Hire a NARI professional and experience the best. We hope you enjoy the content of NARI TODAY. Experience the difference a NARI member can make.
If you have questions about NARI or how to locate a NARI member who can help with your remodeling needs, visit www.TrustNARI.org to get started. We look forward to serving you! Todd Schmidt, CR
President, NARI of Central Ohio Owner, Renovations Unlimited renovationsunlimited.com
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This is Chuck He shows up late, leaves early, doesn’t return your calls, and is hard to contact. Chuck isn’t a NARI Contractor. NARI contractors undergo a thorough background check and are screened using stringent criteria for experience and workmanship, and must display a commitment to the NARI Code of Ethics. For more information on NARI or a referral to a NARI remodeler in Central Ohio, visit www.TRUSTNARI.org or call 614-895-3080.
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PHOTO COURTESY OF KETRON CUSTOM BUILDERS
without flipping a switch Preset lighting levels allow homeowners to match lighting to their moods. nari of central ohio
ith so many projects to undertake, upgrading lighting systems tends to be a low priority for most homeowners. But in the process of simplifying daily life, as well as going green, lighting control benefits homeowners in numerous ways by providing instant lighting
enjoyment, lowering energy bills and reducing the carbon footprint on the environment. The connection between dimming lights and saving money is not a new concept. The difference a wireless lighting system provides is its ease of use. However, setting each timer to the correct brightness
level throughout the house can be a daunting task. Often, homeowners find themselves in the dark â€” literally â€” putting up with the hassle of such a chore. However, the convenience of personalized preset lighting levels allows homeowners to match lighting to their mood www.trustnari.org
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Dimming a room’s lighting by 10 percent reflects a 10 percent savings on a homeowner’s energy bill. The more lights dimmed, the greater the savings accumulate. — without flipping a switch. Practically speaking, this can work without overhauling the entire electrical system. Companies such as Lutron and Leviton only require the installation of switch panels for their wireless systems, providing control for the entire home with the press of a button. The energy savings is simple: Dimming a room’s lights by 10 percent reflects a 10 percent savings on the homeowner’s energy bill. The more lights a homeowner dims, the more the savings accumulate. But the savings do not stop there – dimming greatly extends the life of light bulbs, increasing convenience by eliminating the need to frequently change hard-toreach bulbs. These user-friendly systems allow homeowners to enjoy properly lit homes, without the overwhelming blast of brightness, the inconvenience of too many switches or the guilt of being frivolous in an energyconscious time.
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STORM DAMAGE Prepare and protect your home before severe weather strikes
ailstorms are frequent occurrences across the United States. Most hailstorms occur during spring or fall, are localized events and don’t cause extensive property damage. Sometimes, hailstones can be the size of a baseball or even a grapefruit during severe weather conditions. But even one-inch hailstones seriously can damage a roof, gutters and siding. When a house is structurally sound, it is less likely to sustain damage when severe weather strikes. Once the damage is done, however, it should be fixed right away, even if it appears to be minor. Strong winds can turn innocent problems like a missing shingle or loose joint into seriously damaged areas with the pounding of blustery winds and rain. Hail can create divots, and nari of central ohio
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moisture can penetrate these areas. Heavy downpours can penetrate a roof and areas around windows, doors and joints where walls meet. So the next time a storm hits, make sure your home is protected. • Keep gutters clear from debris so that when it rains, there is a clear path for the drainage. Gutters that are in disrepair or clogged can cause water to overflow and pool around the foundation of the home, and ultimately, intrude into the basement or crawl space. • Take advantage of stormfree days to inspect the roof of your house for loose shingles. Use industrial adhesive to glue down any loose ones. It’s a good
idea to keep a bundle of extra shingles and some roofing nails handy for immediate repairs. • Inspect siding to make sure there are no loose pieces. Nail any loose pieces to prevent them from ripping off during high winds that could accompany severe weather. • Keep all trees that are near the home trimmed of decaying or dead limbs. This will help prevent breakage, which could result in limbs becoming dangerous projectiles. • When a storm approaches, keep blinds and curtains closed. In case of broken glass, this helps keep the shards contained to a smaller area and not sent throughout the room where injury could occur.
It’s always a good idea to prepare your home, but you also must prepare yourself and your family. Keep an emergency kit stocked and ready in the area that you have deemed to be the “safe” area of your home in case of severe weather. Bottled water and a weather radio are a definite need, and remember to have flashlights and batteries on hand in case of power outages. Although severe weather can be a very frightening experience for some people, there is much you can do to prepare and protect yourself, your family and your home. By NARI member Heather Brace, Nitro Restoration Inc. nitrorestoration.com www.trustnari.org
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GREATEXPECTATIONS During a remodeling project, your home becomes a construction site, and life temporarily will be inconvenienced.
s you flip through the pages of this magazine, and others like it, you will see picture after picture of beautiful home-remodeling projects. What you will not see by looking at those beautiful pic-
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tures is how they got that way and what the homeowner went through. Remodeling presents an interesting scenario for homeowners that can have a number of outcomes. As the homeowner, it is important to understand
what lies ahead of you. I have heard more stories than I care to remember of homeowners who have had nightmare remodeling experiences. On the upside, however, more money was invested nationally in home remodeling in 2010 than in new home building, so thereâ€™s obviously something attractive about remodeling and the process. The experience all boils down to setting expectations. First and foremost, it is
important to understand that remodeling occurs in the space where you are currently living. This means your home becomes a construction site, and life temporarily will be disrupted. This temporary inconvenience goes a long way toward your future appreciation of the new space. Experienced remodelers are skilled at anticipating the hassles you might encounter and will make accommodations to limit your stress and www.trustnari.org
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Before and after photos don’t necessarily provide the full picture of what a homeowner will experience during a remodeling project. There will be dust, dirt and noise — but it’s all temporary. frustration. Whether it is a need for daily communication, dust protection, noise control, protection of existing floors or furniture or pet care, it is important that you discuss these measures prior to the start of your project. If you broke into a sweat after reading “dust protection,” you passed the sanity check and it brings up a second point. There will be dust. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either embarking on their first remodeling project or their attention nari of central ohio
to cleanliness is well below acceptable standards. The bulk of dust occurs during demolition and drywall finishing. But don’t allow this concern to prevent you from moving forward with your project. Measures can be taken to contain dust to limit its effects. Return air vents should be closed and covered in the work area and all door openings should be covered with plastic that has zipper openings. A third reality is that remodeling takes time. Contrary to
what you might see on television, a remodeling project cannot be done in one to two hours or even days. The typical project requires a permit, which means there will be inspections conducted outside the controllable time frame of your contractor. Your project should have fairly consistent activity to keep the production time frame at a reasonable length. But, it is important to understand that the special care taken to protect your existing home will impact the overall time spent on the
project. We have all heard “Home is where the heart is.” In the case of remodeling, a more accurate statement couldn’t be made. Your connection with your home will increase greatly having lived through a remodeling project, and a sense of accomplishment will overcome you confirming your decision to take the journey. By NARI member Bryce Jacob, CR, UDCR, Dave Fox Design Build Remodelers davefox.com www.trustnari.org
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BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS COURTESY OF DAVIDSON BUILDERS
to go up or go out A
s you begin to dream about the changes you would like to make to your home, one of the first questions to be resolved is whether to expand up — by adding or enlarging a second floor — or to expand out — with an addition of a new space
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on the main level. There is seldom a quick or easy answer as many factors need to be considered. First and foremost, how will the new space be used? If the need is for a new family living space, expanded kitchen or dining area, then the first floor is
the obvious answer. If the need is for additional bedroom space, then the answer is not as clear. Is the space for children or adults, and are there any physical limitations that might make climbing stairs difficult now or in the future? Does the bedroom for
the adults need to be close to the children’s, or is the opposite preferred? Prior to starting any design work, you must determine what restrictions your local zoning codes might include that determine how your house could be expanded on your property. www.trustnari.org
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Vertical and horizontal expansions present their own unique challenges These codes could apply to both types of expansion. Maximum roof height and proximity to the lot line might be every bit as critical as rearand side-yard requirements and maximum lot-coverage calculations. a guide to remodeling right
You also must consider gas, electric and sewer service locations and where they access the house. If your home has a septic system or well, then that also will factor into the decisionmaking process. These services could be relo-
cated, however, the cost to do so might push the total project cost out of your comfort range. Adding or expanding a second floor also raises questions regarding the structure of the house. • Are the existing beams and
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means space for a staircase would need to be carved out of existing rooms. The weather also factors into this equation. If you are considering adding a second floor, then it should be planned during a period without rain. Once the roof is removed, you’ll need a week to frame the new space and make
it weatherproof. With an addition, the new area is usually weather-tight before it is opened up to the existing house. Lastly, there is the cost factor. Building an addition means excavation and a new foundation, walls and roof. By expanding upward, the foundation costs are eliminated but consideration must be given to necessary first-floor changes. Every location, house and family situation is unique. Working through these questions with a NARI professional will help you reach a final decision on whether expanding up — or out — is best for you. By NARI member Jim Wright, CPBD, Residential Designed Solutions rdshomedesign.com
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Story by MICHAEL
Photo by John Knouff
in the Shade
spring 2011 Central Ohio Home & Garden
Great Outdoors Photos courtesy of linda laine
From inspiring awnings to well-appointed pergolas, shaded spots offer places to cool off and rejuvenate
n a sizzling summer day, a shady spot feels as good as it looks. What better place to sip a frosty, tinkling glass of an iced elixir? No matter how grand the manor, shelter from relentless sunshine is de rigueur to prevent your well-appointed outdoor living room from becoming a stifling no-man’s land. Besides expanding possibilities for al fresco living, shade reduces utility bills – a green benefit literally and figuratively – while opening a palette of shade-loving plants that fry in the full sun. What’s not to like? A range of cooling options exist — from the instant umbra of a push-button awning, to a pergola styled to match your home, to the simple plant-andwait trees. There are intangible benefits as well. Adding an overhead dimension to the landscape creates a comforting sense of protection and enclosure, says Larry Burchfield, president of Cedarbrook Nursery and Garden Center, winner of 38 People’s Choice Awards at the Central Ohio Home & Garden Show. Outdoor rooms are similar to indoor ones, only pavement, decking or lawn serves as floor covering, shrubs or fencing
50 Central Ohio Home & Garden
form the walls, and trees or structures make the ceilings. The quickest route to a shaded spot lies beneath patio umbrellas, awnings and fabriccovered gazebos. Materials in a rainbow of colors and a host of patterns virtually guarantee a look to suit your abode. Awnings can be year-round affairs that shrug off snow and other wintry woes. Homeowners customize their canvas-covered “rooms” with ceiling fans, lights, screening, curtains and other accessories to suit the look and feel of their patio furniture. It’s less expensive than building a sunroom, says Kisha Moldovan, marketing director of Capital City Awning. Many homeowners, however, prefer the more substantial look and permanent architectural effect of an arbor, pergola
or gazebo. “We custom build everything,” says Nicholas Besser, landscape architect at Ripenhoff Landscape. This way the shade structure blends seamlessly with the house’s architecture, whether log cabin or Georgian mansion. Pergolas, which are sort of giant, louvered blinds atop pillars, have long provided shade in Italy and other sunny climates. A series of narrow wooden boards, set on end, create the shade. Unlike a porch roof, some sunlight filters through. Arbors are similar but tend to be more open structures geared to supporting grape vines and other plants. Vines, of course, create a romantic look, denser shade and an excuse to employ vertical gar-
dening plants. Annual vines, from morning glory and tropical mandevilla to perennial clematis and Japanese wisteria (not as aggressive as the Chinese type) are among Burchfield’s suggestions. Gazebos generally are roofed but open-air structures that can be screened. These garden accents may serve as an outdoor dining room, sitting area, pool house or kitchen. Trees provide the most shade but take time doing so. “If it’s an open field, it might be 15 years before you get a significant amount of shade from a tree,” Besser says. If budget allows, large young trees give faster results. “It’s the number-one insulation to a house as far as cooling,” Burchfield says of shade
trees. Plus, trees pay dividends in property value and curb appeal, landscape designers say. When it comes to choosing trees, “no one size fits all,” Besser says. Large properties can accommodate maples, oaks and other trees that grow to majestic dimensions, while trees that grow 20 to 30 feet tall are best suited to smaller properties and around decks or patios. Among his tree suggestions are the Freeman maple for large sites. Relatively fast growing, it has red fall color. For smaller sites he likes crabapples, such as Sugar Tyme, which work because they resist common problems and sport colorful fruit that eventually withers away on the branches without making a mess of lawn or pavements. The type of soil, wind patterns, amount of light and other growing characteristics of your yard determine what trees will grow best. Do your homework before shopping. Matching the right plant to the right place eliminates 80 percent of all pest and disease problems, The Ohio State University Extension estimates. Avoid trees that promise quick shade, garden experts warn. They are usually prone to storm and ice damage. Notorious types, such as silver maple, are outlawed in some communities. Besides comfort, a shaded environment opens the landscape to a wide palette of shrubs, flowers and ground covers. These enrich the landscape by adding color, texture and fullness, Burchfield says. Just don’t make things too shady. “It’s nice to have options,” says Besser. When temperatures reach only the 60s in spring or fall “some sunny spots are welcome.” •
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At Home With It has been a winding, sometimes painful path, but Bill Nicholson has never walked it alone. Story by NANCY PhotoS by
Blessings in disguise and inspirations from above keep him grounded
BYRON JOHN KNOUFF
osing the use of his right shoulder about 10 years ago turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Bill Nicholson. “It got me to where I am,” says the 41-year-old founder of Nicholson Builders, who was working as a project manager for J.S. Brown & Co. at the time of his injury. “All I had known, since I decided construction was going to be my future, was working with my hands. But when I look back, I feel that was God intervening in my life. Having to lay down my tools and be out of the physical aspect of construction for three to six months — that was one of those divine appointments. Because I never would’ve set the tools down.” While Nicholson recovered from the bone spurs, bursitis, stretched ligaments and arthritis that plagued his shoulder, he was reassigned to design and sales for J.S. Brown. “I was scared to death,” Nicholson recalls. “I’m a shy person by nature and this was something completely new.” Jeff Brown, founder of J.S. Brown, offered the reassurance he needed. “He brought me in and just told me to be myself,” Nicholson says. “And my first year in sales was a really good year. Eventually, Jeff
let me manage a division in his company.” Soon after, Nicholson decided management might be his calling and in 2003, he launched his own company. “My wife, Katie, really encouraged me to give it a shot, to go out there,” he says. “In a short time, the business took off.” Nicholson and his business partner, Mike Fought, now sit at the helm of a $3 millionplus company that has earned Contractor of the Year accolades from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) each of the past six years, and was named Remodeler of the Year by the Central Ohio Building Industry Association (BIA) in 2008.
Hopes and dreams Although it took a major injury for Nicholson to discover his natural talent for management, creating and constructing was always in his blood. “I loved to play outside building forts when I was a little child,” he says. “Tree houses, underground forts, anything you can think of, I was building. I found a tremendous enjoyment and fulfillment in working with my hands.” Perhaps that’s why designing and building his own home someday heads up Nicholson’s “bucket list.” “I’d like to build a home out in the country that really meets the needs of my family,” he says. “I’d like to be off the grid, too — using solar or wind power.” He also aspires to: • Start a nonprofit division at Nicholson Builders • Take his entire family on a mission trip • Take an extended family road trip.
Home life Despite his adventurous side
and colorful award-winning projects, Nicholson has very tame taste in his personal décor. His two-story, three-bedroom Beechwold home, which he describes as “neo-Colonial,” is a prime example. “We’ve always had very traditional colors and variations of beige,” Nicholson says. “There’s a joke in my family that they call (the) ‘Bill Beige.’ It’s on my office walls, too. It’s very hard for me to find colors I like. Benjamin Moore historic colors are my favorite. They have wonderful historic beige colors.” Over the past year, however, splashes of coral, pale pink and weathered blue have worked their way onto Nicholson’s wall palette. “I have tried to be more open and flexible with colors,”
he says. “But I’d say the style is still very traditional throughout the house.” That includes the furnishings. “I’m drawn to more the Shaker-style furniture with simple, clean lines — nothing too ornate,” he says. “And we have antiques that have been passed down through the family.” One of his favorite places to relax at home is in a blue corduroy chair that once was owned by his parents. “I love to sit by the fireplace in my chair with a cup of tea and read a classic novel. That may sound cheesy, but that’s how I relax.”
Nicholson draws inspiration from many things: art, Colonial
Williamsburg-style architecture, the opportunity to help others. Yet the most constant motivating force in his life is his wife and four children, ages 5 to 12. “When it’s all said and done at the end of the day, to know that I’m a good father and husband, that I’m faithful to my family, that my children want to be with me and spend time with me, that’s huge,” he says. So is Nicholson’s faith. “I don’t want to turn anybody off, but what really makes me tick is my faith in God,” he says. “I’m trying to do the right things. I’m not perfect, I’m not even close, but I try to live my life with integrity and to really work to serve our clients and take care of our employees when hardships come up. Our faith is a huge part of who we are.” •
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Homeowners and builders dig deeper when it comes to putting the finishing touches on a homeâ€™s surfaces. Story by JEFF THITOFF photos by John Knouff
t used to be when it came to choosing flooring, countertops and wall coverings, homeowners had two options: “Look, but don’t touch,” or “touch, but don’t look too closely.” But now homeowners don’t have to sacrifice beauty or durability as advances in materials make it possible for consumers to have the best of both worlds. “We are seeing a trend toward efficient, low-maintenance, kidfriendly types of materials that have a great look,” says Craig Tuckerman, owner of The Tuckerman Home Group. “Technology has created new types of building materials that have opened the doors to be creative and put cool things in the homes.” One example is engineered wood floors. Tuckerman used this flooring in both last year’s and this year’s BIA Parade of Homes, which is being held through June 26 in Olentangy Falls in Delaware County. It’s an oak floor with a dark stain that has a polyurethane finish. It’s easy to care for, even after thousands of people have walked on it. “We had 30,000 to 40,000 people walk on it last year in the Parade of Homes,” Tuckerman says. “And when it was all done, all we had to do was vacuum and mop it, and it looked brand new.”
Engineered wood flooring is more expensive than a traditional wood floor, but Tuckerman says the money is a sound investment when you consider what you are saving in time and elbow grease. “This is something that keeps looking great and doesn’t require the homeowner to spend a lot of time on it,” Tuckerman says. “People want ease of life in finished materials, and this floor can withstand extreme foot traffic, sunlight – you name it.” Using reclaimed wood for flooring also has similar benefits — and then some. Dan Troth, president of GreenTech Construction of Delaware, takes advantage when he comes across old flooring or wood in good
‘If you go with reclaimed wood, it sometimes comes with 150 years of weathering and has a great deal of character.’
enough shape to be reused. “Any time you’re recycling something, there’s a benefit there,” Troth says. “If you go with reclaimed wood, it sometimes comes with 150 years of weathering and has a great deal of character.”
butcher block, in some cases, Braunsdorf says. One of his recent projects included granite in most places and a raised island of butcher block, which, in addition to the “traditional blonde” now comes in a wider variety of colors.
The idea of going with materials that last also is spilling over to countertops. Haven Sneller, operations manager for P&D Builders, says more people are using sustainable materials and mixing colors in kitchen designs. “Granite, marble — all natural stone is really popular and concrete is still popular,” Sneller says. “Many times, people are going with a granite countertop and marble as a secondary material.” Marble is a softer material, which means it’s not ideal everywhere. As such, the key when using marble is finding the right spot for it.
Central Ohio Home & Garden SPRING 2011
“Marble can be (damaged) by acidic materials, like wine,” Sneller says. “We primarily use marble as a backsplash in a kitchen or in bathrooms.” In addition to combining different stones, Mark Braunsdorf, president of Compass Homes, says homeowners are mixing and matching different styles. “Stone always goes well with stone, but there are more mixes and different things that people are willing to try,” Braunsdorf says. In the kitchen, granite is still the primary choice, but more homeowners are combining it with stainless steel and even
When it comes to walls, Sneller likes the style P&D Builders chose to use in its Parade home this year. In that design, the builder used stone on the inside as well as the outside wall of the home. “We’ll do that a lot, carrying the elements from outside throughout the house,” Sneller says. “We used the same type of stone that was used outside, and the stone adds some history and weight to the interior space.” “Clients are using materials that are more expensive throughout, but they are also more durable, last longer, add value to the home and make it unique.” •
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A breath of fresh air Looking for some fun and interesting home and garden tours to attend this summer? Here are two that you might enjoy: • The WesterFlora Garden Tour will be held on July 17, from 1 to 7 p.m. WesterFlora is celebrating its 20th anniversary of free garden tours with the theme “Celebrate Westerville the Beautiful.” For more information, visit westerflora.com. • The Worthington Tour of Homes and Gardens will take place July 10, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. The 2011 tour will explore the early days of Worthington. For more information, visit worthingtonhistory.org. •
00 Central 66 CentralOhio OhioHome Home&&Garden Garden
SUMMER summer2011 2010
summer 2010 Central Ohio Home & Garden
Official magazine of ‘The Dispatch’ Home Shows
central ohio home & garden
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Central Ohio Home and Garden Magazine - Summer 2011