Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Sometimes when you see a house that you generally like you can get turned off by the few elements that you wanted but are missing. Perhaps you can’t see how they can be added to make the place completely what you dreamed. That’s where a little time with a design and construction professional can help.

For instance, we had a client who was kind enough to give us the following testimonial:

We were looking for a house in the Litchfield area for almost 2 years when we finally found something with potential on a gorgeous piece of property. There were 2 drawbacks to the house.The house did not have a fireplace and there was no outside wall to put it on and we felt that we had to remove the main support wall between the living room and the den in order to make a great room. Before we placed a bid we called in contractors and they all told us that both the fireplace and the removable wall could not be done and if they could be done the costs would be so prohibitve that we wouldn’t want to get involved. We had really decided to pass on the house when the realtor suggested that we call in Greg Grew who was a structural engineer and might see things in a different light. Greg came over for a nominal consultation fee and in less than an hour he assured us that the wall could easily be removed without the house collapsing and that the fireplace flue could be worked out by taking out a small alcove in an upstairs bedroom and then going out through the roof. He also recommended a contractor who could make it happen on our budget. We hired Greg to draw up the plans, hired the contractor and are now enjoying a fireplace that works perfectly and looks as though it was always there and a great room that is multi functional. Thank you Greg for making our dreams a reality. – Jane and Harold Goldban, Bantam, CT

In addition to finding a good spot for the fireplace and designing it (photo above), we also designed a new kitchen, selected new interior doors, added a vestibule and porch on the front and a few other odds and ends. The whole package, purchase and remodeling, was within the budget they were will to spend.

Follow this link if you would like to see more photos of our work at the house:

So, if you think a house might be what you are looking for but is missing something, check with an experienced professional who may be able show how to get it all!


Our firm is not a real estate brokerage but we can do a lot to help clients find the land, house, or building that will best suit their needs. One of the most valuable services we provide is helping our clients perform proper due diligence. I can't tell you how many times we have found that properties listed by licensed real estate agents had open permits that were never closed out, lacking certificates of occupancy for part or all of the building, serious structural problems with either foundation or framing, potential for hazardous materials to be present, problems with compliance with zoning regulations, and a host of other issues that can affect the selling price, make a client decide not to pursue it, or give us a realistic understanding of what the total investment will be if our client goes forward with the purchase. Home inspectors, real estaste inspectors, and real estate agents are limited in the advise and knowledge they have about a property and often do not have the ability to understand the implications of these issues for the prospective owner whether it involves renovations or new construction. So if you are planning construction for the property you are buying be sure to pay for the assistance of your architect up front so you don't have to pay more later.