You’re about to remodel, renovate, fix up, DIY or call a pro, and you’ve got questions! Get answers from design-build expert Mason Hearn, owner of Central Virginia’s HomeMasons.
Category >> design

Jan 15

Raise the Bridge or Lower the River?

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, select contractor, renovation, remodeling, floors, design, contractors, Accessibility


We are interviewing contractors for a remodel to our home which we want to make handicap accessible.   Our living room is two steps up from the rest of the house.  Is it possible to have it lowered?



Dear Linda:

 Thank you for your question.  The EASY answer is always YES!  I believe that anyone can do anything, given enough time, money and expertise.  I assume your question really means "is this reasonably achievable?"

The answer to the latter interpretation of your inquiry,

Jul 19

Chic Coutertops for the Granite-Averse

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: remodeling, kitchens, green, granite, design, countertops

I went shopping today with a client that was disinclined to use granite tops in her new kitchen.  As my readers may know, I am a huge

May 05

Let's Not Say Cheap; Rather...

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, renovation, remodeling, millwork, design

 In this economy, many of our remodeling-happy customers have a renewed interest in cost-sensitive improvements.  As usual, we ALL want to achieve the greatest impact; the most WOW factor for our investment.

Regardless the economic situation, some folks just cannot leave things alone, around their homes.  We refer to them as serial remodelers.  Bless their souls!

I'll be posting a series of great ideas along these lines in upcoming pieces.  Let's not think "cheap" (heaven forbid)....  Good design and creative / innovative use of durable materials is often the key to creating greater utility,

Apr 15

Roofing Your Addition (and Songs to Enjoy Your Roof)

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, roofing, remodeling, design, additions


I have a house with a slate roof.  I am thinking about putting on an addition but fear that continuing the slate would be very expensive.  Is there a less-costly alternative that would not look too disjointed?  I was thinking of a metal roof of some kind.  What do you think?

DM,  Richmond, VA


Dear DM:

OK; first... determine your favorite roof song of all time:

When this old world starts getting me down, and people are just to much for me to take (up on the roooofffff....)

Tear the roof off the sucka, tear the roof off the sucka; gotta tear the roof off the sucka

Who let the dogs out

Nov 24

Color My World - 2010

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: remodeling, design
  The psychological influence of our environment is undeniable.  As the Creator established and continually transforms our natural environment, we designers of city plans, architecture, landscape, interiors and decorative / industrial goods exert a similar influence on the built environment.

I will be the first to admit that picking colors is not my primary area of competence.  Architectural design, however, is only a piece of what makes our built environment "come alive".  Materials selections, textures, and color are huge considerations in conveying a design statement.  Good design should

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