Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"How Much Is A Red Car?"

Bonin Architects & Associates' Trade Show Display Booth

About fifteen years ago, it was part of my job description to travel to trade shows as a vendor representing the company I worked for at the time. The shows usually started on a Friday afternoon and finished on a Sunday afternoon. These were grueling weekends of standing on my feet all day, talking to literally hundreds of people throughout the weekend, and giving away small trinkets and brochures to people who would stop by our display booth. In the beginning, it was a way for consumers to learn about our products and services and the crowds were large. It was a time when high speed internet was not readily available or affordable to many households, so this was a way for people to obtain information about different companies offering similar services and products.

My diet during those long days usually consisted of hard candies, Goldfish crackers and water, since there was no time to really sit down and eat. I really did not enjoy these shows at all, there was just not enough time to spend one on one attention with potential clients, and when we started our firm almost ten years ago, Jeremy and I attended a few as vendors. Thankfully, gradually, people started researching through the internet and the crowds started to dwindle over the years. After a few years, we decided not to participate in these trade shows anymore.

Trade Show Crowd-There were aisles and aisles like this one

One of the most frequently asked questions I received (and still do) was, "How much will it cost me to design and build a home?"  My favorite answer came from another vendor, who was a classmate of mine representing another company in our industry. Between people visiting our booths, he came over to say hi and we started discussing how we answer THAT question, the one people always ask about costs. His answer was one I'll never forget, "I don't much is a red car?" 

There is a big difference in cost between these two red cars
Brilliant! Although it was meant to be tongue in cheek, and we were a little punchy after a long day, it made perfect sense. Not only are there many different types and models of red cars, their price ranges can be extreme. Plus, consider that the red car is being built exclusively for you-in your driveway one part at a time. I've since heard different answers such to the question of cost, such as, "I'm not much is a bag of groceries?" "How much is a bottle of fine wine?" You get the point...

There are so many different variables in designing and building your home. Site considerations, aesthetics, building codes, material selections, construction types and methods are all factors in which we take into account when we begin a project with a new client. We utilize means and methods which help us work with our clients to establish a reasonable budget range for their custom home which has worked well for us. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss all of the different variables which need to be taken into consideration when budgeting for your red car, I mean...your custom home design. or 603-526-6200

Jeremy & I were tired! Taken in CT at the end of a trade show back in 2007

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Scholarship Winner-Me!

Austin, Texas

I am so excited! Earlier this week, I received this email after submitting an essay along with other information about a workshop I am very interested in attending. The organizers of the event were offering a few scholarships based on the submissions they received from people from all over the country.

Here's the important part...Dear Kim, (blah, blah, blah, you know-all the formality stuff) and then.. "I'm happy to announce we've decided to award you a scholarship to the upcoming Small Firm, Big Projects workshop in Austin."

Wow! I get to go to Austin, Texas! What a great opportunity, I am so thankful! Since I live in New Hampshire, this will take a bit of coordinating on my end. Jeremy won't be able to come with me because our firm is really busy right now, and our Bernese Mountain Dog, Bailey, recently had a TPLO surgery, so we would not be able to bring her to the local animal inn. 
Bailey, the day after her TPLO surgery

This trip is a little bit beyond my comfort zone, (OK, a LOT beyond my comfort zone) to say the least. I've never flown alone, believe it or not! I know, how could that be, I'm 48 years old, for Pete's sake! Well, I've always flown with my family, friends or with Jeremy, and even then I get lost in parking garages and hotels. Plus, I typically do not fly to attend seminars or conferences when there are plenty within driving distance or online workshops. This one in Austin, TX, however, really caught my eye since it deals with topics I work with on a daily basis. The seminar is "Small Firms, Big Projects" in Austin, TX. It is filled with speakers presenting topics such as setting attainable goals, fee structures, marketing topics, and client relationships. 

Our firm, Bonin Architects  is predominately a high-end residential and landscape architectural firm, and we're already working on large scale projects, however, I always seek knowledge, continuing guidance and education in how to effectively manage our firm. We've been in business for almost ten years now, and I do not want to us to become complacent or comfortable. 

So, the hotel room is booked, the airplane tickets have been ordered and I'm looking forward to traveling to Austin for three days in October. I can't wait to come back and share what I've learned from the workshop with our design team. Stay tuned for photos and updates about my trip when I return!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

We are really excited about this upcoming project! Here is a photorealistic rendering of a new home to be built on Lake Sunapee, NH. I posted more photos of this project on our Facebook page which you can check out here,

If you are considering a new home design and would like to learn more about our services, feel free to contact me anytime. I'm happy to discuss how our entire design team works together to create beautiful home designs for our clients from all over the country!