Low price often does not lead to a happy client in the future


We are all on a budget – no matter how big or small the project, there is ALWAYS a budget. This budget is always a discussion point during design and usually becomes a point of restriction in the project at some point. Clients often face conflict between what they want and what they want to spend….

Harrisonburg Sustainable Farmhouse project update 3


Beck Builders has finished the Sustainable Farm House we designed just north of Harrisonburg.  Click here to see more from past posts. Click here to see more from past posts. The deep front porch provides plenty of space for seating. The rear deck has incredible views. The open floor plan features high ceilings and lots…

The Gaines Group Harrisonburg office is taking shape.


Our new office is open and getting into shape. The interior brick walls along the stair that were once covered in black char from the 80’s fire have been scraped. The stairs have been rebuilt leading to the second floor. Heading into the second floor, the window and door opening from the fire was preserved…

Check out this cool find inside a wall on a renovation project


You never know what to expect in the walls of a renovation project. There are always things hiding from construction of the past. From coke bottles to beer bottles things get tossed inside of walls and sit there for years waiting to be exposed again. On a recent project in downtown Harrisonburg, this cool find…

Thinking about the future, I see hope.


As I return to blogging, I am going to take a less technical approach to my writings. I will still include projects we are working on, technical posts, but also just thoughts from an architect trying to figure out life. I have been thinking a lot about the state of our nation as we move…

Deborah Smith received her Master of Business Administration degree from EMU


Congratulations on your achievement at Eastern Mennonite University.  We are very proud you and appreciate your hard work invested to achieve this goal! Deborah Smith Graduates from Eastern Mennonite University  HARRISONBURG, Va. (June 3, 2016) – Deborah Smith from Harrisonburg was recognized as a member of the 2016 graduating class of Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va. Smith received a…

Chesapeake Western Depot project Update


Lots of progress since the last post about this exciting project. The spaces are starting to look finished and we are excited to see the progress each time we visit.  In order to tell the story of this historic building there was a lot of work done to preserve original parts. Unfortunately, years of water…

Chesapeake Western Depot project updates


Over the last few week there has been an amazing amount of progress at the Depot job site. The electricians have almost finished wiring the entire building. The drywall crew has done an amazing job putting the building back together and repairing the plaster. The insulators have made the building more efficient than it has…

Canstruction Harrisonburg 2016


Canstruction Harrisonburg 2016 wrapped up earlier in April and it was a huge success. This year’s event included teams from Blue Ridge Architects, 4 teams from the JMU Engineering School, and Valley Engineering.  These amazing teams constructed a 8′ tall corn cob, a bridge, a space shuttle, and several buildings from JMU. With their combined efforts…

SVBA Home and Garden Show in Review


The 2016 Home and Garden Show is in the books. This year’s event had the most attendance since we have been part of the event. Our booth space featured my “new” 60+ year old drafting desk. The desk was Ray’s Grandfather’s drafting desk. We are going to use it in the new Depot office space….

Today I start over…. as I seem to do everyday


I have lost my blogging mojo. Maybe I have said everything I had to say or maybe this is just the break so many told me I needed to take from trying to do too  much. I have tried to write several posts over the last few weeks, but nothings seems to gel. So for now,…

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – possibly the greenest DQ in the country


A fast food restaurant is not often thought of as a “green” building. However, when Jane and Michael Blackburn approached their future store that is exactly what they asked for from us. Mike said “this is a locally owned business, we care about our community, and we want to impact the community and the environment…