November 2011
Rick McDermott

1. Listening skills. After all, it’s all about you. Architects need to listen to your wants and needs before they add their wisdom and talent.

2. Communication skills. Architects must be able to communicate in a way that makes sense to their client. Good verbal explanations are especially helpful with drawings and 3D models, helping clients visualize what the new space will provide.

3. Problem solving skills. It might be solving a drainage problem, creating space where none existed before or adapting an old house to accommodate a changing lifestyle. You’ll want to rely on your architect’s ability to think outside the box for creative solutions to any number of challenges that might arise.

4. Design skills. Good design covers both form (beauty) and function (the needs of the client). While styles may vary, good design should jump off the page. Check out the architect’s web sites and look at both interior and exterior photos for a comprehensive assessment of their work. 


Think JOY in Addition to Cost / Value 

 before after_header_copy2
A few before/after RDM remodel pictures: Olsen Basement, Sexton Stair/Living Room.

October 2011
Rick McDermott

Remodeling magazine has released their 2010-2011 analysis of estimated costs recouped for a variety of home projects - everything from a family room addition to a new master suite. It's an interesting look at both mid-range and upscale projects, and compares our region (West North Central) to the national average. (You can take a look here.)

What the report does not quantify is the JOY the finished project brings to the owner each and everyday.


McDermott Kitchen_Web

September 15, 2011
By Mindy McDermott, Marketing Advisor *

"I love my kitchen." I say this every week if not more often. Even after all these years (10 to be exact). There are so many things to love about it - the unbelievably quiet dish washer, the spice rack in the drawer, the huge pantry with pull-out shelves, a window over the sink, the extra-deep counter tops for plenty of work space. A place for everything and everything in its place is what comes to mind when I think of my kitchen. And that was important for me as I drew up my wish list of things I wanted.

The process of designing the kitchen was just that... a process. And while it started with my own wish list, it evolved over time to incorporate new possibilities that I didnʼt even know existed. Who knew that architects asked so many questions? Who knew that I could have custom slots for all my serving platters, or a cabinet to fit the exact measurements of the appliances I use the most.


September 1, 2011
by Rick McDermott, Principal


After attending the TEDˣ - KC event at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art last month, I couldn't help but reflect on many of the fascinating speakers and their not-so-ordinary perspective on ordinary subjects.....like happiness. The subject kept me thinking for weeks after the event was over (no doubt their goal).

The talk was based on the book, Delivering Happiness. A Path To Profits, Passion and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of the ultra successful Zappos.com (sold recently to Amazon for a mere $1.2 billion). Regardless of the many differences between an online shoe company in Nevada and a Kansas City-based architectural firm, there must surely be some common ground.

Looking back over my 30+ years in business, I can see the origins of happiness coming from a number of directions, but three BIG areas jump out at me.

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Focus on Kitchens

Form. Function. Fun.

Because so much of the value of home is centered around the kitchen, it requires special attention. Kitchens can and should deliver both form (beauty) and function (the needs of each client). Oh, and did we say fun?

Read more ...