Nigel Maynard, Editor-in-Chief

Nigel Maynard is editor-in-chief of Custom Builder and PRODUCTS magazines. Maynard grew up in St. Croix, where he learned construction helping his step-dad build the family home from the ground up. Since that early introduction, he has bought and remodeled four homes, and has taken up cabinet and furniture making. His current home was featured in The Washington Post and his previous home was covered in Home Magazine, The Washington Post, and HGTV’s I Want That! Prior to joining SGC Horizon, Maynard was the Editor-in-Chief of Lebhar-Friedman’s all-digital products magazine, Residential Building Products & Technology. Previously, he spent 14 years at Hanley Wood as senior editor of Builder magazine and its sister publication Residential Architect, where he amassed eight prestigious honors for editorial excellence, including AZBEE and NAREE awards.

Art of Remodeling

I once interviewed a young architect who lamented that the bulk of her design commissions were for remodeling work. Hungry and ambitious, she was on the hunt for bigger game, and custom homes were her quarry. This isn’t unusual with inchoate architecture careers. The logic goes something like this: Young designers must prove themselves with smaller projects (mostly renovations, kitchens, and bathrooms) before being trusted with larger homes designed and built from the ground up.

It’s been maybe 16 years since I interviewed that architect, and she eventually blossomed into a highly respected practitioner. Her firm designs exquisite homes, cool restaurants, and hip retail spaces. Interestingly, she lives in a vintage house designed during the last century and still does a fair share of residential renovations.

That young architects (and custom builders) typically have to start with remodeling work is counterintuitive because renovating an old house with problems is a tough gig. It’s easier to build a brand new home with a clean design on a flat lot using an army of subs. Remodeling work is just the opposite. Tom Silva and his crew on PBS’ This Old House make it look easy, but having to right past wrongs requires serious skill.

Remodeling work is made even more unpredictable because you never know what you’ll find when you open up the walls. Possible land mines awaiting you include water damage, structural issues, foundation cracks, unsafe materials, termite damage, outdated plumbing and electrical systems, and layers of substandard work.

This issue of Custom Builder is our ode to custom remodeling. The homes we feature demonstrate the wonderful possibilities when proficient architects collaborate with skilled 
custom builders. 
In this issue, you’ll notice that we recently underwent a remodel of our own. No, we didn’t have structural issues, we just needed to freshen up. You’ll notice a new logo, tweaks to our design, different fonts, and new art treatments. Fortunately, our renovation started with a good base. We love what we do, and we’re all about finding ways to improve. We hope you like the finished product.

Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 11:15

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