There are far fewer more joyous days than ground breaking day on your brand new home! Recently we celebrated this momentous day with our clients and design partner team of LuAnn McCants (Interior Designer), Kelly Messier (Landscape Architect), and the [...]
Are you a gambler? How about we play a hand of Architect Poker? To quote the venerable Kenny Rogers, “you’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, and know [...]
As the 2019 Hurricane Season is approaching and I am recalling the storms along coastal South Carolina in 2018, I am reminded how important incorporating hurricane resilient home design is. Since almost all of our work is along the coast [...]
After returning to the office (post Hurricane Florence), we had wanted to share some of our experience about what to consider when returning home after a hurricane. We knew first hand all the practical to dos and felt we could [...]
The Swallowtail Team and the Greater Charleston area were so fortunate that neither felt the brunt of Hurricane Florence that brought massive amounts of water and some high winds to North Carolina and significant flooding north of us along SC’s [...]
Swallowtail Architecture is starting to use 3D drawings as a design tool so we can really see what the home will look like, and so can the Owners! Our home owners wanted a beautiful classic lowcountry home, with a symmetrical [...]
Twenty-two years ago, I designed my first custom home, a retirement home for a master gardener. The site was a beautiful 3 acre lot set in the rolling hills of southern Ontario. Seven years ago, my clients sold the home [...]
Demolition is underway at the Fort Moultrie 1890’s Ordinance House project. Removal of the interior walls and finishes always reveals hidden gems. In this Sullivan's Island project to convert the former Ordinance Shop into a residential property, we see remnants of a past era and previous renovations.
When I was living and working in British Columbia, Canada, I was the only full time practicing architect in almost a 400-mile radius. To put that in context, that's the equivalent of all of South Carolina, south to the middle [...]
L-R: Sabrina Patel, RA, Cher Anderson, Rachel Burton, RA, Lisa Tryssesoone ARE THEY QUALIFIED AND REGISTERED? Unlike building designers, architects cannot practice without a specific level of University education -usually 5 or 6 years followed [...]
Site and lot considerations nearly derailed my clients long dreamed of home. How working with a professional architect can remedy issues so that you can build you a one-of-a-kind home in the Barrier Islands.
How did you spend your vacation? Did you find, like me, that having a getaway refreshes, rejuvenates, and gets you ready for the 50+ weeks to come? This summer, my husband Carl and I journeyed through the Boundary Waters Wilderness [...]
Traveling from New York to Charleston on the night train I learned that any new adventure needs a little information to make things run smoothly. I took this to heart and wanted to share what you need to know when first engaging an architect.
On the coast, its hard to find a good solution for a porch floor when you consider ease of installation, appearance, cost, and ongoing maintenance. What should you select? Wood? Brick? Composite wood? For a coastal home, wood porch floors [...]
Architects typically charge for their services in one of five ways: Hourly Cost per square foot Percentage of construction cost Fixed fee Combination For residential work, smaller projects and renovations the most common method is hourly. For medium to large [...]
Compiling a realistic budget figure for building in the Lowcountry takes a bit of work but if done correctly, sets you up for a successful project. It is essential that you determine your budget at the beginning of the project [...]
There is nothing more beautiful than a cordwood wall. Add the benefits of being green, its low material cost, its simple construction method, and it becomes an even more attractive building option. The warmth of the color of the wood, [...]
Last week we became the owners of some new keys. And the two little buildings they belonged to. It was a long road to get there, and we learned a lot along the way about buying a commercial property. It's [...]
At Swallowtail, we'd always had the idea that we would purchase commercial real estate for our offices. We thought we wanted either a little cottage on either side of Main Street, or one of the loft offices over looking Hutchinson [...]
The Components in a Wall When we removed the drywall we exposed the 6 mil poly vapor barrier and the insulation When I was a young intern in Canada, the construction of the exterior walls on houses was [...]