Get to Know Us
We want to help you create your space, the space in which you will live, work and play in a way that pleases you and draws on our experience and creativity for guidance. It is our belief that the role of a good remodeling contractor should be to work with the homeowner to orchestrate a renovation. To us this means that our most important job is to listen well and then to communicate effectively. Once we’ve built a thorough understanding of the issues that have led to your decision to renovate your home, our role is then to provide creative and research support, helping to guide you through the process of design in a way that stays focused on resolving the issues that brought you to us in the first place.
Once we’ve had a chance to listen and understand the purpose and intent of the proposed project we can begin the design work and start to assemble an appropriate team to help you accomplish your goals. We’ll help you navigate what can be a daunting set of interior design and architecture decisions, calling in help in those areas if needed or desired.
In most cases, our work will need to be integrated within the context of an existing home and the widely varied circumstances in this regard will call for strong creative problem solving skills. This is one of the reasons we’re in the remodeling business; we relish the creative design challenges and enjoy the work. We’re diligent about keeping our minds fresh with ongoing professional education and we’re able to draw on the skills of best tradespeople working in the Twin Cities – subcontractors with whom we’ve built relationships over the thirty-plus years we’ve been working in local communities.
We know from experience that in order to provide the best possible home renovation experience to our clients we need to meet three main criteria on every project:
- Build our client relationship on a foundation of effective communication, transparency and respect.
- Find and contract with the highest caliber and most appropriate tradespeople: people who exhibit the resourcefulness and integrity we strive for ourselves.
- Do the highest quality of work in both design and construction – work for which we can be fully accountable.
We are at our best when we’re helping to build your dream because our ultimate goal is to leave you happy with your new space and confident in its durability and our accountability. This allows us to take personal satisfaction from our work and continue to build our reputation. But don’t take our word for it, please contact us for a list of references – we’re very happy to let our past relationships and work speak for us.
Integrity in our business, in our design philosophy, in our client, partner and subcontractor relationships and in our work is what drives us. This work is not only our business; it’s our vocation.
What Green Means:
Building green means designing efficient and non-wasteful integrated systems that eliminate as much negative environmental impact as possible. When we approach a project with this goal in mind, we’ve found that simply spending a little extra time to think things through on the front end goes a long way. It does not have to mean spending more money on state-of-the-art products (though there is a lot of cool stuff out there we’d be happy to share with you) – it really starts with common sense. Many of our green strategies are built into every project, regardless of the specifics of that project. Things like minimizing jobsite waste through careful planning and material salvage, being conservative with our energy use on the jobsite, choosing the least toxic materials that will get the job done effectively and building with long-term durability in mind are green strategies we had been using before we ever heard the term. Indeed, relative to new construction, renovating existing homes is a green strategy in itself.
Whether or not we’re actually certifying a project through the process they've developed, we work with Minnesota Greenstar’s 5 Principles of Green:
- Energy Efficiency
- Resource Efficiency
- Water Conservation
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Site and Community Impact
Using these core values as the basis of a holistic systems-based strategy, we can design your project in a way that helps to increase both the actual and perceived value of your home, minimizes the impact on your community of the project itself and leaves you with a space you can be comfortable in and proud of. The specific strategies that we’ll be able to apply depend greatly on your existing space. When we’ve had a chance to meet with you and discuss the goals of your project, we’ll be able to talk about the range of options that might be appropriate.
Filla Green Design+Build is a corporate member of Minnesota Greenstar and listed under Trained Professionals at mngreenstar.org. We have the training and expertise necessary to certify your project at Bronze, Silver or Gold Level. Greenstar’s project certification checklist and manual can be daunting on first glance – we can help. Though third-party project certification is valuable for many reasons, it is certainly possible to build green without certifying your project. When we’ve had a chance to see your existing home and talk with you about proposed project details, we can discuss the benefits of certification and decide whether the process will be advantageous for you.
What about LEED?
While The US Green Building Council’s "LEED for homes" standards and project certification program are extremely well conceived and currently enjoy a high profile, it is our judgment that they are designed to focus more on new construction and/or projects that do a “full gut & rehabilitation.” This means that they are often difficult to apply to projects that renovate existing housing stock. Since Minnesota Greenstar’s standards are in substantial agreement with LEED’s but focus on remodeling projects as well as new construction, and since they were developed for Minnesota’s climate, we generally find them more appropriate for the kinds of projects on which we work. That being said, We would be happy to have a more in-depth conversation with you about the different sets of green building standards and what would be most appropriate for your project. If it turns out that LEED is the right way to go for your project, we can work with you to navigate that path as well.