Sunday, July 23, 2017  

Turney and Turney: Careful Preparation Makes a Difference in Quality and Price


Building, renovating a house, or adding an addition can be one of life’s more stressful events, but it doesn’t have to be if your builder sees themselves as part of your team and the ones to help avoid those stressful moments. Rick and Susan Turney and their son, Matt, of Turney and Turney Designers/Builders Inc. have been working on renovations, additions and homebuilding for over 25 years. They believe that knowing their clients personally, and careful preparation prior to the start of the actual project, can improve quality and keep costs in line with their clients’ budgets.
Site preparation is extremely important with soil testing, footing and foundation evaluations, and septic and well requirements. Turney and Turney prefers only prime lumber and still site every board using only those that meet their quality standards. Prior to each project all their subcontractors commit to a fixed price and agree to a time frame when they will be on-site. This is especially true with kitchen renovations to inconvenience the clients as little as possible. Rick and/or Matt are on-site for the majority of the project and there are never more than two projects on-going at the same time. They also have relationships with flooring, lighting, appliance, cabinet and many other vendors to which they can refer clients. This is the way that they can control quality and cost by insuring that the job runs smoothly and on time.

Urbanna Cottage

The Urbanna Cottage was a one story cement block cottage situated on a hilltop where Urbanna Creek meets the Rappahannock River. The couple had originally thought that additions should be all on one floor and were working with architect Chris Rittick. While Chris was out of town they met with their builder, Turney and Turney, bringing a magazine tear out as a dream of what they wanted it to look like. Susan had seen the tear out before and fallen in love with it herself. The pictures show a simple ranch turned into a beautiful two story home. Rick took it to Chris Rittick who transformed their dream into a new blueprint. However, there were some questions in regards to the integrity of the original structure which needed to be addressed as part of the Turneys’ preparations. First, the foundation had to be checked to see if it was able to support a second story. This required an engineer to dig down to inspect the footing and foundation and certify its ability to support a second floor. The Turneys always run soil tests to make sure that the integrity of the footing and foundation are protected and these passed as well. Rick and Matt planned the progression of this entire project to allow the family to safely remain in their home.

The existing roof would have to be removed and since it was early spring it was raining frequently. Rick and his son, Matt, began following all the weather forecasts and finally found a four day rainless window over the Easter weekend. Rick, Matt and the framing crew eagerly agreed to forego their Easter to totally frame the new second story. By the end of the fourth day the clouds were moving in but the roof was on and all the windows were secured. They had managed to “dry-in” 1000sq feet in four days. The family had continued to live on the first floor undisturbed until the stairs were installed and the second floor was opened. While bathrooms were installed upstairs and the finish work was going on, the entire kitchen, dining area, family room and front hall were renovated sequentially while the family continued to live there.

Rappahannock Renovation

The Rappahannock Renovation began as an 800 sq ft waterman’s family cottage that due to age, termite damage, and weather related problems was literally falling in on itself. The house was inherited by the family and had a great deal of sentimental value so they really wanted to keep as much of the original structure as possible which consisted of a living room, two bedrooms and bath. Due to the quality of the existing structure, all of the systems in the house had to be replaced or reconstructed including the plumbing, wiring, and HVAC system in order to meet code and comfort standards.

Rick designed a renovation with plans for an additional 700 sq ft to the original structure which included a master suite, sunroom, laundry room and gourmet kitchen. The family wanted to save the interior doors and trim, which is where a lot of prep work and planning needed to be done. As the additional space created a discrepancy in how much interior trim they needed for the entirety of the new structure, the Turneys were able to get new doors and trim fabricated to exactly match the old to complete the design. The existing doors and trim were carefully removed, refinished and installed. This project was able to be completed in a little under five months due to their meticulous planning and professional craftsmanship, allowing the family to move permanently to their sentimental cottage overlooking the Rappahannock River.

Grace Point

The Grace Point Craftsman style home was built by the Turneys on a secluded lot on Pittman’s cove in 2011. The home was designed by Sam Nuckols, and Katherine Brooks designed the landscaping. It features 2800 sq. ft. with a two story detached garage matching the style of the home. The exterior includes open wrap-around porches with columns and aluminum coated white railings, extensive stonework including a patio surrounded by stone benches and landscaping that beautifully complements the setting.

As always, the building of this beautiful home began with planning. Homes are built in a progression of tasks that have to be coordinated by the builders to flow smoothly in efficient succession from one to the next. All of the subcontractors need to be generally scheduled prior to the beginning of the house so that materials are not left to sit in all weather conditions and the home is completed in a reasonable span of time. The key to quality and cost control is having a smoothly running and efficient project.

The owners lived in New Jersey and regular meetings with the Turneys were planned on weekends so that they could make their design choices. The Turneys arranged for some of the vendors to come to the site with product samples to allow the owners to make their choices on-site.

The entrance of the home welcomes you into an entry hall featuring a vaulted great room with a floor to ceiling custom window facing the water and a stunning clear cedar ceiling. Built in custom bookcases and a stone fireplace beautifully complement the room. The dining area and kitchen are part of this open floor plan and lead to a screen porch. A very large laundry room with a built in work area and a large pantry adjoins the kitchen. There is a first floor master with sliding glass doors to a private deck and a large master bath and custom closet systems.

The upstairs of the home includes a loft open to the great room below and two additional master bedrooms with water views. One has a comfortable window seat facing the water and the other a private deck. Both have full baths and walk in closets. At the back of each closet is additional attic space.

The Pool House

One of Rick Turney’s own designs, Turney and Turney Designers/Builders Inc was contracted to build a pool house in Richmond, Va. to be part of what the owners desired to be an oasis for their grown children and increasing number of grandchildren. To be used as a family retreat, the backyard was completely transformed into paradise to include an in-ground pool, full outdoor kitchen with stainless steel appliances covered by a pergola extending from the pool house, outdoor shower, and full stonework with stone retaining walls. In keeping with the design of the house, the Turneys made sure to exactly match the interior and exterior trim on the pool house with the already existing main house.

Turney and Turney Designers/Builders, Inc is comprised of Richard and Susan Turney and their son Matt. They have experience in home building and renovations of twenty five years. Turney and Turney is a member of the Rappahannock Home Builders Association, the Lancaster by the Bay Chamber of Commerce and a proud member of the Green Builders Association. Matt Turney is also a certified lead paint renovator. They currently service the areas of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, Richmond city and the surrounding areas. Richard and Susan currently live in Kilmarnock, Va. For more information visit their website at www.turneyandturney.com and/or to contact for services please call 804-435-2767 or e-mail at turneyandturney@gmail.com.