A Homeowners Guide to Renovations and Maintenance..

Meet Felicia (Lisa) Middleton:

Felicia (Lisa) Middleton is a published author of several books.  She is an Architectural Designer and an Environmentalist with two decades of architecture and design experience. Felicia is the President of Urban Aesthetics, LLC, a Certified Minority and Woman Owned Business offering full service design and project management services. The company provides design solutions for residential and commercial projects with a focus on permit services and sustainability.

Lisa is the former Vice President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). As a member of NOMA, she served as an active member and on the board of directors for several years.

As an Architecture Design Professional, Lisa recognizes that collaborative efforts are smart. She partners with designers, architects, engineers, developers, contractors and real estate agents to ensure that the projects she manages fulfill her clients’ needs and aspirations. She possesses exemplary skills in maneuvering difficult collaborations and complex challenges to ensure that managed projects meet established guidelines. Lisa is also Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA 10) Certified for Construction.

Lisa is passionate about helping urban communities improve aesthetically and is active in community service.

She is a Professional Mentor at her former High School, Carver High School of Engineering and Science. She founded the Community Concerns Division (UACCD) of her company to manage the community service projects the firm is actively involved in. The three main initiatives of the UACCD include Feeding the Hungry, Mentoring Youth and Greening and Cleaning Communities.

Lisa was proud to serve her country as an AmeriCorps Member, helping to create urban farms and community gardens.

Lisa’s latest book will be available July 22, 2020

This book will help educate homeowners while dispelling many myths, including few a big ones such as:
“I own my home and I can do whatever I want with it.”
“Greening my home is expensive.”
“I want my home to look like the house I saw on HGTV.”
The tips, checklists, and information provided throughout this book will be helpful as you plan your renovation or as you green and maintain your home. In addition, this book will help you develop ideas; save money, time, and headaches; and add value to your most important investment. Your home.

This informative guide is full of the most professional advice on maintaining your investment, your home.
Interview with the Author:

What was the most ridiculous or the craziest, interesting request you’ve had from a client?

This isn’t the craziest. I have had some really crazy requests, many unsafe or illegal.

This situation was more interesting:

I had a client who wanted us to design and build a second story on their home while they still lived on the property. They thought they would be able to pitch a tent in their yard during demolition and construction. I explained with the help of a contractor how difficult that would be for the family. Also, their township would likely not allow it.

Is it true that if your house was built before 1978 painters are required to test for lead paint?

Yes, that is true for some circumstances. The law is a federal law that affects renovators, not homeowners and many local governments are incorporating the law into their code.

The EPA RRP law requires that all firms and individuals who are paid to perform renovation, repair, and painting be certified for lead testing and that they inform the homeowner about the possibility of the presence of lead in their homes and the need for testing.

The homeowner can refuse testing but must sign off that they have refused.

In Philadelphia and many other municipalities multi-family housing and rentals, the lead testing is absolutely required.

When performing a renovation in a pre-1978 home, the home must be tested for lead to determine if the painted surfaces are lead free. This determination must be made by a certified lead inspector; risk assessor, or by a certified renovator. A firm can either assume that the paint has lead in it and follow the safety regulations and requirements.

What are 3 green fixes homeowners can do that they maybe haven’t considered?

  1. Utilize or install an energy efficient dishwasher. Dishwashers clean better and use less water than hand washing.
  2. I cannot emphasize this more: change the filters on your heating and air unit regularly. So many people will not take care of this minor task. It saves the energy the unit will need to use to work harder. It possibly will save service on your unit and it is helpful for your indoor air health.
  3. Caulk and seal around windows and doors throughout the house to eliminate heat escape in the winter.

What are the best materials for building a patio or a deck?

For a patio, permeable concrete or pavers.

When it comes to a deck, I recommend composite decking. It is a bit more expensive but requires less maintenance.

If you prefer wood decking, I suggest FSC or Forest Steward Certified Wood. The wood has been selected from a forest where the wood is not being depleted.

What is [low] VOC paint and why should we use it?

Low VOC paint is paint with less volatile organic compounds. VOC’s are chemicals in paint that can affect your health indoors.

I suggest using low VOC paint to protect your health, especially if you suffer from respiratory issues.

When it comes to comfort food, what do you reach for?

Although I have been eating less meat lately because I am home more I’m a Philadelphian at heart and I have to say a good cheesesteak.

Do you have a guilty pleasure TV show?

I watch a genre of shows from South Korea, popularly known as Korean Dramas. I have to say tv show(s) because each series has a definite ending. Some after as little as 8 or 12 episodes; some after 100. They rarely last more than 6 months and I watch 2 or 3 at a time. I am a sucker for a romantic comedy and they do it well.

When you started your career did you feel like you were entering a man’s world?

Yes, I did but college was a man’s world as well. It rarely bothers me, I am used to being around men. I am very comfortable around men because I learned to relate well with them from a young age. I have a brother, male cousins and most of my closest friends have been men through the years.

Did you have any struggles when it came to being taken seriously?

At times, yes. Typically with people who don’t know me or what I know. Once I show them, we’re good.

For more information on Lisa:








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