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"The new twist that wasn't there a year or two ago is the investment value of remodeling," says Warren.

"If you take 15% of the cost of your house and put it into renovation, whether it's just redoing your basement or improving the shell of the house, you're looking at 60% to 75% return on your dollars.

They kept only the foundation and some interior walls.

"I thought, 'Well, these two are married, so they're going to have to work it out!

Even when the couple tears down much of an original house, they try to save some of the old and blend it with the new.

"Warren and I can find great shortcuts with our plans because we've worked together so much," says Amy.

"I'm such a different kind of architect now for having done design/build projects.

I used to say, 'That would be so beautiful, but let's just see what it would cost.' Now I come in and say, 'Cut this; cut that,' and make it work within a budget.

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