Spring is in the Air!

Each spring, my grandmama would quote this old poem, attributed to Ogden Nash:
“The spring is sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the birdies is. Spring is sprung, the grass is riz, come out yourself and see how ‘tiz!”

When you “come out yourself” after a long winter, you may notice that the exterior of your home needs a little TLC. Here are four ways you can spruce up the outside of your home this spring:

Clean it!

Siding, windows, porches, and decks will benefit from an annual cleaning to remove spider webs, dirt, and debris. Sparkling windows bring in the daylight, and enhance your view, while cleaning the siding and trim can make it look brand new again. Cleaning your deck and porch will help you identify any areas that might need repair.

While many homeowners may choose to do this work themselves, a licensed painter or pressure wash company can tackle the job for you and give you more time to relax and enjoy the outdoors again.

Paint it!

A fresh coat of paint on your front door will do wonders for your curb appeal. Today’s trends are for softer shades of blue and tan on the siding, with a pop of bold color like teal or yellow for the door. The do-it-yourselfer should lightly sand the door and surrounding trim, apply a coat of quality primer, and finish with two coats of your new color.

If you notice wood rot or damage to your door, call on a professional contractor to evaluate and possibly replace the door.

Plant it!

Seasonal plants and flowers are an inexpensive way to enhance your home’s exterior. If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with flower beds, consider adding hanging baskets and large flowerpots to your porch or entry. They’re easy to maintain and can be changed out each season.

Visit your local garden center for advice on plants that will thrive in your area.

Light it up!

Now that you have a clean exterior, a new front door, and lots of beautiful plants, it’s time to put them all in the spotlight. Solar lights are a great option if you don’t want to deal with wiring. They can be placed in your planter to light up the foliage, along your driveway or sidewalk, and in your flower beds.

For a more permanent lighting solution, contact a licensed electrician.

From Disaster to Design

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From Disaster to… Design!

What do you do when you have water damage in your kitchen, but your insurance only covers the single cabinet that was damaged? Do you try to find something close and hope it blends? Do you repaint all the cabinets so, at least, the color matches? Or do you think outside the box and get a little creative?

When a pipe burst in Alicia’s home while she was at work, it flooded the entire house. While all the floors, baseboards and some drywall sustained damage, only the sink base cabinet was affected. The rest of the white cabinetry was not damaged or covered for replacement. The mitigation team hired by the insurance company carefully removed all the base cabinets for reuse, but damaged the granite countertops, so they would also have to be replaced. Luckily, this was covered by insurance.

Once the demo was completed, and the home was dried thoroughly, it was time to make some decisions about the next steps. Initially, the plan was to find a similar sink base and to paint everything. Unfortunately, because this was an older home, the cabinet shop could not find a close style match.

Time to turn this disaster into a design! One of the more popular trends these days is to have a contrasting kitchen island, or to select upper and lower cabinets in coordinating or contrasting colors.

The homeowner chose a light grey sink base that had a bit more detailing and trim than the original cabinetry. Working off the new grey and white palette, she selected new granite in a color called Luna Pearl. The old backsplash tile was a simple, white subway style. We changed it up with glass mosaic tile in black, grey, and pearl white, and finished it with Raven black grout. Light grey laminate flooring in a color called “Normandy” carried the theme through the kitchen and dining area, into the living room, down the hall, and into the bathroom. New carpet in “East Beach” was laid in both bedrooms.

The new kitchen is stunning, and the remainder of the home was restored to pre-loss condition. If you’re facing the repair vs. replace conversation with your insurance adjuster, give us a call. We will be happy to show you how to make the most of what you have to work with!

2021 Kitchen Makeover in Yorktown

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Like many homes built in the late 1980s, Keith and Dottie’s home in Yorktown featured a kitchen with upper cabinets above the peninsula. While this added storage and helped define the area, it closed the kitchen off from the adjacent dining area and den. The cabinets were dark, stained wood, with laminate countertops, and the flooring was a standard sheet vinyl. We were asked to update the kitchen and remove the upper cabinets to give the area a more open feel.

The clients wanted lighter colors throughout the new kitchen, so they started with custom cabinets painted in a creamy white. Because there is a functional cabinet door on the back of the peninsula, the entire back was finished to look like cabinet doors. This detail was also repeated on the end of the peninsula and on one upper cabinet end. Glass doors on two of the upper cabinets add interest to the wall above the stove, and LED strips add task lighting.

New granite countertops in White Savannah continued the lighter color scheme. New backsplash tile by Marazzi in “Urban District Downtown” extends from the bottom of the cabinets to the top of the granite surface.

New engineered hardwood floors by Impressions in “Terracotta” were installed in the kitchen, dining area, and foyer. In the back hallway, laundry room, and downstairs bath, we installed “Lucinda” Coretec stone flooring.

Finishing touches were new stainless-steel appliances, industrial-style pendant lights above the sink and peninsula, and a few well-placed can lights.

The end result is a new, lighter and brighter kitchen which will serve the homeowners for many years to come!

New Master Suite in Norfolk

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A few months ago, we talked a little about buying a “used house.” This was the case for a couple in Norfolk recently. The previous owner had been a do-it-yourselfer, and his skills left a bit to be desired. His addition off the master bedroom at the back of the house had some serious issues, the worst being a persistent roof leak. The ceiling was also lower here than in the other rooms, which made it cramped and dark.

Our first goal was to address the leak. Because the addition had a flat roof that had been tied in improperly, and because the tiled roof was showing its age, we knew a total replacement was in order. By dealing with the roof first, we were able to reframe the roof of the addition and create a cathedral ceiling in what would become the new master bathroom.

We installed CertainTeed Landmark Architectural shingles in Moire Black. These shingles carry a limited lifetime warranty, and are rated for wind speeds up to 110 mph. The gable ends of the new roof were finished with tan siding and trim that complemented the brick.

After a few conversations about what the homeowners envisioned for the interior, we got to work inside, creating a new master suite.

The bedroom received fresh paint and new Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring. Between the bedroom and the new master bath, we installed a barn door with obscured glass. This door style is great for rooms where there isn’t enough space for a traditional door to swing open. The obscured glass still allowed the light to shine through, while giving privacy to the adjoining bathroom.

The bathroom is a true showplace that represents the homeowner’s style. Starting at the top, the new cathedral ceiling makes the room feel much larger. Windows, along with specialty and accent lighting reflected in the double mirrors, keep the space bright. The homeowner found a vanity and two vessel sinks she loved. We added a Fantasy Brown granite countertop, and the same material was used for the bench and threshold in the shower.

We love the new shower! Several sizes and styles of tile were used to create a unique look. A niche was built for shampoo and soaps, and the space was finished with a custom glass enclosure.

A lighter shade of LVP was installed on the bathroom floor, in the new water closet, and in the walk-in clothes closet. Pale blue walls and bright white trim completed the makeover.

Our clients said, “The master suite is still as gorgeous as the day it was finished. It has become the topic of conversation with all visitors.”

 

We hope this space will continue to be a relaxing retreat for many years!

Exterior Makeover in Newport News, VA

Remember how excited you were when you first bought your new house? Everything was all shiny and new. Best of all – it was yours! Ready and waiting to fill with family and memories.

Fast forward 10, 15, even 20 years. You love your neighborhood and (most of) your neighbors. You’ve put down roots in your community: church, your kids’ schools, volunteering in your community. Life is good, but the house… well, it’s not so shiny and new anymore. 

 

This was the case for Rik and Michele. They loved their home, but they felt it really needed a makeover, starting with the roof. There were no leaks, but the roof was nearing the end of its life. We replaced the old roof with CertainTeed Landmark Architectural shingles in Driftwood. These shingles carry a lifetime limited warranty and are rated for winds up to 110 mph.

 

Next, we turned our attention to the siding. The existing two-tone beige was okay, but the homeowners were ready for a bold new color and style. They selected Mastic Ovations Dutch lap siding in Wedgewood. The fronts of the living room “bump out” and dormers were accented with Mastic Cedar Shake siding in the same Wedgewood. White gutters and downspouts, trim wrap, and corners completed the look.

 

Doors, doors, doors! We replaced the front door with a new ThermaTru model featuring 4 windows at the top and a 5-panel site lite. Michele painted the door a beautiful yellow shade that looks great with the new siding and trim. We reframed the garage doors to eliminate the clipped corners and installed new white roll-up doors that complement the style of the new front door. Around back, we replaced the old sliding patio door with a new energy-efficient one. 

 

The real stunner is the entry! Michele told us she’d always wanted a stone entry and our team was able to make that dream a reality. Stacked ledgestone was hand-applied one at a time around the door and on the wall. We also used a rain chain here in place of the traditional gutter downspout.

We received this note from Rik and Michele a few weeks after the job was completed: 

“We are thrilled with (the makeover) and find ourselves sitting outside almost daily just to take it all in!” 

 

We’re so glad they love their home’s new look!

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