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Home Renovation Style Guide

There are home remodeling projects and then there are Home Remodeling Projects.  Notice the difference there?  It doesn’t have to be a huge difference, something more subtle than bold to really make your Northern Virginia home remodeling project stick out among the others.  Here are some nifty, subtle ways to your home remodeling project the envy of the whole neighborhood.

Light it Up

Everybody hangs this on the walls, whether they’re pictures, posters or paintings.  An artful way to illuminate framed paintings and prints is to use a wall mounted lamp shining specifically on your framed wall-candy.  Go get a good idea about what I’m talking about, check out this Ralph Lauren Home’s picture lamp from their Anette line, and recalls classic library lighting. The lamp measures 2″ high x 16″ wide and extends up to 12″ off the wall.   It comes in natural brass (seen in this picture) bronze and polished-nickel finishes.

Carpet from a Box, Not a Barrel

Made from recycled nylon fiber, Flor’s Roadside Attraction carpet squares have the look of sisal or sea grass, with the advantage of being soft under your feet. The 20″-sq. tiles can be arranged so that the weave forms a variety of geometric patterns. Frost, shown, is one of five neutral colors. Each tile is $16; custom sizing is available.

Is it Junk or Is it Art?

Who says you need to find the world’s greatest Picasso or Rembrandt painting to hang in your formal living room?  Go to your local flea market, starving artist festival or antique shop to find a painting that has the same color tones as your walls or your furniture and it will fit right in.  Your guests don’t care who painted it, just so long as it fits with the room.

Border Wars

The Caumont architrave, left, is made from jesmonite and adds a playful frame to a window, door, or wall. The plaster Linear Structure architrave, middle, and crown, right, have an elegant pattern of crisscrossing angles. Both collections can be used outdoors and may be custom sized. Prices range from $45 to $60 per linear sq. ft.

And there you have it.  Keep these useful tips handy on your next home remodeling project and you will be sure to find that these little improvements will make the biggest difference.

Project of the Month

Every month, Elite Home Remodeling will highlight a past project to showcase some of the best home remodeling practices in the Northern Virginia area.  This month, Elite will be highlighting some major renovations to a laundry/mud room in Oakton.

Oakton Laundry/Mud Room Renovations

The picture above shows the renovations done to the laundry/mud room.  The goal of this project was to create as much storage space as possible while creating a beautiful and designer space.

Oakton Laundry/Mud Room Renovations

One of the best parts of the project was the new granite counter tops and backsplash added to the new cabinets.

Oakton Laundry/Mud Room Renovations

These fantastic floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets actually sit up on an 8″ riser.

Oakton Laundry/Mud Room Renovations

Look at all of these cabinets and drawers!

Oakton Laundry/Mud Room Renovations

The counter top actually extends beyond the cabinets.  To support the counter top, a metal support bar had to be installed to hold up the counter top.

Oakton Laundry/Mud Room Renovations

A laundry room wouldn’t be complete without a sink.

Oakton Laundry/Mud Room Renovations

A few wall cabinets attached to a box-out steel column make use of all nooks and crannies.

Be sure to come back in September to check out the next project of the month!

Emergency Services

This past weekend, the D.C. metro area was hit with severe thunderstorms, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.  Not only does Elite Home Remodeling provide award winning home remodeling services, we also offer 24-hour emergency board-up and tarp-up services for those suffering from storm damage.  Be sure to call Elite today at 703-272-8205 to learn more.

24-Hour Emergency Services

Don’t let this picture scare you.  Elite Home Remodeling offers FREE roofing inspections to all those affected by the severe thunderstorms in the metro D.C. area.  Whether you just have a few leaks or whether you have an entire oak tree in your living room, Elite can provide immediate care.

Elite Home Remodeling offers some of the best restoration and mitigation services of any contractor in the metro D.C. area.  Other local contractors turn to us when they need emergency services, shouldn’t you do the same?  Call Elite today to find out more.

Water Efficient Home Remodeling

Everyone talks about water efficiency and rebates, but not many home owners property managers realize the huge savings and environmental benefits associated with upgrading to more water efficient fixtures.  Anyone can easily cash in on cutting water usage while helping their community become more environmentally friendly.

If you’re hesitant about the upfront cost of retrofitting, don’t fret!  There are plenty of government rebates that allow you to receive financial assistance to implement water-efficient systems.  Here are some of the best ideas available for even the biggest water hogs:

Toilets.  Replace your old toilets with a dual flush or low-flow toilets.  These dual flush toilets can reduce the typical 1.60 gallons per flush to a reduced 1.28 gpf.  If you replace your toilet, you are eligible for a $75-$100 rebate.  Just this simple fix will save you $1,000 in water and sewer charged over 10 years.

Elite Home Remodeling - Dual Flush Toilet

Laundry.  Apartment communities can save 330% more water, or 8,216 gallons of water, per year per unit by using a common-area laundry room instead of an in-unit washing machine.  Giving tenants the responsibility of using community laundry facilities make the tenants use the machines smarter and more efficiently.

Irrigation.  Rain water is free, why not utilize it as much as possible?  Install smart controllers that will turn off when its raining and only turn on when the grounds really need watering.  Plus, be sure to install drip sprinkler heads to reduce the overall cost of irrigation.

Showers and Faucets.  According to a recent study, approximately 73% of water used in a typical shower is hot water.  Low flow shower heads and faucet aerators can reduce water consumption.  Reducing water consumption not only reduces the amount of water used, which saves overall water usage, but it also reduces hot water usage.  The hot water usage is especially important as this is the most costly water.  Installing high-efficiency shower heads will save about 7,800 gallons of water per year in an average household!  That is an absolutely amazing number.

Elite Home Remodeling - Low Flow Shower Head

Kitchens. Energy Star dishwasher models save both water and energy. There are cash incentives up to $3,000 for replacing inefficient kitchen equipment with water-efficient equipment.

Be sure to give Elite Home Remodeling a call today to find out how we can help you with your new renovations and remodeling projects as well as how we can help you save the environment while saving money!


The Most Important Home Remodeling Factors

We all know the economy hasn’t been doing well the past few years.  Most notably, the housing and construction industries have suffered tremendous setbacks.  However, after several lean years, the home remodeling industry is starting pick up not only in certain areas around the country but also nationwide as a whole.  This is in part thanks to a slight rise in existing home sales and existing home sale prices and continued low interest rates.

Elite Home Remodeling - Siding Materials

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) residential remodeling expenditures for owner-occupied improvements are growing nationally.  Spending for 2011 topped $107.4 billion, up 3.5% from 2010.  NAHB also tracks an index of remodeling contractors’ confidence and this index hit its highest level in five years in the last quarter of 2011.

Although overall spending has steadily increased, homeowners are spending more cautiously than they were before the economy crashed in 2008.  This is causing homeowners to focus more on projects that most need renovating to keep up with modern trends and to keep up the overall value of the homes.  Projects like kitchens and bathrooms are particular good investments in today’s remodeling market.

According to a Boston Globe report “between 2003 and 2008, there was a lot of upper-end activity.  People were doing expensive kitchen projects.  What we hear now is that they’re not gutting everything, but picking and choosing aspects to update.”

This particular trend is especially true for homeowners in the Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland markets.  Homeowners want to make sure that they are getting the absolute best bang for their buck and are much more specific and demanding of where their dollars are being spent.  This is a product of homeowners focusing most on what they need versus what they want.

Elite Home Remodeling - Project Management

Homeowners are also doing much more homework when it comes to selecting the type of fixtures and appliances they need to add to their remodeling projects.  Homeowners aren’t looking so much at what they want to install but what is best for the overall value of their home and what is mostly likely to sell.  Most homeowners are still a little timid about having their house stand out too much as the market is still tilted towards home buyers.

Fortunately, as the market and home owners evolve, so too does Elite Home Remodeling.  We make sure to stay up to date with all of the latest trends and developments in the residential remodeling market and we make sure to give our award-winning service to every home owner we work with.  Be sure to visit our website to see how Elite Home Remodeling can help you today!

8 Ideas for a Unique Basement

You know that dark and spooky area under your home that you never like to go to?  For most home owners, the basement is relegated to a lifetime of emptiness and clutter.  Well now is the best time to make good use of your basement!  Consider some of these great options for turning your unused space into a space that is perfect just for you.

  1. Home Office.  More and more people are working from home these days, whether they set up their small businesses or just need a place to do the bills.  Unfortunately, the dining room table just isn’t the right place to conduct business.  Consider fitting out your basement with an office that uses built-in shelves and has plenty of room for a true office desk.
  2. Guest Quarters.  Do you like having visitors over every weekend but always have to kick them out at the end of the evening?  Make your home even more accommodating by adding an additional bedroom and bathroom in your basement to make sure your guests feel nice and welcomed.
  3. Play Area.  If your main levels are dedicated for the adults of the home, make sure the basement is an excellent place for all the little kiddies to hang out.  Offer a place for your kids to play with their friends while staying out of your hair.  Add lots of little niches, crawling spaces, climbing walls and lots of colors!  Don’t forget to use eggshell paint, its easiest to clean.
  4. Hobby Room.  Maybe you are the little kid in the house with all of your model cars and trains scattered all over the living room.  Or maybe the laundry room has been taken over by all of your fabric and sewing materials.  Makeover your basement to add a room dedicated to your hobbies with plenty of organization strategies to keep all of the hobbies in order.
  5. Wine Cellar.  Now here’s a great idea for the vino in all of us.  Line the entire basement with open wine racks, add a small refrigerator for incidentals, and don’t forget a cabinet for the wine glasses.  For those with a little more passion for the grapes, add an enclosed wine room for some extra flare.  Then, add a sitting area with comfortable lounge sofas that invite guests to relax.
  6. Relaxation Station.  Why bother to go to the spa when you have one in your very own home?  Turn your basement into a steam room or sauna.  Include all the elements of peaceful meditation and create a beautiful retreat that is just a few steps away (literally!)
  7. Theatre.  The ultimate addition to any man cave has to be a large projection screen with a full 7.1 surround sound system.  Don’t forget to add plenty of sound-proofing insulation in the walls to leave the rest of the house in peace and quiet when you decide to turn the volume all the way up.
  8. Arcade.  For kids of all ages, make your basement the true neighborhood hang out spot by including a pool table, pinball machines, ping pong tables, air hockey tables and other fun games to excite the competitive nature in all of us.

With some basements reaching upwards of 2,000 square feet, don’t let that ample space go to waste!  Make sure to give Elite Home Remodeling a call today to find out how we can remodel and finish the basement of your dreams.

Elite Named Best Home Builder by Virginia Living Magazine

Elite Home Remodeling has recently been named Best Home Builder in Northern Virginia by Virginia Living magazine!  This prestigious annual award is presented to the area’s top builder as voted on by the readers and editors of Virginia Living magazine.

Elite Home Remodeling - Virginia Living Magazine Best Of

At Elite Home Remodeling, we couldn’t be more proud to receive this award.  We make sure we bring our award-winning service and quality to every job that we do and our home owners know this and they like to tell other people about their experiences with Elite.  Our dedicated staff and crew members work hard year round on every project, big and small, to make sure that every home owner receives our first place service.

Every year, Virginia Living magazine conducts a poll to determine the best of the best in every region in Virginia.  Everything from the best winery in the Shenandoah Valley to the best cupcakes in Central Virginia.  This year, nearly 10,000 voters turned out to cast their ballots for their favorites in each category and Elite Home Remodeling was named this year’s best Home Builder in Northern Virginia.

Elite Home Remodeling Logo

Thanks again to everyone who voted for Elite Remodeling, we could not have received this award without support from clients like you!  Please visit our website for more information about this award and Elite Remodeling.

Remodeling Your Home Office

Today, many individuals use their house as both a home and an office.  Many small businesses get their start right in a home office.  Plus, with all of the technology, gadgets and information we gather on a day-to-day basis, there has to be a good place to store all of that information.  That’s where having a functional, organized and stylish home office comes in.
There are many things you need to create a great home office, but the first and most important need is real estate.  You need an actual, physical location somewhere in your home to put an office.  Maybe you have an extra guest room that you never use.  Maybe you have some extra square feet in your basement or recreational room.  Or maybe you even have a big closet somewhere that you want to convert into a usable office.  Whatever the case may be, you will need some sort of space.
Image courtesy of Houzz
Here are two great minimum requirements that I would go by when determining which room to use as a home office: it should be at least 60-70 square feet and it should have a window.  If you have a space that has both of those criteria then you have the perfect beginnings to a home office.  If you don’t have these requirements, don’t fret, you can still make a great home office.
Once you have a space you’ll want to furnish it.  Assuming you have four walls, one with a window and one with a door, you’ll have plenty of options to deck out your work space.
Start with the desk.  The desk will be the focal point of the room and it will be the area in which you will be spending most of your time.  Find a desk that fits your needs.  Maybe you like to spread all of your papers everywhere and need as much desk space as possible.  Or maybe you like to keep hundreds of pens, pencils and paper clips right at your finger tips (in which case you will need a desk with lots of organizational features.)  Whatever your case, find a desk that fits you and then build the room around the desk.
Place the desk so your chair and your back will be against a blank wall (i.e. no windows or doors on the wall.)  Have your desk off centered from the middle of the room so you can place chairs for your guests on the opposite of the desk.  If you have a square room, your guest will feel like they are at the center of the room (read: attention) giving them the sense that they are you number one priority.
Image courtesy of Houzz
On the wall with the door, put all of your shelving, drawers, cabinets, organizers, etc.  It is the last wall your guests will see when they enter into your office so you don’t need to make it look as nice as the other walls.  Since it doesn’t have to be as nice as the other walls, this wall will be used as your utilitarian space.  Make it as functional as possible but don’t make it cluttered.  Use slim-lined cabinets and shelves and make sure you have plenty of boxes and organizational materials to keep the clutter down.
The last thing you should do to your home office to make it a functional and welcoming space is put in some sort of comfortable furniture, perhaps a chair or a sofa (think Don Draper in Mad Men taking a nap in his office.)  So maybe you don’t want to use your office as a napping space, you will need to use your office for matters that aren’t quite as serious.  Serious discussions will use the chairs right at the head of the desk and less serious matters call for some couch sitting.

traditional love seats by Ballard Designs

Image courtesy of Houzz
Anyone can add a functional and stylish home office to their house, the keys are making sure you are getting the most usage out of that space.  Give Elite Home Remodeling a call today to find out how we can turn your house into the office space of your dreams.
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