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5 Reasons to Renovate NOW!

By Steve Scholl

Ready to renovate? Here are 5 reasons to remodel right away.

  1. It’s your home, the place you start and end every day. Don’t underestimate the benefits of a pleasant environment, one that looks good, works well, and makes life a bit simpler. Start with one room, or even just a corner of a room and make it yours.

  2. If you ignore your home – like ignoring your health – you’ll pay for it down the road in both appearance and in deferred repairs that are now more costly because they’ve been ignored.

  3. Taking care of your home shows you care, for you and your friends, your loved ones, your neighborhood. A modest investment like a gallon of paint can make a big difference.

  4. With the right folks helping you it can be fun. Even if you’re a “do it yourself-er,” get advice from the internet, an old timer at a hardware store, or a trusted renovation expert. You have resources available to you today to accomplish any project large or small.

  5. Don’t wait, labor and material costs are on the rise and there’s no time better to buy than now.

Create a “Needs, Wants, Someday” list for your home, then call Case Design/Remodeling to review it with you. Together you can come up with a long term “master plan” for accomplishing your goals that makes both Sense and Cents. It’s easier than you think.

Stephen Scholl is a Director of Project Development at Case Design/Remodeling Inc.

Steve is a Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer as well as a Certified Universal Design Specialist. He specializes in whole house master plans and renovations with an eye towards return on investment and real estate strategies. To see more of his projects, visit his Houzz page.
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How to Know When It’s Time to Renovate

July 30, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
Renovations give a home new energy and a fresh look, but how do you know when it’s time for your house to undergo major changes? While you don’t need an excuse to redesign parts of your home, here are some examples of when you should get serious about making renovations.

An Empty Nest

Your home may feel different once your children are grown and have moved out; maybe there are a few empty bedrooms, or a playroom that no longer serves its original purpose. This is a perfect opportunity to renovate! Renovating and redesigning these spaces not only makes the space more functional, but it can also be a great way to start a new chapter in your life. Consider turning a child’s bedroom into a guest room. Choose a calming color palate of cream, gold, and tan to invoke a clean and crisp feel. If there isn’t natural light in the room, installing a large window can help to make the room brighter than a traditional light fixture would. With lots of changes in your life, this new bedroom can become a simple and refreshing oasis.

Storm Proofing

Preparing your home for handling severe weather is a great reason to consider outdoor renovations. If your area is prone to gusty winds and storms, enclosing your grill and outdoor kitchen can be a great step in protecting your patio and the exterior walls of your home. Other renovations could include installing storm doors at each entry way, enclosing your patio either with a screen or sun-room, or simply creating a storage room for outdoor furniture when the storms roll in.

Increasing Your Home’s Value

When it comes time to sell your home, it’s always a good idea to put your best foot – or kitchen – forward. The kitchen is where many families spend the most time together cooking, eating, doing homework, and catching up. Renovating this space can be a great selling point, especially if you chose to install granite countertops, dark hardwood flooring, and new, energy-efficient appliances. Your potential homebuyer will be thrilled to find out that they will not need to re-do one of the most important rooms in their new home.

But remember, if you’re searching for a change in your home, any time is a good time to renovate!

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Renovating on a Small Budget

July 24, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
Renovations don’t have to break the bank. Find out how to make smart choices that keep your remodeling project affordable! Using our tips below, you’ll be able to save some pennies and still enjoy a stunning, revamped home.

It’s like couponing: prepare before you splurge. Check out sales and deals in the months leading up to your renovations. There’s nothing better than getting the premium products you’ve been eyeing on major sale. Being patient and waiting for them to go on sale can save you a few pretty pennies.

Consult the experts before taking on any endeavor. Have you met ibby? Ibby is a design/build firm with a twist, and the newest member of the Case family. Ibby strives to make bathroom remodeling easier than it’s ever been before, and they do that through their revolutionary software. You can visualize your bathroom remodel with their 3D renderings, and then find out exactly how much it will cost to put that bathroom in your house! As you select materials from their curated collection, both the rendering and fixed price change in real-time. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes, you can do it from anywhere, and it’s totally free.

Leftovers don’t only make for easy meals. Scout out yard sales, buy materials at auctions, or ask your contractor if you can snag leftover materials. Get creative—the scraps may not be quite what you’re looking for, but the art of getting thrifty means seeing the world (or the very least, your renovation options) in an open-minded way.

We love mahogany flooring as much as the next person—but remember you don’t always need to go for the real McCoy. Swap the expensive wood flooring for affordable alternatives, like a hardwood natural eucalyptus hybrid. Check out Lyptus for an example. Inexpensive flooring can look just as nice.

Be smart about lighting. Really think about the number and type of light fixtures you install. By choosing fixtures that emit the perfect amount of light for a particular space, you won’t have to buy additional lamps. LED light bulbs often emit a brighter light and longer-lasting light. Also, make the most of natural light when planning your remodeling project and light fixtures.

Deliver your own goods. Rent a trailer for the day or, if you foresee the project extending over several months, buy a trailer. Keep in mind: it’ll save money and time in the long run.

Renovate the home, but leave major plumbing alone. When considering a bathroom renovation, money can be saved if you install the new sink and toilet in the same locations as the existing.  Reworking the plumbing system can add significant costs to your project.

Have you renovated without splurging? Let us know your tips in the comments below!

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The Icing on Your Renovation

July 16, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling
Remodeling any room in your house is a huge undertaking, and a task certainly not for the faint of heart. Like baking a cake, the success of the renovation really depends on the quality of the icing: in this case, your finishes and fixtures.

Easily the most prominent fixtures and finishes like lights, appliances, and cabinets can make the huge statements about the rooms they’re in. Making sure your countertops, cabinetry, faucets, light fixtures, and appliances to form a cohesive style can be a challenge, especially when mixing brands.

However, it’s important to note that there’s no right way to choose these and there’s a lot of room for personal preference. There are an infinite number of ways to be creative with your fixtures and finishes and do it right and have it look great. Even without a keen eye for design, with a little help from your remodeler, you can achieve any look, from rustic and Tuscan, to modern and Scandinavian.

Beyond appearances, these fixtures must serve utilitarian purposes as well. It’s important to pick finishes and fixtures that not only look good, but hold up to daily wear. It’s always a good idea to look at how the room will be used and by whom.
  • Will pets be able to scratch up your cabinets or will children be safe around kitchen countertops?
  • How will light fixture placement impact the feeling of the room?
  • Will daily usage tarnish your sink and faucets?

There are several popular finishes beyond chrome and stainless steel, like brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze, which have gained notoriety for their durability.

There are also some very interesting and innovative finishes emerging in newer remodels which are worth considering. Hideaway sinks give you more prep space and hide your sink when you’re hosting guests. Modular sink basins allow you to mix up how your basin functions and allow you to use it how you want it. Sinks integrated with countertops and seamless sink basins are also becoming more popular as they prove themselves as not only functional, but stylistic.

The fixtures and finishes may not be your first thought when picturing your new room, but they are absolutely important. Details can make a huge difference. For many, the help of a professional decorator or designer allows them to rest assured that everything has been accounted for and that they’re guided in their decisions. With a design concierge, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience.

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Remodel Your Way to the Top: 3 Trends You Ought to Know

July 11, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
Ready for a fresh start? If you are feeling the pull to renovate and redecorate your home, don’t wait any longer to update your space. For many, deciding where to begin the process can be overwhelming and stressful. These top home remodel trends of 2014 will guide you as you create your dream home.

Peaceful Powder Rooms 

Do you enjoy relaxing weekend getaways at nice hotels? Bring the spa to your home. The trend toward creating a tranquil environment in the bathroom has become very popular with homeowners. The spa bathroom emphasizes walk-in showers, elegant standalone tubs, and modern, resort-style fixtures.

Homeowners are embellishing their shower experience. Curb-less showers and rain-simulating showerheads are popular, futuristic designs that enhance the tranquil ambiance. Neutral, monochromatic color schemes and clean lines bring your bathroom a spacious, serene look. Turn your bathroom into your very own spa to rest and reduce stress in your already busy life.

Lounge in the Kitchen

As the heart of the home, many homeowners want their kitchen area to also serve the central area that accommodates multitasking friends and family. Install an open floor plan or create a kitchen lounge to effortlessly connect the kitchen and living room. Remodeling the kitchen to include a living area will allow room for you and your family to finish homework, send emails, and chat while preparing meals.

Redesign your kitchen with sleek fixtures to complete this year’s remodeling trend of modern kitchens. Neutrals, glosses, chrome, and stainless steel give the space a modern and spacious feel.

Outdoor Spaces

Whether you have a large yard or a city-style balcony, an outdoor living space is the perfect way to extend your home. This current trend relies heavily on nature. A traditional porch or balcony can be upgraded with glass features, trendy ceiling fans, and sophisticated tile. Fire pits further complement outdoor spaces—as well as a useful feature in social gatherings and BBQs. For an enclosed patio, incorporate large windows, skylights, and doors to bring the beauty of the outdoors into your home.

By implementing these trendy options, you and your family are sure to enjoy fresh design in your home.

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Must Have Modern Home Features

July 3, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
The modern home comes in many shapes, colors, styles, and sizes. The key to modernizing your space is focusing on individual features that can add a distinctive sense of creativity and flare. Modern homes have one consistent theme – they are unique. Decide what colors make you most comfortable and what styles best suit your personality. Incorporating your personal taste is the best way to add some modern touches to your home.

Need some ideas to modernize your home? Check out some unique features that will add a modern touch to your space while still keeping the comfortable feel of your home that you already love.

Spicy Stair Cases

Staircases are a great way to show your flare for modernity. Staircases are extremely versatile; there are a variety of options you can incorporate to construct a contemporary and unique look.  Colored stairs add a pop of fun to your space and offer a unique central point for your room.

Another option is spiral stairs. If you need to contribute some character to your space, spiral staircases are a great way to achieve that goal. Iron work on the railing and spindles offers an understated classic look with a modern twist.

Wacky Wallpaper

Wallpaper creates an accent for your space without having to invest in artwork. The patterns and colors in one portion of your room add a sense of flare that does not come with solid colored walls. You can use wall paper as an accent for an entire wall or behind bookshelves for a more subtle look.

Different patterns can facilitate the mood of the room. Dark colors and bold, smooth lines can have a calming effect while smaller images and brighter colors provide a more exciting atmosphere. Consider calming accents for bedrooms and brighter colors for rooms where entertaining and family gathering take pace.

Fancy Fire Pits

Fire pits are the modern touch to a backyard BBQ. Traditional outdoor social gatherings with a grill and food can be upgraded with a fire pit. Fire pits provide an area for social gatherings and facilitate conversation. Consider an above ground fire pit with surrounding chairs for a casual setting.

If you are looking for an even more modern twist on the above ground fire pit, consider an in ground pit with step-down seating. This feature ads more permanency and creates a more inviting environment.

Gobs of Glass

Glass accents in the kitchen and bathroom create a clean look in your space. Glass gives the impression that a room is larger and can be incorporated in a variety of inventive ways.

Glass sinks are a wonderful way to incorporate modern style into your bathroom without having to do a complete renovation. Interesting sinks create a unique touch of sophistication no matter the size of your room.

An alternate way to add a touch of glass to your home is with a creative light fixture. Unique lighting can be the focal point of the room and allows you to express your personal style in a modern way.

No matter what methods you use to incorporate some modern flare into your home, be sure to choose decorative options that allow you to reflect your personal space. Modern trends will come and go, but your personal taste is timeless.

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Cool Off This Summer in Your Own Pool

June 27, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
There is nothing better on a hot summer day than a cool dip in a pool. Why not include the pool of your dreams in your own backyard to provide some relief from the sweltering sun? Pools come in all shapes, sizes, and designs – there is an option for every taste and space.

Working with a limited space? Long lap pools can be a perfect solution to a small backyard for active swimmers. Use the lap function for a great workout or let friends and family take a dip while you entertain. Lay out neutral-colored stones and plant tall trees to create a natural look while also creating privacy for you and your guests.

Pools do not always have to be surrounded by concrete decks. If you are looking for a sophisticated and softer look, consider a thin concrete frame surrounded by lush grass. By adding gradual steps to one end, it allows swimmers to safely enter the water without the use of a railing, yet another great feature of this design.

For the days where a dip into the pool isn’t quite enough relief from the heat, consider covering part of the pool patio with an enclosed porch. By providing an area of shade, as well as a way to install additional cooling options, you can enjoy all the best aspects of a summer day while bring protected from the sun. Use outdoor furniture and potted plants to help make the perfect entertainment space.

Want to make your pool your family’s grand escape? Planting tropical flowers and trees will bring a beautiful island vibe to your pool. Install a waterfall for a peaceful sound and include a slide for additional pool time fun. Your friends and family will be having such a good time they’ll forget they’re not on vacation!

If you find yourself entertaining often during the summer months, make your pool the focal point of your backyard. By creating a large pool, it allows for lots of water activities. Also, consider setting up a large slide that the kids will love. For the adults, include a small hot tub off to the side for relaxation. Set up lounge chairs and swing sets so that everyone can enjoy the summer days together.

Including a pool in your backyard will surely make even the hottest of days fun and entertaining.

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On the Path to Enlightenment: Clever Ways to Brighten Up Your Home

June 23, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
There’s nothing like brightening up the space to give your home a touch more vibrancy. Paint is a surefire way to create that brighter, airier space—but before you put brush to wall, give Case’s nifty alternatives a moment of consideration.

Bells and Frills

Those paper doilies can work wonders on stark drab walls. Add a bit of tape to the back, gather the gold, silver, and white colors (or any other scheme your creative heart desires) and decorate the walled canvas in a mosaic of frilly papers. You can do the same with tape. Grab colored roll to make shapes and designs, like a faux taped frame around your pinned-up decorations.

Pic and Choose

Pictures definitely add that added splash of color. Tack your photos onto white cardboard to create the old-school Polaroid look… though you might have to explain the Polaroid concept to the little ones! Get super tech-savvy and print out your Instagrams. Make the wall feel Pinterest-y by scrounging up some clothespins and string, and then hanging photos on the line.

Window to the World (or at the very least, a natural source of light)

Pick your window. Now trail your way to the wall that is directly opposite. There’s the site of your new mirror. A reflective surface (the more interesting the shape, the more exciting the process) will emit more natural light within the space.

 Spruce up the Space, the Au Natural Way
Pots and plants for trees and flowers add nature’s beauty to the interior of your home. Position the greenery near a window and opposite a mirror. The mirror will reflect the brightened color, and the window will provide your plant access to the sun’s natural nutrients.

Bright Light

It’s not merely about installing lighting—but adding in a range of lighting. Balance the sharp white light with the softer toned yellow mood lamp. Consider wall-mounted scones if you’re a bit tight for space!

Brush Up

And alas, the tried-and-true solution of painting the walls to brighten the room. There’s the accent wall we know and love. Depending on the color you use, it can easily allow you to switch out some of the home furnishing for some brighter, more colorful pieces. After all, it’s summer time. Brighter is so much better.

What savvy tricks have you used to brighten up your home? Let us know in the comments below!

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Case Design Voted “Top Workplaces for 2014” in Washington DC

June 20, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Thoughts From the President

Here at Case Design, we are thrilled by the news that we were voted one of the best companies to work for in the Washington, DC area by The Washington Post. In the small company category, we came in at #76, which is fantastic given the sheer quantity of successful small businesses in the area. Additionally, we were the only remodeling firm to make the list.

What is even more exciting is that these rankings were based on employee feedback. How was the survey done? The Washington Post teamed up with WorkplaceDynamics, an employee survey firm, to administer questionnaires to 56,000 Washington-area employees, asking them how they view their job and how they view the health of their organization. The employers were then ranked within their size band based on employee responses to the survey. The rankings are thus true reflections of how employees feel about their workplaces.

Case Design was heralded for its vast array of employee benefits, dedication to community service, and for fostering long-lasting careers. Specifically, The Washington Post states that:

In business for more than 50 years, Case Design has seven people who have been with the company for more than 25 years and others who have been there more than 30 years. Employees stay for a full array of benefits including a 401(k), opportunities for flexible work schedules, working from home, and college scholarship program. The company fights homelessness by partnering with Friendship House and the Home Stretch organization. Employees also teamed up to build a home for a disabled veteran in Frederick.

best places to work snippet

In their “Top Workplaces for 2014” feature, The Washington Post included a number of interesting articles about exceptional workplace benefits and a visual representation of the mix of companies and sectors represented in this year’s Top Workplaces ranking. This infographic shows the breakdown:

best places to work infographic

We are truly thankful to be recognized as a top Washington workplace, and we are grateful for our colleagues who have put in years of service and made this a wonderful place to work. After all, the key to Case’s remarkable success is its talented and experienced employees.

Each year, Case Design presents scholarships to employees’ children who will be moving on to college. Shown with recent scholarship winners are Bruce Case – President, and Fred Case – Founder and CEO.

The annual Case picnic always provides fun for both our employees and their families

Bruce Case enjoys a conversation with TJ Monahan and his daughter. TJ is General Manager of ibby, a division of Case Design.

The wives of Case craftsmen have a little fun at the picnic.

Bill Millholland, VP of Sales, presenting company goals at a Case Design Annual Meeting.

Everyone at our Homes for the Troops project.

Please find the original article here: Top Workplaces.
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Bringing the Party (Out) Back

June 13, 2014. Posted by Case Design to Home Remodeling
Summer is almost here, which means it’s time to come out of hibernation and get together with friends to enjoy each other’s company and the beautiful weather. Although the convenience of indoor amenities —like air conditioning — may keep some gatherings indoors, a thoughtfully designed outdoor space allows you to combine comfort, functionality, and style to have a space that has both the luxuries of indoor spaces and the beauty and freshness of the outdoors.

The key to any outdoor entertaining area is to create a space which is versatile enough to adapt to not only the weather, but also your entertaining needs. These spaces should serve as a transitional space between your home and your yard: a place where you can find refuge from the harsh summer sun or a quick rain shower, while also breathing the crisp air. While a roof over your entertainment area isn’t a must, it’s so convenient in terms of light and fan fixtures to which there really isn’t a good argument against them.

Having an entirely open air space may not be feasible for some who are either space-constrained or are subject to more fickle seasonal weather. In these cases, transforming existing indoor spaces into hybrid spaces makes a lot of sense. Especially in regards to entertaining, opening up spaces like kitchens can make for easier catering, allow for better flow between the house and the yard, and encourage guests to explore the space.

Bringing your entertaining outdoors no longer means giving up on the luxuries and amenities enjoyed while entertaining indoors. This summer, discover what makes outdoor entertaining great and convenient: create a space for you and your guests to enjoy.

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