Invest in home

5 Reasons to Invest in Your Northern Virginia Home Right Now

Invest in homeCertainly, the past two years have been strange and unpredictable to say the least. As we start to see the tides change, new uncertainties loom for Fairfax County homeowners now grappling with rising inflation caused by higher demand, rising interest rates, and a looming recession. 

The good news is that, despite all these concerns, remodeling your Northern Virginia home is a smart investment. Several factors come into play, including a unique housing market, less stretched remodeling firms, better lifestyle value, and improved home equity. 

Let’s take a look at each of these surprising reasons, and show how what seems like the worst time to renovate your home is actually the best time to design and build a new room addition, kitchen, bathroom, home office, home gym, outdoor living space, or other upgrade that you’ve always dreamed of. 

Reason #1: The Housing Market is Stable

So many factors are impacting the housing market that it’s easy to get confused. Part of the reason is that home prices and sales have skyrocketed since the pandemic began, and are at long last stabilizing. That makes it seem like the market is in far worse shape than it actually is. 

Here are some numbers to prove that: According to the Federal Reserve Bank, median home prices have shot up nearly 36% over the past couple years, and have come down only 2.4% over the past month. So the “downturn” is the housing market returning to ‘more normalized conditions.’

In terms of what’s around the bend, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) predicts that home prices will go up 11% the rest of 2022, and level off at 2% for 2023. So much for a looming “recession”–your home’s value is set to remain 30% higher than what it was in 2020.

Reasons #2: The Remodeling Market is Calming Down

If you think inflation is bad now, spending on remodeling throughout the pandemic was nearly triple that rate. That meant consumer demand was through the roof, and remodeling firm supply couldn’t keep up. The results were long wait times, high costs, and low homeowner satisfaction. 

Another ongoing challenge has been global supply chain issues, which also boosted wait times and costs for critical materials and appliances. But the National Association of Home Builders reported a record 4.1% decline in material costs in one month, signaling a turning of the tide. 

And yet another pandemic silver lining is interest rates. The Job Center for Housing Studies at Harvard predicts they’ll calm the overall market down, enabling your favorite remodeling contractors in Northern Virginia to dedicate themselves to your business, and do it more affordably than ever.

Reason #3: Live Better in the Home You Love

Home prices, sales, and materials costs are a numbers game, while you and your family’s happiness is difficult – if not impossible – to quantify. That’s especially true when you consider all the feelings associated with living in a home that’s beautiful, efficient, and comfortable. 

Since much has been made about “lifestyle value” related to home ownership and renovation, the NAR decided to give its measurement a shot. In 2017 they created a mathematical algorithm to capture homeowner sentiment regarding their houses, and called it a “Joy Score.” 

Turns out that the Joy Score for homeowners who remodeled their houses, and did it with the help of experienced contractors, was substantially higher than those who didn’t remodel at all, or insisted on doing it themselves. The takeaway: Dream homes are a dream come true!

Reason #4: Get a Home Loan While Your Equity is Hot

Getting a HELOC, or Home Equity Line of Credit is a good idea now, thanks to the value of your home being so high. Since HELOCs have variable rates directly tied to the Fed’s interest rate, it’s a classic “use it or lose it” scenario to get the most value while your home equity is highest.  

All HELOCs have what’s called a draw period, and a repayment period. During the former you are able to borrow money, and may only be responsible for paying the interest. After that period is over, you’ll have to start repaying the loan and the interest charged by your bank.

Essential pros: interest rates are usually lower than for other lines of credit; you can borrow exactly as much as you need when you need it; you get great tax benefits. The cons: annual fees; over-borrowing; unexpectedly variable and high interest rates; unstable housing market. 

Summary: Now’s Actually a Great Time to Renovate!

Although we’re all reluctant to read the newspaper each morning, the headline is surprisingly good for Fairfax County residents who want to improve their homes, financial standing, and quality of life. Despite all the doom and gloom, the future is bright, especially for remodels. 

As we’ve seen, that’s because many of the factors that make consumers jittery have become incentives to invest in the renovation you’ve been putting off. You have a chance to do it efficiently, affordably, and spectacularly this chaotic year. The time is now to make it happen. 

Another vital consideration is your choice of Northern Virginia contractor. Make sure you’re partnering with a true “Design-Build” firm, one where the up front planning, design and project management is seamlessly connected to the actual construction work. Great communication is key!

Reason #5: Partner with the Best Design-Build Firm in Northern Virginia

Award-Winning Historic Home Renovation and Two-Story Residential Addition in Burke, VASchroeder Design Build is a multi-generational, family owned and operated remodeling firm located in Fairfax, Virginia. Since 1986, we’ve been providing 1,000+ clients throughout Northern Virginia with comprehensive design and construction services. 

We take our proprietary Design-Build process very seriously to ensure our projects are completed on time, on budget, and to client expectations. The first and most vital step is listening to our clients needs and interpreting their vision of a dream home. The design and build phases are seamlessly integrated to ensure continuous communication and a smooth project to completion. 

Sign up to our Newsletter, visit our Portfolio, and Contact Us for more info and realize the potential in your home.

CrossFit Garage Gym

How to Create a Fitness Garage Gym in Your Home

CrossFit Garage Gym

Every fitness garage gym is going to look a little different—that’s the beauty of the concept! By incorporating your gym into your home, you can completely customize it to your individual wants and needs. Still, there are a few essentials that most fitness experts agree that everyone should have in their home gym. Here are a few tips as offered by Andrew Schroeder, Schroeder Design/Build’s CEO and a CrossFit enthusiast.

Home Garage Gym Essentials

How to Get Started

First, determine how big you want your fitness garage gym to be, and how much space you can dedicate to it. If you have a 1.5-car garage or an extended garage, you might easily be able to adjust the space to fit all the equipment you need. (We can also build you a garage addition!)

Your home garage gym should require a minimum 10’ x 10’ space. This will allow enough room for the pull-up bar and other essential equipment, with breathing room to really get into your workout. You don’t want a tight space that will restrict your movement or make you uncomfortable, otherwise, you might not end up using your home gym as often as intended.

Tips for the Garage

To make your fitness garage gym a more comfortable workout space, and you are building your garage from the ground up, incorporate a mini-split (heated and cool area). Insulate both the room and the garage door.

Must-Haves for your Fitness Gym

CrossFit Equipment

An ideal fitness gym includes these three must-have pieces or sets of equipment:

    1. Dumbbells
      Dumbbells are a necessary building block and can be incorporated into any weightlifting exercise. They are available in both fixed and adjustable styles. Make your selections based on your budget, space, and preferences. Adjustable dumbbells provide the most flexibility and they come in a variety of options,” Andrew says. “The best tool to have if you are limited on space is the adjustable dumbbell set. If you have ample space, go for the full dumbbell set.”
    2. Mats
      Mats help to protect your concrete slab and your weight sets. Andrew prefers horse stall mats available from the Tractor Supply Company store.
    3. Bench
      Another mandatory item is an adjustable bench that will allow angled workouts, bench presses, curls, etc.

Optional Equipment for Your Fitness Gym

CrossFit Garage Gym

If you have the space and the budget, additionally incorporate these items into your fitness gym:

  • Pull-up Rig (free-standing or mounted)
    A pull-up bar is one of the most effective exercises for strengthening your back muscles. As a fitness or CrossFit enthusiast yourself, you may already have one. If not, you may be able to find a bar attachment that works with your other equipment in order to save money. Or choose a stand-alone option.
  • Rack (full x-rack or cage rack)
    For safety and stability, a full power rack is a good option, and for CrossFit athletes, a power rack can be adjusted to adapt to various exercises. A squat rack may also be preferred. Most power racks are created from heavy-duty steel tubes, with a weight capacity of more than 800 pounds. The power rack can include an overhead pull-up bar. For the cage structure, you stand inside while working out, and load your barbell onto a platform with height-adjustable safety bars. It is designed to keep weights from falling on you or damaging your floor in the case of a failed rep by using catcher arms that extend across the entire length of the cage. The platform also allows you to add accessories like resistance bands or an overhead cable pulley. It also offers the option of securing it to the home gym floor for additional stability.
  • Plates (bumper, metal, or rubber plates)
    Not all plates are created equally. You will want to consider the pros and cons of bumper plates vs. metal vs. rubber plates. Bumper plates are formed from a high-density rubber, and bounce if dropped during movements like snatches, clean and jerks, and overhead squats, which helps protect the weight, the barbells, and your floor from damage. This makes them a good choice for a fitness gym. Choose sets in 45, 25, 10, and 5-pound increments to allow for a full-range CrossFit workout. Metal plates are created from cast iron, steel, or chrome and increase in both diameter and thickness as their weight becomes higher. They are available in 5, 10, 25, and 45-pound sizes and cannot be dropped. Rubber plates are metal plates with a thin rubber coating and may have a hexagonal shape and holes for effective gripping. They also cannot be dropped.
  • Barbell
    You will need a barbell in order to use your plates. It is a straight, 7-foot metal bar onto which the plates are held by clamp collars (pressurized spring coils). Select any Olympic lifting-style multipurpose bar that works within your budget, or choose the typical CrossFit 20Kg bar as a splurge.

Nice To Have, But Not Required, Equipment

You’ll have a great workout with the equipment we’ve highlighted above. But if you want to go even further, here are some nice-to-have add-ons for your CrossFit garage gym:

  • Cardio equipment – ski rower or stationary bike; great for lung and heart conditioning
  • Box – box jumps and jump-overs are important elements of CrossFit training. Choose a box with soft edges to avoid slip-and-fall injuries.
  • Rings
  • Clock timer
  • TV with speakers
  • Mirrored wall
  • Ab wheel

Other home gym essentials can include a weight lifting belt or straps, elbow and knee sleeves, and extra shoes. You may want to also invest in solid warmup and cooldown equipment like a set of bands for stretching, and a slingshot to loosen up hips, quads, and hamstrings.

How Andrew Schroeder Stocks His CrossFit Garage Gym

Andrew

Here is what’s in Andrew’s own CrossFit garage gym:

  • Hyper volt
  • SSB 65#
  • Pulling sled
  • Matador dip bar
  • Curl Bar
  • Monster light rack with pull-up bar (not a full cage)
  • Oly bar, 45# & 35#
  • Cowboy power bar 45#
  • Trap bar 60#
  • Axel bar—stubby, 1.9” 20#
  • Fatter brushing bar, 45#
  • Plates (metal and bumpers), 700#
  • Dumbbells, 5-20 lbs. in 2.5-lb. increments; 20-25 lbs. in 5-lb increments; 50-60 lbs. in 10-lb. increments
  • 2p KB
  • Fat Gripz
  • Erg
  • Ski erg
  • 13’ rope (he has 13’ ceilings in the garage)
  • Rings on rig and from ceiling
  • 20# and 12 wall ball
  • Adjustable bench
  • 20/24/30” box
  • 12/14/16” box
  • Weight vest (up to 30#)
  • 70# wreck bag
  • 150# sandbag
  • Weighted belt
  • Zercher harness
  • Play mats for lunches
  • AB mat and wheel
  • Forearm roll up
  • Bosu ½ ball
  • Parallettes
  • Chains, 4 x 20#
  • Mountain dog band set
  • Safety bars
  • Rig pulley system
  • Kettle bell grips
  • Battle rope

Schroeder Design/Build. Building More Than Just Homes in Northern Virginia

As you can see, we have expertise in more than just remodeling or building homes! We can also help you build your body, strength, and health. If you live in Northern Virginia and you’d like to build a garage addition to hold a fitness gym, or retrofit your existing garage, contact us for more information. We can be reached at 703-449-1700 or info@SchroederDesignBuild.com.

Want more? Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter to receive helpful information, highlights of exciting projects, and invitations to upcoming remodeling events.

remodeling-project-trends-2022

5 Remodeling Project Trends Expected in 2022

People are always curious about what’s coming next. And in remodeling, we like to look at what consumers are asking for. What the industry is seeing are five remodeling project trends expected to boom in 2022.

Remodeling Project Trends for 2022

Trend 1: Better mudroom functionality

Families are well familiar with the frantic searches for keys, backpacks, gloves, hats, and other essentials, especially during the morning rush to get out the door. Remodelers can help alleviate the confusion with a mudroom constructed to a family’s individual needs.

Those designing a mudroom, or an “all-purpose drop zone,” can build from scratch or convert an underutilized space such as an area in or near the garage or laundry room. Other areas that function well include drop-off areas for package and grocery deliveries; pet washing stations with an oversized sink or shower pan; specified storage for each family member; laundry equipment area with shelving, a folding counter and a sink; a central charging station; and even something fun like a boot dryer. A waterproof, easy-to-clean luxury vinyl tile floor helps.

outdoor-fire-pit-remodeling-trends-2022

Trend 2: Specialized Outdoor Rooms

Homeowners are asking remodelers to build spaces to suit their favorite interests. Landscape architect Ryan Kettelkamp of the Chicago-based Kettelkamp & Kettelkamp found that “more clients wanted an outdoor kitchen this past season.” This included a grill, water source and a pizza oven!

Remodeling project trends indicated that other families may want a firepit or outdoor fireplace; a lawn or terrace area where a large screen can be put up to watch movies; an edible garden; and raised wood planters and trellises.

Trend 3: Larger Windows

Homeowners want to feel like they’re connecting with the outdoors even when they’re stuck inside and are changing out windows and doors to fit larger glass options. Windows installed higher, as in a clerestory; garage-style glass doors that roll up; and smaller framework for a thinner window profile are being requested. Durability and energy efficiency remain at the top of the list.

remodeling-project-trends-2022

Trend 4: Flexible Home Offices

Having a place to work or study from home became a need during the pandemic. According to the 2021 Houzz Emerging Home Design Trends Report, searches for home offices were up 108%. Designing a room or area with privacy, light and quiet was important.

Connecticut-based designer Sharon McCormick suggests asking yourself these questions:

  • Do you need a door?
  • Do you want natural light?
  • Do you need or want to share space?
  • Do you have an extra room or space, like a large walk-in closet, landing, attic or basement?
  • What furnishings and accessories do you need?

Trend 5: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Those with space on their property may opt for the remodeling project trend of building an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU. Similar to a tiny house, these structures are “generally detached from the main house and range in size between 500 and 800 square feet, but as large as 1,200 square feet,” said Caitlin Bigelow, an ADU advocate who runs Maxable, an educational resource on ADUs.

Increased approval from planning and building departments has boosted the popularity of ADUs, which can be used as a housing solution for returning grown children, renters, or older parents (granny flat).

Bigelow recommends installing doorways that accommodate a wheelchair, and removing thresholds between areas when designing your ADU, and including natural light, insulation, key appliances and universal design features overall.

Related: Did you miss our July 2021 design seminar on ADUS? Watch it here!

For Expert Remodeling, Contact Schroeder Design/Build

You too, can add function, value and joy to your home, both inside and out with these remodeling project trends. Contact Schroeder Design/Build to talk about your remodeling dreams in Northern Virginia.

 

–Excerpted from “5 Remodeling Projects Expected to Boom in 2022” by Barbara Ballinger, published in Pro Remodeler, September 20, 2021.

Build Up, Not Out: Adding a Second Story to Your Home

Many of the older homes here in Northern Virginia are smaller than what today’s families want and need. And the houses can be built on smaller lots, especially the closer towards Washington, D.C. they are located. So when families want to add space, they don’t have the option of going to the front, back or sides…they have to build up, not out, adding a second story to the home.

Here are some reason why you should consider adding a second story to your house.

You love your location

One way to get more space is to move to a larger home. But you love where you live! You don’t want to disrupt the kids from their schools, the neighbors have become great friends, and the area is so convenient to all you do.

You increase your home’s value

Larger square footage certainly adds to the value of your home. So does a second story. Plus, you don’t love valuable yard space. When you eventually sell your property, future buyers will appreciate the second story and your home will be a more desirable purchase.

You can design what you want

All homes have things that you wish you could fix. Here’s your chance! While adding the second story, take advantage of reconfiguring your home’s overall layout, or modifying the existing structure to make it more of what you really want in a home. Remove walls, relocate room functions, add windows, or just have fun with the design options.

second-story-addition-Schroeder-Design-Build

Second story addition going up.

second-story-addition

Same house before second story addition.

 

What are your options for a second story addition?

Although there is room for creative design, there are also building regulations and codes that need to be followed. Your design also depends on your budget and the home’s location. Taking these into account, there are a couple of choices in a second story addition: a full addition/remodel or an expansion.

Full second story addition

A full second story addition is ideal for one-level houses like a ranch-style home where an additional floor is required. A full addition can also mean a total revamp of an existing upper floor. It can reconfigure existing space or totally change the look and use of a home.

Adding a large space may require additional support systems including plumbing, HVAC and electrical installations or upgrades. New heating and air conditioning zones may need to be added. You may also want to take this time to install green or energy-efficient systems, windows, and thermal insulation.

Second story expansion

A second story addition doesn’t have to involve the entire upper floor. It can mean expanding out horizontally, such as adding a room over an existing garage or porch.

Related: 2021 Home Addition Costs

Additional things to consider with your second story addition

  • When you add a second story to your home, expect a disruption to your lifestyle. Because the roof will need to be removed, your family will need to relocate to temporary housing during the remodel or renovation for approximately six months.
  • Depending upon the size and style of your addition, you may also expect that additional structures will need to be put into place to support the extra weight. This can require modifications to the existing walls and foundation.
  • You will also need a staircase to the second floor, which will reduce the floor space in one of your first-level rooms or require modification on the ground floor.
  • Keep in mind that you will want your second story addition to match the rest of the house. Choosing matching siding and windows can create a seamless look. If these items are no longer available, however, you may want or need to change out the windows and siding on the first floor to match the new addition.

Choose a Design/Build Remodeling Company

Before you do anything, talk to an experienced professional, like Schroeder Design/Build. As our name says, we offer comprehensive architectural design, interior design and construction services for homeowners throughout Northern Virginia, and we’ll be glad to schedule a virtual or in-house, no-obligation consultation to talk about your second story addition. In the meanwhile, check out our Additions Portfolio for inspiration.

Contact Schroeder Design/Build today at 703-449-1700 or send us an email to Info@SchroederDesignBuild.com

Building On vs. Moving Out

Building On vs. Moving Out: Building an Addition

Do you love your home, your neighborhood and your schools, but feel like you need more space? Does your home’s layout just not work for you any more? Instead of moving out to a new home, consider expanding your existing home by building on an addition.

Read more

The 5 Home Addition Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

The 5 Home Addition Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

The 5 Home Addition Mistakes You Can Easily AvoidEven minor mistakes can affect your enjoyment of your Northern Virginia home addition. Avoiding these five addition mistakes will help you ensure that your new space is practically perfect.

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In-Law Additions & Conversions – What to Consider When Remodeling to Care for Your Parents

In-Law Additions & Conversions – What to Consider When Remodeling to Care for Your Parents

Many couples today are making the decision to remodel their homes to allow their aging parents to move in with them. This generous gesture will enable your loved ones to maintain a sense of independence and have the security of being close by when they need additional care or assistance. If you are finding yourself in a similar situation, one of the first things on your mind is likely how to adapt your home to accommodate them safely and comfortably. There are several ways to remodel your home for your aging parents and fortunately, just because a home is senior-friendly does not mean it has to sacrifice style or luxury! Read more