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Why Referrals are Important to Remodeling

A huge portion of our business as a Northern Virginia design/build remodeling company comes from referrals. They are the lifeblood of our business and an invaluable source for new clients. But why are they so necessary? It’s all based on trust. Let’s look at why referrals are important to remodeling.

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What is a Referral?

A referral occurs when a client, partner, vendor, team member or friend tells a home or business owner to give us a call to talk about remodeling their property. Or when one of these same people contacts us directly to offer the contact information for someone they know who use remodeling, and asks us to reach out.

Why is a Referral Important to Remodeling?

When we receive a referral, the connection is much easier. The person who is referred to us has already heard something about our company, and likely, about one or more of our clients’ experiences remodeling with us. They already trust that we can do the job and offer a great customer journey, so they are half sold already! All they really need to do is discover whether we are a good fit for each other.

During our initial consultation, we also evaluating the referral. When our capabilities match with their vision, we an ensure a successful project.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Customer Referrals Matter

Where do Referrals Come From?

Our best referrals come from our happy clients. They have had a great experience during the remodeling process and are thrilled with the results. They are proud to show off their project to their friends, family and neighbors, who inevitably ask, “Who did you use for your remodeling?” That offers them a perfect opportunity to refer the inquirer to our company for a free initial consultation. Very often, the same clients refer numerous people to our company.

Other referrals come from the people we work with, like our vendors and suppliers. They are familiar with our work and trust our company, and by referring to a company they believe in, they put their reputation on the line as well. Our partners know that referrals are important to remodeling and are glad to refer their customers, clients and neighbors to us.

Our team members are also a source of referrals. They are proud of the work we do and don’t hesitate to ask someone to consider us when they’re thinking about remodeling their home or business.

What is a Good Referral?

What we refer to as a “good referral” is a project that fits both us and our potential client. At Schroeder Design/Build, we specialize in larger remodeling projects like whole house remodels, additions, kitchens, and master suites. We’ll even build a new home from the ground up. If a job is too small, we can refer the job to one of our trusted remodeler associates…and they likewise refer a job that is too big to us.

We Reward Referrals

We like to let those who refer a potential client to us know that we appreciate them, and offer a referral program that includes items like a thank you note, gift cards, and referral-based appreciation events. Their best reward, of course, is when the person they referred comes back after their remodeling project and says, “Thank you for referring us to that company. We love our new project.” Win-Win!

It’s Easy to Refer to Schroeder Design/Build

We try to make the referral process easy. Just give us a call to tell us about someone you know who’s looking for a top remodeling firm or have them contact us—and make sure they tell us that you referred them. We’ll take it from there.

Schroeder Design/Build is a family owned and operated, award-winning remodeling firm bringing dreams to life throughout Northern Virginia. We’d certainly appreciate your referrals.

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Chefs’ Tips for Cooking in Your Newly-Remodeled Kitchen

Now that you’ve remodeled your kitchen (or if you’re looking forward to remodeling it), you’re bound to be excited about cooking in it! Shiny new appliances, gleaming countertops and ample cabinet space make it a pleasure to be in the kitchen. And no matter where you are in your cooking prowess, there’s always something to learn. Here are some chefs’ tips to enjoying your newly-remodeled kitchen.

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Employ Mise en Place

Mise en place is a French term meaning “putting in place.” Gather your recipe, ingredients, cooking utensils in one place prior to cooking and prepare any items in advance, like chopping vegetables or measuring flour. Think about where you will be using each item and plan out accordingly. This is how chefs create a meal quickly.

You Only Need 5 Knives

Professional chefs usually purchase their own knives and take great care of them. Their knife packet includes a paring (2-4” blade), boning (5-7” firm blade), fillet (5-8” pliable blade), French chef’s (8-14” blade), and serrated (12-14” jagged blade) knife.

How to Cook with Oil

  1. Heat the pan before adding oil for charring, searing, stir-frying or sautéing. If the oil is put in too early, its chemical bonds break down and it loses its lubricating quality. Pan-frying and deep-frying are exceptions due to the greater oil volume.
  2. Add the right oil with the appropriate smoke point.
  3. If the oil smokes or changes color before adding the food, it’s too hot. Throw it out, wipe out the pan, and start over. If the oil gets too hot it releases carcinogens and can reach the flash point where it combusts into flames.
  4. Use dry, room-temperature food.
  5. Don’t crowd the pan.
  6. Don’t flip proteins (meats, eggs, fish) early. When it is properly seared, it will naturally release from the pan.
Oil Smoke Points

The oil smoke point is the temperature at which an oil begins to break down and burn. Going past its smoke point can ruin a dish. Different oils are appropriate for different types of cooking, and it’s important to know which type works best.

  • 400°F = Sesame oil; refined canola oil; extra virgin olive oil; vegetable shortening; regular butter
  • 450°F = Extra light (refined) olive oil; refined soybean, sunflower, corn or peanut oil; clarified butter
  • 500°F = Refined avocado oil; refined safflower oil

When to Add Salt

You may be tempted to pick up the salt shaker when you begin cooking, but professional chefs know that the optimal times to add salt can vary.

  • Tenderizing meat: salt 1-4 hours ahead of cooking
  • Boiling liquids in aluminum or cast iron: Add the salt after boiling begins to avoid pitting the pot. Salt the water when cooking vegetables or pasta.
  • Deep-frying: salt after frying
  • Making stock or reducing: don’t add salt during cooking or reduction, the result will be too salty
  • Baking: salt not only adds taste, it activates rising; add according to recipe directions
  • Finishing: salt that is added just before serving or consuming food; varieties include Fleur de Sel, Maldon, Himalayan Pink Salt, or Grinding Salt. See How to Use Finishing Salts.
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Types of Salt

There are generally four types of salt, and each can be used for different applications in the kitchen.

  • Table salt: fine granules generally used in a salt shaker; highly refined; easily measured for recipes; additives can lend a metallic taste
  • Kosher salt: varying-sized coarse granules; easy to pinch and sprinkle; no additives; a chef’s favorite for cooking
  • Sea salt: coarse or fine grains; evaporated from sea water; strongest flavor; most costly; comes in gray, pink, brown and black varieties
  • Rock salt: large unrefined crystals; not suitable for eating, normally used to presenting shellfish; grayish hue

Chefs Say: Remodel Your Kitchen for How You Will Use it

Remodeling your kitchen isn’t just about making selections of countertops or cabinet colors. It’s about HOW you will use your kitchen for a long time to come. Work with a design/build remodeling firm that will review your current and future needs, your lifestyle, and your dreams for your kitchen, and then design and build it to match your vision. Then enjoy it using these chefs’ tips.

For Kitchen Remodeling in NOVA, Contact Schroeder Design/Build

If you’d like to explore remodeling your residential or commercial kitchen in Northern Virginia, contact Schroeder Design/Build.

–excerpted from 101 Things I learned in Culinary School, by Louis Eguaras with Matthew Frederick

8 Ways to Keep Your Home Project Going While Helping Local Pros

8 Ways to Keep Your Home Project Going While Helping Local Home Pros

Helping design and building businesses during this crisis offers advantages for homeowners
By Becky Harris March 21, 2020

You may have been planning to start a home project or remodel this spring and are wondering what to do now that people are being urged or told to stay at home. The coronavirus crisis makes it hard to imagine hiring a designer, shopping for your home or meeting with home pros to talk about a project. But one silver lining of this crisis cloud is that it may be one of most optimal times to do so.

You can stay safely isolated at home and still get started on a project and support the design and construction pros who are such an integral part of our community. If you were already planning a project, or if spending so much time at home has you thinking of improvements you’d like to make, here are some suggestions that will help you improve your home while you support these small businesses.

1. Set Up a Virtual Consult

“Keeping people employed helps the overall economy,” architect Jonathan Kuhn says. And during this crisis, an advantage for homeowners is that many pros have more time on their hands than they normally would — no commutes, site visits, show houses or markets are keeping them from working on your project. Fill that time with a virtual consultation.

If you haven’t yet found a pro to work with, you can start by searching the Houzz pro directory for an architect, designer or remodeler whose style, location and specialties match your needs.

Then it’s as simple as using FaceTime or Skype to give pros a tour of your space. You can answer their style and function questionnaires, share inspiration photos in Houzz ideabooks and get to know each other without having to meet in person.

See Schroeder Design/Build’s plan for Virtual Consultations.

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