woman relaxing and reading in her new sunroom

Design and Build an Ideal Sunroom for Your Northern Virginia Home

woman relaxing and reading in her new sunroom

Imagine yourself at the end of a busy day relaxing with a beautiful view. Or picture yourself curled up with a good book and a cup of coffee while basking in the rays of the morning sun…all while inside your own home! That’s the kind of lifestyle upgrade you can expect when you add a sunroom addition to your house. Use it for relaxing, entertaining, or just enjoying the outdoors in the comforts of year-round access. In this post, we’ll explore the ways you can design and build the perfect sunroom for your Northern Virginia home.

Know the Different Types of Enclosed Porches

Not all enclosed porches are the same. In fact, you have several choices in how you would like your enclosed porch to look and function. Let’s look at the differences.

  • Screened-in Porch. A screened-in porch has screens on all sides that allow air flow while keeping insects and debris out.
  • Three-season Porch. A three-season porch has weatherproof walls and a roof for protection in colder months. It also has windows, normally with screens, that can be opened for ventilation. Since it does not contain a heating system, it is not used during the coldest months.
  • Four-season Porch or Sunroom. A four-season porch or sunroom has framing, a roof, windows and screens like a three-season one does, with the addition of insulation and a heating and cooling system. It can be used any time of the year. Sunrooms often feature large windows that let in light and provide scenic views, and both four-season rooms and sunrooms offer an inviting and comfortable space for homeowners to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, even when the weather is less than ideal.
  • Conservatory Porch. A conservatory porch differentiates itself by having a glass roof and walls. It gives the homeowner the feeling of being in the outdoors, and can work as a solarium for indoor plants.

Consider How You Will Use Your Sunroom

cabin-like home remodel with massive sunroom spaceThe versatility of a sunroom makes it a valuable addition to any home, allowing the space to be used in many ways to suit your needs and preferences. Some ideas include:

  • Relaxation and recreation. Use this space for lounging, reading, or enjoying a morning cup of coffee or an evening glass of wine while taking in the views.
  • Your sunroom is the perfect space for hosting small gatherings, parties or family events.
  • A workout room or yoga studio is enhanced by the connection to nature.
  • Year-round pleasure can be taken from growing plants indoors in the light-filled space.
  • Home office. A sunroom provides a quiet out-of-the-way area, along with a bright workspace, for a home office.
  • Use your sunroom as a unique or cozy dining area.
  • In the “olden days” people used a sleeping porch when the weather was hot. Add a daybed and enjoy your sunroom as a napping place or impromptu guest bedroom.

Determine the Location and Size of Your Sunroom

McLean, VA-Sunroom Addition with Deck and beautiful Stone Patio

The best place to build a sunroom onto your home and the size you want depend on several factors, including:

  • Sun exposure. You’ll want to choose a location that will provide ample light, such as a south- or west-facing wall.
  • Ease of access from the rest of the house is important.
  • If possible, the best location is the one offering the most scenic views.
  • Privacy issues can come into play if you have nearby neighbors or are located on a busy street.
  • You will need enough room to build your sunroom without infringing on your yard, outdoor areas or lot easements.
  • The location and size you choose may impact the cost of the project. A larger size and some locations may require more complex construction or a larger amount of materials.
  • Home layout. Your contractor will need to work with your existing home’s architecture to ensure that the addition works well with existing rooflines and blends seamlessly with the existing architecture when completed.

You may have an idea of where you’d like to your sunroom to be built, but it is important to consult with a professional design-build remodeling firm to determine the best and most cost-effective location for your sunroom, depending on your specific needs, your home’s layout and your budget. The professionals can also help you assess the project’s feasibility and ensure that all building codes and regulations are met. You’ll also want to match your home’s aesthetics to create a pleasing transition.

Determine the Types of Heating, Electrical and Insulation Needed

Year-round comfort is the goal of a four-season sunroom, and to create the optimal environment, you need to consider the heating, electrical and insulation factors.

  • If you plan to use your sunroom year-round, it will need a heating system that is appropriate for the size of the room and our Northern Virginia climate. Options can include electric or gas heaters, a separate or tied-in HVAC system, or a ductless mini-split system.
  • For the best year-round functionality, you will need to include electrical outlets along with lighting fixtures. A ceiling fan is another great choice.
  • To provide a thermal barrier and maintain a comfortable temperature no matter what the weather, spray foam, fiberglass or blown-in insulation should be installed in the walls, roof and floor.

Consider Windows, Doors and Skylight Selections

Converting a Porch into a Four-Season Sunroom with First Floor Workshop in Springfield, VA

“A sunroom isn’t a sunroom without walls of windows and bright natural light,” states window manufacturer Pella, so in your sunroom, you’ll want to maximize light and exterior views by choosing the ideal windows, doors and skylight(s). Other considerations include energy efficiency, ventilation needs, durability and cost.

  • Double-hung windows. With two independent sashes, double-hung windows can move independently to be raised from the bottom or lowered from the top.
  • Sliding windows and doors. Popular choices for sunrooms, sliding windows and doors slide on a track horizontally. They can maximize interior and exterior space and allow access to the outdoors.
  • Casement windows. Open a casement window for fresh air with the simple turn of a crank. This window type is easily accessible, even if furniture is placed in front of the window.
  • Picture windows and doors. Maximize views with a large solid-glass or mullioned window or door. These are ideal for floor-to-ceiling window designs and provide enhanced security since they do not open.
  • Bring in additional light to your sunroom with a skylight featuring high-performing, energy-efficient glass. Skylights can also provide natural light when windows create a privacy issue, and help to reduce energy use by balancing light with heat loss.

Contemplate your Design Details

porch addition

How you are going to use the room can have impact on the elements that make the space functional, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. When designing your sunroom, contemplate these design details:

  • Use a combination of natural and artificial lighting, such as large windows and skylights matched with ceiling and floor lamps.
  • Your sunroom is a place to relax, so comfortable and durable seating options are good choices. If you use the room for dining, pick a table and chairs that fit the space and aesthetics.
  • Comfortable and durable also come into play with flooring, along with easy-to-clean options like hardwood or tile.
  • Décor. Plants, rugs, artwork and decorative items help personalize your sunroom and make it feel inviting.
  • Window treatments. Curtains, blinds, shades or indoor shutters help to control the amount of light entering the room while adding a decorative element.
  • Select furniture that is appropriately-sized and styled for your sunroom.
  • Bright, cheery colors that reflect the natural light can enhance your enjoyment.
  • If you are using your sunroom for a specific purpose, like a home office or yoga studio, select designs that work with that theme, not against it.

Hire Schroeder Design Build to Design and Build Your Ideal Sunroom Addition in Northern Virginia

Sunrooms are perfect additions for our Northern Virginia climate where they can be used all year long. And by working with a design-build remodeler like Schroeder Design Build, you have the assurance of expertise, accountability, enhanced communication, and a streamlined and efficient design and construction process.

Schroeder Design Build is a second-generation family owned and operated firm founded in 1986 that has created award-winning remodeling projects for more than 1,000 clients throughout Northern Virginia. Read our project stories to see how we’ve created beautiful sunrooms for other clients, and get inspiration from our project portfolios.

Contact us today and let’s talk about adding a sunroom to your home!

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housing market

The Housing Market is Stabilizing—Is Remodeling Still a Good Investment in Northern Virginia?

housing market

The housing marketing in Northern Virginia has stabilized in recent months, with more stability in home prices, mortgage rates and overall economic conditions. This has caused some homeowners to wonder if remodeling is still a good investment. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why we think it is.

A Remodel is an Asset that Grows in Value

A Game-Changing Kitchen Remodel and Addition in Alexandria, VA Designed for Entertaining

While a remodel can be a significant investment, improving the look, feel and functionality of your property, it can make your home more attractive to potential buyers and renters, increase its resale value, and provide you with a solid return on your investment.

Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report indicates that between 50% and 80% of a remodeling project can be added back into the value of a home when completed. That means if you spend $100,000 on a remodeling project, you can expect up to $80,000 ROI, depending on the type of project. With Northern Virginia’s average appreciation rate for homes hovering around 8.6%, your investment will only grow in value.

Ways that your home becomes more valuable include:

  • You improve the property, which increases its overall value.
  • You increase your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your monthly utility bills.
  • Updated kitchens and bathrooms, along with modern appliances and finishes are highly desirable buy buyers and renters. These updates increase the appeal to buyers, making it easier to sell or rent.
  • You benefit from the increased livability of your home—an invaluable return on investment!

Remodeling Can Help you Keep a Low Mortgage Rate

mortgage rates

The United States has experienced some of the lowest mortgage rates in history over the past several years, and many homeowners made the smart decision to refinance a home they have lived in for years. Now that interest rates are rising, it doesn’t make sense to move to a new home and obtain higher-interest loan to get more space, when by remodeling, the same result can be accomplished under your existing low-interest rate.

Let’s look at the difference. Say, for example, your home is valued at $600,000, your current interest rate is set at 3% and your current monthly payment is about $2,023 a month on a 30-year mortgage. If you purchase another home at $600,000 and your interest rate is 7%, your monthly payment rises to around $3,193 per month!

Because home prices have risen significantly, you may have enough equity in your home to finance a substantial remodel through a home equity loan. This enables you to create the home you really want while increasing your home’s value considerably at your current mortgage rate.

If you have equity, consider using a cash-out refinance or home equity loan to finance your remodel. This way, the only cash needed is for the interest payments to maintain the loans, which are tax deductible in most cases. The principal can be repaid when the property is sold.

If you haven’t refinanced, here are some ways remodeling is a good investment to help you obtain a lower mortgage rate:

  • By updating your home, you can increase its overall value. Lenders view homes with higher value as less risky investments.
  • Making your home more energy efficient through remodeling can make you a more attractive candidate for a low mortgage rate.
  • If you use a home equity loan or line of credit to fund your remodel, making timely payments on that debt can help improve your credit score when you go to apply for a mortgage loan.

It’s important to keep in mind that the impact of remodeling on your mortgage rate depends on the cost and scope of the renovation, the current state of the housing market and your overall financial situation.

Remodeling is an Investment in your Quality of Life

Award-Winning Historic Home Renovation and Two-Story Residential Addition in Burke, VA

The choice to remodel is not usually based on increasing your home’s value. You normally choose to remodel because you want to live a better life in your existing home. Remodeling is a good investment in your family’s quality of life today, with the added benefit of increased financial returns in the long term.

By remodeling, you can enhance the functionality, aesthetics, energy efficiency, and overall value of your home, making it more comfortable and convenient to live in.

  • Add more square footage, create open floor plans and increase storage space to make your home feel larger and more accommodating.
  • Enhance functionality with modern appliances, finishes and features.
  • Improve the overall look and feel of your home to make it a more attractive and enjoyable place to live.

How Can the Government Help?

Tax Rebates

Some home improvements may be subsidized by the US government, making the cost of construction easier on property owners.

  • Make your home energy efficient to earn incentives, along with lowering your utility bills. Check the Energy Star® Rebate Finder to find rebates and offers in your area.
  • Look for property tax exemptions in your county or town.
  • Take advantage of housing programs for military veterans.
  • Apply for low- or no-interest loans through local home improvement programs (HIPs).
  • Check https://www.usa.gov/repairing-home for helpful government remodeling incentive links.
  • Claim tax credits on IRS Form 5695 and submit it along with your tax returns.

In general, remodeling can be a good investment, as long as the improvements you make to your home are appropriate for your neighborhood and aligned with current housing trends. For example, remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, adding a deck or patio, or updating the home’s insulation and heating systems can all increase the property’s value and your quality of life.

What you want to be careful of is not to over-improve for your neighborhood. A high-end remodel in a lower-priced neighborhood may not result in a high return on investment, and could make it difficult to sell your home in the future.

On the other hand, a well-executed remodel in a highly-competitive housing market can give you an advantage over other homes in your neighborhood and increase your changes of selling quickly and for a higher price.

While the stability of the housing market is an important consideration when deciding whether remodeling is a good investment, remember that there are other factors involved, with the biggest of those being your family’s personal enjoyment of your home.

Need Help Determining Whether Remodeling is a Good Investment in Northern Virginia? Contact Schroeder Design Build

Schroeder Design Build is an award-winning remodeler creating value for homeowners throughout Northern Virginia. We’ll be glad to discuss your remodeling ideas with you and provide you with insights on local remodeling trends and returns on investment.

We’ll look at the costs of your potential remodel and show you how it can add value. One thing that makes us unique is our design-build process offering you a multi-concept approach comparing three sets of design concepts. One set exactly matches your budget, another meets your dreams. A third comes to the middle to give you what you want at the budget you have. Read more about this advantage in our blog.

When thinking about remodeling, talk to us. Contact Schroeder Design/Build at 703-449-1700 or complete our convenient online form to start a conversation.

To learn more about remodeling and see some of our current projects, sign up for our newsletter. And follow Schroeder Design/Build on social media.

Mother enjoying her new In-Law Suite

Design and Build the Perfect In-Law Suite for your Northern Virginia Home

Mother enjoying her new In-Law Suite

Forget all those mother-in-law jokes. Most people love their in-laws. So much so, that we’re seeing a trend in adding additional living space onto homes in Northern Virginia for multi-generational living. An in-law suite, or an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), not only creates the ideal space, it adds value to your home. If you’re considering moving your in-laws into your home, here are some tips on how to design and build the perfect in-law suite for both comfort and privacy.

Consider Who Will Live There. What are Their Specific Needs?

SDB Inspiration Studio Bathroom ShowroomAn in-law suite doesn’t have to be designated just for in-laws. With multi-generational living, it can accommodate anywhere from seniors to teenagers to young adults who have been out on their own but who are returning home due to life changes or financial savings. Each has their own specific needs for privacy, independence, safety and overall use.

To accommodate the needs of all ages easily and to plan ahead for the future, incorporate Universal Design features into the remodel.

  • Make areas spacious to accommodate wheelchair or walker access
  • Include no-slip flooring, wider doorways, grab bars and handrails
  • Incorporate separate heating, AC, and lighting controls
  • Install a walk-in shower
  • Switch to lever handles for doors and faucets
  • Use safe and low-maintenance materials

Where Will You Locate the In-Law Suite?

in-law addition

Zoning regulations and lot setbacks can play a big role in how and where you can create an in-law suite in your Northern Virginia home. Check with your qualified design/build remodeling firm prior to making any plans. They’ll know the zoning, ordinance and HOA regulations and restrictions. If you’re looking to accommodate senior members of the family, offering first-floor access may be the wisest placement, otherwise consider adding an elevator or chairlift.

There are many options for where to create your in-law suite:

  • Garage or porch conversion. An attached or detached garage or porch is normally not habitable due to its lack of insulation, heating and wall outlets. However, it does already have the framing, foundation and roof in place. That’s a great start that can save on the cost of creating a space from scratch.
  • Attic conversion. Remodeling upwards in your house can convert an unused attic into living space. You’ll want to add insulation and separate heating, and ensure that the stairway and interior spaces are large enough to meet building codes. Consider adding sound-proofing to the floor.
  • Basement conversion. Refinishing a basement is one of the simpler ways to add an in-law suite. Divide the space into sleeping and living spaces, and add or convert a bathroom. You may also be able to connect an outside entrance. Consider measures to protect against water infiltration and mold, and add windows for additional light and egress points.
  • Spare room conversion. There are likely a room or rooms in your home that aren’t used regularly—like the dining room, a formal living room, den or child’s bedroom. Convert a large room into a bedroom/bathroom in-law suite, combine adjacent rooms to create a larger suite, or add an addition to bump out additional space.
  • Addition. Depending on zoning regulations, you can raise the roof and build a second (or third) floor onto your home, or build an addition onto the side or back of the house. This allows you to design the features and spaces you desire with the least amount of space restrictions.
  • ADU. Another option may be the creation of a separate dwelling on your property called an accessory dwelling unit or ADU (depending upon jurisdictional regulations). This is defined as a complete and separate unit that includes a bedroom, living area, kitchen and bathroom. It can be used for family members or as an income-producing rental.

Think About the Layout

A typical “full” in-law suite can comprise a living room, full kitchen, separate bedroom and private bathroom, along with adequate storage and perhaps a separate entrance. Smaller suites can include a bedroom and sitting area adjacent to a nearby bathroom.

When thinking about layout, consider how the space will be used, and by whom. Do you need room for wheelchair access? Will you have to accommodate a disability? Is storage a requirement? Is it needed for younger or older people?

Think ahead to potential uses too. Is this suite to be used for young adults now and does it need to be ready for older adults in the future? All of these considerations should be incorporated into the original design to avoid having to make remodeling changes later on.

Are Privacy and Access Important?

Maintaining independence is often of large interest for seniors, and it is certainly a priority for young adults. Having a separate and complete living area with a separate entrance helps to enable independent living and privacy, especially helpful when living with different schedules.

Older individuals or those with disabilities may also need accommodations for access to the in-law suite in terms of first-floor living, low- or no-threshold entrances, or ramps.

Other Design Considerations

home office addition

Outside of the layout, details matter. Choose features that can add luxury, comfort and style to your in-law suite in Northern Virginia.

  • Color palette. You may love bold, vibrant colors, but if you are not going to live in the space, choose colors that suit the resident, or neutrals that can work for any generation. Add pops of color for interest. Hold colors to a simple palette to give a sense of openness and less visual clutter.
  • Separate utilities. Installing separate HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems allows your in-law suite to function independently and enables the residents to set their own comfortable temperatures. A plus if you ever want to rent it out!
  • Cozy touches. Since this will serve as somebody’s private residence, add touches that can cozy up the place, like a fireplace, sun-drenched reading nook, or a coffee/drinks station. Include space for a sofa, and chairs and a table for eating, crafting or games. Large windows and extra touches like crown molding can add a luxury feel.
  • Home office. If younger folks will be living here, they likely need a place to work from home. Creating a desk or workspace area can be helpful. Older folks may also want to set up a computer.

According to a Virginia Realtors’ data analysis, by 2017, more than one in five (22%) Northern Virginia residents lived in a multigenerational household. With more families are becoming concerned about older parents living alone, and about the high costs of assisted living facilities, they’re turning to remodeling to add or convert space in their existing homes to accommodate elderly family members.

Hire an Expert at Building Northern Virginia In-Law Suites—Schroeder Design/Build

Since 1986, Schroeder Design/Build has been transforming homes throughout Northern Virginia with award-winning remodeling. And we’d love to help make your home function well for multi-generational living with the perfect in-law suite.

Read about some of our exciting projects in our Project Stories, especially our story about a Fairfax, VA mother-in-law suite remodel with Aging in Place and Universal Design features. Then contact us to schedule a free consultation. We’ll be glad to discuss the process, costs and timeline for remodeling your home.

For more ideas, tips and invitations to exclusive remodeling events, sign up for our newsletter. And be sure to follow Schroeder Design/Build on social media.

Post-Holiday Bathroom Blues

Post-Holiday Bathroom Blues? Five Ways a Bathroom Remodel Can Help.

Post-Holiday Bathroom BluesBringing friends and family together for the holiday is like no other time of the year. Being able to entertain crowds of various sizes is wonderful, but only if you and your guests are comfortable. Identifying challenges with your living spaces, especially your bathroom(s), can suggest remodeling opportunities to make the next holiday season even more enjoyable. Did you notice that your bathrooms are small and cramped? Did senior family members slip or struggle with getting in and out of the tub or shower? Was there a line forming outside the bathroom at inopportune times during the day? Now that the holidays are over, you can beat those post-holiday bathroom blues with these five ways a bathroom remodel can help.

Expand your Bathroom Footprint or Rework the Layout


Tiny bathrooms that can’t accommodate two people getting ready for a busy work day are frustrating. It may be time to think about expanding the space or changing the layout to make it more functional.


To make your bathroom larger within your home’s existing footprint, you need to steal space from another area, such as a closet or nearby room.

Look at an adjoining bedroom. Is it a guest room with a large closet? Then perhaps you don’t need all that storage for a room that’s not often used. Create a smaller closet and use the extra space to expand your bathroom. A large closet can even be converted into a smaller-sized powder room! If the closet isn’t adjacent to the bathroom you’d like to enlarge, consider taking space from the actual spare bedroom itself. Moving the wall in just two feet can give you 50% more room in your bathroom expansion. Or heck, take the entire extra bedroom and create a spa-like retreat and walk-in closet!

Get creative with unused space, like under the stairs, to create a powder room. Forgo the vanity for a wall-mounted sink and toilet. Smaller fixtures can fit comfortably into a smaller space and provide that extra bathroom you so desperately need. 


Changing the layout of your existing bathroom can increase its functionality. Some ideas include changing the swing-in door to a pocket door or barn door, or have the door open into the hallway or bedroom instead of inward. Remove large vanities and cabinets and replace them with slimmed-down or wall-mounted versions for storage. Take out the tub and install a shower that takes up less floor space.

Add a Bathroom with an Addition

Post-holiday relief comes from not having to share your bathroom with overnight guests! Now is the time to think about adding a second—or third—bathroom with an addition.

Building an addition or bumping-out the walls of your existing bathroom can really give you more room or allow you to create extra bathrooms. Just a couple of feet in a bump-out gives you room for a large shower or soaking tub, and can increase your bathroom’s size by 25%.

With an addition, you have the luxury of designing the bathroom you always envisioned. Space is not an issue! Your only restrictions come from your lot size and setback restrictions (and perhaps your budget.) As an extra bonus, an addition increases your home’s value!

Maximize Safety with Universal Design

Let’s face it, we’re all getting older, and having safety features in your bathrooms is not a bad idea—at any age. Now that your guests are gone, think about adding Universal Design features into your bathroom to increase accessibility and reduce the possibility of slip-and-fall accidents.

  • Increase the space to allow for freedom of movement and walker and wheelchair access
  • Install storage options at easily-accessible heights
  • Put in a zero-threshold shower with digital controls, hand-held showerheads, grab rails and benches
  • Consider a walk-in tub
  • Use lever handles for doors and water controls
  • Invest in non-slip flooring
  • Enhance lighting
  • Install grab bars

Save Money with Energy-Saving Bathroom Upgrades

Having guests in your home may have brought an unwanted gift—higher utility bills! To save money and energy, remodel now to incorporate energy-saving features and you’ll have more money for presents next holiday season!

  • Choose Energy Star® fixtures
  • Introduce LED lighting and benefit from 75% greater energy efficiency
  • Use motion sensors and timers to turn lights on and off automatically
  • Install low-flow showerheads and toilets for water conservation and save 20-60%
  • Put in an Energy Star-certified bathroom ventilation fan and use up to 70% less energy
  • Consider a Delta WaterSense® faucet to reduce water usage by 20%
  • Install radiant floor heating
  • Switch to a tankless water heater, since water heaters are the 2nd-highest source of energy usage in a home

Upgrade and Reap the Benefits in More Ways than One

Did you know that the government even has funds available for green home improvement tax credits and rebates? Through the Inflation Reduction Act, benefits for homeowners come from solar panels, battery storage installation, geothermal heating, heat pumps, and weatherization items like energy-efficient doors and windows.

Remodel Your Bathroom with Luxury in Mind

Accessible Bathroom

Did you feel embarrassed by your outdated bathroom tile and fixtures while guests were in the house? Make this year the year you design that luxury bathroom you’ve only dreamed about and next holiday season you’ll be proud to share it with family and friends! Here are some luxury items that will provide lots of pleasure yet won’t necessarily break the bank.

  • Fully-customized cabinetry: take out the stock cabinets and design storage the way you want it with custom cabinets
  • Custom inserts and pullouts: designate specific usage or convenience features within cabinetry, like a pull-out for a hair drying station or curling iron that includes an electrical outlet
  • Floor-to-ceiling tile or slab wall coverings to create drama as well as add beautiful aesthetics
  • Wall-to-wall mirror
  • Makeup vanity and seating area
  • Custom lighting for grooming
  • Soaking tub
  • Curbless or double shower with multiple showerheads
  • Patterned glass shower doors

Northern Virginia Bathroom Remodeling by Schroeder Design Build

Years ago, bathrooms weren’t an important room in a home. Many homes even had only one bathroom for the entire family to use. Nowadays, bathrooms have taken on more importance, both for functionality and aesthetics. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to want to create a beautiful and spa-like primary bathroom, and to incorporate double sinks and larger tubs and showers in their secondary baths. Luckily, there’s even more than these five ways a bathroom remodel can help. A great remodeling company like Schroeder Design Build can create the bathroom of your dreams for you.

Since 1986, the family owned and operated Schroeder Design Build remodeled homes for more than 1,000 happy customers throughout Northern Virginia. Let us design and install the perfect bathroom or bathrooms for your home! Contact us today to schedule your complimentary design consultation at 703-449-1700.

What Fairfax County Millennials Want in their Home Remodel

What Fairfax County Millennials Want in their Home Remodel

What Fairfax County Millennials Want in their Home Remodel

The Millennial generation is one defined by people born between 1981 and 1996, who in 2022 are now between their late 20s and their early 40s. They are establishing their careers, starting families, and by now, are purchasing their first or second home.

Since home prices tend to be high in Northern Virginia, millennials may look to purchase “less-than-perfect” homes and remodel them to suit their needs. Or they may choose to add on to or change their current home to increase its usability. Overall, here’s what Fairfax County millennials want in their home remodel.

Smart Home Technology

Smart HomeWith choices in home automation, energy savings, safety and convenience factors, smart home technology in millennial home remodels is in high demand.

Broadband: Millennials are enjoying the flexibility of working from home and require strong broadband services to power their computers and devices. Incorporating smart home technology throughout the house lets them access the Internet from any room.

Energy Savings: Smart appliances, water heaters and HVAC systems are available with programmable features, or can actually learn your preferences and automatically create settings to match a family’s lifestyle. And they can be controlled from any device. Energy-efficient or self-tinting electrochromatic windows can also add to the home’s comfort. In addition to the ongoing cost and energy savings, rebates are often available for those appliances and systems bearing the Energy Star® designation.

Security: Knowing the family is safe is a big reason to install smart security systems during a home remodel. Choices range from wireless or wired systems to control cameras, lighting and monitoring features, with immediate notification when an issue arises. A video doorbell enables millennials to monitor the doorway and speak to visitors.

Read more about Smart Home Technology.

Large, Open Floor Plans

Open Floor Plan
Millennials are busy, and trying to manage a good home-life balance. Therefore, their preference tends toward larger, open spaces in their home remodel that can be flexible to their changing needs. Opening up walls or reconfiguring the main areas allow for a more functional traffic flow. And besides making a smaller home appear larger, large open floor plans can allow parents to keep an eye on young kids while preparing meals or engage with guests while entertaining.

Modern Kitchens

A Game-Changing Kitchen Remodel and Addition in Alexandria, VA Designed for Entertaining

Two millennial trends came out of the pandemic: cooking and eating at home, and the increased use of restaurant meal home delivery. Millennials spent more time in the kitchen than ever, and not just when preparing meals. Their kitchens were also used for remote learning and working from home. This made them rethink how their kitchen will be used in the future, and make design plans that accommodate those changing needs.

Some of the must-have features millennials want in their kitchen remodel include:

  • A central island, preferably with comfortable seating
  • Easy-to maintain countertops that look good while being durable. Granite and quartz are still the top choices.
  • Multiple, variable-height workstations that allow for multiple or multi-generational cooks
  • A walk-in pantry to store small appliances, canned and dry goods out of sight
  • Plenty of cabinet storage to avoid clutter and increase efficiency
  • Easily-accessible electrical outlets and charging stations
  • Upgraded high-quality, energy-efficient appliances like a sub-zero refrigerator, double wall ovens or stovetop grills
  • Amenities like a wine refrigerator, minibar, instant hot water or a coffee station
  • Pops of color in the paint, accessories or even the cookware
  • Streamlined design

Luxury Bathrooms


Bathrooms, to millennials, aren’t just functional. They are an important element to restorative and regenerative well-being; a retreat from the rest of the world. Yet adding luxury features to a bathroom doesn’t have to be expensive. Even the smallest changes can invoke style and elegance.

According to a National Association of Home Builders 2019 report, the top amenities millennials want include a double vanity (75%), an incorporated linen closet (73%), a whirlpool tub (70%) and a private toilet compartment (68%). Their most-wanted item was to have both a separate shower stall and tub in the primary bath (76%).

Other desired features in their bathroom remodel include:

  • A larger shower, with multiple shower heads, a body spray and massage jets
  • A soaking or jetted tub
  • Double sinks
  • Granite countertops
  • Additional storage
  • A separate water closet or toilet area, or dual toilets when space allows

Custom Spaces

Millennials have a lot of interests, and need spaces in their home to enjoy them. Having flexible-use or custom spaces can help accomplish that goal in their home remodel.

Hobbies, Crafts & Home Arts: Having a dedicated space for hobbies like papercrafts, sewing, painting or woodworking eliminates the need to pull out supplies every time creativity strikes.  Specially-designed built-in storage creates a “space for everything.”

Home Gyms: Millennials like to keep fit and often include workouts in their at-home routines. But having space for gym equipment can be tricky. They are choosing to outfit a basement, garage, attic or spare room as a dedicated home gym.

Outdoor Spaces: Entertaining and relaxing doesn’t just take place inside the home. Having a comfortable outdoor space is essential to millennials. Their preferences often include an outdoor kitchen and dining area, pool or hot tub. Another popular choice is an outdoor entertainment hub with a fire pit, lounge chairs and sound system.

Pet-Friendly Options

Dedicating a portion of a remodel towards a beloved pet’s needs is a priority for some millennial remodeling projects. Low-maintenance, pet-friendly flooring, pet feeding stations or a built-in pet bed help integrate pets into the family lifestyle. A pet-washing station in the laundry room with a hand-held hose makes shampooing and rinsing easier. Other accommodations include pet toy storage to keep floors clutter free, utility hooks to hang leashes, collars and other pet-related accessories, and pocket gates or doors to corral pets into a dedicated area. A millennial’s best friend needs their features too!

Convenient Laundry Room

Laundry room

Placing a laundry room near bedrooms eliminates the need to tote baskets up and down staircases or across the home. Millennials want ample storage for cleaning products and consideration on how to secure them away from young children.

Sustainable Design

great falls va home remodeling

Social consciousness and environmental concerns are top priorities for millennials. They’re interested in conservation and protection of our planet and can base their remodeling decisions around these causes. Things like solar energy, smart technology, water conservation, LED lighting, energy-efficiency, and ways to recycle and upcycle materials are high on their list.

Low Maintenance

Since work-life balance is important, millennials want time to enjoy life and don’t want to spend every weekend performing maintenance on their homes. They look for low-maintenance materials for their home remodel, like metal roofing, wood-like flooring and quartz countertops. Even if these items cost a little bit more up front, their durability and maintenance-free characteristics make them a good choice.

Overall Considerations Millennials Want in their Home Remodel

How Much Does a Custom Home Cost in Northern Virginia?Millennials are concerned with return on investment. They want to know that they are getting a good price and great quality, and that their remodel will hold up in the long run. And they are willing to pay for it, with payment programs and financing options. They’ll spend time researching costs online, and may visit retailers to look at options and pricing prior to contacting a remodeling firm. Likely, they’ll come to the table with some education on the process. One thing they may not know about, however, is home maintenance skills. Here, they’ll rely on the expertise of their contractor or remodeler.

The Millennials’ Choice for a Home Remodel is Schroeder Design/Build

Nobody understands the millennial lifestyle more than Andrew Schroeder, one of the owners of Schroeder Design/Build—who is a millennial himself. He was one of the youngest people ever to become a Master Certified Remodeler (MCR) and has years of experience working with first-time remodeling clients.

When you’re considering remodeling, talk to Andrew or anyone else at Schroeder Design/Build to discuss your ideas. Since 1986, we’ve provided more than 1,000 clients in Northern Virginia with an exceptional remodeling experience.

To get inspired, visit our project Portfolios and sign up for our Newsletter. And follow us on social media for upcoming remodeling seminars and industry news.

Contact Schroeder Design/Build today to begin your remodeling journey.

Tips to Remodeling for Multi-Generational Households

Tips to Remodeling for Multi-Generational Households

Tips to Remodeling for Multi-Generational Households

As the number of families living in multi-generational households in Northern Virginia continues to increase, homeowners are looking for ways to incorporate all age levels under the same roof. With advantages ranging from financial savings to care for elderly family members, multi-generational living might be right for you. Here are some tips to remodeling for multi-generational households to help you get started.

Reasons for the Rise in Multi-Generational Households

Pew Research Center report“Based on census data from 1971 to 2021, the number of households with two or more adult generations has quadrupled over the past five decades, and shows no sign of peaking,” a Pew Research Center report indicates. Now, 18% of U.S. households are multi-generational.

“By age, the highest share in this living arrangement is among young adults,” the report continues. As compared to prior generations, young adults today tend to stay in school longer, and postpone or forego marriage altogether. This delays them in creating their own households. “Among young adults ages 25 to 29, nearly 31% live in multigenerational households, often in their parents’ home.”

Here in Northern Virginia, the higher cost of living can be a factor in being able to afford a space of one’s own. Another reason for a rise in multi-generational households is the influx of Asian and Latin American immigrants who are more likely to live in multi-generational families, as is common in some cultures.

Benefits to Multi-Generational Living

As there are a number of reasons for multi-generational living, there are also a number of benefits:

  • Shared expenses. It costs more to run two households as opposed to one.
  • Shared homeowner responsibilities and divided chores. Assigning age-appropriate tasks enables each member to do their part in running the home based on their abilities.
  • Improved family safety. With a larger number of family members coming and going, the home is not left unoccupied for long. There are also people available to assist younger or older family members when needed.
  • Strengthening relationships. Research has proven a benefit to the grandparent/grandchildren bond. Older generations serve as a role model to younger ones and pass down family identity, and serve as a built-in emotional support system. Benefits to grandparents are that they are healthier and live longer when around their grandchildren.
  • Flexible home design offering more opportunities for privacy. With today’s home designs and remodeling options, areas for private space can go beyond a bedroom and bathroom.

Consider Every Generation’s Needs When Planning Your Remodel

Privacy is essential in making multi-generational households work. It is important for each member of the family to have their own private space, whether it be their own bedroom or a “zone” in a shared space where they can use the space for their own purposes. One option is to add pony walls or retractable walls to divide off private areas. Having a separate entrance also helps support privacy and independence for all family members.

Make Sure Each Age Group Has a Separate Bathroom

At different stages in our lives, we also have different bathroom needs. Young children generally require a bathtub and methods to access sinks and toilets. Middle generations often prefer an en suite bathroom with two sinks where they can smoothly prepare for work. Older generations may need Universal Design features like a roll-in shower, grab bars and wider doorways.

Ways to Create Additional Living & Sleeping Spaces

  • Build an Addition. Consider adding on to your home to create a second primary suite or an in-law suite. Your older family members or young adults would enjoy having their own space within the home. Another option is to create a separate accessory dwelling unit (“ADU”) on the property to house other generations. As an added bonus, in some jurisdictions, your ADU can be used as an income-generating property when no longer needed by the family.
  • Convert an Existing Space. Homeowners are converting unused space, such as attic, basement or garage areas, into separate living quarters. If space allows, repurpose an unused area. For example, a spare bedroom can be converted into a sitting room or en suite bathroom, or a dining room into an additional bedroom.

second-story-addition-Schroeder-Design-Build Basement remodel

Incorporate Universal Design Features in All Areas of the Home

Planning for Universal Design in your remodel helps all age level—from young to old, and those with disabilities or who are planning to age in place. Items to consider include:

  • Slip-resistant flooring
  • Eliminating steps, thresholds or barriers between rooms
  • Creating a walk-in shower
  • Widening interior doors and hallways
  • Switching out doorknobs for level handles
  • Brighter and task lighting

Create a Kitchen Suitable for All Ages

In addition to adding Universal Design features elsewhere in the home, look at ways to remodel your kitchen to make it suitable for all ages.

  • Customize countertop heights, and install them at different levels to accommodate varying heights. For young children or those in a wheelchair, lower countertops are appreciated.
  • Install roll-out shelving in lower cabinets. Young children can easily reach items, and older folks who have difficulty bending down can see and access items either from a standing positon or a wheelchair. Roundabout or Lazy Susan organizers are an additional way to put pantry items at your fingertips.
  • Include a pot-filler over the stove. This eliminates the need to transport a heavy pot from the sink to the stove, and vice versa.
  • Add a second sink to help with meal preparation and cleanup. A second dishwasher could also be useful.
  • Use induction cooktops to help prevent accidental burns.
  • Install touch-free faucets to help keep the kitchen area sanitary and germ free.
  • Create a family communication center where schedules, notes and appointments can be posted.
  • Increase shelf and storage space. Each generation has its own dietary needs and preferences, so create dedicated spaces for personal items, as well as a universal pantry for meal staples.
  • Consider an open concept floor plan that allows for more than one cook in the kitchen at a time. Cooking together as a family can help generate pass-down traditions as well as make meal preparation quicker.
  • Prepare a quick-grab snack area for lunch preparation and after-school/anytime bites.

smart homeAccommodate for Increased Utility Usage

In the excitement of planning your new space, one thing that can be overlooked is the increased draw on the electrical power and water supplies with extra family members in the home. Make sure your electrical panel can handle the extra load, and that your water heater is large enough to adequately provide hot water as needed. Look at your HVAC system as well, and consider adding features for zone controls. This way, different age groups can control the temperature for their own comfort in their private areas.

Remodel for Multi-Generational Households in Northern Virginia with Schroeder Design/Build

Since 1986, family owned and multi-generational Schroeder Design/Build has been providing more than 1,000 clients with award-winning design and construction services throughout Northern Virginia.

Our first step is to meet with you to discuss your vision for your multi-generational household. You’ll then work closely with our in-house designers, project managers and construction team to bring that vision to reality. Our collaborative approach and proven processes ensure an on-budget, on-time and exceptional remodeling experience.

For inspiration, sign up for our Newsletter and visit our project Portfolios. And don’t forget to follow us on social media.

Contact Schroeder Design/Build today to schedule your complimentary consultation.


Home Gym

8 Design Ideas for Creating Dedicated Spaces in Your Home

Due in part to the pandemic, the idea of creating dedicated spaces in your home has flourished. Families not only want separate areas in the home for privacy, they are desiring areas designed for one unique purpose, like a home office or gym. Now is your time to get creative! To get you started, here are eight of the most popular dedicated spaces design trends.

1) Home Fitness or CrossFit Gym

Home Gym
Staying in shape has always been a priority, and having a dedicated space for a home gym makes it all-so-more convenient to work out.

The first decision is where to place your home gym. Homeowners are finding creative ways to incorporate a home gym, using a spare bedroom, attic or basement areas, a garage, or even an outbuilding to house their equipment and workout space. 

Some of the requirements for a home gym can include electrical outlets (for electronic machines like a treadmill or Peleton bike), floor space for mats and stretching, durable flooring, cushioned floor mats for weights or noise dampening, wall mirrors, fans, mounted TV sets, and lighting (bright or mood lighting). Create areas for equipment storage, like cubbies or cabinets, and perhaps even install a small refrigerator for cooled drinks.

Read more in our blog post: How to Create a Fitness Garage Gym in Your Home.

2) Home Office

Woman working in Home office

Two years after the pandemic began, six out of ten workers state that their jobs can be done from home, and that when the coronavirus outbreak is over, 60% of workers would like to continue to work from home if they had a choice, according to a PEW Research Center study.  Another study by Global Workplace Analytics indicates that 22% of the US workforce will work remotely by 2025. This leads to a higher demand than ever for a home office. 

Begin by defining your needs. What size, atmosphere and utilization are needed? How many people will be working there? What electrical, furniture, and technology needs do you have? What location is best?  Having a dedicated space in your home allows you the privacy and controlled environment you need in a home office for concentration and online meetings, although temporary quarters can be arranged through room dividers, screens or hideaway storage options.

Things to consider include task and natural lighting, video conferencing technology, furniture placement, shelving and storage, and personal decorations. Don’t hesitate to make your home office a cozy area with a couch or comfortable chairs. After all, you’ll be spending a good part of your day there.

3) Art Studio

Children and adults alike get great pleasure from artistic endeavors, so why not create a dedicated space in your home for an art studio! For professional artists, it’s a must! Instead of working at the dining room table and having to clean up the mess every evening, plan a room where your inner artist can express itself freely. Most commonly, homeowners choose a spare bedroom, attic, basement, or shed for their art studio, but creative spaces can be found under stairs, in a corner, or even on the screened-in porch or patio.

Your workspace should be able to incorporate a drawing table, desk or easel, chairs, storage for art supplies, and plenty of natural light. Add task or bright lighting for evening sessions. Ventilation is also crucial, especially if you are working with chemicals, paints, glues or other potentially harmful mediums. Open windows and use a fan or vent to provide fresh air. Easy-to-clean flooring and a utility sink are also helpful.

4) Media/Game Room

Basement for entertaining

Having a dedicated media or game room space for the family to gather and entertain is a great design idea. Depending upon the size of your space, your options can range from a full in-home theatre or pool room and bar to a cozy area with comfortable couches, large screen TV, WiFi and surround sound. Tie in an entertainment system with your game room to create a dual-use room. Add a mini fridge or a mini kitchen for snacks and drinks, and incorporate fun, themed décor. Install dimmable, task or perimeter lighting, and shades for blacking out windows in a theatre space. For a media room, avoid glossy walls that can reflect light.

5) Wine Cellar

If you’re a wine connoisseur, your home probably has an area you can use as a dedicated space for a wine cellar. In just 30 square feet, you can store a collection of up to 250 bottles!

Basements are perfect, since they are cooler and away from light. However, you’ll need to create a controlled environment. Your wine cellar should maintain a constant temperature of around 55 degrees F, and humidity control is crucial. The ideal humidity level is 57%. Go higher and mold can grow in the cork; go lower and the cork can dry out. A 6-millimeter poly moisture barrier should be installed outside the framed walls, with insulation to the inside, finished with a mold- and mildew-resistant drywall.

6) Home Library

Home Library

Love to read? Designing a home library doesn’t mean you need an entire room. You can easily create a library area that goes beyond just book storage in any room. Install beautifully-milled bookcases along a blank wall, with comfortable seating either built in or nearby. But don’t just load the shelves with books; break up the monotony by leaving space for mementos from your travels, artwork and decorative pieces. Natural light adds to the ambiance of a home library and makes it easy to read for both work and pleasure.

Most often, homeowners create their home library in the living room or family room. We’ve also seen them in the kitchen, bedrooms, and even a bathroom! Showcase your books by color, subject matter, or a filing system.

7) Play Room

Give the kids a dedicated space of their own with a perfect playroom. This is an area where your imagination can go wild! For younger children, design a castle setting for make-believe or a play kitchen for budding chefs, for example. For older children, create zones for entertainment, relaxing and play, like a quiet reading nook or an art table. Choose a focal point to the room and don’t be afraid to use color.

Safety is a concern in a home play room. Plan built-in furniture, and securely attach bookcases and shelving to the walls to avoid accidents with active children. Add appropriate lighting for reading, play and gaming. Be clever with storage, going back to the zones where activities will take place.

8) Flex Room

If you have a number of interests, consider creating a space in your home that can accommodate multiple uses—a bonus room or flex room. This way you can use it for whatever you want! 

A flex room can be adapted into your existing home, or added on with an addition or outbuilding, and can quickly convert from a playroom to a home office to a guest room for visiting relatives in a flash. Turn a spare bedroom into a multipurpose room with the addition of a desk and Murphy bed. Transform an unused dining room into a multi-media/entertainment room. You can even re-imagine small space like a nook into a study area or mini bar—adding multiple uses to a single room.


When it Comes to Creating Dedicated Spaces in Your Northern Virginia Home, Trust the Creative Expertise at Schroeder Design/Build

At Schroeder Design/Build, we’re a true design-build remodeling firm and employ in-house creative designers and architects who can bring your vision to life. You’ll conveniently work with one firm from design through construction—and love the result and the experience along the way.

We’re not afraid to be creative! What do you have in mind for your new dedicated space? Contact us for a free initial consultation to learn how you can transform your house into a home you love.

Sign up for our newsletter for more design and remodeling trends.

Woman doing yoga poses

Incorporating Wellness Design into Your Home

Woman doing yoga poses

People are interested in becoming healthier, and not just with their physical fitness and diets. They are looking to incorporate wellness features into their homes.

You may think that because your home is clean that it is healthy. Surprisingly, it may not be. For example, did you know that the air inside your home can be 5 times more polluted than the air outside? Wellness goes beyond clean. It incorporates features that promote, encourage and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

The holistic aspects of wellness in a home focus on air quality, water quality, lighting, pollutants, natural surroundings, healthy eating, physical fitness and habits.

Self Care and Wellness are Huge Industries

hand weights, sneakers, water

Results from a McKinsey & Company 2021 survey indicates that consumers “care deeply about wellness—and that their interest is growing.” Consumers in every market researched reported “a substantial increase in the prioritization of wellness over the past two to three years.” Estimates now put the global wellness market at more than $1.5 trillion, with an annual growth of five to 10 percent, the report states.

Dollars allocated for wellness are also increasing. According to Second Nature, Americans spend an average of $159 per month on self-care activities including gym memberships, leisure activities, massages, and talk therapy. Millennials spend the most, at approximately $265 a month, followed by Gen Z at around $169 a month.

Today’s wellness focuses on six areas: better health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep and mindfulness.

  • Health. An increased focus on personal health includes medical devices, telemedicine, remote healthcare services, and personal healthcare trackers beyond medicines and supplements.
  • Fitness. Overall health and exercise, even when you can’t go to the gym. Online home workouts like Peloton saw huge growth in the past year.
  • Nutrition. More attention to the types and tastes of foods, with natural ingredients and locally-sourced foods becoming more important, along with things like juice cleanses, nutrition apps and subscription food services.
  • Appearance. Skincare, beauty products and non-surgical aesthetic procedures saw an increase, along with apparel dedicated to wellness.
  • Sleep. Sleep-enhancing products like blackout curtains and app-enabled sleep trackers are popular.
  • Mindfulness. This fastest-growing field includes meditation apps and offerings to help calm mental distress.

Building Wellness into Your Home Remodeling Project

When making decisions for your remodeling project, here are some ideas on how to build wellness features into your home.

Design Wellness into Your Kitchen


Manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon to create wellness products and features for everyday living. Look for voice- and touch-activated devices, anti-bacterial surfaces, and ergonomically-efficient options when remodeling your kitchen. Here are some features that are growing in popularity:

  • Natural Materials. Tie in nature with your everyday living. Select materials normally found in nature, like stone and wood.
  • Hands-free faucet. Reduces bacteria buildup on the faucet. Incorporate a motion sensor or voice-activated faucet to conserve water.
  • Glass-door refrigerators. Enables you to see the healthy fruits and vegetables, and encourages you to choose them over other items. It also reduces food waste and energy consumption from constantly opening the refrigerator door.
  • Powerful range hood. Removes steam, odors and impurities from cooking.
  • Ergonomic features. Prevent unnecessary bending and lifting with ergonomic features like a ComfortLift dishwasher that swings the bottom rack up to the top rack’s level for loading and unloading, or slide-out cabinet shelving.

Design Wellness into Your Bathroom

Rainhead showerHomeowners are incorporating more “spa-like” features when remodeling their bathrooms, and not just for the luxury factor. The spa concept helps to enhance personal care programs leading to better health and wellness. Once thought of as simply a place to get clean and groom, today the focus is on hygiene, relaxation and safety. Wellness items to incorporate into a bathroom remodel today can include:

  • Improved lighting to more natural light and night lights
  • Anti-bacterial materials and fixtures
  • Exhaust systems
  • Safety bars
  • Sanctuary features such as a waterfall or fireplace
  • Hydrotherapy with color, sound and scent, directional and targeted jets
  • Comfort features like heated or self-lowering toilet seats
  • A separate water closet
  • Hands-free faucets and flushing
  • Health monitoring devices

Air Quality

air purifierDid you know that the average person spends 90% of their time indoors, with most of that time spent in the home? Improvement to your air quality can lead to improvements in your physical and mental health. Ways to increase your indoor air quality include:

  • Fresh air. Today’s homes are built more air-tight than ever, which can cause the same air to recirculate. Ensure there is proper ventilation to allow the house to breathe, and open the windows to allow fresh air to enter.
  • Air purification. Cleansing your home’s air helps to remove pollutants that can cause allergies and asthma, and enable better sleep, which can reduce stress. Both a whole-home air purification system and room air purifiers can have a positive effect on your air quality.
  • Humidity: Wellness also hinges on proper humidity levels. Your home should maintain a humidity level of between 30% and 60% year-round.

Water Quality

filtered waterMedical professionals claim that drinking water is the best way to hydration, it is natural, easily available, and free from sugars and additives found in many purchased beverages. And water makes up about 60% of our body composition, so it is an important element to overall wellness. While many people turn to bottled water, that choice can be expensive, and the bottled water industry is loosely regulated. You don’t know if the quality of the water you’re purchasing is the best. To improve your home’s water quality, look at these options:

  • Water pipes: Older water pipes can contain lead or corrosion. Testing water can determine your existing water quality.
  • Home water filtration: Consider adding water filtration systems to faucets, or filtering water through a portable system like a Brita pitcher. These devices can eliminate contaminants, minerals and heavy metals. Single-stage filtering systems, like those provided by Kohler in some faucet models, can remove even more containments. A reverse osmosis filtration system, like the GE Smart Water System, is the most effective and can filter out 99% of contaminants. Adding a filter to water-using appliances can also increase their longevity. 
  • Home water purification: Water is filtered through screens to catch larger particles and debris, then filtered through other filters like biological and sand filters to remove smaller contaminants, bacteria and algae. This system differs from a home water filtration system and is generally used in areas with high levels of water contaminants like radon or lead for safety reasons.

Improved Habits

shoe mattYour habits matter too. By removing your shoes at the door, you can help prevent from bringing dirt, pollen, toxins, pesticides, E. coli, and even feces into your home.


Ready to Add Wellness to Your Home?
Talk to Schroeder Design/Build.

As leaders in project management efficiency and design-build remodeling, Schroeder Design/Build can help you incorporate wellness elements throughout your home. You’ll work with our in-house architectural and design teams to effectively create a healthy environment that will sustain your family for years to come.

If you’re considering remodeling in Northern Virginia, contact Schroeder Design/Build for your free initial consultation.

remodeling roller coaster

The Remodeling Emotional Roller Coaster

At the beginning of your remodeling project, there is elation. You are excited to have made the decision to remodel, have chosen your remodeler, and the process is underway. Congratulations, you have just boarded the remodeling emotional roller coaster.

Strap yourself in because as with an amusement park ride there are going to be climbs and dips throughout the process. See the typical remodeling roller coaster graphic below.

remodeling roller coaster

There are moments of joy when you start to see the demolition, or when you make the design decisions, followed by periods of anticipation, fatigue and anxiety. Relax, it’s natural…and expected. The process can seem long and tedious, especially when your normal lifestyle is interrupted for extended period. Just remember, it’s worth it in the end.

The stages of construction you’ll experience include:
  1. Pre-construction where you and our team design the project and agree on pricing
  2. Demolition, where the existing structure is demolished and the new structure’s framing begins to take form
  3. Installation of systems like plumbing and electrical
  4. Drywall, where walls are erected and finished, along with inspections to ensure that your project is up to code
  5. Finishing, when items like cabinetry, flooring, lighting are installed and painting is completed
  6. Punch list, where you and we look for last-minute items to touch up
  7. Project completion!

Related: Effective Communication: Key to a Successful Remodeling Process

The Highs and Lows Along the Remodeling Roller Coaster

Decision Making

You’ll be expected to make lots of decisions throughout the remodeling process. For some this is easy, but others may struggle with the overwhelming number of choices. That’s why we have in-house architecture and design teams. You’ll collaborate closely with your designer who will help you make these decisions. This is one of the fun parts of your project!


It’s a hassle to clear out of the space you’re remodeling, and there will be workers in your space throughout the day and the noise of construction. But we’ll do everything we can to try to prevent too much disruption. To curtail dust and debris, we’ll hang temporary walls of plastic sheeting around the areas we’re working in. And we’ll clean up the jobsite daily.

Unforeseen Issues

We never know what lies behind the walls or beneath the floors until we open up the project. There are times we find code violations, health issues like mold, or structural deficiencies. These must be remedied before we can continue, and they may add to the cost of your job. If such a problem is discovered, you will be presented with the issue and the evidence. Then we’ll need to create a change order where all parties agree to add this new element of construction into your contract. This can be one of the low points in the remodeling emotional roller coaster.


Delays are inevitable, especially with delivery impacts due to the recent pandemic. Cabinets, appliances and other items have been delayed by several weeks. If the chosen items cannot be acquired, your production manager and design team will help you to make alternate selections that are more readily available. Open communication is key.

Project Completion

Once your project is complete, you get to move back in the enjoy your beautiful new space, and show it off to your family, friends and neighbors. We’ll schedule a formal walk-through to review the work to your satisfaction. If there are minor issues to be addressed, we’ll get right out there to fix them. Otherwise, we’ll check back in six months as a follow-up to tweak anything else you may have noticed.


We hope that you’ll be SO excited about your project and your journey with Schroeder Design/Build that you’ll leave us a five-star review! Your review helps to encourage others to remodel their own home, and we always love hearing great feedback!

For Northern Virginia Remodeling, Contact Schroeder Design/Build

Let us help you enjoy the ride along the remodeling roller coaster. Considering remodeling with an addition, kitchen renovation, or a whole house makeover. Contact us for a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation to get started.

Schroeder Design/Build is a family owned and operated remodeling company serving Northern Virginia since 1986.

What is the Right Roof for Your Home?

When remodeling your home with an addition, second floor bump-up or whole-house remodel, one of the decisions you have to make is on the type of roofing material. Considerations include matching the existing roof, style, color, materials, durability, and weather conditions. So what is the right roof for your home?


Questions to consider include:

  • Do I want to match my existing roof or get a new roof altogether?
  • Will I stay in my house for a long time?
  • What is allowed or not allowed by my homeowner’s association?
  • What is my roofing budget?
  • What color roof works for my home?

Roofing Types

Asphalt Shingle Roof

An asphalt shingle roof is the most common choice, covering more than 80% of homes in our area. It is attractive, comes in various colors, and is easy to install. You can expect your asphalt shingle roof to last approximately 20-30 years.

Wood Shingle or Cedar Shake Roof

Wood roofs can be attractive and can last about 30-40 years, but they must be maintained regularly to avoid mold, mildew, moss or debris from building up and damaging the shingles.

Related: How long do roofs last?

Metal Roof

There is a certain old-fashioned charm accompanying a metal roof, and benefits that include reflective qualities of heat and UV rays that can result in lower cooling and heating costs. Modern metal roofing can be styled to resemble other types of roofing, like slate, tile or shingles and can last up to 50 years. Being lightweight and malleable, it is a right roof choice for homes with a steep pitch or intricate angles. It is also recyclable, making it an environmentally-friendly option.

Tile Roof

If you have a Mediterranean or Spanish-styled home, it was likely designed with a tile roof to give it that European influence. Tile can be the right roof choice if you are looking for durability and longevity. A tile roof can last up to 100 years! Keep in mind that a home or an addition must be constructed properly to support the extra weight of the tile.

Slate Roof

If you really want to make a statement, a slate roof may be the right roof option. It is one of the longest-lasting roof types—up to 150 years! However, it is expensive and difficult to install. You will need to find a qualified installer, especially if your roof has unique angles or a steep pitch. A slate roof is also heavy and will require the correct support in the remodeling construction.

Think about the Right Roof When Remodeling, with Help from Schroeder Design/Build

Most people think about the interior of their home when they consider remodeling. But there are outside selections to make too—like your roofing materials. The right roof is the one that serves your needs for aesthetics, longevity and budget.

Our design team here at Schroeder Design/Build will help you make decisions like “What is the right roof for my home?” When you’re considering remodeling your home or business in Northern Virginia, contact us at 703-449-1700 to schedule a free consultation.