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.


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.


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.


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.


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.
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

Six Adaptable Ways to Live in Your House During Your Remodel

There’s no doubt that remodeling can disrupt the household…no matter what size the remodel. If moving out isn’t a necessity or an option during your remodel, there are manageable ways to mitigate the impact the remodel can have on your family. Consider these six methods:


Plan Ahead

Work with your design/build remodeler to develop a strategic plan. There are lots of little details and decisions, so open and honest communication is definitely the key to making it all come together. Knowing what to expect is also part of the planning process. Since your remodeler has worked in clients’ homes hundreds (if not more) times, they have helpful hints to managing the coordination. Let them help you plan alternative strategies to using your family rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen during the remodeling process.

Create New Storage/Access Areas

You will likely need to remove everything from spaces that are being remodeled, but you may still need the items stored in those rooms…like kitchen appliances, food, entertainment or bathroom supplies. Allocate temporary areas in your home where these items can be safely stored yet still accessible when needed. This can be a great time to get rid of or donate items you no longer need or use.

Related: Live In or Move Out: The Remodeling Dilemma

Designate Living Spaces

Clearly identify the spaces where you will be functioning during your remodel. Set up a family and entertainment area away from the remodeling area and don’t be afraid to use rooms not traditionally set up for these purposes. Make a spare bedroom a kitchen/dining space with a microwave oven and table, for example. Remember, it’s temporary—and it can be fun to try something new.

Think about noise and dust. You may want to relocate beds to quieter walls or other rooms, or have kids bunk in together to save space.

Consider Pets, Kids and Older Family Members

While the change in your lifestyle may be easier for you, it may be stressful for your family pets, children or older members of your family. Set up access points for remodeling workers that isolate them from the rest of the home. Create play areas for kids and stock them with toys, games and electronics. Have a quiet sitting area for elderly members. Erect barriers to protect pets.

Kitchen Renovation Strategies

Since your home has only one kitchen, remodeling this area may be the biggest disruption to your family’s lifestyle. Plan ahead by filling the temporary pantry with items that don’t require extensive cooking, or with nonperishable foods. Stock up on disposable plates, utensils and cups. Purchase or borrow cooking equipment like a mini fridge, hot plate, microwave, or electric skillet to help prepare meals. Or indulge yourself with take-out meals as part of the adventure. If the weather’s nice enough, use the outdoor areas as your grilling and eating areas.

Bathroom Renovation Strategies

Other than the kitchen, temporarily losing one or more bathrooms to remodeling can create the most disruption. Address this by scheduling one bathroom renovation at a time if possible. Create areas outside the bathroom where functions like hair drying and styling or makeup application can be done. Give each family member a tote or caddy where their personal items can be consolidated and transported easily. Set up shower schedules to help everyone get ready in the morning. Shower at the gym.

Minimal Disruption During Your Remodel

Your design/build remodeler understands that your lifestyle will not be the same during your remodel and will do their part by trying to contain the noise, dust and disruption as much as possible. Expect vinyl barriers and safety protocols that help protect both you and the workers.

It’s Worth It

Remember that all throughout the noise, dust, endless stream of workers and decisions of your remodel that the end product is worth it. It’s merely an uncomfortable and inconvenient process to the desired result that does have a thrilling conclusion. Kind of like childbirth! Use this time to make the transitional changes fun.

Northern Virginia Remodeling by Schroeder Design/Build

In 2021, Schroeder Design/Build reached the milestone of serving our 1000th client and would love to work with you to remodel the home of your dreams. We thrive on open and honest communication and will do our best to help you maneuver through your remodeling project as easily as possible. Talk to us about remodeling your home. We promise you’ll love the result.



Results from the 2021 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study

The two most important rooms in your home would probably be the kitchen and the bathroom. Am I right?  We read a lot about what’s important in a kitchen remodel, but not a lot about the bathrooms, so we pulled the latest takeaways from the 2021 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study to pass along to you.


Bathroom Pet Peeves

One of the biggest reasons people choose to remodel their bathrooms is frustration with its current style or function. They “can’t stand the old bathroom,” the Bathroom Trends Study reports. Most annoying was an old and outdated space, followed by insufficient storage.


Addressing Special Needs

Aging in place is a big issue when remodeling a bathroom, and homeowners are looking to make those changes now for their future. More than 25% of homeowners claim this as a big reason to remodel.

Color Preferences

Remember the harvest gold or baby blue bathroom trends of years gone past? Those color choices have been replaced by homeowners choosing a white palette for their bathroom remodels. White was the top color choice for vanities, countertops, shower walls and non-shower walls due to its sense of cleanliness. It also enhances light, giving the bathroom an airy feel–especially important when the bathroom is small.


Making Major Bathroom Remodeling Changes

Bathroom trends show that the majority of homeowners chose to keep the same basic footprint when remodeling their bathroom (77%) since enlarging a bathroom would add significant cost or wasn’t really feasible within the home’s layout. Commonly, most bathrooms are smaller than 100 square feet, with an additional 36% coming in at 100-199 square feet. Only 21% of homeowners have a bathroom sized 200 or more square feet.

The most common changes are reconfiguring the layout (42%), including relocating the shower and modifying existing walls.

Bathroom Tub Trends

Surprisingly, 1 in 4 homeowners are removing the bathtub during their bathroom remodel, although the majority choose to keep the existing tub or upgrade to a newer model. The most popular bathtub style are the freestanding acrylic soaking tubs, followed by alcove tubs, like the common shower/tub combination, which are rising in popularity–up from 22% in 2020 to 26% in 2021.



About the 2021 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study

This study gathered information from just under 3,000 Houzz users who were homeowners ages 18 or older who had completed a master bathroom remodel or addition in the past 12 months, were currently working on one, or were planning the remodel in the next three months. The survey took place between July 21 and July 27, 2021. Read the original study here.


View our Bathrooms Portfolio for inspiration on remodeling your master bathroom!

Choose Schroeder Design/Build for Northern Virginia Remodeling

Whether you want to follow the latest bathroom trends or choose your own style, Schroeder Design/Build can help. We have a team of architects and designers to help you bring your dream bathroom to reality. Contact us at info@SchroederDesignBuild.com, or give us a call at 703-449-1700. We’ll be glad to discuss your project and answer any questions you may have on remodeling your master or hall bathrooms, or any remodeling project. We work with homeowners in the Northern Virginia region.