Sunken Tub, Elevated Design

It’s always exciting for us at Schrader and Company when we are given the opportunity to design and execute something truly unique for our clients. We love to challenge the depth and breadth of our collective craftsmanship, and this Project Spotlight afforded us just such an occasion.

This particular home was designed and built by our client’s father many years ago–a special circumstance in and of itself. When it came time to remodel the bathroom, the goal was to update all of the space’s functional and design aspects while paying respect to one very distinct original feature, the sunken tub.

Our mission was to modernize and reshape that sunken tiled tub while providing our client with a bathroom fit for a five star hotel. To accomplish this feat, we started completely fresh and all of the contents were removed down to the framing. The tub area was reframed to accomplish the client’s desired shape and size. We designed, fabricated and installed a custom vanity, built-in mirror, lighting soffit and two linen tower cabinets all with a white finish and pewter glaze. On top of the stunning cabinetry is a natural stone vanity top with two rectangular, undermount sinks.

A significant design feature of this bathroom is the mesmerizing movement and fluidity of the floor and wall tile. Surrounding the distinctive tub is a frameless rolling shower enclosure that enhances the stunning appeal of the tub and bathroom. Finally, using a darker color paint on the ceiling adds to this bathroom’s serious “wow” factor.

The total effect of all of these thoughtful changes is one of sleek, luxurious elegance. This bathroom would not be out of place in any design magazine.

This was a truly rewarding renovation project that exceeded our client’s hopes and expectations. They love their distinctive, beautiful, modern bathroom and we loved working with them to create it.

It’s a “before and after” transformation we never get tired of looking at, and we think you’ll agree!

  • Before

 

Project Spotlight: New Construction

Project Spotlight: new construction

Since 1973, Schrader and Company, Inc. has distinguished itself as the remodeling company to trust in the capital region. In projects both big and small, they have earned a reputation for quality of craftsmanship, professionalism and customer care. And while remodeling and renovation will always remain at the core of the company’s services, new construction is an exciting new venture for both employees and clients.

Our Design/Build model allows Schrader and Co. to partner with the best architects in the business to conceptualize and then create our clients’ complete dream homes. Our team of experienced professionals guide homeowners through every part of the process, helping them to make selections that will result in a house specifically designed for their family’s needs. We remain in a managerial role throughout a new build project, while also subcontracting out to our respected trade colleagues, which allows us to keep competitive with costs specific to this industry. Because new construction can be so minutely tailored to a homeowner’s needs and wants, the end result can vary from large and grandiose to a more budget-conscious downsized domicile.

An excellent example of Schrader and Company’s new construction success is this stunning home, designed to be the forever residence of a local couple. The clients were originally interested in working with Schrader and Co. on an extensive renovation to their home, with the goal of creating first floor living spaces that would allow the owners to age in place. But when the idea of a new custom home was brought to the table, with a location just a few hundred feet from their current house, it became clear that a fresh start would best suit their needs.

Local architecture firm Architex was brought on to the project, headed by owner and principal architect Tim Gallagher. Tim and his team brought their extensive experience and consummate knowledge to the table.“When we enter into a Design/Build agreement with a client, we form one cohesive team with the clients and with the architect. Tim is so wonderful to work with because he knows the right questions to ask of a homeowner to understand their needs,” says Ben Cangeleri. “ Tim and his team are talented, flexible, and can turn initial ideas into a beautiful, functional design.”

New home construction - outside view
New Home Construction - outside view
New home construction - Office Space

The clients also play an important role in any project, and their involvement here contributed greatly to the successful end result.

“These clients were excellent at communicating their needs and hopes for this home. They were great at making decisions and giving clear feedback. With careful scheduling and planning, the project unfolded incredibly smoothly,” says Ben.

Through this kind of intimate collaborative process, great creative strides are made. The home boasts many unique touches that illustrate just how far a new custom home can be from a cookie-cutter model. The mantel in the living room was once a beam from the owner’s grandfather’s barn, bringing a sense of history to a fresh space. The bar countertops are done in Ohio State University colors, in deference to the owners’ pride in their alma mater. And special accommodations were made for the way the clients wished to live in their home, with rooms being designed to work with a pool table, and Christmas tree.

New home construction - Custom Kitchen
New home construction - Den with bar
New home construction - Living room with custom fireplace mantle

The homeowners are absolutely thrilled with the results of the process, and have become dear friends and member of the extended Schrader and Co. “family”. They recently expressed how much they were looking forwarding to hosting holiday celebrations this year.

“That’s a huge testament to how well the house is working for them and their needs, and that gives all of us involved tremendous satisfaction,” says Ben.

Honoring the Architect While Upgrading the Home

We have had rewarding opportunities over the years to work in homes that have famous or historic footprints, and in this Project Spotlight we’ll delve into what it involves to respect the original vision of a noted architect while updating a home to suit the current owners’ needs and wants.

Before

The scope of work for this project involved renovating the original 1950 kitchen in a home that was designed by renowned Massachusetts based architect, Royal Barry Wills. The owners hold Wills’ architectural design and sense of proportion in high regard so it was critically important to maintain both in the kitchen renovation.

The original kitchen consisted of site-built, birch plywood cabinets with laminate countertops, neither of which were deserving of such a beautiful home. The windows in the kitchen were original and although they were lovely in their proportions, they were single pane glass, and not energy efficient. These shortcomings, and their desire to finally have a kitchen that they could be proud of, inspired the owners to contact the professionals at Schrader and Company.

These single pane glass windows were not very energy efficient

All of the work the owners had completed to date since purchasing the property was done with respect to the original architecture of the home. The clients made it clear that whatever was done during the design and planning process, it should not veer too far from the spirit of Wills’ design.

The new windows installed during the renovation are the perfect example of the delicate balance that was struck. The new windows are a combination of custom, cottage style, double hungs and a custom, triple casement unit at the kitchen sink. All are completely made of wood (inside and out) and have simulated divided lite muntins with spacer bars between the insulated glass.

Upon closer inspection of the original double hung windows, it was discovered that the size of the individual panes of glass differed slightly in size as they progressed upward from the bottom sash rail at the sill area, up to the check rail between the top and bottom sash. When the owners were made aware of this, they determined that if it was an important enough detail to Royal Barry Wills, it must be important. Therefore, they asked to have this detail replicated in the fabrication of the new windows, and it was done.

The custom stained glass is showcased within custom cabinetry

The owner’s had been given a custom, stained glass panel as a wedding gift many years ago. It had been stored away in a plywood box and never been enjoyed by them. As part of the Schrader custom cabinetry work, they hoped to find a place in the kitchen where this prized glass panel could finally be displayed. Cabinetry designer Robert Page was successful in building it into the custom hutch cabinet. And illuminating it from behind with LED lighting finally gave this piece the place of prominence it deserved.

In addition to the above improvements, the new kitchen boasts cherry cabinetry, wainscoting and millwork fabricated in our cabinet shop, and beautiful black granite countertops with a honed finish that fit the style and character of the home perfectly. The black slate flooring in the kitchen (and the adjacent mudroom) compliment the countertops beautifully. The tile flooring in the kitchen also features a tile warming system. A flush, ceiling-mounted cooking ventilation system provides an unobstructed view. This system has the blower unit mounted in the attic space above to cut down on noise and also features LED lighting directly over the range surface.

Updating the home in these ways yielded huge benefits in energy efficiency, via the installation of the new windows along with new wall and ceiling insulation. Prior to this remodel the function of the original site-built cabinetry was poor. The new cabinetry was outfitted with full extension roll-outs, drawers, and many other custom accessories. The former kitchen did not have a sufficient cooking ventilation system so the installation of the new ceiling mounted unit was a vast improvement in removing cooking odors.

Honoring Royal Barry Wills’ original plan for the home while simultaneously providing the homeowners with the comforts and efficiencies of modern living was the true challenge of this particular job, and project planner Brian Taber feels that test was passed with great success.

“The clients wanted to preserve the feel of the home as was intended by the architect, and their good, clear communication of that goal to us coupled with careful planning and inventive design has resulted in a luxurious kitchen filled with modern amenities that fits seamlessly into a turn of the century home. The clients love it and we loved working on it with them.”

Stairway to Heaven

Sometimes it’s necessary to think outside of the box to achieve the best possible results.

Such was this case in this “Project Spotlight”, where in order to renovate a kitchen, dining area and bathroom, an existing basement staircase had to be relocated.

The homeowner had a few specific goals for their space. She wanted a larger kitchen, a stronger connection between the kitchen and dining room, an updated bathroom, and to dramatically improve the overall flow of the home’s first floor.

This was clearly a complex design challenge, but one that the Schrader team saw as an intriguing and fun opportunity. Creative thinking on the part of the project planner identified the basement staircase as being the key to the whole project. By re-locating them, the other design elements fell into place.

 

The relocation of the stairs made it possible to maximize kitchen space and install an island. Removal of a wall between the dining room and the kitchen also opened up the flow between those two rooms, and helped to create a more open first floor feel, just as the homeowner wished.

This renovation called for a complete reconfiguration of the space, and it takes creative planning and thinking to be able to see the possibilities, and a skilled team to execute them.

“The client was fantastic,” says Schrader and Company President Ben Cangeleri. “She had a high level of trust in our team, and was thrilled with the final outcome. That’s always our end goal, and there can be no higher satisfaction for us as professionals than to know we’ve left a customer happier in their home.”

A Stunning Kitchen Renovation for Avid Home Cooks

No matter the skill-level of the cooks who inhabit it, the kitchen tends to be one of the most used and most enjoyed rooms of any house. Quite literally the hearth of the home, the kitchen often becomes the setting for holiday memories, the place where guests and hosts converge as special dinners are prepared, and the room where the business of family life is conducted.

When one is a serious home cook, as is the case for the homeowners in this Project Spotlight, the importance of the kitchen grows exponentially. A cohesion of careful planning and smart design resulted in this stunning renovation, which gave the clients a beautiful, efficient and spacious kitchen in which to enjoy their passion for cooking and entertaining.

The original kitchen was a large space, but the homeowners wanted better functionality, a more efficient cooking ventilation system, and improved lighting.

To accomplish the goal of letting in more light, the existing mulled double hung windows at the sink were removed, a new larger opening was framed, a plumbing vent was repositioned, and a new Springline fixed window unit with two flanking casements window (which open for venting) were installed alongside it. The existing six foot wide patio door was also removed, the opening reframed, and a new eight foot wide sliding patio door was installed.

Another design goal was to cordon off the mudroom/laundry area from the kitchen proper. This was accomplished with a pocket door wall between the two areas with a full light, decorative glass door.

Cabinets are the cornerstone of any kitchen, and this project called for extensive custom cabinetry, made under the direction of Robert Page in the Schrader and Company Cabinetmaking Shop. To make the most of the ample space and take advantage of the existing nine foot ceilings, the drywall soffits were removed which allowed the new upper cabinetry to extend to within six inches of the ceiling. The cabinets were then trimmed out with an attractive cherry cove moulding. Outlets were mounted in strips underneath the upper cabinets. They provide for an undisturbed tile backsplash and a much cleaner look, and allow for complete convenience when using any electronic device or appliance.

The cabinets offered another opportunity to meet the client's’ desire for better light in the kitchen. Undercabinet LED lighting was installed, and all of the upper, glass door cabinets are illuminated with LED lighting.

The homeowners had also expressed a need for better ventilation. A low-profile, ceiling mounted system made by Best was installed above the new kitchen island, and with careful trimming and framing, it blends seamlessly into the ceiling.

In addition to the storage provided by the cabinetry, a large two-tiered island was constructed. Other major changes to the space included new wood flooring and new large-format tile backsplash, as well as the installation of top of the line appliances.

Project Planner Brian Taber speaks for much of the Schrader staff as he recalls this renovation being particularly beautiful and luxurious.

“We were able to give these clients what they wanted and needed as serious home cooks. I know they are enjoying and relishing in this space every single day, and that gives us tremendous satisfaction.”

A Spa-Like Bathroom with Custom Details

In this “Project Spotlight” we go behind the scenes of a bathroom renovation that not only enlarged the space for the homeowners, but brought great opportunity for collaboration and custom design.

This second floor full bathroom was separated into two compartments by a pocket door, and accessible from both the master bedroom and the hallway. In order to enlarge the usable space, the pocket door was removed, and both plumbing and windows were relocated. Moving the toilet and removing an existing vertical window in favor of the new window located in the shower opened up the space considerably.

With those larger elements relocated, Project Planner Brian Taber set to work on a collaborative design process with the homeowners, which was a positive experience.

“These are long time clients with whom we’ve developed a real rapport and trust over the years. They are detail-oriented and come to the process with great ideas. Working with them is always a pleasure.”

Cabinet Designer and Shop Production Manager Robert Page created the new custom vanity with undermount sink, which sees to the client’s’ storage and convenience needs. And the rest of bathroom elements, masterfully crafted by Project Manager Jeremiah Mills, came together in a meeting of rectilinear, modern style and spa-level luxury.

The custom shower features a hinged glass door which swings in both directions, a rain shower head located in the the ceiling, stacked porcelain tile, and a new fiberglass window in the shower with a specialty stone sill, all resistant to rot, which can open to let in fresh air. It also features a recessed niche and a seat.

The overall effect is one of streamlined elegance–clean, modern, and efficient.

“The clients were thrilled with the end result, and we are about to begin our next renovation with them,” says Brian. “That’s the most rewarding part of any project, knowing that you’ve met your customer’s needs to the point where they are looking forward to calling you back for the next item on their wish list.”

 

A Room with a View: A Modern Kitchen Update Takes Advantage of a Beautiful Setting

The best design is that which works with a home’s environment. When structure and setting come together cohesively, both are made better for it. A renovation can give us the opportunity to make the most of a home’s surroundings, as illustrated beautifully in this Project Spotlight, in which a kitchen undergoes a modern transformation and the most is made of incredible views of Ballston Lake.

For this project, the clients wanted to update their kitchen to reflect a more modern aesthetic and to make the feel of the space light, bright, and open to their beautiful vista of the lake. The coveted feature of a two-sided fireplace bisecting the kitchen and living area was already in place, but needed renovating to match the client’s contemporary vision.

 

kitchen after remodel

In the kitchen itself, some features were completely replaced, while some pre-existing aspects were reworked to fit in with the new vision. The new kitchen island was positioned in a different location than the old one, but the original tile flooring was able to remain, as the client had enough leftover tiles to infill at the former island location. The new island cabinetry was positioned to align with the existing feature tiles.

Speaking of that kitchen island, it includes a built-in table and a three inch Miter Fold edge profile on a Cambria quartz countertop. Together, the results are spectacular.

In order to take full advantage of the home’s winning views of Ballston Lake, the existing casement window over the sink was replaced with an awning style window. The new unobstructed view of the lake is a major improvement, and brings the outdoors in for the owners on a daily basis.

 

In order to take full advantage of the home’s winning views of Ballston Lake, the existing casement window over the sink was replaced with an awning style window. The new unobstructed view of the lake is a major improvement, and brings the outdoors in for the owners on a daily basis.

The standout feature of the two-sided fireplace was also beautifully improved. Stacked stone was used from floor to ceiling, and a floating mantel completed the clean, modern look.

Project Planner John Hudson gives credit to the clients for helping to make this renovation such a success. “The owners attention to detail and our ability to create the beautiful, modern look that they described really sets this project apart.”

fireplace before and after composite

Cabinetry Built to Last: The Proof is in the Pudding

Kitchen Remodel After Custom Cabinetry

There are many things that Schrader and Company Construction Services is known for in the capital region community, and one of them is the beauty, durability and unparalleled quality of their custom cabinetry.

Fabricated right here in Burnt Hills, NY, each Schrader custom cabinet is created using the best procedures, techniques, and designs under the supervision of Cabinet Designer/Shop Production Manager Robert Page, who has been designing and fabricating cabinets with the company since 1977.

Robert explains how the cabinets are built with an eye to longevity as well as aesthetics. “We make sure our cabinets have an unmatched finish, using the best available products and procedures. Thicker coatings are applied during the finishing process, and the actual finishes used are the best on the market. Only the best and most reliable hardware (moving parts) is used. The hinges, slides, etc., are all built, tested and proven to last a lifetime.”

As far customizing the cabinetry to the client’s design ideals and specific usage needs, the possibilities are virtually endless. There are myriad options available in terms of light rails, fascia, and crown moulding, and countless interior accessories for convenience of use.

Dovetail drawers and soft close hinges are all standard for Schrader cabinetry, and when the casework is always fabricated in our facility, it enables the crew to have remarkable quality control.

Custom Kitchen Cabinet by Schrader & Co

“Exceptional installation of the cabinets, trim and accessories is the last responsibility when considering high quality cabinets. A great installation will give great cabinets that wow factor,” says Robert.

But a picture is worth a thousand words, and the below photographs are the perfect illustration of why it pays to invest in quality cabinetry in a room that must withstand as much wear and tear as the home kitchen.

On the left is a picture of very low grade, poor quality cabinets, installed 1999. They are de-laminating falling apart and in dire need of replacement.  Pictured on the right are high quality Schrader cabinets, installed 1995, still holding up beautifully over time, and functioning perfectly for the owners.

Which would you rather have in your home?

Failing Stock Cabinet
Cabinet Closeup

Project Spotlight: A More Efficient and Beautiful Space for a Busy Local Medical Practice

Medical Office Renovations -waiting room

This Project Spotlight takes us into a different kind of renovation; one that calls for innovation, close attention to detail, and specialized construction. Today we’ll look behind the scenes of the remodel of a busy local medical practice, and how Schrader and Company was able to transform the space into a brighter, more appealing, and more efficient office for both doctors and patients.

The fundamental considerations when undertaking this project were two-fold. This busy office needed to be able to function at normal patient volume and maintain a professional and pleasant environment during the construction. And strict attention must be paid to keeping all areas clean and sanitary. These challenges were addressed with careful phasing, exceptional dust protection and noise control, good communication with office staff, and some overnight work on behalf of the Schrader field crew.

This unique renovation allowed for Schrader’s famous custom cabinetry to shine. President Ben Cangeleri explains, “Most of the innovation came through the ability to provide truly custom cabinetry.  A feature as simple as creating a hold in a door and installing an attractive ring allows for the physicians to access the garbage can without touching a door handle, which helps maintain the safety and sanitation standards that our client was looking for. Additional openings in the cabinets were created for easy access to this practice’s most commonly used instruments.  And of course all of the materials that were used meet the chemical requirements for a lab and exam room.”

The waiting room was also given an updated look, specifically designed to be more aesthetically appealing.  A carefully constructed space with thoughtful design communicates so much to anyone who enters it, and this is especially important when it comes to places of essential, and sometimes nervous-making, business. The new clean and inviting waiting and examination rooms instill a sense of calm and comfort in patients.

The clients were thrilled with the beautiful renovation, and the redesign resulted in increased office efficiency and a better patient experience.

The Divine is in the Details: A Massive Renovation Preserves Historic Charm

Historic Renovation After - Kitchen

In this Project Spotlight feature, we take a look behind the scenes of one of the largest home renovations in Schrader and Company’s history, both in size and in scope. And the results, which reflect both the preservation and modernization of a beautiful historic home, are simply breathtaking…

Schrader and Company partnered with the homeowners of this lovely 1835 house in Saratoga to thoroughly renovate many of their living spaces. The goal was to update the space for the resident’s needs while preserving the character, style and feel of the home. Such an undertaking called for an architecture firm that would best fit with the client and the Schrader and Company planning team. The excellent designs brought to the project by Saratoga based Balzer-Tuck Architecture through our Design/Build process helped to marry modern function with historic charm.

The vast renovation of the home included a new kitchen, the creation of a butler’s pantry, a mudroom, a renovated dining room, a great room, a guest suite (with both bedroom and bathroom), a second floor master bedroom suite with bathroom and walkout deck, a walk-in closet, and a second floor laundry.

Project Planner Brian Taber reflects on the some of the more innovative techniques and tools that helped make this such a stand-out project.

Historic Renovation After - Kitchen

As large as the scope of the project was, it was crucial to get the smallest details right. For example, in order to achieve a cohesive look between the new renovations and the rest of the home, all of the new interior trim was custom milled to match the original profiles. The custom Schrader and Company cabinetry is so sharp looking in that gorgeous light-filled kitchen. And the rooftop deck off of the new second floor master bedroom suite was a great project within a project. We paired with a great decking company called Bison and learned a lot about their innovative techniques. I think that’s going to become a coveted home trend.

The before and after photo gallery speaks for itself as a magazine-worthy example of modern living in a historic home. For every contemporary convenience and state of the art appliance or fixture, there is an homage to the home’s original details, as in the dining room where the existing fireplace was left in place as the jewel in the crown.

Project Manager Val DeCesare enjoys reflecting on a project that in hindsight he calls “flawless”.

“I revisited the home recently and as you walk through the space, it’s just so clear that every aspect of the renovation was so well thought-out. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

“The fabulous execution of all our Schrader craftsmen and the trade contractors came together with such beautiful results”, says Brian. “But the most important and most satisfying aspect of the work is how happy the homeowners are with the outcome.”

Historic Renovation After - Living Room

Renovation Photo Gallery