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

Best in Building Awards 2016: Best Bathroom Over $40,000

img_9508We are thrilled to share that Schrader and Company Construction Services took home a big award at last week’s Capital Region Builders and Remodelers Association (CRBRA) Best in Building 2016 Awards.

We won in the “Best Bathroom Over $40,000” category for a two bathroom luxury remodel in a historic home.

You can go behind the scenes of this renovation in a recent Project Spotlight feature here.

It’s wonderful to have our work recognized, and we look forward to continuing to deliver the best in construction, renovation and design to our clients across the capital region.

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Two Modern Luxury Bathrooms for a Historic Home

Bathroom before and after

A wise person once said,

“The key to a happy marriage is separate bathrooms.”

Add every conceivable luxury and convenience to the equation, and you’ve got the makings of a very joyful union.

Historic homes are undoubtedly appealing. They offer abundant charm, and tell their own special stories with every squeaky floorboard and slanted door. But even the most devoted lover of historic preservation can agree that there are certain rooms in our homes where we most appreciate all the advances that modern technology has brought to our lives. Namely, the bathroom.

For this project, the homeowners wanted to update two bathrooms in their early 1800s colonial home with the very latest in modern conveniences and technologies. The stunning result did not come about without careful consideration to the unique challenges of renovating an older home.

Project Planner Brian Taber knew that to attain the modern look desired by his clients for each of their respective “His” and Hers” bathrooms, much work would need to be done “behind the scenes”. The beautiful large format tiles in the “His” bathroom required perfectly straight walls, which few older homes have. The skilled crew of Schrader craftsmen carefully shimmed the walls to achieve the required correct angles. The same needed to be done in the “Her” bathroom to allow for the new tub and tile. Underneath the layers of horsehair plaster, wood lath, and brick behind the walls, everything needed to be replumbed and reframed.

Bathroom before
Bathroom before
Bathroom After

From that new squared straight foundation, the coolest of modern conveniences could be added. Hot water radiant heat was installed under the tile flooring of both bathrooms, and a round dome Sun Tunnel skylight was added, which allows for natural light while taking up less space than a typical skylight. The “His” bathroom features a hinged tempered glass panel that can alter the size of the shower or toilet space as needed. The curbless shower floor has a linear drain. And both bathrooms feature safety and convenience features like benches and grab bars, which will help the homeowners age in place.

Looking back on the project, Brian says he’s most pleased with the way Schrader and Company was able to meet the client’s’ vision for their space. “We worked closely with the owners to tailor both bathrooms to their specific needs and wants. The collaborative result is clean, modern, sophisticated, and luxurious.”

The bathroom is a room for comfort, even in the quaintest of older homes. This renovation shows what’s possible when history and technology come together in one cohesive design.

Bathroom After - shower

Project Spotlight: A Budget Friendly, Open and Airy Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Renovation before & after

Glossy magazines and countless home design websites are filled with galleries of incredible kitchen remodeling project, all aimed to inspire and excite, to remind us that when it comes to remodeling the rooms in which we live our lives, the possibilities are endless.

But behind every transformation lies a great deal of thoughtful planning and hard work. Over the past four decades, Schrader and Company Construction Services has helped homeowners turn their varied home renovation dreams into livable realities.

In this blog series, we’ll take an in-depth look at some standout home remodeling projects, all of which are notable not just for the remarkable improvements made to a space, but for the way inherent obstacles were overcome, innovative techniques and materials were used, and the skills of the Schrader and Company team of professionals brought the desired result to fruition.

Before
Before

Every renovation comes with its own particular set of challenges, and often one of those challenges is budget. But with the right team and tools, a stunning transformation can also be cost-effective.

For this kitchen renovation, the goal was to open the space, create more storage, and keep costs down.

The homeowner and Project Planner John Hudson identified the existing island as being problematic, both agreed it was an obstruction to working in the space. Its removal opened up the flow of the room, and at no detriment to storage, which was created by the addition of more cabinetry.

The custom cabinet choice also afforded an opportunity for style and function to merge perfectly. “The simple elegance of the white Shaker cabinetry is not only timeless, but fits in perfectly with the original Craftsman styling of the home,” said Hudson.

madson-after
After

The windows and doors, much of the interior trim work, a large portion of the wall coverings, and plumbing locations were all able to remain, keeping costs at an acceptable level. Other budget friendly improvements to the space included resilient vinyl flooring, LED light bars as under cabinet lighting, and bead board panels as a backsplash in lieu of tile.

The light, bright, and airy final results speak for themselves. What was once a tight space with limited functionality is now a Pinterest-worthy “after”, achieved through thoughtful design & planning, consideration for the client’s budgetary needs and seamless execution.