Finding Your Home’s Style

Let’s say you’re looking to change things up in your kitchen but don’t know where to begin? or maybe you’re not sure how to communicate your ideas to a contractor. Finding your own style isn’t all that hard and you can create a style board o that  Well you’re in luck, we’ll be discussing how to find your own personal style for your kitchen, but this process can be used for virtually any.

Start collecting inspiration

When you’re first starting out we suggest collecting anything and everything that catches your eye. Whether digitally, physically or a combination of the two, add freely to this collection- don’t think about it. Editing happens later, right now we are building a collection of elements that call to you. Some of these images may not end up being used at all and that’s fine. By collecting different images and ideas without editing yourself, you’ll end up finding a pattern or common thread that you naturally gravitate to.


Now that you have a collection of inspiration for your kitchen it’s time to start breaking these images down into categories. The categories that you chose to use are up to you and your collection. A few example categories could be – “Kitchen Islands”, “Back Splashes”, “Lighting” and  “Color Palettes”. Again, don’t edit yourself in this stage, that comes next.

Refine your collection

In the beginning of this process your collection of inspirational images consisted of anything and everything that caught your eye. Now it’s time to go through and look at everything you’ve saved. Some images may have lost their appeal to you, and that’s fine, put these images aside and keep going.

Define your collection
Once your collection has been edited down it’s time to look at the images and define what elements of the photo that you like, and anything that you might not like. For example “I really like the shape of these tiles used in this backsplash” or “I like the style of the cabinet doors, but I would prefer to see it in a different finish”. Write down your thoughts as you go through the images and hold onto it for the next step.

Bring it to your contractor

Take your curated collection of images and your notes on the specifics of what you like to your contractor. With a clearly defined picture of what you want, communicating your vision with your contractor should be a breeze.  

Spring Checkup – foundation vents

It may not feel quite like Spring yet in the capital region, but don’t let that fool you. Now is the time to start looking around the exterior of your home for any damage that may have happened during the Winter. We’re welcoming the arrival of spring by clearing and checking the foundation vents around your home.


If your home has a crawl space there are vents in your foundation. Vents allow air to circulate in the crawlspace, helping to avoid the buildup of excess moisture which could lead to mold growth.


When inspecting the vents in your foundation you first want to clear the vent of any debris that may have accumulated during the winter, after all, air can’t circulate if the vent is obstructed.


After clearing your vent check to ensure that the screen on your vent is still intact. Wild animals think that your crawlspace is the ideal place to set up camp for the winter. The screen on your vents SHOULD deter the little critters, but a damaged screen will do you very little good. Small animals, such as mice, can fit through holes as small as the diameter of a pencil, so make sure to do a thorough inspection.


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

Dos and Don’t of Cabinet Care

Ever wonder how you can ensure a long and beautiful life from your cabinets? Well even if you haven’t we’re going to share with you a few do’s and don’ts for taking care of your cabinets.


  • Drape wet hand towels on your cabinets – The prolonged exposure to moisture will damage the finish of your cabinets over time.
  • Apply a finish on dirty cabinets – Remove dust and dirt prior to application.
  • Spray glass cleaner directly onto glass doors – It overspray can damage the cabinet finish. Also make sure to to use a glass cleaner that is ammonia free.
  • Neglect to care for scratches and gouges – Cover up and protect surface areas that have been damaged using a touch up kit.


  • Clean up spills and food residue immediately – Use a lint free cloth and a mild cleaner, dry the surface after cleaning.
  • Use your cabinet hardware – Protect your cabinets from dirt and oil that are on your hands by using the hardware on your cabinet doors. If you don’t have any cabinet hardware, consider adding your own.
  • Regularly dust cabinet surfaces – Use a dry lint free cloth or microfiber towel and dust in the direction of the wood grain.
  • Protect your cabinets from direct uv light by using window coverings – Prolonged exposure to UV light over time can lead to discoloration and dried our surfaces.

With these tips you can keep your cabinets looking great for years to come.

Winter Home Care Tips – Check Your Sump Pump

sump pump

It can be easy to forget about your home’s sump pump, and that can lead to potential problems down the line. Luckily checking your home’s sump pump is easy.

It is very important that you check your sump pump before a potential rainy/wet season or after a long dry season (like the last few months here in the capital district). You can always check the owner’s manual for instructions specific you your sump pump model. Most sump pumps can be checked by pouring water into the hole where your sump pump is located. If your sump pump is functioning it should turn on after a few gallons of water have been poured in. 

In addition to to checking the sump pump check the basin for any debris that may have fallen in over the course of time. Removing debris from your sump pump basin will help it run efficiently and prolong the life of the sump pump.


Winter Home Care Tips: Ceiling Fans

Ceiling Fan Tip

Did you know that the ceiling fans in your home can help reduce winter heating bills by as much as 10% by just flipping a switch?  

ceiling-fan_switchMost ceiling fans have a switch that controls the direction of the fan blades (see image to the right). In the winter you want to change the direction that the fan blades rotate from counter-clockwise to clockwise and keep the fan on a low speed.

By reversing the direction of  your ceiling fan you create an updraft, forcing warm air that has collected at the ceiling back down to heat your living space. Ceiling fans are especially effective in homes that have high ceilings.

Don’t forget to adjust your thermostat after switching the direction of your ceiling fans!

Hardwood Floor Care Tips for the Winter

winter boots on wooden floor

Winters are rough here in upstate New York, and with those winters comes snow, slush and salt. Tracking in those wintry elements can dull the finish on wooden floors and even lead to warping. Luckily damage to your hardwood floors can be avoided with some preventative measures and proper cleaning.

Clean off your shoes before going in

Ideally everyone would take the time to knock off as much snow and ice from their shoes before entering the home. Even if that actually happened there will still be some snow and salt tracked inside. First, you want to create a space at the entryways to your home where people can come in and change out of wet clothing and shoes.

As you enter your home you should have a floor mat inside of the doorway as your first defense against tracked in snow and slush.  Have an extra mat on hand so you can always have a dry mat ready, and an extra towel near the doorway to clean up any water that is not caught by the floor mat. Do not let a wet floor mat stay on your floor as it will most definitely damage your hardwood floor over time.

Right next to your floor mat have a tray for wet footwear to go. You can pick up trays that are specially made for footwear, but you can always improvise with a dish drain with an absorbent towel placed underneath. Consider adding a coat rack for guest coats or extra snowy gear.

Even the family dog can learn a new trick

Now that you have a dedicated area for your winter gear, make sure that everyone in your household makes it a habit to use it when entering the home. Even the family dog can be trained to wait at the door to have their paws wiped down, just make sure to reward their patience with a treat and some ear scratches.

During the winter season make sure to sweep and clean the the entrance way to remove salt particles and residues.The salt we use on roadways has a high PH level which can eat away at your floor’s finish. You’ll want to clean your entrance areas with a floor cleaner that has been formulated to remove salt from your floors safely and effectively. Sweeping your entrance way on a daily basis will prevent loose pieces of rock salt from scratching up hard floors.

We hope this has been helpful and informative, check back for more winter home care tips in the weeks to come.

Holiday Tip Round Up


We know how hectic the holidays can get. Between family, shopping, cooking and cleaning (not to mention your normal daily activities) it can become tiring pretty quick. That is exactly why we have scoured the internet for some helpful holiday resources. Take a look and tell us what you think.

How do you clean that?

The American Cleaning Institute has a little list of how to best clean different surfaces in your home. The Farmer’s Almanac also has a great list of kitchen cleaning tips that will keep your kitchen in tip top shape for the holidays that

Save Time

Real Simple suggests premixing dry baking ingredients in advance to cut down on preparation time during the actual occasion.

Having a gathering of family and friends? Make it a pot luck. Not only will this help reduce the time that you’re spending preparing for the meal, it gives people a chance to share personal holiday recipes that they love too.

have your guests list ingredients in their dishes to avoid potential allergen issues.

Save money, and your sanity

Unless you’ve checked everything and everyone off your list, holiday shopping is inevitable.  Here’s a few tips to help you and your wallet out this season.


Sometimes we get caught up in the excitement and rush of the holidays. Try to make it a point to find a way to give back to your community. From volunteering at a soup kitchen to spending time with an elderly neighbor, you will find that sharing your time with others in need is one of the best ways give and receive holiday cheer.


May your holidays be filled with friends and family!



All Treats and No Tricks

halloween trick or treat safety tips

Soon enough the streets will be filled with little ones going door to door in search of sweet candy treats. Here a few tips on how to keep those superheros, cartoon characters, and ghouls that come to your home safe.


1 – Trim your hedges


If you have any hedges or shrubs in the front of the property it is a great time to trim them back a bit. Doing so will help increase visibility for trick or treaters AND drivers.


trickortreaters2 –  Clear the way


A few days before halloween take the time to walk from the front of your property to your front door. Pick up any fallen branches, loose rocks or similar tripping hazards from the path. Fallen leaves can become hazardous especially if there has been rain recently


… and because we are in New York, in case of snow or sleet, make sure to shovel and salt your walkways.


3 – Light it up


Now that you’ve removed any potential tripping hazards from the path to your front door, it’s time to brighten it up. You can even work pathway lights into your decorations if you have any. Don’t forget to check your porch light and change the bulb if needed.


4 – Keep your pets in another area of the house


Halloween can be rough on your family pet, it’s a break from their normal routine. A night filled with so many different noises and smells to take in can really make some pets anxious. Scared pets may try to dart outside when the door opened, or could become aggressive if they perceive a threat. Even if your pooch is friendly, all the excitement might cause them to jump and knock over little trick or treaters.


We hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!