A Dramatic Renovation That Feels Like a New Home

A well-planned and well-executed renovation can sometimes be so dramatic, the end results feel like a completely different home!

In this Project Spotlight, we take a look behind the scenes of an extensive remodeling project, covering two floors and multiple rooms.

The goal of the renovation was to create spaces that better worked for the family and their lifestyle. The clients had outgrown the existing space, and they wanted to update the aesthetic in the kitchen especially.

We renovated a large portion of the first and second floors of the home. On the first floor, we renovated the kitchen, mudroom, dining area, and parlor. On the second floor we removed the master bedroom and master bathroom. This space was rearranged to create two bedrooms and a main bathroom. We then removed the roof from the existing garage and created a new master bedroom suite.

The kitchen/mudroom space was opened up to create a better flow. The transition of each area as well as the finishes that were chosen are spectacular.

The difference between the original and finished spaces is nothing short of amazing. It almost feels like a different house altogether.

Our clients are so happy with their renovated home, and we are beyond gratified to know the project came together in such a satisfying way for everyone involved.

[metaslider id=”4329″]

 

Creating Major Curb Appeal

A beautiful front porch is the stuff homeowner dreams are made of…

We love to picture ourselves enjoying a hot cup of coffee and the morning paper from a comfortable chair, surveying the neighborhood and greeting friends, or decorating for the seasons with flowers, pumpkins, or twinkling lights. Your front porch is your home’s first impression, and we all want to maximize our curb appeal.

That’s what we did for our clients in this Project Spotlight, who wanted just the right front porch to blend seamlessly with their lovely log home.

The clients wanted an update for both aesthetic and functional reasons. They wanted to make sure that the new structure did not take away from the look of their log home, but needed a front porch they could enjoy with ample room for seating.

Integrating the new finishes with the log siding was important in this project. The home featured a relatively new brick sidewalk that the clients also wanted to keep. We recessed the stair tread to allow the brick walk to remain, while making sure the porch floor was deep enough to allow for the usable space the homeowners needed.

The combination of the stone column bases, wood trim and ceiling, and the tongue and grooved composite flooring all work together beautifully.

The end result looks like a part of the original design, and is allowing our clients to enjoy their home in a brand new way.

[metaslider id=”4182″]

Building A Backyard Oasis

Spring, summer, and fall here in Upstate New York invite us all to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before our long winters set in. We love helping our clients make the most of their properties by creating their perfect sunrooms, porches, and decks.

This Project Spotlight goes behind the scenes of a beautiful deck renovation that allows the homeowners to revel in their beautiful landscaping, entertain their loved ones, and expand their living space.

Our clients wanted to update their existing deck, add a deck extension for a BBQ area, and include a new railing system that would allow them to view the beautiful landscaping they had previously installed.

We started by removing the old wood decking, stairs, and railings. Weather-resistant composite decking was used for the new outdoor space, and a BBQ area and fire pit area were constructed, utilizing large format tile. We also installed a cable railing system for a sleek, modern look that allows the clients to enjoy their backyard views without obstruction.

Special attention was paid to the prevention of water damage, as is necessary when working with outdoor spaces and entryways. At the area in front of the patio door, we included plastic grating to allow water to drain from the deck before it could build up at the door threshold. 

The smart materials used all work together to create a beautiful backyard oasis. The renovated deck is as functional as it is beautiful, and we’re thrilled that our clients are enjoying it just as much as they had hoped.

[metaslider id=”4164″]

 

A Classic Never Goes Out of Style

A bathroom is one of those home improvement projects that you want and need to stand the test of time. Not only will it encounter heavy daily wear and tear, but it’s a room where the essential components are relatively permanent. Few of us would want to re-tile a shower or replumb a new bathtub every few years. 

That’s why it’s so important to make choices and selections that feel just right for your individual home, aesthetic, and lifestyle when undertaking a bathroom remodel. In this Project Spotlight, you’ll see an example of a bathroom renovation that really kept an eye to the classic hallmarks of timeless design, solid craftsmanship, and luxurious details. 

The goal of the project was to completely renovate a large bathroom. The homeowners felt that the existing built-in tub, shower, and vanities were dated. We removed everything: shower walls and floor, tile floor, tub and tub surround, vanities, all fixtures, mirrors, doors, and exhaust fan. The project also encompassed improvements to two closets just off the bath.

The desired aesthetic was a very traditional, yet stylish master bath. The clients worked with interior designer Brooke Weinert on selections to really capture the classic look and feel that they wanted. The outcome demonstrates just how dramatic the change to an existing space can be, when time is spent in the details. Walking into the room, the claw foot tub and designer tub filler capture your eye. The in-laid vanity doors with clear crystal knobs add a touch of nostalgia and class. The subtle addition of chrome in the plumbing and light fixtures adds to the classic feel.

Cabinet maker Robert Page worked with our clients to design and produce two truly one of a kind furniture style vanities, that while elegant, will stand the test of time both visually and functionally. The tile and marble work speak for itself—classic and elegant. The custom full glass shower opens up the space. We upgraded the heavy shower glass to Low Iron, which eliminates the greenish tint of standard shower glass, allowing the dazzling white of the Carrara Marble to show through. We also included an attic mount fan that allows for a more delicate vent and light than a standard ceiling mounted unit. 

“This renovation took place during the pandemic and under Covid safety restrictions and protocols,” says project planner Mark O’Lena. “We had to regroup, and change some of the ways we typically perform our mission. Essentially, adapt and overcome.”

“As a planner we have the opportunity to walk through the project with the client and see the expression on their face when we tour. I am always pleased when the client is pleased, and judging by the reaction, they were pleased. So much so that they have given us the opportunity to work for them again.”

[metaslider id=”4076″]

 

 

Incorporating Color and Pattern Into Your Renovation

Home decor trends and home decor trends go…

We can all remember a time when shag carpeting or avocado appliances were the height of sophistication. It can be tricky to separate the classic from the trendy when embarking on a home renovation. The last thing any of us want to do is invest in expensive and permanent changes to our home, only to find they’re as passé as popcorn ceilings in a few years time. That is why it’s nice to have experts at the ready who can help guide us to choices that we will want to live with for decades.

Color and pattern are having a real moment in terms of design trends, and we meet with lots of clients who are interested in adding some visual interest to their homes, but are concerned about what might turn out to be “too much” or “too trendy” as times goes by.

Our award-winning Interior Designer Brooke Weinert and architectural representative Christine Raible of Best Tile were kind enough to sit down with us to talk about ways to incorporate color and pattern into our home decor in thoughtful ways that will stand the test of time. 

On Color Choices:

Brooke: I like to incorporate color in permanent fixtures (tile, cabinetry, etc.) using more tonal or muted versions of colors that the clients already have in their home. For example, if the clients like blue and have blue in other parts of their home, I’d recommend a slate blue or navy blue tile or island accent. Both slate and navy are shades of blue that are still regarded as neutral “tones” that read blue and bring out blue in other colors close by.

We are less likely to get sick of neutral colors, because they tend to play well with many different colors. I think the stem of the issue of things being trendy and going out of style are when we choose bright tones that draw our eyes’ attention much more quickly. So when we inevitably want a change, a bright blue island is going to make repainting and redecorating much more difficult, resulting in wanting a total renovation.

Christine: With tile especially, because it is so permanent, I try to recommend one showpiece in the space that has color and pattern, whether that be the countertop, the floor tile, or an accent mosaic. Then all of the other parts of the space become supporting roles to that feature. There can be other colors and patterns in the space, but having that one feature helps it to not become overwhelming and too trendy. 

 

On Picking Patterns:

Brooke: I love pattern and texture, and these two often work hand in hand. I think these add a very important depth to a design that can sometimes be overlooked. However, you have to be careful when choosing something with a pattern or texture, to avoid making your space look too busy, and therefore, seem smaller. 

If you’re hoping to do an accent tile to incorporate a pattern in your shower, for instance, you want the patterned portion to distinctly stand out from the rest of the wall tile. So you don’t want to choose a wall tile that has a lot of movement and variety, because it will compete with the patterned tile and become difficult for our eyes to process.

One thing that I think is often forgotten when choosing a patterned tile is ensuring that the pattern works well with the style of the home and stays in tune with the design style. I’ve seen so many Houzz images where there’s a gorgeous traditional white kitchen with a bar area that has an accent patterned backsplash that looks like it belongs to another house. We don’t want that!

Another way I like to incorporate pattern/texture is switching the installation format of the tile. This is a fun way to play with a “classic” tile and make it a bit more fun. I love when we have clients who come in saying they “hate subway tile”, and then we show them the many ways that it can be installed and they look at it in a whole new light. 

 

Trends that Aren’t Too Trendy:

Brooke: Trends I’m seeing include the incorporation of a color, either in the backsplash or island. I’ve also been seeing a lot of accent backsplash behind the ranges again, mainly carrying the countertop up as the backsplash behind the range only.  I’m not sure if it’s because people have been stuck at home for so long and want a change, but it seems like a lot of clients are wanting to express themselves with brighter tones and bolder patterns in their homes than they had pre-Covid lockdown. 

Christine: Glazed ceramic wall tiles are very popular and I feel they are also very classic and timeless.  There are so many options and you aren’t stuck to just the traditional white subway tile. These tiles come in a range of sizes from 2×8 to 4×16 and many other sizes in between. They also have a range of colors, patterns, and glazing. Adding a glazed ceramic tile with variation in the glaze is a nice way to add a little pattern and interest without making the space too busy.    

Adding a mosaic as a vanity backsplash in lieu of a traditional 4″ quartz or granite backsplash is a fun way to add a pop of color and pattern behind your sinks. Accenting the back of the niche in your shower with an accent tile also adds a subtle pop. Powder rooms are the perfect place to play with color. This is the space that your guests most often use and they are a separate space from other spaces so you can really play with patterns in there. I often used patterned porcelain tiles or stone mosaics with variation in these spaces.

Check out some examples of color and pattern trends in our projects below and consider adding a pop of visual interest to your next project. With Brooke and Christine’s expert guidelines in mind, there are plenty of ways to spice up your space in a timeless and elegant way.

[metaslider id=”4056″]

 

Muddy Spring Weather Calls for the Perfect Mudroom

April showers bring May flowers…and mud.

Here in Upstate New York, we wait impatiently for the snow to finally melt and the sun to shine again, taking us out into our yards and gardens, ready to make the most of the spring. But with this return to the great outdoors comes the inevitable mess of nature. When it’s time to come back home from our outdoor revels, we track in grass, leaves, and mud, needing places to store our wet umbrellas and raincoats, boots and bags.

That’s why every home needs a good mudroom. A mudroom with ample storage provides a crucial stopping point for the mess of the outdoors before it can infiltrate your carpets and furniture. 

Families especially can benefit from these designated “in and out” stations, which offer homes for all the abundant “stuff” of childhood–lunch bags, sports equipment, backpacks, shoes, hats and gloves, and now, masks and hand sanitizer. 

A mudroom is a simple upgrade to your home that truly benefits everyday life. Take a look at some of these beautiful examples of mudrooms we have created for our clients, and give us a call if you’re ready to corral, organize, and streamline your home for better living.

 

 

An Award-Winning Historic Renovation

At Schrader and Company, we pride ourselves on the range of construction and renovation projects we happily undertake for our clients. But it’s safe to say that historic remodels hold a special place in our collective hearts. 

These types of renovations require a genuine appreciation for historic detail, a respect for the time and techniques used in the initial construction, and a keen design eye to make it all come together in one cohesive final result. The rewards for our team, and for the homeowner, are worth every minute of hard work.

In this Project Spotlight, we look behind the scenes of an extensive historic renovation that recently won the Capital Region Builders and Remodelers Association  “Best in Building” Award for Best Historic Remodel of 2020.

This renovation work involved the removal of some existing rooms and spaces that simply didn’t work for the homeowners, and the addition of several new spaces and targeted improvements to the original home.

We removed a free-standing, two car garage, a masonry side porch, family room with a large stone fireplace and chimney, the existing kitchen (with a small loft area above) and a first floor bathroom.

We added a new kitchen, a Jack & Jill bathroom, new windows, new siding and exterior trim, and new roofing shingles. Beautiful coffered ten foot ceilings create visual interest and amplify the spaciousness of the rooms. Cabinet Designer Robert Page created plentiful custom cabinetry for placement throughout the home.

The ultimate goal of the renovation was to improve both the aesthetics and functionality of the home while maintaining the historic feel of the structure’s original time period—the mid 1800s. 

Project Planner Brian Taber and Interior Designer Brooke Stollery worked with the clients to make decisions and selections that would achieve these goals, and preserve the historic charm while addressing some of the typical challenges that older homes can present. For example, the new basement floor level in the addition was much lower than the existing basement floor. This required some significant shoring work with steel reinforced concrete. Project Manager Mike Atwood and the field team worked tirelessly to bring the project to fruition.

The renovation also presented opportunities to maximize space and functionality. The mudroom shares a wall with the new great room, and a two-sided cabinet allows for wood to be passed directly from the mudroom through the cabinet to the great room, eliminating mess and making it easier for the homeowners to enjoy cozy nights by their woodstove.  

“These clients are great decision-makers with a true love for their home. They were a pleasure to work with from start to finish,” says Brian.

“They have expressed to us that they feel an incredible sense of peace in their newly renovated home. We couldn’t ask for more than that.”

[metaslider id=”4028″]

 

Schrader and Company Picks Up Three 2020 “Best in Building” Awards

We are so pleased to share that we’ve been honored by the Capital Region Builders and Remodelers Association for their 2020  “Best in Building” Awards.

Schrader and Company picked up awards in three categories: Best Historic Remodel, Best Kitchen Remodel ($75,000 +), and Best Utility or Special Use Space.

The pandemic prevented us from gathering with our peers in the field in person to celebrate these accolades as we usually do, but the CRBRA put together some excellent videos showcasing personnel from each winning company explaining their projects.

Our Interior Designer, Brooke Weinert, did a wonderful job taking the viewer behind the scenes of our three award-winning projects.

We are honored by these awards and their recognition of our efforts to deliver the best in craftsmanship to our clients.

 

The Future Looks Bright: Meet the Young Talent on Our Team

level surface

At some point in the last decade, you’ve probably read a think-piece or heard a news story about the downward trend of interest in careers in the trade industry. 

Fewer and fewer young people are picturing a future in the skilled trades, and that brings about serious questions about who exactly is going to build America’s homes, plumb the pipes, wire the electronics and HVAC units, and generally fix what gets broken in our country in the decades to come.

While the nation at large might wring their hands at the decreased interest in the trades industry, here at Schrader and Company, we see a crop of passionate, committed young people who strive to hone their craft to the highest of levels. These newest members of our team already demonstrate an elite level of skill, professionalism, and talent. We believe in encouraging the interest of young carpenters, and providing opportunity for them to grow, gain hands-on experience, and make a good living. 

We sat down with the newest and youngest members of Schrader and Company to ask them about how they got started in their chosen field, what they’ve learned on the journey so far, and what advice they might have for other young people just starting out.

Their thoughtful answers tell us something we all want to hear: the future of our company, and our entire industry, is safe in their capable, hard-working hands.

 

Austin S., Project Manager

I first became interested in  carpentry and building in high school. I took a lot of fine woodworking classes and a course called “Basic Principles of Construction”, where we built a few small things and then sheds at the end of the year. I ended up really enjoying it. 

I chose to pursue this career because of the enjoyment I get out of woodworking and crafting. I also knew that college wasn’t the right path for me.

Working with the Schrader team has taught me everything I needed to know to work my way up to project manager at 21. I’m still not done learning. There is much more to learn as this profession is always changing.

If you know college isn’t for you, never be afraid or ashamed of pursuing a skilled trades career. The knowledge that you take home every day will benefit you in the future guaranteed, and the skills you learn, you can use in every aspect of life.

 

Sean K., Project Manager

 My wife and I had purchased a house and started to do some large renovations to it. We hired out most of the work but I took on some of the smaller projects. Over the next couple of years I took on some larger scale remodeling projects and my passions switched from the work I was doing during my day job to the extracurricular projects I had at home.

I had graduated from college with a degree in economics and worked in the finance field for several years but I grew disenfranchised with the office atmosphere. I felt greater reward from working with my hands and problem solving on the renovation projects in my own home. I was tired of paying people to do the remodeling work I would rather be doing myself. With my wife’s support, I decided to make the jump and make a career change to learn carpentry and construction.

Working with the Schrader and Company team has put me in a great position to learn numerous aspects of the construction field.  I have been able to work on a variety of projects that have exposed me to different challenges and experiences. In a world that is going the way of mass produced kits geared to being assembled by anybody, it has been a privilege to be in a position to learn the industry from a company that still exemplifies craftsmanship.

The construction industry can be a very rewarding one. It allows for a full experience of being able to physically involve yourself in the work, but also to engage the mind when needing to find a solution to problems. There is also great enjoyment in being able to be a part of a project from beginning to end, and being able to physically see what you were a part of creating.

 

Nicco T., Apprentice Carpenter/College Student

Since I was a kid I was always building with LEGO, which led me to take several construction electives at Shenendehowa High School.

During my junior year of high school, my technology teacher  saw my interest and pointed me in the direction of the Hudson Valley Construction Tech program. Then during my senior year I was in a class to build a house with my teacher Mr. Verhagan, and I decided to apply for that Hudson Valley course. I am now starting my second semester there soon.

I could fill a page with the skills I have already learned being here at Schrader and Company for almost a year now, but I believe that the team has taught me that putting in hard work will pay off.

If this career path gives you satisfaction after looking at what you have completed after a day of work, then you should pursue this career.

 

Ryan C., Production Assistant/High School Student

I first learned of my love for carpentry and construction when I was thirteen years old building a workbench with my dad. Once I discovered working with my hands, I inherited some tools from my great grandfather and started to build things on my own, learning something new with every project.

 What made me want to pursue construction as a profession was working with and learning from my Uncle Marco, who is a very talented stone mason and an owner of Lazio Construction. He taught me about the different types of construction that I might be interested in and introduced me to Shrader and Company.

 Working with the Schrader and Company team has taught me that the area of construction that excites me the most is remodeling and new construction. I have discovered that working on site rebuilding a project or starting a new one, and doing it the right way, has taught me more about my passion for carpentry than I ever could have imagined.

For people who are interested in the trades, I strongly advise them to learn more about the many different paths in construction. Once they’ve found what excites them the most, they should get hands-on experience and they will soon discover that there is never a day or an age where you stop learning something new.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

They say good things come to those who wait. When it comes to big home projects, sometimes patience is an excellent virtue.

In this Project Spotlight, we’ll take you behind the scenes of a major kitchen renovation that the homeowners undertook at just the right time for them, and in doing so, achieved the exact result they were hoping for, with no compromises.

We all wish we could snap our fingers and make improvements to our homes whenever the mood strikes, but in reality, home renovations require careful thought, budgeting, and flexibility. 

These clients knew their kitchen needed a major overhaul for several years before they committed to a remodeling project. But rather than do things piecemeal or have to make budgetary concessions, they elected to wait, save funds for their project for a longer period of time, and begin work at a time when an interior renovation would be less disruptive to their lifestyle.

These clients had done a mudroom and laundry renovation project with us years before. The kitchen renovation was next on their list, to completely overhaul the core areas of their first floor living space. 

While the kitchen layout stayed roughly the same, the wall between the family room and kitchen was widened greatly, to create the open cooking/gathering area that so many homeowners desire. Now when family meals are being prepared or guests come over, there’s no sense of being isolated from one another in separate spaces. 

In addition to new cabinets and countertops, upgraded lighting and refinished floors, new appliances and a spacious kitchen island were added. They also chose a new stainless steel Kohler Prolific sink with built in compartments for cooking accessories and drying racks for maximum efficiency. Now the clients can cook and entertain with ease. 

The homeowners were able to undertake this project when it worked best for their own timeline, and the renovation took place over the winter, when interior projects are often scheduled.

For the clients, their patience in waiting to renovate their kitchen has paid off. Rather than having to make sacrifices in budget or timing in order to have it done fast, they were able to achieve their dream result by doing their major renovation just once, at just the right time for them.

They are loving the new connected feel of their kitchen, and being able to make everyday memories together in their home.

 

 

[metaslider id=”3913″]