A Message To Our Clients

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We hope this message finds each and every one of you healthy and safe.

The past six weeks have been unprecedented and challenging for all of us, and just like you and your families, we are adjusting and adapting to our new circumstances. While we certainly miss “normal” life, we have come together to create strong plans, learn new telecommunication skills, and work within the guidelines and parameters outlined for us by the experts. 

We wanted to share with you some new practices and policies that we have put into place.

  • Our office team has been working from home and will continue to do so until restrictions are lifted. We are available via cell phone, and are also checking the office voicemails routinely. If you reach out to us for anything, your call will be returned.
  • We are continuing the planning, design, and selections processes, utilizing the abundant virtual tools available to us.
  • We are starting the conversation about new projects over the phone and making appointments to look at new projects.  We are simply scheduling these first appointments for just a couple of weeks out. This is still a great time to call us and get the process started.
  • In the field, we have implemented cleaning, sanitizing, hand-washing, face covering, and social distancing procedures.  
  • Until the curve is lowered, we are focusing on exterior work (e.g. additions, porches, garages, etc) or work in homes that are not the primary residence, and therefore, not currently occupied. 
  • We continue to monitor and adapt to the frequent changes that may come our way. We will communicate any changes in practice or policy to our clients.

We have built Schrader and Company Construction Services on the trust of our clients, and we know that means more now than perhaps ever before. We are committed to your safety and the safety of our team members. 

We thank you for your continued support, and look forward to much brighter days ahead.

A Silver Lining Renovation

As happy as we always are to be welcomed into a client’s home to begin the exciting process of renovation and transformation, we recognize that sometimes our services are called upon due to less than desirable circumstance. Such was the case in this Project Spotlight, where we came in to do an extensive remodel for a client whose home had suffered significant water damage. But this project is the perfect example of making lemonade out of lemons, and the end result is one that we are proud to share with you, and most importantly, made our client very happy.

We came into the project following remediation of the impacted areas of the home, which meant we were starting at square one–a largely gutted house. We worked with one of the trusted architecture firms in our network, Tim Gallagher of Architex , on a Design/Build interior renovation, which encompassed a new master bedroom on the first floor, a new master bathroom with aging in place features, a new kitchen, new windows, doors, and flooring throughout, new spray foam insulation, new electrical, and renovations to upper floor bedrooms and a bathroom.

Our goal was to create a beautiful new interior for our client, and to take the opportunity presented by this disaster to make updates that would allow for aging in place. Wherever possible, safety features were added like wider doorways and hallways, step in showers, stackable laundry facilities, and a first floor master bedroom.

It was also important to preserve some of the original features of the home, like the brick fireplace.

We were sensitive to the fact that our client had been displaced by the water damage, and we wanted to get her back in her fully-functioning home as soon as possible. Project Planner Brian Taber and Project Manager Kevin Connor had all of these goals in mind from start to finish.

This project was a true collaboration and involved working closely with the client and her family to ensure that the result would be a better, safer and more beautiful living space. The size and scope of the work meant that we were basically rebuilding this home from inside out, and only through lots of conversation and careful planning could we ensure that no detail was overlooked. All of the new improvements, from custom Schrader cabinetry, new appliances in the kitchen, and a special lower height baking counter to bathroom safety features and energy-efficient windows were “whole team” conversations.

The hard work paid off and our client ended up with a renovated home with maximized storage, aging in place safety features, and eclectic and charming design details.

We were thrilled to be the engineers of the silver lining following a serious storm for this homeowner, and she was thrilled to be back in the home she loves, enjoying all of the fresh new improvements. We know she will continue to enjoy her home for many years to come.

Breaking Down the Barriers to Your Dream Layout

One of the things that makes home remodeling and renovation so rewarding and exciting is that it enables a homeowner to stay in the home that they already love, while opening up all of the possibilities to the home of their dreams.

Sometimes renovation entails the modernization of a space to keep up with the times, or the expansion of a space to grow as a family’s needs might. And sometimes renovation means completely changing the flow and layout of a home to better suit the desires of the homeowner and the way they wish to live. This was the case in this Project Spotlight, in which we took down the walls that defined many smaller rooms to create an open, airy flow. The results are incredible, and if you didn’t know the before and after photos were the same residence, it would be hard to imagine.

These clients came to us with hopes for a much more open floor plan for their home. They are avid cooks, so creating a flow from the kitchen to other rooms that could be used for entertaining, dining and food storage was paramount. Walls were taken down to achieve this goal, and a new pantry, mudroom, bathroom and sunroom were renovated in addition to a fully updated kitchen.

The remodeled space boasts may cool features, including two kinds of countertops–a solid surface stone on the curved kitchen island (a notable feature in and of itself) and walnut underneath a row of custom cabinetry. The new cabinets are a shaker-style, constructed in our cabinet shop. There’s a beautiful bead board backsplash in the kitchen as well as a sleek hood over the range which does not obstruct the view to the sunroom, and adds to the open feel of the space.

Even though this was a large-scale renovation, we were committed to minimizing the inconvenience to our clients, as is always our priority. We were thrilled that they reported to us that the experience was low-impact during the construction, and they were able to go about their lives, and even work from home as the renovation progressed.

The results speak for themselves, and the transformation of this home is one we are always proud to share with prospective clients to illustrate just how much change is possible with the right design plan in place, and the best of skilled tradesman at work.

Take a look at the stunning before and after gallery below and give us a call if you’re ready to open up your home to some fresh possibilities!


If You Build It…

Spring will come?

Well, to be fair, spring will come no matter what–all current weather evidence to the contrary. But spring and summer and even the golden, crisp days of early fall would be so much more enjoyable when spent relaxing and entertaining in your beautiful new outdoor living space.

This Project Spotlight is an excellent example of how you can increase the livable space of your home with the addition of a screened-in porch and deck.

For these clients, we removed a large, existing deck to create a new fully screened porch and outdoor deck, using the best in low-maintenance, weather resistant materials. We modified the roof framing to create the eye-catching tongue in groove spruce ceiling which serves as a stunning design element.

The flooring of both the porch and deck areas is Azek Decking, made of a premium composite material which will never rot, and the boards come together with a hidden fastener system. The screening is a Screen Tight system, which will allow the homeowners to enjoy their outdoor space free from both the nuisance of bugs, and mess of leaves and debris.

The addition is built seamlessly around the existing features original to the home, and the bay window really pops when set against the new deck and doorway to the porch. The custom-made truss, wrap-around stairs and light fixtures are the finishing touches that give this project such polish and style.

The clients are thrilled with their new porch and deck, which added about 350 square feet of livable space to their home. It’s perfect for entertaining, relaxing, and making the most of the best weather days of the year.

Which are on their way to us. Any day now…

Fall In Love With Your Home Again

Now that the Valentine’s Day roses have wilted and the chocolates have all been eaten, it’s time to cast your attention elsewhere and ask yourself about that other important relationship in your life–your relationship with your home.

What would it take for you to fall in love with your home again? Or maybe truly love it for the first time at all?

March is a great time to start planning for future projects. Maybe you’d like 2018 to be the year you finally cook in your dream kitchen. Maybe this cold weather has you daydreaming about summer entertaining on a new deck or three season addition. Or maybe your growing family needs bigger and better bathrooms, mudrooms, or laundry spaces.

Whatever the goal, Schrader and Company has the team, talent and tools to take your home from barely working to working for you. We want you to love your space, not just live in it.

So give us a call and let us help you redefine your relationship with your house.

It can and should be a love that lasts a lifetime.

In Conversation With…

In this ongoing feature, we’ll go behind the scenes with the professionals at Schrader and Company to explore some of the ideas, practices, and concepts that keep the shop and showroom talking. So let’s talk about…

The Value of the Schrader and Company Planning Process

Ben Cangeleri, President of Schrader and Company and Brian Taber, Director of Planning

First things first, what is the difference between the Schrader and Company planning process and the “Free Estimates” that we often see advertised in the marketplace?

ben-and-brianBrian: Well, the most basic difference is the level of commitment involved in these very distinct scenarios, for both us as the professionals, and our clients as the consumers. Our planning process is a meticulous, thoughtful, tailor-made plan from start to finish that takes into consideration that each client’s home and needs are individual and varied. It’s not a “one size fits all” kitchen or bath remodel that we choose out of a catalog. Our multi-step process differentiates us from others in our field. We have never done the same project twice, and every project needs an excellent plan.

Ben: Absolutely. A “free estimate”, as you might see advertised by a different company, places the burden of expertise on the client. This implies that the client is going to know exactly what they want and what will work, and the remodeler will base his or her estimate on that. We believe it’s the remodeler’s job to guide the homeowner, offer suggestions for improvement, ensure the products and materials will work, etc. Remodeling projects often have many moving parts and pieces. It’s imperative that homeowners view the upfront process as developing a plan for success, rather than just getting some sort of free estimate. Our planning process allows for us to take the lead on the project, collaborate with the homeowners to ensure their satisfaction, and leaves the coordination and the details to us.


So walk us through the steps of how the planning process is implemented for a client.

Brian: After the client makes the initial call or contact, we gather basic preliminary information. Then the lead is assigned to one of our very experienced project planners. The project planner will initiate another conversation with the potential client, visit their home, and discuss budget before planning begins to ensure that we are a good fit. We are a boutique remodeler, so it’s important that we determine immediately that a collaboration makes sense.

Ben: Then, depending on the size and scope of the project, there are three paths we take:

For something simple and straightforward such as a window or door installation, we make sure the budget works, send the homeowner shopping for their needed element to one of our trusted associates so they can see what they like, and we then provide detailed specifications and a cost estimate for the work.

For something larger, like a kitchen or bath renovation, a Design Services Agreement is signed before the planning work begins.  This authorizes a thorough process that results in a beautiful CAD design, final material selections, detailed project specifications and a final cost estimate.

For the largest kind of projects that we do, we will often hire an outside architect and collaborate with them to form one planning team.  A Design Build Agreement is signed which breaks up the project planning process into specific phases to ensure the client is getting the project they want.  The results of this program are stamped construction drawings, final material selections, detailed project specifications, a detailed cost estimate and a plan for a successful construction project.


Why do the more involved, larger scale projects start with a design agreement?

Brian: The design agreement puts a value to the time and effort of a myriad of skilled professionals. The client in turn receives a completely flushed out project plan, with no detail left out, no questions left unanswered. And the more time and effort we put into the front end of the planning, the less stress and uncertainty there is later, for our clients and for us as company that wants nothing more than to leave each of our customers completely happy at the end of our time together.

Ben: Our bottom line is that we want to inspire confidence and earn trust so that we can transform our clients’ houses into their dream homes. Our design agreement is the professional procedure we undertake to make that happen.


How does the Schrader and Company planning process make the oftentimes stressful experience of a home project easier on the client?

Ben: We stay sensitive to the fact that for most people, your home is the biggest financial investment of your life. When we are trusted to come into your home and make major changes to your living space, we take that very seriously. A thoughtful, tailor-made plan eliminates “what ifs”, lays out the budget from the very beginning of the process and goes into incredible detail about each step of the project. We take away as much of the unknown as possible so that our clients feel comfortable and prepared from start to finish.

Brian: I’ve had repeat clients phrase it as “I just stay on the path that you lay out for me”. One great thing we provide our clients with is a specific list of contacts pertinent to their particular job and a detailed list of every decision and appointment they will need to make. So for example, if a bathroom renovation calls for the client to pick out tile, we’ll recommend not just a trusted company, but a specific salesperson, their contact information, and their individual hours of availability. We’ve vetted this network of experts over time and they’ve earned their place on our recommendations list. It takes so much uncertainty and guesswork out of the process for our clients, and saves them time and stress. No need to window shop.

Ben: It’s also worth mentioning that the people drawing up the plans for our clients are not only experienced project planners, but also experienced in the field. Brian Taber, John Hudson and Brian McCormick have a cumulative 100 years of construction and project planning experience between them, and they are always sharing ideas, troubleshooting challenges, and introducing new concepts to each other. And then all of the office collaborates with our incredibly talented crew in the field. It’s a really exciting and inspiring atmosphere.

Brian: Our field experience is so useful as we put the pieces of the project together. I am building the client’s specific project in my head as I go through the process of designing it. We take all of the design selections that have been made and make sure it all fits in one cohesive picture.


Any final thoughts?

Brian: If there was one thing I wish our clients and potential clients knew about how we work and our level of investment, it’s that we never stop thinking about your project. Until the day we leave your home, and in fact long after, your specific project and your happiness with what we have delivered to you is constantly on our minds.