fbpx

 

There are many options when it comes to organizing your spices, but here’s our list of non-negotiables:

 

Optimize Your Space:

Label the top of your spices so you can keep track of inventory if using a pull-out drawer, or you can invest in an in-drawer insert that allows your spices to lay on their sides. Label the sides of your spice jars and purchase a tiered shelf or lazy Susan for easy access.

 

Organization 101:

Pick your organization method and run with it – whether you choose to arrange your spices alphabetically, by area of the world, how frequently you use it, or by type (such as categorizing by peppers, aromatics, herbs, warm baking spices, etc.).

 

Matching your jars and labels goes a long way! We recommend airtight glass jars, as they are the best option for protecting your herbs and spices by preventing premature oxygenation. Two-ounce jars that you can fit a teaspoon inside and that are small enough to encourage turnover work great.

 

Stocking Your Spices:

When it comes to spices, the more the merrier is not the way to go. That spice you can’t remember the last time you used? Toss it. If a recipe calls for a small amount of something you don’t think you’ll ever use again, just skip it! We love this list of the spices you really need in your pantry from bon appétit – Check it out for some inspo on how to best stock your spice drawer.

 

Don’t Bring The Heat:

Be cognizant of heat, as it causes spices to degrade faster than usual. Avoid making your spices’ home base above your oven or near a radiator. Many people store spices on a spice rack on their kitchen counter for easy access, however this isn’t ideal when the kitchen heats up. Your pantry, kitchen drawers, or a mounted shelf inside a pantry or cabinet drawer are your best options.

 

The Elite team recently completed a kitchen and dining room remodel for a Wyomissing client. The end result? We gave a kitchen built in 1953 an entire upgraded look, including new windows, a new door at a new location, and a re-imagined open floor plan. “It’s a completely different house! I love it. It’s what I always wanted since the day we moved in,” exclaimed our client, Penny, when we stopped by to visit after they were settled in with their new furniture.

Josh, the Superintendent on the job said his favorite part of this project was “developing a new open floor plan while still keeping true to the 1950s architecture by keeping the curved opening of the doorway. Penny and her daughter’s favorite part of their new kitchen was making the switch from an electric stove to gas because it has made cooking easier. (Bonus: There is even an air fryer in the oven!) They also love the peninsula in the new space.

 

A Look At The Transformation:

Here’s some before and after photos of the space:

 

 

 

 

 

Our team opened up the dining room, living room, and kitchen area to create a more open space.

 

 

The Construction Process:

Penny and her family enjoyed watching the construction process and said that our team and Trade Partners were “nice and respectful, especially when it came to having to walk through the kitchen throughout construction.” The on-site construction team would always move the plastic barriers whenever the family wanted or needed to walk through. “They were so courteous that they avoided cutting any wood, etc. and waited until we were done making our food,” Penny’s daughter reflects.

Our clients relied on microwave cooking and cooking on the grill throughout the course of construction. In fact, having to walk all the way around the house to get to the grill is what inspired the family to start dreaming up their next home renovation – an outdoor living project that they hope to begin with our team in Spring of 2023.

As the homeowner, Penny also appreciated how our team would always “go to bat for her to get her what they needed.” That’s the D&B Elite difference.

 

Now Get The Look:

Here’s a look at some of our trusted Trade Partners who helped bring this vision to life: Flooring and tile backsplash from About All Floors, Granite Countertops from AAA Hellenic Marble, cabinetry was completed by Swartz Kitchens & Baths, and plumbing fixtures from Weinstein Reading.

 

Many studies over the last several decades have shown that most seniors (ages 65+) prefer the idea of aging in their own home – or aging in place – rather than moving into a nursing home. Research indicates that the majority of seniors (about 94%) still wish to stay in their home as long as they are able. It’s no secret that Covid-19 has likely strengthened the desire seniors have to age in place. With the change in “life as we knew it” since March of 2020, we couldn’t help but wonder how Covid-19 may have affected the elderly’s living landscape now and into the future.

This was the case for D&B Elite Custom clients, Janet and John, whose parents/in-laws decided to age in place by adding an addition to the couple’s home. “We sat down with my father David to talk about options since the current plan of just taking care of Mom himself at their own home was no longer adequate,” reflects Janet. Although Janet’s father had been leaning towards moving into a senior living facility, his mind was swayed after the pandemic hit.

Janet reflected on the positive impact that aging in place had on her father: “It gave him a sense of ownership and privacy. He knows his money paid for the addition. For him that was a plus. My Dad made a business decision to sell his home and build something smaller onto our house. He knew he came out ahead financially, which gave him a sense of ownership and a boost.” Hear more from the family about their experience adding an addition here!

 

 

In a senior living facility, you’re not gaining a sense of ownership. Meanwhile, the way the addition was constructed allows Janet’s father to feel that he still has his own home. He can come and go using his own walkway, and he can sit outside on his own porch with his wife. All of these actions give him a sense of privacy and strong sense of identity, allowing the couple to be who they are while still having the overall safety needed.

According to a Pew Research study, “living with an extended circle of relatives is the most common type of household arrangement for older people around the world. But in the United States, older people are far less likely to live this way – and far more likely to live alone or with only a spouse or partner.” However, the pandemic may be changing these views in the United States. More families may be inclined to take in their seniors rather than putting them in senior facility homes. According to a Forbes article, students in a School of Aging Studies class at the University of Maryland Baltimore County gave their opinions on what they would do with their families’ living situation in the future based on Covid-19: “More families will think about adapting their houses and lifestyle to accommodate older people living with them because living in those nursing facilities is risky.” There are a scattering amount of home improvements that prove to be worth adding to your home to accommodate seniors. Improvements are not only for your parents, but are for yourself as you continue to age. Instead of looking into a retirement community or nursing home, consider making your home suitable for the needs that one develops as they age.

 

Ways to Accommodate Your Home to be Forever not Just Temporary:

– Install electronic stair lifts if you have more than one floor or a basement

 

– Improve sidewalks and pathways to ensure they are flat and have a ramp if needed for wheelchair accessibility

 

– Update your floor

  1. Replace carpet with hardwood floor to make it easier to move around with a wheelchair
  2. Widening your doorways for wheelchair and walker access
  3. Putting all essential rooms on the first floor

 

– Replace toilet

  1. A raised toilet seat alleviates pain and makes it easier for aging adults

 

– Replace bathtub with walk-in shower to provide an easier and safer entry and exit

  1. Add grab bars (horizontal and even small vertical ones)
  2. Add shower chairs
  3. Extendable shower head

 

– Remote control lighting

  1. This keeps areas accessible with easy access

 

– Easy thresholds and transitions

  1. Increases safety for those with difficulty walking, walkers or wheelchairs

 

– Open floorplan

  1. Easy to get around, especially if wheelchairs are needed

 

– Install a main floor drain and no-slip materials on floor

 

– Make simple purchases to enhance safety around your home

 

 

As a result of the pandemic, many families are more cautious when it comes to housing their elderly loved ones in a nursing home. The fear of them becoming ill couples with the fear of possibly not being able to see their loved ones if quarantining is needed. According to Home Advisor’s True Cost Guide, “it is typically cheaper to build an addition than to buy or build a new home.” John explained that for his family it was cheaper to add an addition instead of building another home close to them. Hear from John and Janet on what their experience was like working with the Elite team here!

Learn more about additions here on our website. With five currently in the works for this year, we have a handful of tips to offer, so reach out today for your free consultation!

Construction on your home is an inconvenience – we get that. Unforeseen issues will inevitably arise. As our Vice President of Residential Construction, Larry Adam, says, “A project well planned is a project half complete.” Here’s five tips on how to streamline your home remodel project:

 

Timing is everything!

Plan ahead (especially with current extended lead times, supply chain difficulties, and wait on inventory). If you want to enjoy a new outdoor living space by next Summer, you should really be starting today.

 

Be prepared with an idea board.

Houzz and Pinterest are great places to gather inspiration of the style, look, and feel you are going for.

 

Look for a general contractor that follows a pre-construction process focused on value engineering.

This will get you quality work on time and within budget. A builder that is willing to start active construction right away without ensuring every little detail of your project is thought of may be a red flag. They should be completing a pre-construction walk through to review points of access, location of dust protection and more to ease the process.

 

Be realistic when it comes to financials (unlike the budgets you see on HGTV!)

A good construction partner will advise you on where you can adjust specifications to save money. They will help you come up with a plan that gets the look you desire to fit within a reasonable budget.

 

Ask how involved all vendors and trades will be in your project.

Your general contractor should be making them a key part of the process. They should have an intimate knowledge of your project before they meet you. This makes all the difference.

 

Meeting selection deadlines will make a project run smoothly without delays.

Look for a construction partner that makes a point to clearly communicate and invests in construction management software to help manage project selections and deadlines.

 

Learn more about floor plan remodels here!

 

Learn more about Basement renovations here!

 

Learn more about Bathroom renovations here!

 

 

Learn more about Kitchen renovations here!

 

Learn about other specialty areas of the home here!

 

 

Contact D&B Elite Custom for your free consultation today! See why we were named 2022 People’s Choice in Home Contractor and New Home Builder.

Did you know that major kitchen remodels are on the rise? Hiring kitchen renovation professionals has jumped to 89% in 2021, its highest level in four years! If you are also in the market for a major kitchen remodel this year, be sure to check out Houzz’s Kitchen Trend Study for 2022. This report compiles findings from a survey of 2,380 U.S. homeowners who either recently completed a kitchen renovation or are in the planning stages with one. The 39-page report goes in-depth with many trends. We’ve summarized the biggest takeaways below for those crunched on time.

 

Let’s Talk Kitchen Countertops:

The study revealed that more than one-third of homeowners reportedly splurged on countertops (35%). The most common feature improved during kitchen renovations, countertops were upgraded by more than nine in 10 homeowners (91%).

 

When it comes to countertops, there are so many options! These options can get overwhelming since the material you choose not only impacts aesthetics but the functionality of your kitchen (not to mention your budget, too). Did you know that more than one in three (35%) of renovating homeowners who are upgrading their kitchen reported that they decided to spend significantly more than originally planned and “splurge” on new countertops? The D&B Elite team is here to help! Below are some of the most popular choices and some pros and cons to each to help you weigh your options:

Engineered Quartz

Although this material remains number one in choice for upgrading kitchen countertops, according to the Houzz survey “it dramatically declined in popularity this year” with only 42% of renovating homeowners choosing quartz (down from 51% in 2020). Quartz is an engineered stone containing up to 93% quartz particles and other materials. It is then shaped into slabs and bound with resins. Quartz was engineered to make a more adaptable alternative to granite and marble. It’s easy to see why quartz has been the #1 choice time and time again in this study, as its pros far outweigh its cons.

Pros: It’s nonporous surface resists staining and scratching, it’s available in a larger range of colors than granite, it’s easy to maintain and no sealing is required, it’s impervious to heat and acid, the slabs are uniform with no imperfections, DIY installation is possible, and it can be custom-fabricated into any shape or size

Cons: It is expensive and creates heavy countertops

 

Granite

Granite’s sleek and elegant look speaks for itself on why it remains the second preferred choice. Here are some pros and cons of this material:

Pros: Strong and durable, adds real estate value to your home, almost impervious to heat, almost 3,000 different variants and colors are available, and it’s nearly maintenance-free when treated with newer sealers

Cons: Very expensive material, not suitable for DIY installation, slabs may have imperfections, may crack if stressed / improperly installed, if you cut directly on granite your knives will dull quickly, and this stone is porous and requires sealing to avoid stains

 

Butcher Block or Wood Slab

Butcher block / wood slabs have rose in popularity this year (increasing from 10% to 12%). They create a soft, warm look that is currently trending. Maple and oak are the hardwoods most often used on countertops.

Pros: Incredibly long-lasting when properly cared for, you can sand and reseal this countertop material as needed, it is relatively easy to clean, and it offers a charming, country look in most kitchens

Cons: Fairly expensive material, it can be damaged by water and stains over time, knives can cut and scratch this surface, if the wood isn’t oiled and sealed frequently the wood may crack, and bacteria can become an issue if this material is not properly maintained

 

Marble

Since no two sheets of marble are entirely the same, each marble countertop is one-of-a-kind, which may explain why this natural stone is commonly used for countertops in kitchens. It is common to see a portion of a countertop, such as the baking center, reserved for marble due to its high price tag. Here are some other things to be aware of:

Pros: Waterproof and heatproof, adds to real estate value of your home, and is a beautiful stone with unique veining

Cons: Expensive material, DIY installation is not possible, marble is porous and stains easily unless sealed, it can be scratched, and repairs are difficult to make on this material

 

Let’s Talk Kitchen Cabinets:

Of the 94% of renovating homeowners who either replace all of their kitchen cabinets (65%) or partially replace the kitchen cabinets (29%) as part of their renovation, the majority of homeowners (76%) are choosing solid wood as the primary material of new cabinets. Among those partially upgrading cabinets, the percentage of homeowners refinishing cabinet exteriors jumped by 5 points from the previous year, to 65%. One in four individuals add some cabinets, while 23% replace only the cabinet doors. Cabinets with deep drawers for specialty storage, such as adding organizers for cookie sheets or trays, continue to be popular!

 

Let’s Talk Kitchen Appliances:

Appliances are the second most common feature that homeowners splurge on during their kitchen renovations (27%). Over a third of upgraded appliances include high-tech features (35%), up six percentage points from the previous year. The most popular kitchen appliance features are wireless and smart phone controls (26%), up eight percentage points from 2021.

When it comes to upgrading kitchen appliances, the study found that garbage disposals (52%) and beverage refrigerators (19%) are gaining popularity in particular this year. Nearly 1 in 5 renovating homeowners incorporated or plan to incorporate a beverage refrigerator (up 5% from last year) while 14% add or upgrade a wine refrigerator.

 

Let’s Talk Kitchen Islands (Because It Seems Everyone Is):

More than half of renovating homeowners (57%) either upgrade or add an island, and more than 1 in four homeowners (27%) upgrade an existing island, up by 3 percentage points from the previous year — a significant increase. Nearly 2 in 5 islands are more than 7 feet long, a significant increase from last year, indicating that islands in general are getting longer. Given the current work from home trend, it may come as no surprise that one in five homeowners (20%) say that a top activity they complete at their island following their kitchen renovation is work. Here’s a look at two of our favorite kitchen islands we recently completed:

 

Let’s Talk Lighting:

The top choice for upgraded light fixtures in 2022? Undercabinet lights (with recessed lights trailing just behind them). Pendant lights saw a 4% increase in popularity for 2022. We love the way these pendant lights complete the space of a recent home renovation we completed:

 

 

Let’s Talk Flooring:

What’s in style when it comes to flooring? Stained or unstained hardwood floor regained its #1 spot this year and vinyl/resilient flooring nearly doubled in popularity since 2019, taking the #2 spot away from ceramic or porcelain tile.

 

Let’s Talk Color:

White kitchens are IN. The study revealed that white continues to lead as the top choice for kitchen cabinets, backsplash and walls (41%, 40% and 32% respectively).

The report also revealed that gray is the most common alternative to white, with 27% of homeowners painting their renovated kitchen walls gray, 13% installing gray flooring, and 11% choosing to opt for gray backsplash. Homeowners looking to add a pop of color to their space tend to be drawn towards blue, black, and green for their kitchen island cabinet colors.

 

Let’s Talk Money:

The median spend for both major and minor kitchen remodels increased in mid-2021 by 14% to $40,000 and 25% to $10,000, respectively, compared to 2020. Likewise, the median spend for a major kitchen remodel of a large kitchen (250 SF or more) continued to climb for the fourth year in a row to $50,000, up $5,000 from the previous year. The median spend on a major small kitchen remodel (less than 250 SF) increased as well, up $5,000 from $35,000 in mid-2021.

Reach out to D&B Elite Custom today for a free consultation to see how we can make your home renovations a reality while staying within your budget.