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If you are dreaming about transforming the smallest rooms in your Maryland or Virginia home, it’s likely you are ready for a bathroom remodeling plan. Just because most bathrooms are small doesn’t mean they don’t make a big impact on your lifestyle and design statement. According to an article by bankrate.com, you need a bathroom remodeling plan when hiring a professional. Because you have limited space in a bathroom, it’s critical to have a comprehensive plan that includes lighting and storage.

  • Should you enlarge your bathroom?

One of the great advantages of hiring a builder is that you can find out how much it would cost to enlarge a bathroom. A builder that specializes in bathroom remodeling will often advise you to enlarge the space by using space from a nearby closet or hallway or bedroom. Most people only enlarge master bathrooms or bathrooms adjacent to a guest suite. A powder room near the kitchen or laundry area is often fine as a small space.

  • Is it best to remove a tub?

In order to install over-sized showers that are so popular now, many architects advise removing tubs in at least one of the bathrooms. Typically, people want a large shower and garden tub in the master bathroom suite. However, a tub that isn’t used in a second or third bathroom is space that's simply wasted.

  • How do you prioritize?

Other factors to consider when prioritizing a bathroom remodeling job include storage and lighting. For the most part, lighting is a fairly inexpensive part of the equation although it’s good to invest in quality decorative lighting and task lighting. The cabinets' configuration plays into the storage equation. Some of the other decision to make include whether or not to spend more money on upgraded vanities, sinks and flooring.

If aging-in-place is something you worry about, talk to your builder about universal design features. Whether it’s a grab bar in the shower, a shower that you won’t trip getting into or out of or a toilet at the right height, universal design appeals to older homeowners as well as people taking care of aging relatives. But even if you are decades away from retirement, universal design elements help boost resale value.

At Natelli Homes, we can help you transform your bathrooms. We provide architectural and design services in Maryland and Virginia. For more ideas for a bathroom remodeling project, please contact us.

Windows are definitely one of the "glass half full / half empty" situations (pun intended). The views, the ambient light and architectual relief windows that windows provide cannot be replaced. Windows let us experience the outside elements without sensing the heat or cold - but how do yours feel?

If your windows are 5 to 10 years old you might start looking at them. Changes in technology for windows and exterior doors have been dramatic in the past decade. There are compelling reasons to consider changing older windows in your home. Consider the following examples.

altThe photo on the left shows a window with a broken seal. Windows are made with two panes of glass and the air between the two panes acts as an insulator and is often filled with argon gas, which is effectively a super-insulating gas. When the seal fails, the insulating gas is released and air can freely flow in and out of the space between the two panes. This invading air between the panes of glass can contain varying humidity and pressure. The result is what appears to be condensation or clouding between the two panes that cannot be cleaned. The only solution is replacing the entire window.

altThe photo on the right shows a door jamb with excessive rot. Old and rotten wood parts are often the primary reason to replace windows and exterior doors. Water can easily get into the home causing mold and mildew. One might consider repairing the bottom of the door jamb with a synthetic material but one should determine if any function of the door has been compromised by the rot and water intrusion first.

The most obvious evaluation is simply to feel if there is cold air coming through your windows. Clients say they could see their curtains move on a windy day before we replaced their windows. If you feel that your home is significantly more comfortable when you pull curtains or window treatments over the windows, then you really should consider replacing your doors and windows. All this plus the evident energy savings make replacing your doors and windows an easy decision.

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altI am both proud and excited about a campaign Natelli Homes has organized with the Capital Area Food Bank as our focus for the next year.

Hunger is a staggering issue in our community. This condition is an unfortunate and often overlooked result of our country’s economic status. Poverty levels have reached new levels and thousands of people in our area simply don’t have access to appropriate food sources and proper nutrition. The CAFB serves almost 500,000 people each year through its non-profit partners. Surprisingly more than half of the households assisted by their efforts have at least one employed adult and only 5% of the recipients are homeless. Hunger and food insecurity are quickly reaching into households that were previously self-sufficient. Sadly, the numbers of children affected are an increasing component of the statistics.

Natelli Homes hopes to make continuing donations to the Capital Area Food Bank through the installation of replacement windows and doors for our clients. Our “WINDOWS FOR HUNGER” campaign will provide a constant source of funding for the programs at the CAFB. We hope to introduce our clients to the successful efforts made by the Food Bank in our area. There are many ways to contribute to the CAFB, both through volunteering and donations.

I encourage you to learn about the Capital Area Food Bank by visiting their website at www.capitalareafoodbank.org

Please share the attached coupon with anyone who might be interested in assisting the Food Bank when they install new windows or doors in their home. Look for similar opportunities on the Natelli Homes FaceBook page in the near future.

Feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Natelli Homes is pleased to display one of its newest product lines in Arlington this weekend.  The Ashley model is designed and developed for narrow lots in areas such as Arlington and Bethesda.

altThe original home was demolished in the latter part of 2010 and we are already getting prepared for the Owners to move in their new home.  This hand-crafted home was constructed to the same standards as the ultra-custom homes that Natelli Homes builds throughout the Washington metropoliotan area.  With four finished levels, five full bedrooms and an expansive recreation room and den in the basement, there is a surprising amount of room for families.

Please join us this Sunday, May 15th between 1:00 - 3:00 p.m at 1909 N Quebec St in Arlington, VA.  This will be a one- time opportunity to see the most current new home design and quality from Natelli Homes.

Feel free to contact me with any questions at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"A picture is worth a thousand words"

We have seen and heard this phrase for decades, perhaps centuries, and I really doubt anyone questioned its meaning because it is so obviously true.  Whether conceived by Frederick R. Barnard in the publication, Printer's Ink, in 1921 or it truly evolved from a Chinese proverb ("a picture is worth ten thousand words") or perhaps it should be added to the many credits of Confucius, it needs no explanation.

With that in mind, tell me what you think:

altBefore & Afteralt

 Feel free to e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.natellihomes.com where valuable coupons will be available through the month of February.

There are many reasons to replace old windows and doors in a home, but the architectural value of windows can't be overlooked.  Window grilles in particular change and enhance the persona of a home.  Removable grilles can be provided for ease of cleaning,  grilles can be sandwiched between the panes of glass so they provide an apparent division of divided lites, but the most pronounced and historically accurate use of grilles is a permanent application on the inside and the outside of the glass.  This type of grill, also known as "Simulated Divided Lite", produces the authentic look of a traditional window with milled wood and clad components separating the pieces of glass.  Windows with Simulated Divided Lites are significant, they have appropriate mass and are recognized by any layman as quality products that enhance the character and value of the home.

altIn this home in Potomac, MD, we installed new JeldWen custom sized clad windows with true divided lites.  The existing windows in the home did not have any grille divisions in the glass.  The window openings were effectively black holes in the facade - the home needed some architectural content.alt  Including windows with grilles immediately changed the look of the home.  The window openings took on a character;  the grilles added color and visual interest to the front elevation.

altUsing replacement windows with grilles is an easy but often overlooked change to the home.  We get used to how things are sometimes and need to consider options that may not have been considered before. altThere is a lot more about the architectural potential of windows that we will cover in a future post such as the size  and layout of the window divisions, the type of grilles to use and even the color, but for now just admire the architectural transformation of this home with the simple addition of grilles in the windows.

Feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.natellihomes.com, where some valuable coupons for bathrooms, kitchens and windows are available for the month of February.

Arlington, Virginia is such a great location for anyone in the metro DC area.  Quick access to downtown Washington, great neighborhoods, interesting regional restaurants and an abundance of good schools make this one of the most desired places to live in D.C.  Unfortunately the age of the housing stock makes it more difficult for a family to find exactly the right fit for a home.

One of the many strengths of Natelli Homes is the ability to provide exceptional value without sacrificing quality.  Builders have many way to cut costs during construction, but our standards are not going to change whether we are building a custom home for millions of dollars or a home for a client with lower budget.  In fact, many of the vendors and subcontractors used on projects at both ends of the price spectrum are often the same.

altEspecially in Arlington and Bethesda, we work with clients to evaluate the potential to renovate verses the possibility of tearing down an existing home and building new.  Building new does not mean building expensive; one just has to be smart about making the right choices.

altThis home will have  engineered floor systems spaced at 16" on center, not 24" on center just to meet the minimum code requirements, clad aluminum windows with Low-E high performance glass, hot water recirculating water lines and many other features that are always included in a Natelli home.  The home even incorporates a split zone heating and air conditioning system to address the needs of particular rooms when needed, not just blast air throughout the home when the fan comes on.

We will keep you posted about the progress and features of this fine new home in future posts.  Feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.NatelliHomes.com

Full window replacement systems vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Marvin Window's system using a Kynar jamb extension is a nice way to provide a clean and maintenance free exterior application.

altIn the photo on the right, the old window has been completely removed and a new Marvin full replacement window has been installed in the opening.  Note how the minimally expanding foam fills the entire cavity between the window frame and the rough opening.  Nothing can get though the gap - not wind, not water nor bugs.

altBut to cap it off, literally, Marvin has a clean system that snaps into the exterior window frame and butts against the existing brick opening.  This jamb extension using Marvin's extremely durable extruded aluminum is substantially stronger than roll-form aluminum and features a protective 70% Kynar® 500 paint finish for superior resistance to fading and chalking.  Kynar, in particular resists fading and comes in 19 colors.

I am very impressed with this replacement system from Marvin and encourage anyone who is ready to consider new windows to look at Marvin.

Feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.natellihomes.com

"Just do it!" - a notable trademark of Nike that catches everyones eye.  I always wanted to make tee-shirts for my employees that said, "Just do it right!"  I paused for fear of trademark infringement, but still like the message.  I am confident that our team thinks that way, even though we don't have the tee-shirts.

altIn the case of replacing a dormer window, it would have been easy to plug the new window in and consider the job done, but that would have been a huge disservice to our client.  The trim around the window was rotting and the siding was all but deteriorated.  I wonder how much water was getting into the home through the trim and siding alone.

altWe chose to remove everything, down to the exterior sheathing so we could observe the flashing and ensure that the dormers were flashed, sealed and water and air infiltration were managed properly.

The new finished product assures our client of a weather-proof installation that will stand the test of time.  We used synthetic exterior millwork, 70% Kynar 500® cladding on the Marvin Windows and a cement based siding on the sides of the dormer.alt The Kynar cladding from Marvin Windows and Doors comes with a 20 year warranty.  The synthetic trim and cement siding takes paint well and resists rot and deterioration for years to come.  The future maintenance requirements will be minimal.

Always look at the bigger picture and don't cut corners on a significant investment such as window replacements.  Find a contractor that is familiar with the best products and procedures in your marketplace.  Evaluating all the issues for a client up front is a detail that can't be overlooked.

Feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.natellihomes.com