Natelli Homes Blog

d6562a54-ed73-49d7-e7d2-f44ce554c8b9-thumbHome additions can completely change the form and function of any home.It is a big decision to add a single room or perhaps several rooms and will require some careful planning. To help ensure you get the finished home you want, use these 4 tips.

Know What You Want

This may seem obvious, but it is important to really understand exactly what you want as a finished product. How will you use your new home once the renovation is complete? How will you be using your home in 5 years or 10 years? Thinking about how your needs will change over time will ensure you are able to enjoy your new home for longer. If you understand the big picture of what you want then your builder can help you with the details of getting there.

Find the Right Builder

Once you have made the decision to add on to your home and you have an idea of what you want it is time to find the right builder.

  • Make sure they have plenty of experience and can provide references to previous clients. Be sure to actually check those references.
  • Check with the local home builders association or other professional builders association for membership. Membership in such an organization often indicates a high level of customer service and ethics.
  • Check to see if the builder has won any awards or holds any special certifications. Again this indicates excellence.
  • Make sure you get a written contract that explains exactly what the contractor will do and what you need to do if something goes wrong.
  • Verify they are licensed and insured.

Start Picking Finishes Early

In most renovations you are responsible for picking the finishes, flooring, cabinets, lights, paint etc. It is a good idea to start much earlier than you think you need to. Often these decisions take longer than anticipated. Also there may be delays in ordering and if you have extra time built into your timeline that will help avoid delays in the construction.

Plan for Living Under Construction

If you are renovating the home in which you live it will be important to understand how that impacts your daily life. For example if you are adding onto the kitchen you will need to determine how you will eat as you may not have access to appliances. If you are adding onto a living area how will that effect your life during construction? No matter what room you are adding there will be dust and dirt. If you have allergies or difficulty living in this type of situation you may need to consider taking a vacation or finding somewhere else to live temporarily.

It is also a good idea to plan on how you will deal with the stresses of adding on to your home. There will be delays, there may be difficulties that require repair discovered behind walls and there may be additional expenses. All of these add stress and it can be very helpful to consider how to deal with them before you begin. Set aside money for unexpected expenses and ensure you have a clear communication plan with the builder so that when they find an issue they know how to tell you in a timely manner.

Planning ahead for an addition will allow the process to run more smoothly and ensure a better finished product. For more information on adding on to your home contact us.

162e1203-55ca-45ed-9788-4d381f4accd8-thumbWhether you own a split level home, an American Four Square or contemporary-style home in Maryland or Virginia, your kitchen is undoubtedly the hub of your home. A variety of products and materials that were popular in the past are making a big resurgence in the kitchen. Even if you don’t want a completely retro kitchen, it can be fun to explore the different kitchen remodeling trends as part of an eclectic design. According to an article that cited the National Remodeling Foundation, homeowners are embracing retro styling for their remodeling projects to achieve self-expression.

Retro and vintage appliances

When undergoing a major kitchen remodeling project, you may want to replace all of your outdated appliances. Ironically, what’s trending in new appliances is the old. Some refrigerators have a retro, mid-century modern type of design while being energy-efficient. Instead of the standard white or stainless steel, consider customizing appliances in bold colors.

Linoleum floors

Checker, plaid or painted linoleum floors can give your kitchen a vintage look. Linoleum floors are eco-friendly, comfortable and quiet. Made out of natural ingredients such as ground cork dust, limestone and linseed oil, linoleum is biodegradable and stylish. For a modern or creative kitchen, you can create patterned floor using linoleum tile. It’s a great tile for older people who can’t stand for long times on stone or hardwood surfaces.

Unique kitchen backsplashes

Another way to add some retro excitement to your kitchen remodeling project is to incorporate a decorative backsplash. If the rest of your kitchen is “busy” with patterns and color, it may be best to choose a neutral subway tile. Otherwise, you can afford to liven up the space with a playful backsplash in green, brown and blue glass tiles. Another option is stainless steel vintage kitchen backsplash to go with retro appliances.

Natelli Homes can help you remodel your kitchen as well as renovate your entire homes. No matter what the scale of the project, we provide architecture design services and lend our creativity and expertise to homeowners living in Virginia or Maryland. For more information, please contact us.

6bccd565-592d-4e9d-e867-ff095d2db089-thumbHomeowners who want to build custom homes on their small lots in the Maryland and Virginia area often gravitate to modern-day versions of the American Four Square. Prairie architecture pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright is making a reappearance as homeowners desire the luxury of a new construction home but the space offered by the four-square design. According to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders, custom home building recorded growth this year. Many homebuyers today want homes that have the character of the past. The American Four Square or Prairie Box was popular in the mid-1890s to the late 1930s as a reaction to the ornate Victorian style.

Going beyond four rooms

The old four-square homes typically had four large boxy rooms to each floor. Today’s four-square custom homes may open to a foyer with a dining room on one side and an office on the other side. The middle of the home often has a stair hall that leads up to the second level as well as breakfast room and open kitchen. The other section of the main floor often has a covered terrace and family room. On the upper level, homeowners may have two smaller bedrooms on one side and a master suite with walk-in closets on the other side. Going beyond the “four squares,” custom homes today may include a mudroom on the lower level and an upstairs loft and additional bedroom over the garage.

Enjoying the outdoors

Being outside was important to people who owned an American Four Square before the advent of air-conditioning. Today, custom homes often come with covered flagstone porches and other outdoor amenities. While most four square homes are built on smaller lots, it’s also fun to build a Four Square custom home on a larger lot to allow for an outdoor kitchen area, pool, gazebo, gardens and other landscaping.

Some of the popular interior characteristics and materials used in custom homes with historical character include solid hardwood flooring and solid staircases. Coffered beamed ceilings may be constructed in the family room on the main level.

Natelli Homes Architectural Design and Construction Services is an experienced builder who builds an enhanced version of the basic four square as well as other custom homes. For more information about having an American Four Square home built for your family in the Washington DC area as well as Northern Virginia and Maryland, please contact us.

b6c9a815-72a7-4a44-8137-6e3255cf7e1dYour home’s entryway or foyer is not just what your guests first see when they enter your home, but it’s the space that greets you at the end of a hard day. When planning a home renovation, the foyer is a key area of the home that can make you feel excited about where you live. Before hiring an architectural design firm for a home remodeling project, consider the statement you want to make with your foyer. Lighting, flooring, art niches, the doorway and a staircase are a few of the design elements to include. According to a recent article by HouseBeautiful, a foyer can be dramatic with the right choices for paint, furniture and art. But whether you want design touches such as wainscoting, tone-on-tone striped wallpaper or a new front door with translucent glass, a foyer renovation can improve first impressions.

Fabulous flooring

One of the major considerations when home remodeling is the flooring. Some people use a different flooring material for the foyer so it stands out. One option is to put down a mosaic floor medallion in either marble or ceramic. Another possibility is to select custom oval, round, square or other custom wood medallions or borders for hardwood flooring.

A stunning staircase

A stunning staircase is another major component of a home remodeling  project if you have a two-story home. Some creative ideas include installing a water feature with plants at the base of the stairways using a decorative stone surround. Different styles of staircases today include contemporary, traditional, modern, eclectic and Asian.

Other home remodeling possibilities for a gorgeous foyer include art niches in which you can hang favorite art pieces. Lighting is also a major consideration. Hanging a contemporary chandelier versus a traditional lighting fixture will foreshadow what’s in store for the rest of the home. Replace the existing door with a new one that is crafted with safety and style in mind.

At Natelli Homes Architectural Design and Construction Services, we can help you renovate your entire home, construct additions or redesign or renovate your foyer, entrances, porches, kitchens, bathrooms or other zones in the home. We provide construction and design services to the Washington DC area as well as Northern Virginia and Maryland. For more information, please contact us.

de3c1082-3c45-4211-c839-f42cd84552b9-thumbKitchen remodeling is hot. With so many options, it’s important to distinguish between what’s a fleeting trend and what’s going to make you happy for decades to come. According to a recent Forbes article, there are several kitchen remodel trends that homeowners should avoid. Of course, embrace a trend if you personally love a particular style or kitchen design feature for your Virginia or Maryland home. Not everyone is concerned about resale value, but about having the kitchen of their dreams. According to Forbes, the average cost of a kitchen remodel is now more than $50,000.

Parking your appliances

People used to park their appliances in appliance garages, but appliance garages take up a lot of counter space. A design expert can help you choose cabinets that open up to store pots and pans, spices and fine china. Illuminated kitchen cupboards are especially helpful. Cabinet drawers may be used to file papers. Trash and recycling cans can slide in and out of cabinetry as well.

Using updated backsplashes

Another important kitchen remodeling tip is to select a backsplash that fits the overall style of your home whether it’s country, contemporary or transitional. According to Forbes, the 4-inch backsplash trend has been replaced by porcelain, ceramic or glass tile that covers walls instead of just a few inches.

A kitchen island as a focal point

Kitchen islands are both practical and attractive. Ceiling-mounted racks to hang pots used to be popular, but can also be an eyesore. Many kitchen islands have built-in storage and see-through compartments. In a smaller kitchen, you may opt for a mobile kitchen cart to dress up your kitchen.

Other kitchen remodeling considerations include whether to choose stainless steel or the new colorful appliances. Should you pick the popular granite or choose something else? According to a piece by Houzz, popular countertop materials includes soapstone, copper, engineered quartz, tile, recycled glass, marble, concrete and stainless steel. A professional designer can help you with a kitchen palette that matches the overall style of your home.

At Natelli Homes Architectural Design and Construction Services, we help homeowners transform their kitchens. For help in renovating your kitchen or any other space in your Virginia or Maryland home, please contact us.

c6c3736e-fe3b-4efc-c04c-379807d83c77Upper-end new homes are increasing in size, while home additions increase livable space in homes. According to an article by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), some of the architectural design trends include bigger, more accessible homes as well as property enhancements such as decks and porches. When house hunting in Maryland and Virginia, you may feel claustrophobic in older bungalow and ranch-style homes. Most Marylanders and Virginians want larger homes with decks, porches or windows overlooking the landscape that changes with each of the four seasons.
  • Living in larger homes

As reported by the AIA, the size of homes has been trending up since 2010. Residential architects say there is a demand for two-story entryways and high ceilings as well as more square footage. Upper-end homes are much more likely to be spacious compared to the starter homes. Benefits of living in larger homes include the fact that the home can accommodate a growing family and more guests.

  • Creating accessible living

Another architectural design trend is accessibility. With baby boomers retiring, more people want wider hallways, fewer steps, ramps and door handles instead of knobs that are difficult to grab. People from the younger generations like “flex rooms” and other spaces that can be defined as they wish. The open-space concept layout continues to be popular with family rooms and kitchens that flow. Casual eat-in kitchen areas, dens and niche flex rooms replace the old formal living and dining rooms.

  • Blending indoor and outdoor spaces

From decks, porches, sunrooms to outdoor kitchens, gazebos and pools, more people are making outdoor improvements a priority. Seven out of 10 residential architects surveyed for a Home Design Trends Survey by the AIA said outdoor living is increasing in popularity. Some architectural design ideas include building a stone paver patio with decorative stone fence and stairs leading up to a steep backyard. A new pool and patio or porch and lanai can bring stylish architectural to the back of a home.

Natelli Homes Architectural Design and Construction Services offers unparalleled service. For help in learning about the latest architectural design choices available to you when having a custom home built or when renovating your existing home in Virginia or Maryland, please contact us.

f9d16740-b3f3-49e6-dd13-9547a5544baeIf you are part of the “sandwich generation” with aging parents and children, you may want to consider home additions for a multi-generational household. According to an article by RealtorMag, the recession set off a wave of multi-generational households. But now, experts believe the trend is here to stay. In fact, a survey by the National Association of Realtors found more people are willing to pay extra for an in-law suite. When it comes to accommodating boomerang children and aging parents, there are several home additions that make the most sense.
  • New second floor

Many older homes in the Maryland/Virginia are single-story or ranch-style homes. Building a new second floor can expand space to accommodate a young adult child who returns to live at home after graduating from college. If you are caring for aging parents, you may use the second floor master suite and living space for the younger family members while reserving the first floor bedroom for the older adults who can’t climb stairs as easily.

  • In-law suite with kitchenette

Other great home additions involve adding a second master bedroom suite with sitting area and kitchenette. The space could be used on the first floor for older family members or on the second floor for young adult children. It’s not uncommon for homeowners today to host siblings who need a place to live while job searching or waiting for a home to be built.

  • Garage over-builds

Easy home additions for large extended families also include garage over-builds, which involves using space found above a garage. The space can be used to create bedrooms, bathrooms or a game room and wet bar. An experienced builder can make architectural improvements to the front of the home while adding space above the garage.

Natelli Homes leads the industry in home renovations and remodeling. For more information about home additions to solve space challenges in our Virginia or Maryland home, please contact us.

b69efdd5-a831-4bb4-94bc-2b60ac8057ffIf you own a starter home in Maryland or Virginia, you may wonder if now is the time to list your home so you can afford a step-up home of your dreams. Certainly homes are selling, but other homeowners are raising the bar with stunning home remodeling projects. According to a realtor.com study cited by one MNS Real Estate article, two-thirds of consumers plan to remodel their homes in the next six months. Thirty-two percent of homeowners have a budget of $10,000 or more for home improvements. Thirty-two percent are engaged in home remodeling to improve the appearance of their homes for their own satisfaction, while 22 percent plan to sell their homes. Before listing your home, consult with a company that provides cost-effective renovations and home remodeling services. Some of the areas of the home to concentrate on for resale purposes include the entryway, kitchen and spa bathroom.

Signature curb appeal

The first goal of a home remodeling project is to improve curb appeal so that drive-by house hunters aren’t turned off. A signature entrance such as a portico can help sell a home. Perhaps as a backlash to the frugality of the Great Recession, home homebuyers want to feel as though their home is more of a castle.

Masterpiece kitchen

Kitchen home remodeling projects are also trending toward luxury and excess. According to one article by Freshome, kitchens are seen as the hub of the home. Even if no one is actually cooking in their kitchens, they want a place to study, work, talk, think and watch television. Most people spend their home remodeling dollars in the kitchen. Before listing your home to sell, it may be wise to update kitchen cabinets and countertops.

Bathroom retreat

A recent RealtyTimes article cited a Hanley Wood survey that revealed 58 percent of people taking on home remodeling projects plan bathroom updates. Bathrooms today are spa-like retreats that include futuristic bath fixtures and trends such as heated floors, waterfall showers and modern touch faucets. Depending on your budget, you may select marble or granite, custom tiles and elegant fixtures.

After renovating your home, you may be fortunate enough to receive multiple offers. But it may be difficult to sell your home when you realize how beautiful it has become. At Natelli Homes, we help our clients renovate their existing homes in Maryland and Virginia as well as build lovely custom homes. For more information, please contact us.

735166b7-3ebe-499b-f33b-055a02ad0bdcWhen prioritizing the list of remodels they want to do in their home, many homeowners put their bathroom at the top of their list. This decision is generally driven by the amount of time individuals spend in their bathroom each day, and the amount to which the use of this room could be improved by remodeling it. This can be a smart decision for homeowners to make as bathroom remodels can go a long way in adding to the value of a home. However, before you begin renovating your bathroom, here are a few things you should take into consideration before you begin your bathroom remodel.

Do you need a bathtub?

Many homeowners feel as if they are supposed to have a bathtub in their home. However, if you are trying to customize your bathroom, you should consider your bathroom routine when deciding what you will include in your renovation. If you are the type of person who does not take baths, it may not be necessary to include a bathtub in your remodel. Removing the bathtub from your bathroom could free up space in during the renovation for other add-ons.

Shower Options

Today, the options for what you can include in your shower are almost endless. From various heads, sprays, and nozzles, to different lighting options, you have the ability to create a shower that would outshine anything from even the fanciest resort. Thusly, before you begin your remodel, you should decide what type of shower you would like. Is a traditional showerhead fine, or would you like to have a rain shower put in? You could even choose to have a steam shower in your bathroom.


Just as the possibilities are endless for how you can customize your shower, there are even more options available for amenities you can add to your bathroom to add to its spa feel. Whether you would like to add heated towel racks and floors, or a sophisticated sound system, your bathroom can be as simple or as extravagant as you choose it to be. Many homeowners are even choosing to have a TV installed in their renovated bathroom.

As you can see, there are many decisions you will have to make before you begin your bathroom remodel. This can often leave homeowners feeling overwhelmed by the decisions, as well as the amount of work, that lies ahead of them. Thusly, it could be advantages for you to hire a professional to take care of the remodel process for you, as you will have enough to take care of making choices for your bathroom remodel.



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It's no hidden secret in the renovation and rehabilitation world, bathroom remodeling jobs are incredibly expensive and, what's worse, this often prevents people from completing even the smallest of jobs in fear that they simply don't have enough capital to do it right.

Well, we're here to tell you that remodeling your bathroom doesn't have to cost five figures. It is very possible to make vast improvements to your space without taking out a second mortgage.

Here are five cost-effective, and simple to apply, tips to help you remodel your bathroom while increasing your return on investment (ROI).

Size Matters Not

A highly effective bathroom that functions in an efficient manner can be just as useful as increasing the square footage of a bathroom (but cost thousands less). Reorganize and re-equip where it fits best; remove things that limit room; modify for maximum space. The reward will pay for itself.

Natural Light Pleases

If your bathroom doesn't have a window, but you wish it did, then consider adding natural light before you take to cutting a hole in a wall. Products that simulate light from out-of-doors can fool our brain, and cost far less than a new window.

Demolition is Rehabilitation

By far the most cathartic (plus simplest and cheapest!) way to save on a bathroom remodel is to do your own demo. All you really need is a quality reciprocating saw, a sledge hammer, and a "proceed with care" attitude, and you can save thousands not hiring it out.

Repurposing Goods

To save big, ask your contractor or sub-contractor if they know of any sources where there was leftover goods for you to use. Many times on larger jobs resources are over-bought. This is a great way for you to get some quality, unused hardwoods and fixturing for cheap.

Save on the Back-end

Just like saving money on demo, you can apply the same methodology to finish work as well. No need to hire someone to insulate, clean-up, or paint, those types of jobs can be completed in mere hours, but can save you hundreds if not thousands when your "DIY it." Pitch in and save big!


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