Natelli Homes Blog

architectural-design-makes-a-huge-difference-in-garage-over-builds-mclean-vaThe typical garage over-build creates a bonus room that offers a wide variety of added functions to your home. Whether you are thinking of adding a game room for the teens, a mother-in-law suite that allows you to welcome an elderly parent into your home while preserving their independence, or the opportunity to finally have that home theater setting complete with theater seating and sound, the right architectural design makes all the difference.

  • Customization. Do not make do with a second-hand design plan that may or may not bring the functionality to your home that you crave. Rather, work with an expert in the field who us adept at designing custom homes, home additions or garage over-builds. Working with this type of professional allows you to tailor the amenities and setup of the space to cater to your vision of its future use.
  • Integration. Although it may not sound like as big a deal as a full home-remodeling contract, remember that the addition of a second story above your garage not only adds much-needed space but also makes a dramatic alteration to your home’s appearance, the flow of its roof line and the proportions of your structure with respect to the landscaping. This is where the right architectural design will include the small touches that integrate the new living space into the look and feel of the existing home. Examples include a floor alignment to an already existing second story or the seamless integration of the new space to the current structure, which involves movement of bricks, siding, shingles and other design elements.
  • Modernization. It is tricky to add a new space that feels modern against an older structure. That said, architectural design specialists have the power to affect a flow from a garage over-build into a farmer’s kitchen or other portion of the structure without creating a sudden transition.

The experts at Natelli Homes are well versed in the art and science that is architectural design. Rely on our professionals to sketch out the most functional, visually attractive and versatile living space that fits perfectly above your current garage setup. Contact us today for more information on garage build-overs, kitchen or bathroom remodeling as well as the design of custom homes.




9a6cea39-c77c-46bc-f611-cb23ba3bf151-thumbWith cooler weather on the horizon, many homeowners will begin to move indoors to tackles some home remodeling projects that have been waiting all summer to be completed. But before you dive-in, lock up, and starting swinging that hammer, have you considered which projects have the highest cost-value ratio for the time in the future when you decide to sell? Indoors and out? Don't worry! We've got you covered.

Here are 5 remodeling projects that have the highest cost-value ratio and won't break the bank to complete.

1. Steel Entry Door

Changing out your front door is a very wise decision. Not only does it have a high cost-value ratio (96.6-percent), its advantages are numerous compared to its wood counterparts. Overall durability, high insulative properties, and energy efficiency are just a few perks.

2. Add-on a Deck 

With a return of almost 87.4-percent of the initial cost, a deck is the perfect investment for your home. A deck adds a livable space to the exterior of your home, and many people looking to buy a new home include it on their must list.

3. Garage Door Replacement

How old is your garage door? If you don't know the answer, chances are it's time to replace it. And with a return of almost 84-percent (for mid- and high-range models) it should top your list.

4. Bathroom or Kitchen Remodel

For both of these projects, the return is quite high. For the homeowner completing the task, however, which you decide to do should be based purely on which needs it most. If you're unsure which to take on, ask your family for a consensus and start there.

5. Backup Power Generator

We know it's not necessarily a "project" in the strictest sense of the word, but adding a backup generator to your home is a huge cost-value ratio and, according to experts, is the "biggest gainer" this year. 

Backup Power Generator, increased 28% nationally to its all-time high of 67.5% in percentage of cost recouped, and jumped to 25th in the overall ranking.

Not sure where to begin with your fall project? Please don't hesitate to contact us with questions and for more information on how we can help.

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.

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Custom Millwork
For those with an eye for the details of a custom built home you begin to find the flaws fairly early in the process of investigation. Aspects of interior construction that frequently fall short of perfection are ceiling treatments and molding, also known as millwork. Whether its crown, dental, coffered ceilings, or even the lowly shoe molding, one always finds places that weren’t done as perfectly as they could have been. But when you find the right craftsmen, millwork nirvana may be close at hand.

The custom millwork in this home provides many examples of how attention to detail makes all the difference in the world. The drywall corners have all been rounded, except at the base and the top, where they join the millwork. This provides for tight-fitting corners where the millwork wraps with full returns, completely enclosing the corner.


The formal spaces feature columns, coffered ceilings and crown molding. All of the molding is made from solid poplar. The geothermal heating system has been running for weeks to keep the millwork at a constant temperature and humidity to prevent cracking and warping.

Where ceilings and walls meet at odd angles, soffits have been added to the trim work to create a seamless edge.

Where you notice imperfections in the featured photos, it’s simply because you’re viewing a work in progress and the final finish has not been applied. Feel free to e-mail me with your questions and comments. I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.natellihomes.com.









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There is nothing prefabricated about the carpentry in this home, right down to the lowliest of all considerations, the shelving in the closet and storage spaces.  Each closet has shelving specifically designed to maximize storage within the space and to facilitate the ease of placement and recovery.  There is a custom made cedar closet where the finest clothes will be stored, and numerous closets that use MDF, as the shelving material.  But every closet’s shelving has rounded outer edges.  The shelves are then primed, sanded and painted with the final finish. 

The kitchen pantry offers a great example of custom made shelving.




The cedar closet is a work of art, if you have a hankering for cedar closets.




Other closets throughout the house are designed to maximize form and function.




Feel free to e-mail me with your questions and comments.  I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.natellihomes.com.

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The architectural design of this home employs many Old World creative elements.  From the older stucco finish of exterior walls, to distressed bathroom vanities, to fireplace hearths and wrought-iron railings, the finished produce will transport you in time.  The great room floor and kitchen ceiling exemplify these design details in the use of wooden beams.

The ceiling contains hand-made wooden faux beams, distressed and stained to look decades old.  The parallel alignment of beams across the ceiling contrast large wooden squares on the great room floor, arranged in a diamond pattern, that will be filled with stone tile.  When the crossbeams are added above, the look is one of a somewhat coffered ceiling juxtaposing a coffered floor.  The overall effect will be striking.  BOB, DON’T KNOW IF I’M USING THE RIGHT TERMS THERE.







The same style hand-made wooden faux beams are used in the master bedroom.  Here they complement a fireplace of lovely vintage design, distressed vanities and other elements.



The home uses stone, rich woods and stucco in both the exterior and interior designs.  The wooden faux beams find application on all three levels and appear one last time in the wine cellar.  Here they complete an aesthetic of stone, stucco and vintage wrought-iron and solid wood doors.   

Feel free to e-mail me with your questions and comments.  I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.natellihomes.com.