After 25 years in business, BOWA has worked on residential projects of nearly every type, size and approach. Some were design build, some were post-design bid situations, some were construction rescues and, back in the day, some were even spec homes. With all of this experience and all the client feedback that comes with it, there is one thing we know for sure: Projects which begin with BOWA leading the architectural design team deliver the highest-quality results, the best client experience and the greatest value possible.
The team approach is the key to this success. BOWA’s team of trained and… Read More >
Get BOWA’s high standard of quality, service and aftercare at a significantly reduced cost.
In the fall of 2013, BOWA announced a new Winter Incentive Program, which was met with great success. This year, to the benefit of the company and homeowners alike, we wanted to get the ball rolling earlier!
BOWA’s Winter Incentive Program is an annual offer designed to keep a steady stream of projects running through the winter months. The program is LIMITED TO 5 PROJECTS per year and offers a significant discount in exchange for some flexibility in start date. It is a great opportunity for… Read More >
Homeowners often ask, “What are some general guidelines for keeping my home safe and healthy for my family?”
Our experience over the last 25 years has proven that certain interior maintenance items are critical to the long-term performance of your home. A regular schedule of interior and exterior home maintenance will likely help you to avoid serious home-related problems, or at least identify issues early so problems can be addressed in a timely manner with minimal adverse effects.
Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Maintenance Recommendation: Serviced in the spring and fall; change filters regularly.
As a mechanical system, they… Read More >
Many homeowners wonder: “Am I doing enough to keep my home safe from the outdoor elements?” Our experience over the past 25 years has proven that there are certain exterior maintenance items that are critical to the long-term health of the home. All too often we find that when serious issues arise, they are directly or indirectly due to these basic home maintenance items being neglected, either because they are not understood or forgotten. A regular schedule of maintenance will likely help to identify issues early so problems can be addressed in a timely manner and adverse effects can be… Read More >
Planning for multigenerational living has been on the rise in recent years. With life expectancies increasing and early baby boomers entering their golden years, this trend is expected to continue. As with any remodeling project, there are a number of factors to consider when planning a renovation for a growing household.
A Space of Their Own A self-contained guest house or in-law suite offers the most privacy for all generations. Including a full bathroom and kitchenette, as well as a separate entrance in this space, allows an older family member to retain their independence and privacy. Adding a small sitting… Read More >
Dubbed by some as “the largest social trend of the early 21st century,” the shift toward urban living has made national headlines in recent months. In increasing numbers, empty nesters are shedding their large homes and yards in the suburbs in favor of condominiums nestled in among Gen Xers and all the conveniences, arts and culture city life has to offer.
BOWA’s own work substantiates this trend. Not long ago, condominium remodeling was a very small piece of BOWA’s business, but today it is a significant and growing portion. With projects ranging from pull-and-replace kitchens to whole-unit renovations, in buildings… Read More >
Whether you’re searching for a plumber to fix a leaky pipe or doing a complete kitchen remodel, finding and hiring the best professionals for the job can be a challenge. We’ve all heard enough horror stories of what happens when someone hires an unethical or unqualified contractor, so it’s perfectly natural to be wary. But doing a little homework before signing a contract can help you rest assured that you’ve hired the right home pro for your job. So how are homeowners finding good people these days?
Phone a Friend: Often times the best place to start is with who… Read More >
Year after year, we find that the approach of the busy holiday season drives homeowners to postpone thoughts of a renovation until after the New Year.
But, what if there was an incentive to get the ball rolling today?
ANNOUNCING BOWA’s NEW WINTER INCENTIVE PROGRAM!
BOWA’s Winter Incentive Program is an annual program designed to keep a steady stream of projects running through the winter months. The program is LIMITED TO 5 PROJECTS per year and offers a significant discount in exchange for some flexibility in start date. (Two spaces have already been filled for this winter!)
This is a… Read More >
Design build remodeling yields better client experience
Today’s homeowners are extremely educated about what they want in a home. Travel, home shows, the internet and a greater focus on creating a comfortable environment, have led homeowners to be very particular about what renovations they do and how they go about them. The BOWA design build process is perfect for homeowners who want to play a more active role in their project, but it also offers numerous other benefits ranging from total accountability to significant cost savings.
A Streamlined Process and Total AccountabilityThe design build process is “one-stop-shopping” for home remodeling.… Read More >
A lighting strategy is essential during the early stages of planning a successful renovation or remodel. As lighting is an integral design component, it should not be left as a last minute decision or afterthought. The location of the room and the way the space will be used are important factors when determining the best lighting solutions for your home.
Two-Step Planning Process
Creating a plan in the early stages allows you to coordinate other elements within the design, such as smoke detector or speaker placement, which typically also require wiring in the ceiling. If a ceiling fan and recessed… Read More >
We’ve all seen enough commercials, magazine ads and sales fliers to know that kitchen appliances are always evolving and manufacturers are in a race to reveal the next big thing. But, which ones are catching the eyes of kitchen experts and their clients? The following highlights might shed a little light and be helpful whether you’re looking to replace one kitchen staple that is on the fritz or you’re planning a kitchen remodel and need everything and the kitchen sink. Move Over Microwave The GE Advantium Speedcook Oven is available in either a 120-volt or 240-volt model, and features multiple… Read More >
Check it out!
BOWA’s Doug Horgan, vice president of best practices, was recently featured in Remodeling magazine talking about our 50th in-house employee training session.
“For Horgan, planning the meeting is the most valuable part of his job, he says….’My mission is to reduce construction defects. They’re a drag for our customers — and they’re expensive.’”
“Past sessions have covered various concrete, masonry, roofing, insulation, plumbing, electrical, and paint topics. Code updates are of particular interest, since BOWA works in three jurisdictions. Horgan has also covered exterior weatherproofing for roofing and masonry installation where “the smallest mistakes can cause… Read More >
BOWA would like to congratulate our three nominees and winners of the 2013 PROS Awards!
Rob Lucas: Best Customer Service Representative/Office.
Scotty Marine: Best Project Manager/Superintendent
Alex Castellon: Best Customer Service Manager/Field
The 13th Annual PROS Awards, co-sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association and the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association, recognize the dedication and hard work of customer service managers, project managers and superintendents who go above and beyond in all aspects of residential construction. Nominees were submitted by their employers and judged on their accomplishments in the 2012 calendar year, construction knowledge, focus on quality, scope of… Read More >
While previously seen exclusively as a high-end luxury item, elevators are becoming a more popular feature in today’s homes. Perhaps due to the wave of baby boomers that are planning for their long-term needs and recent innovations that have made the technology more affordable, residential elevators are now seen as a practical solution to many home challenges.
Benefits Homeowners who wish to age in place, have existing mobility issues, or will soon be caring for older parents, often think about adding on a ground-level master suite. However, if the added square footage isn’t otherwise necessary or if lot space is… Read More >
Is a kitchen remodel in your near future? Are you planning a master suite addition? Whether you want to renovate or you’re just looking to freshen up your living room with some new furnishings, there are some great online tools available to help with the design process. Looking for Inspiration? If you’re looking for something above and beyond just tearing out magazine pages to show to your design team, you may want to check out Pinterest. This website, also available as a mobile app, allows you to collect, organize, and share visual bookmarks of all the things that interest you.… Read More >
We plan for retirement, vacations and home improvements, so why not take some time to put a plan in place for dealing with a home emergency? As the old adage goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so it’s important to make sure safety precautions are in place to keep your home and family safe.
Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to ensure they are working properly. Change the batteries at least once a year, and if you need help remembering when it’s time, choose a special date every year such as a birthday, anniversary,… Read More >
Everyone at BOWA is passionate about helping people make educated decisions regarding their homes. While our focus remains luxury design build renovations and additions ranging from master baths to whole-houses and condos, we are delighted to be a trusted advisor for ALL things home related.
BOWA’s new Home Partner Program is the solution for those projects that fall outside of our design build focus. The Home Partner Program is a network of trusted home-related resources to which we feel comfortable referring our clients, friends and colleagues. The network includes plumbers, electricians, media specialists and other related professionals that can… Read More >
Even though recent days have been unseasonably warm for the greater Washington DC area, sporadic cold spells and snow showers remind us that winter is still here. While some folks live it up on the slopes and school-aged children cherish the snow day, snow safety is an important topic for homeowners. Below are some tips to keep you, your family and your home safe during the winter season.
Snow Shoveling Safety
On average, more than 11,000 people are injured while snow shoveling per year. But doing some light exercises and stretches before getting started, dressing in layers that can be… Read More >
In the words of the great Bing Crosby, “Baby It’s Cold Outside!” As you may have already heard or felt, this week’s forecast calls for some of the coldest temperatures the DC area has experienced in at least two years and a strong possibility of snow or a wintry, freezing mix on Friday. To help keep your family and home safe, consider the following.
First, Be Sure your Hose Bibs are Ready
When water freezes in a copper pipe, the ice wins and the copper and your home loses. To avoid this potentially costly headache, it is essential that you… Read More >
Have you decided it’s time to replace your water heater? Or, are you looking to make your home more energy efficient? In either case, following is an overview on how tankless water heaters work and some helpful advice on why a tankless unit may (or may not) be the best option for your home.
Tankless Water Heaters 101 Also known as instantaneous or on-demand heaters, this type of water heater provides hot water only as needed, so no storage tank is required as with conventional units. Since the water isn’t continuously heated, it doesn’t produce the standby energy losses associated… Read More >
This time of year many of us make an effort to help those in our community who are less fortunate through the donation of goods, dollars or service. Whether it’s the spirit of the season that motivates you or a year-end push for tax purposes, consider the following organizations that will gladly accept your donation of home-related items.
A Wider Circle
This organization provides basic-need items to families transitioning out of shelters and those living without life’s necessities. A Wider Circle furnishes the homes of more than 1,000 children and adults each month. If you wish to donate furniture and… Read More >
Today’s master baths goes beyond mere bathrooms to also serve as places to pamper, relax and rejuvenate. Since it’s where your day begins and ends, it’s definitely a space you’ll want to be comfortable in and enjoy. The amenities in some master baths today can rival those of a luxury spa. So what are homeowners doing these days to create their own personal retreats?
Natural stone is as popular a choice as ever for bathroom floors and walls. Extending the tile work from the shower to the walls can help minimize the number of different elements in the… Read More >
With Hurricane Sandy predicted to move up the eastern seaboard in the next few days, now is a great time for a quick refresher on preparing your home and family for whatever the storm may bring. A few simple preventative steps, outlined below, may help you to avoid costly repairs once the storms have passed.… Read More >
For most homeowners, the kitchen is the heart of their home, and having surfaces that will last and remain beautiful over time is a priority. Today’s countertops go beyond functionality and serve as an aesthetic focal point in many kitchens. Listed below are some tips on how to keep these surfaces in tip-top shape.
Keeping Natural Stone Beautiful
Granite, marble, limestone, travertine, and slate are all part of the natural stone family. For routine cleaning, a mixture of dish soap and water is recommended. Non-abrasive and non-acidic, this simple mixture neutralizes any acids that are left behind, plus contains a… Read More >
Does your water have a strange odor or taste? Do you find your soap doesn’t lather well or you have water spots on dishes and glasses? Or, do you simply wonder what could be in it? Whether you think your water has a specific issue or you’re just concerned about the safety of your family, the first step is having your water tested. You can also check out a copy of your water company’s Annual Water Quality Report. While this report doesn’t tell you what’s coming out of your tap specifically, it can give you an overall idea of what’s… Read More >
The summer season is in full swing for pool parties and backyard BBQs in the greater Washington, DC area. Today’s backyards are multi-purpose spaces that are great for relaxing, entertaining, and spending time with the whole family. On a warm evening there is nothing better than dining al fresco on your own deck or patio with good company and great food! Do you feel that your backyard space is underutilized, neglected, or dated? If you don’t love what you see when you go outdoors, read on to find out how to transform your backyard from blasé to beautiful.
Poolside Paradise… Read More >
BOWA’s Patricia Tetro was featured in a Washington Times cover story that ran today on creative solutions for making small kitchens seem more spacious. Following is an excerpt from and link to the article.
Excerpt from article:
Small Kitchen Renovation
If you are a fan of home-makeover shows, you may have become accustomed to homeowners taking a sledgehammer to the walls of their tiny kitchens and somehow doubling the size of the space, transforming it into a showplace of light and space.
In reality, not every homeowner has the budget or the land available to turn a galley kitchen into… Read More >
There aren’t always surefire ways to tell that your water heater’s time is up, but it’s best to not wait until you’re jumping in an ice cold shower at 6 a.m. to find out. Listed below are a few tips to help you decide whether you should fix or replace your unit.
Signs you may Have to Replace your Water Heater
Aside from a giant puddle of water on the floor, here are a few signs that may signal something is wrong:
Water does not heat as rapidly as it once did. Keep in mind that if this occurs as… Read More >
To best serve our clients, we at BOWA have worked hard to refine our focus on full-service residential remodeling, including initial consultations, design and budgeting, production and management, and aftercare. Our recent projects have ranged from master baths to whole-house and condominium remodels, and typically start at about $100,000.
We recently added a new video to better reflect this focus and demonstrate our passion for being “Your Guide through Every Step of the Remodeling Experience.”… Read More >
If your home is anything like the typical household, then your answer is probably “Yes!!” Most homeowners can never have enough storage and there seems to be a constant battle between how much “stuff” you own and how much space is available in your home. The good news is there are a number of creative ways to address your needs.
Consider a “Family Foyer”
Designing an ample informal entrance is a great use of space to provide more storage for your household. Walk-in closets can help keep coats and shoes from piling up, corral sports equipment, or serve as a… Read More >
When considering a remodeling project, it’s important to work closely with an experienced design build contractor who can help you to identify opportunities to add value to your home.
While fulfilling your family’s immediate needs is likely to be priority number one, you can add long-term value by adding in features that will allow you to enjoy your space for years to come, such as following aging-in-place design principles. A residential remodeling contractor might also recommend other means for adding value, such as using durable materials, incorporating specialty items you may not know are available, and investing in green technologies… Read More >
Although it’s been around for a number of years, “Geothermal” is becoming an increasingly popular buzz word these days as more and more homeowners are looking for an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly heating and cooling solution. Unfortunately, the biggest drawback of switching to this type of system is the high cost of installation when compared to conventional systems. When evaluating that cost, remember to factor in your savings on monthly energy expenses with and the annual maintenance on your current system to determine if geothermal will be a sound investment for your home.
So How Does Geothermal Work?
The answer lies… Read More >
As seen in The Connection Newspapers
Having remodeled thousand of projects over the past 25 years, our clients’ reactions tell us that some of the most successful projects often address a specific passion or interest. Folks seem to be spending more and more time at home not only working, but also enriching their lives through personal interests. To that end, today’s remodeling design often includes developing new areas for pursuing a variety of passions. Here are some local examples:
A breakfast room addition was carefully planned to also function as a bird watching area. The foundation was specially designed to… Read More >
Long gone are the dark, gloomy and cavernous basements of yesterday. With proper planning, a well-executed basement renovation can help your family enjoy the extra square footage you may have long forgotten.
A Welcoming Lower Level
Today’s basements are becoming more integrated with the first floor of house, and are typically referred to as a “lower level” rather than a basement. In the past, the entrance and stairwell to the basement were often narrow and dark. Nowadays stairways are designed to be more open and inviting, and frequently feature a nice railing or banister for an added touch. Also, some… Read More >
Kathy Kelly Hines | December 23, 2011
See how to remodel a basement in one minute.This is a time lapse video of a design build renovation project from start to finish. It is a “renovation in a minute”.
The homeowners living in this Chevy Chase, Maryland residence wished to remodel their basement to create additional recreation and entertaining space that reflects the beautiful craftsmanship and finishes found throughout the rest of the home.
The goal of this design build renovation project was to create a multi-use space which would suit the needs of the family’s young children as well as the adults. Special care was taken from… Read More >
With an option for any décor, wood flooring is a leading choice for today’s homeowners. While its natural beauty may be at the top of the list, there are numerous reasons for its popularity. When cared for properly wood flooring can last a lifetime and add value to your home should you choose to resell. When created from a sustainable natural resource, wood flooring is an eco-friendly option unlike many other coverings. And, wood flooring doesn’t harbor dust mites or mold, which are common causes for indoor air quality issues that affect all family members, especially those who suffer from… Read More >
Internet technology seems to be changing faster than ever, with new products and services constantly emerging. If you find that trying to stay on top of developments is like trying to keep up with the most recent celebrity marriages and divorces, we have a few helpful tips for you.
Home Internet Choices
Following is a breakdown of the options available when it comes to Internet access for your home. Broadband – A high speed internet connection provided by an ISP (Internet Service Provider). Three common broadband options are:
FiOS – A Verizon product that employs the use of fiber optic… Read More >
Whether it’s a closet, the kitchen or a study area, there are numerous ways to incorporate kid-friendly design into any space, and children today are becoming more and more involved in the process. Even if your child is toddler-aged simple tasks, such as picking colors, themes or bedding, can help them feel that they are part of the process. Besides being used more frequently, we can all hope that greater input in the planning stage will result in more pride in the space later and an unwavering desire to keep it neat and tidy!
A well-designed study area… Read More >
Kathy Kelly Hines | October 3, 2011
Video Project Profile Series: Award Winning Whole-House Renovation and Addition in Arlington, Virginia that included a three-story, L-shaped addition that wrapped around the home on two sides. The addition allowed for an expanded kitchen and a new master suite, living room, sunroom, garage, fitness room and wine-tasting room.
The client wanted to transform a small, 1920’s house into a beautiful home that better suited their lifestyle and love of entertaining.
A previous, small addition was replaced by a new three-level one that wrapped around the existing home on two sides.
This called for dismantling the rear and side of… Read More >
Great outdoor spaces and improved functionality top the list of design trends
We asked our project leaders to share with us some of the interesting things they are seeing in their projects. What are the new “must haves”, what’s new in design and what’s different about projects in 2011? Following are their thoughts.
Steven Kirstein: I’ve noticed two interesting trends in my recent work – people bringing the outdoors in and adding simpler whole-house systems.
More and more clients are looking to integrate their outdoor spaces with their main living areas by having extra-wide openings leading to a permanent screened… Read More >
These days, no matter where you turn, you’re bound to bump into someone who is “going green.” It may be your grocery store, local government, favorite charity or neighbor. But what does “going green” mean? When it comes to residential construction, it boils down to smart building.
According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, “Green remodeling is an all-encompassing approach that emphasizes making a home healthy, comfortable, and efficient.” Defined in this manner, few homeowners would want anything less. Getting there, however, is not as easy as it sounds. Done properly, green building and green remodeling require a… Read More >
With Hurricane Irene moving up the eastern seaboard, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to preparing your home and family for whatever the storm may bring. A few simple preventative steps, outlined below, may help you to avoid costly repairs once the storms have passed.
Clear away yard debris and dead/dying branches
Large branches or fallen trees can easily be tossed about by high winds during a storm. If you have trees near your home, be sure to trim any dead or dying branches, or at least ask your landscaper to do so at your next… Read More >
Have a vision for renovating or expanding a house for sale?Here are some tips on what to find out before you buy.
As seen in The Connection Newspapers
Too many times, I’ve had to deliver the upsetting news to new homebuyers: the project they are considering is not feasible. With a little due diligence and expertise, the new homebuyers’ disappointment could have been avoided.
Here are 10 things to consider when purchasing a house with the intention of a future remodeling project.
1. Check the local government’s zoning ordinances. Don’t assume that you have identical building rights as your neighbors.… Read More >
Kathy Kelly Hines | August 1, 2011
Here is another in our series of time lapse remodeling projects. This “Renovation in a Minute” transformed unused attic space above a garage into a guest suite complete with a kitchenette, living area, bedroom, full bath and took advantage of every square inch. This video gives you a quick look at all the phases of remodeling in a condensed time frame.
This design build guest suite renovation project in Great Falls, VA was recently completed by our team of experts. At BOWA, we specialize in guiding you through the whole process of your addition or renovation project. We offer a… Read More >
Whether you’re looking to replace your old countertops as part of a full kitchen remodel or a quick facelift, you’ll find there is a wide array of options when it comes to materials and distinctive finishes. The best surface for your home often depends on your budget, style and lifestyle. Keep in mind you don’t need to pick just one! A trend we’ve seen in our recent remodeling work is that many homeowners are mixing and matching complementary surfaces in different areas of the kitchen to achieve a truly one-of-a-kind look. The following overview of available countertop options may be… Read More >
Kathy Kelly Hines | June 28, 2011
Whole-House Renovation in Great Falls, VA that began with a consultation even before the family purchased the house and ended with an award-winning home that was perfectly suited to the young family’s needs and goals.
• Purchase Consultation and Award-Winning Whole-House Remodel in Great Falls, VA• Evaluated house and advised family of remodeling options even before they purchased the home• Began assembling the team of experts and working on the design so we were ready to begin construction as soon as the family closed on the house • On the main level, work included an extensive renovation of the kitchen… Read More >
As the price of electricity continues to climb, many homeowners are looking for new ways to shave down their energy costs. And, these days, more and more are considering renewable energy sources as an option. Technological advancements and an increase in manufacturing volume have significantly lowered the price of solar energy so it now costs about seven times less than it did twenty years ago. As the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, solar power is definitely worth a closer look to see if it’s right for your home.
Solar Electric Power
A solar electric system harnesses the… Read More >
Today’s homeowners are extremely educated about what they want in a home. Travel, home shows, the internet and a greater focus on creating a comfortable environment, have led homeowners to be very particular about what renovations they do and how they go about them. This has caused a renaissance of residential design build remodeling as the benefits of a strategic team approach to home design have become more apparent. Today’s homeowners have embraced the idea of actively participating in the development of customized solutions that best suit their family’s needs, wants and lifestyle. They achieve this by engaging a team… Read More >
Not long ago, the renovation of individual condominium apartments represented only a small portion of BOWA’s business. While we won awards for these projects, developed a great deal of expertise and worked with phenomenal clients, we weren’t anticipating much growth in this niche. This has now changed – the renovation of individual condominiums has taken off.
One reason for this has been the steady flow of residents moving into the District and immediate surrounding areas from previously more suburban locations. We’re finding these individuals want the convenience and accessibility of downtown, yet still want the beautiful amenities and finishes afforded… Read More >
The recent sunshine and warmer temperatures throughout the Washington DC area, remind us that we’ll soon be able to enjoy pool parties, picnics, and of course, backyard BBQ’s with family and friends. If you’re thinking about incorporating the convenience of an outdoor kitchen into your backyard, listed below are some helpful tips to consider.
To Cover or Not to Cover
When creating an outdoor kitchen, one of the first things to consider is whether or not to have the space covered. Unless covered, you should expect to experience significantly more wear and tear on your surfaces and appliances than if… Read More >