Waking up to chilly mornings and the kids being back in school – whatever that may look like – reminds us that it’s time to tackle our fall home maintenance list. A regular schedule of maintenance throughout the year is critical to keeping your home healthy and family safe. These baseline preventative steps are a good start.
Gutters, Downspouts & Low-Slope Roof Maintenance:
Inspect these items and carefully remove any accumulated debris. This check should be completed four times per year to ensure effective draining and avoid damage caused by trapped and accumulated water.
Surface & Underground Drains:
It is… Read More >
6 Tips for Optimizing Your Lighting and Your Life
We all depend on artificial light to help us perform basic tasks every day. But did you know that lighting has an enormous impact on your health? The amount of light and the type of light you are exposed to causes physiological changes in your body that affect your mental and physical wellbeing. While we cannot always control how much light we are exposed to throughout the day, we do have the ability to control the type of lighting we expose ourselves to in our homes.
The best type… Read More >
BOWA’s Tim Burch shares 10 Things to Consider Before You Purchase a House to Remodel.
Too many times, we’ve had to deliver the upsetting news to new homebuyers: the remodeling project they planned for their new purchase is not feasible. With a little due diligence and experience, the buyer’s disappointment could have been avoided.
To help ensure you’re making an educated purchase, learn the steps you should be taking and the experts you should consult before purchasing a house to remodel. When you are ready to move forward, learn how we can help with a Purchase Consultation.
If you have… Read More >
We work out. For many of us it’s an essential part of our daily routine and staying active is key to maintaining physical, emotional, and mental health. But, making time for exercise when life gets busy with family and career can be challenging, perhaps even more so now. With gyms, studios and fitness classes operating at reduced capacity, and folks staying closer to home, are you thinking about carving out space for a home gym? What should you discuss with your remodeling team as you plan a space that will accommodate your family’s various workout regimens? Following are some items… Read More >
We love fitness. So much so that a recent BOWA strategy retreat opened with a morning bike ride which included a loop around the monuments and the National Mall. Car and pedestrian traffic was very light, and it reminded us how much our city has to offer. Everywhere we looked, folks were working out in and around our beautiful public spaces! In addition to runners and bike riders, there were many clusters of small groups exercising together. We also spotted personal trainers sending their clients up and down the steps of the National Gallery of Art. Even though fitness clubs… Read More >
BOWA’s Tim Burch shares project feasibility tips for how to minimize setbacks while planning and executing your next renovation.
When planning a home renovation or addition it’s important to complete your due diligence upfront to research any ordinances or restrictions that may affect your project. Unfortunately, homeowners and contractors often forget important steps during this project feasibility phase, which sometimes leads to wasted time and money or abandoned projects.
Hear what Tim suggests for getting your renovation, new home or equestrian project off to a smooth start!
If you have additional questions or need help evaluating your options, please contact… Read More >
The Time Has Come to Treat Our Homes as an Investment in our Wellness
The era of COVID-19 has caused us to re-evaluate many aspects of our daily lives. Before the pandemic, the home was a place to recharge and enjoy time with our families. Now, for many of us, home is also our office, classroom, gym, and more. Suddenly, our home is expected to take on the characteristics of all these places. More than ever, we are blurring the lines between home, work, and leisure. What does this mean for our mental and physical wellbeing and how can we… Read More >
Does your home fall short when it comes to meeting your family’s evolving needs but you’re unsure of your options?
BOWA’s Chris Smith and Washington Fine Properties’ Alyssa Crilley share helpful tips to consider when evaluating the right path for your home and family. Our team has vast experience helping families decide whether to stay and remodel their current homes or purchase something new, and share insight into the process for each.
If you’re torn between remodeling and moving, this on-demand webinar and a purchase consultation is for you.
If you have additional questions or need help evaluating your options,… Read More >
Despite the recent string of storms that blew through this week, the weather has been fantastic and we’re obsessed with being outside! While things are beginning to open up in the metropolitan area, many of us are still sticking close to home and our outdoor spaces have become a haven for family…and now maybe a handful of friends.
What are you planning for your outside spaces? Whether it’s a backyard movie night for the kids or a cozy chat by the firepit, there’s sure to be something for everyone. By the way, if you have a green thumb, you might… Read More >
For many of us, nothing beats relaxing in the comfort of our own outdoor retreat. But is your outdoor space usable in the hot summer and chilly winter? It is possible to enjoy an outdoor room much of the year if you plan ahead and incorporate features into the design that will make the space more comfortable as temperatures rise or fall. Following are some items to consider and discuss with your design team when you’re trying to get the most out of your outdoor space.
In the summer months heat can make the outdoor entertaining downright unbearable. … Read More >
Jumping into a remodeling project can feel like a big leap, but there are questions you can ask yourself, your family and the firms you’re interviewing to help you move forward with confidence knowing you’ll get the experience and results you desire.
BOWA’s Josh Baker, a remodeling veteran with over 32 years of experience, shares the questions and other inside tips to help anyone considering a renovation.
If you have additional questions on how to achieve a successful remodeling experience or there is anything else we can do to be of assistance, please contact us.
… Read More >
With many of us still spending much of our time at home, our streaming services are certainly getting a workout! Maybe your guilty pleasure is a reality series on an island, includes a rose ceremony or features big cats. Perhaps you’re streaming every season of your favorite sit-com, learning about our planet or idolizing iconic sports figures. If you’ve got a “hanker’n” to check out the show many of us are watching, you may want to first view this informative tutorial on Ozark slang.
While Ozark appears to be the most popular, this week’s list includes some of the other… Read More >
BOWA’s experts, Lisa Magee and Doug Horgan, discuss tips for improving the health and happiness of your home. This session provides an introduction to air quality, the impact of light and the orientation of surroundings, and they share how these things can be modified to create a healthy home and improve your happiness. There are plenty of helpful Q&As at the end, and you’re sure to walk away with some helpful information.
Doug even shares his recommendation for brands of LED bulbs and his favorite in-home air quality monitor.
If you have additional questions on the subject or there is… Read More >
There’s nothing like a big, musical movie number to get your toes tapping. It’s even better when the leading man and leading lady nail the big jump! In 1987’s iconic film Dirty Dancing the last dance of the summer is filled with the joy of music and movement. We cant wait to be able to dance together again. Until then we think this dancer’s solo interpretation of the classic scene may have you rolling in the aisles.
Since we’re all in this together, we thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite things to bring a… Read More >
We’re all familiar with the classic film, The Sound of Music and this line from the famous song, “When the dog bites, When the bee stings, When I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, And then I don’t feel so bad…” (You might even get a chuckle from this parody of the song!)
Since we’re all in this together, we thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite things to bring a smile to your face and help you pass the time!
Our inaugural list includes some of the BOWA Team’s favorite recipes that… Read More >
During this unprecedented battle against coronavirus, the safety of our clients, employees and community is our top priority. We understand that, while we are still permitted to work in clients’ homes, this is a privilege that comes with tremendous responsibility. Our employees take this responsibility to heart and are following enhanced precautions to ensure we are operating in accordance with all Federal and jurisdictional guidelines during construction, project planning and post-project support.
Following are some of the coronavirus safety measures our team is taking:
Masks are required for all employees, subcontractors and visitors entering a home. This applies to active… Read More >
BOWA Has the Tools and Experience to Safely and Productively Collaborate with Clients Remotely Despite the Current Coronavirus Situation
The understatement of the day is this is certainly an interesting time for all of us. Between a declared coronavirus pandemic and the related economic uncertainty, we’re all still trying to figure out what this means for our families, communities, businesses and country.
Some might look at the current situation and shutdown in panic. While others might recognize that this too shall pass, and often, in times of adversity, we’ve discovered some of our greatest strengths and advances as people and… Read More >
As a thank you to our community, we’re offering 4 hours of design advice on us!
When faced with challenges, the comfort and security of our homes mean more to us than ever. But even the little things can make a huge difference when we’re spending more time at home. BOWA is here to help with it all!
Whether you need help selecting a color palette, laying out furniture or getting started on a kitchen renovation, give us a call to tap into the the knowledge of our experienced designers. Our Design Team is ready to learn about your challenges,… Read More >
Many of our condo renovations are for clients downsizing from single-family homes. In their original houses, storage was rarely a concern with walk-in master closets, custom built-ins, and large kitchens with ample cabinetry. While condominiums don’t always offer these spacious luxuries, we have found ways to increase storage options with creative design solutions. If you’re interested in maximizing every square inch, here are some condo remodeling storage tips to consider.
Expand the Master Closet
Many master suites include a fair amount of “extra” or underutilized space. Besides the necessary functions, they may also feature separate spaces for a desk, small… Read More >
With surveys indicating that nearly 65% of U.S. households include at least one pet and 84% of pet owners say their pets make their home life healthier, it’s no wonder many homeowners take their pets into consideration when it’s time to remodel. In fact, there are numerous things people are doing to make their homes more comfortable and functional for both human and pet residents.
Often located in a family foyer or garage, tiled barrier-free doggy showers are an increasingly popular option. Special designs with little or no curb and a hand-held sprayer at a lower level make… Read More >
It’s that time of year when hosting family and friends becomes a regular occurrence, and weather finds us entertaining more inside than out. Whether you’ll have a bustling full house or quiet family gatherings, the holidays are a great opportunity to evaluate the functionality of your space. For instance, when family and friends arrive, where do they gather? Are they able to mingle easily? Does your home suit your specific needs? Do guests feel welcomed and comfortable or in the way?
If you’re considering a renovation, the holidays are the perfect time to start your planning! When the dishes are… Read More >
Are you at a stage of life that has you thinking about changes to your living situation? Are you beginning to think about remodeling planning for your future home needs? Perhaps you’re now empty nesters, planning for your retirement years or looking for something that requires less maintenance. Clients frequently turn to us for guidance on these decisions. Some want to make their current homes more comfortable, while others are considering transitioning to a smaller home or even a condo lifestyle. The possibilities are endless and can feel overwhelming. The good news is, we’re happy to help.
There… Read More >
Please enjoy these before and after photos of remodeling projects. To view more project profiles, please visit our Project Types section.
Luxury Kitchen Update in Great Falls
In this Great Falls house, the kitchen did not reflect the entertaining capabilities of the rest of the home. A structural wall was moved to expand the
footprint of the kitchen and create a large pantry. A beautiful island provides plenty of space for gatherings and a nearby custom banquette is great for everyday meals. See more photos.
His & Hers Dream Master Bathroom in McLean, VA
The clients loved aspects… Read More >
Many of our condo clients, especially those transitioning from single-family living, have concerns about their units not having enough light. The challenge is, there is often only one exterior wall with access to natural light and limited hours per day when the sun’s shining in. As such, we’re frequently asked for help in making the space feel bright and welcoming. Here are a few condo remodeling lighting tips we’ve gathered over the years.
Add Recessed Lighting: Particularly in a condo, adding recessed lighting can make a huge difference in the overall feel of the space. Unfortunately, installation requirements of the… Read More >
At BOWA, we strive to apply a client-first approach to every step of the process. From the guidance provided by our Project Leaders to the availability of our Customer Service Team long after a project is completed, our goal is to deliver a wonderful client experience. The approach taken by our In-House Design Team is no exception. Since taking leadership of the design department, TJ Monahan has worked diligently to streamline and enhance the design phase to deliver a more client-friendly experience.
Traditionally, project design was a two-dimensional (2D) endeavor. Designers created and presented flat, static floorplans and a handful… Read More >
Kitchens are the most popular rooms to remodel and can be the most expensive. Considering the level of investment that goes into remodeling a kitchen, every little detail can feel like a monumental decision. Everyone wants their new space to be on trend, but nobody wants it to appear dated 5 or 10 years down the road. Here are a few kitchen trends that are not going anywhere any time soon.
Especially in homes that already have hardwood throughout, we are often ripping out cold, hard tile flooring in the kitchen and replacing it with hardwood to blend… Read More >
Water. It makes up 70% of the Earth and our bodies need it to survive, but it can do serious damage around your home when not managed correctly. Heavy storms and humidity indoors and out mean that water can appear in unwanted spaces. Here are a few tips to keep your water worries at bay in and around your home.
Outside the Home
Outside, take steps to ensure all water flows away from the structure’s foundation. First, make sure your gutters are clear of debris and downspouts direct water away. Also, ensure the grading around the foundation has positive slope,… Read More >
I’m not the only one out there who enjoys browsing Zillow and fantasizing about my dream home. But what’s more interesting to me than looking at perfect, turn-key homes, is hunting for a diamond in the rough, just waiting for its true potential to be revealed. For this blog, I decided to pick a city at random, and see what hidden gem I could uncover. This week, I found the perfect Spanish sanctuary.
This one immediately caught my eye:
From the street view, this house has a lot going for it already. Built in the early 1900s, this… Read More >
So, you want to brighten things up with fresh paint in your space. You search through hundreds of paint chips and finally land on what you think is the perfect bright white. Once on the wall, however, the finished color is not what you saw on the chip. The sheen is too glossy and shows every bump in your walls, or the color is making your existing cabinetry look dingy. How do you avoid having to go through this process again? We picked the mind of one of our In-House Designers, Stephanie Dickens, to help you select the perfect paint… Read More >
Vice President of the Middleburg Office Tim Burch brings Mark Ferguson to one of our equestrian facilities for the MVB Mortgage video series ‘Round Town. Learn more about BOWA’s process, client experience, and financing options when it comes to your remodel in these three videos.… Read More >
In our 30+ years, we have had the pleasure to develop creative design solutions for every part of the home. From kitchens to bathrooms to garages, our architects and designers have crafted inspired fixes to everyday issues. Here are some of our favorites from recent projects.
Clever Cutting Board Drawer
Our client in Great Falls wanted to expand the utility of the drawer over the trash can so it could be used for more than just storage. A cutting board with a hole was added to discard the waste right into the can. This board pops out for easy… Read More >
New construction has its appeal, but the character and charm of an old home is something that can’t be replicated. However, when it comes to real estate listings, phrases like “full of character” can be code for a host of alarming issues. If you’re considering purchasing an older home, it’s important to be able to identify red flags on your own because that “charming 3 bedroom in need of some TLC” may actually be a money pit.
I consider myself fortunate because fixing up older homes is not just my passion, it’s also my profession. As such, I have a… Read More >
Please enjoy these recent remodeling project highlights including stunning before and after photos. To view more project profiles, please visit our Project Types section.
Chevy Chase Whole-House Remodel
The original home was compartmentalized and lacked easy flow between rooms, leaving it feeling dark, cold and closed off. The renovation opened and connected spaces to create a light-filled home with smooth transitions and comfortable areas for daily use and hosting. The new walled garden creates privacy for outdoor entertaining. This wonderful project was also honored as a Grand Award Winner in the local Contractor of the Year competition.
Blending… Read More >
If you or someone you know is contemplating buying a home, a BOWA Purchase Consultation should be part of the process. Unfortunately, many new buyers are disappointed after purchasing when they discover limitations that thwart their plans to remodel. Perhaps there are HOA or property restrictions, structural limitations or estimated remodeling costs are more than anticipated. A BOWA Purchase Consultation is the perfect way to evaluate your options.
Stay & Remodel or Buy & Remodel
We often find ourselves helping house hunters decide whether to stay in their existing home and remodel or buy something new and remodel. The answer… Read More >
The sun is shining, the trees are blooming, your nose may still be running, and your car is still covered in a dusting of that pesky green film that signals spring in the DC area. This season seemed to be particularly bad, and it’s not over yet. Don’t let the woes of allergies and daily car washes get you down this season. Here are a few tips to keep the annoyances of pollen at bay.
Pollen Count Apps
An easy way to manage your expectations is to download a pollen count app. Zyrtec AllergyCast, WebMD Allergy, and Pollen.com’s Allergy Alert… Read More >
BOWA’s VP of Best Practices Doug Horgan makes a guest appearance on The Versatex Way, a podcast covering a variety of construction-related topics.
In this episode, Doug shares his take on building science best practices and how things have evolved over the years. Doug mentions some of his favorite tools and how he approaches trouble shooting and process improvement.
A consummate learner, Doug explains how he got started in the industry, his path for continued learning and his love of teaching. Doug details how he shares his insights with others in BOWA as well as the broader remodeling community. He… Read More >
When we think of designers, we tend to envision creative innovators who think outside the box and love breaking convention. All of this is true of a great designer, but beneath our seemingly idiosyncratic ideas is a fundamental set of guidelines making it all work. These guidelines are called the Principles of Design. In last month’s blog, we touched on two principles: balance and proportion. In this article, I will talk about those in greater detail, as well as seven other principles of home design.
The distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture and space. These elements… Read More >
You likely have your “must-have” list if you’re on the hunt for the perfect condo. Have you been searching in newer buildings and not finding the feel or features you want? If so, an older condo building should be your next stop. It might come as a surprise, but the opportunities provided by purchasing in one of these established buildings in prime locations are abundant. Our condo remodeling experts share some of our favorite perks:
Older Condo Buildings Have Great Bones
We know what you may be thinking, “Really? An old building? I don’t want to open Pandora’s box.” But… Read More >
We receive lots of questions when it comes to selecting countertop materials. What will look the best? What’s the most bang for my buck? How much maintenance is required? These are all great questions, and important points to consider. While we’re always here to educate and advise, ultimately, the best choice of countertops for you and your family is a personal decision. Consider the following tips about a few options in today’s world of countertops.
Granite is a natural stone extracted from the earth, cut into sheets or slabs, and crafted with finishes such as polished, honed or leathered.… Read More >
Gawking at ugly houses is a favorite pastime of mine. Pointing out design flaws in homes around me can be exasperating for my friends and family. “Why don’t you point out something you like for once?” I’m often asked. Because that’s not as much fun! With good design there is very little to critique. I can simply admire, at ease with the feeling of contentment when all elements are working together in perfect harmony.
The concept of beauty is subjective. However, there are some homes that are objectively ugly. An ugly home is one that is not thoughtfully designed, with… Read More >
Start designing your next project with BOWA and be one step closer to your HOT savings!
Are you interested in a BOWA-quality remodel for less? If so, BOWA’s Summer Design Discount is the answer and now’s the time to get started!
This value-driven program offers homeowners the high standard of quality, service and aftercare that has earned BOWA the loyalty of so many clients at a significantly reduced cost. The 2019 program is LIMITED TO 5 DESIGN BUILD PROJECTS and is offered in exchange for some flexibility in a winter start date (2019-2020).
Given the response in previous years, we… Read More >
In the remodeling world, we talk about design trends yearly, monthly, even weekly. You can read five design magazines and get five different answers on the best colors, selections, and floorplans for your new space. Ultimately, it’s your space and your investment. We have created spaces for homeowners with a wide array of styles and needs. Here are a few ways individual style preferences and creative solutions have been incorporated into our recent renovations:
Uniquely His and Hers Bathroom
In a recent McLean master bathroom remodel, our clients each wanted to express their individual styles, in one shared space. BOWA’s… Read More >
The Four Categories of Residential Remodeling
In this first video of his Making Sense and Cents series, Project Leader Steve Scholl walks you through the four main categories of residential remodeling: Cosmetic, Pull & Replace, Custom, and Pull & Replace with Custom Selections. Stay tuned for more videos from Steve to help you make both sense and cents in your own residential remodeling ventures.
For more information on Steve, his recent projects, and what his clients have to say about working with, read more here: Steve Scholl… Read More >
The Face of Luxury Condo Renovations
With over two decades of condo experience, luxury condominium renovations represent 20 percent of BOWA’s projects annually. Given the specialized nature of this work and increasing demand, BOWA recently launched a dedicated Condo Division. BOWA’s condominium projects range from kitchens and baths to whole-unit and combined-unit renovations, in buildings from DC to Reston and Bethesda to Alexandria. The team has established relationships with management, boards and clients in over 33 buildings across the region.
BOWA’s architects are well-versed in the intricacies and nuances of condo design, like optimizing space, ensuring privacy and easing… Read More >
A fire in the fireplace, snow falling outside, and a warm beverage to keep you extra toasty. The bitter cold of winter has certainly arrived leaving many folks retreating indoors. From large-scale to do it yourself, here are a few ideas to keep your time inside entertaining and productive.
Binge-Watch in Style
Curl up with your family for movie night or binge-watch a new show. Perhaps a high-tech media room, complete with theater seating and a popcorn maker, is on your wish list. While hardcore movie buffs might still insist on traditional, dedicated theaters, many families are opting for media… Read More >
While BOWA has been doing condo renovations for more than two decades, this sector has been steadily increasing as a percentage of our work in recent years. Currently, condominium remodeling represents about 20 percent of our yearly projects. Given the highly specialized nature of this work and all signs indicating that demand will continue to increase, BOWA has officially launched a new Condo Division focused on growing this portion of the business.
Leading BOWA’s new Condo Division will be Adam Wertheimer as Vice President, and Steve Kirstein, Principal. These two have led most of our condo projects over the years… Read More >
The air is getting cooler, leaves are falling from trees, and with the holidays ahead, there’s no better time to make your home a priority! If they haven’t already, family and friends will start to pour through your doors to spend quality time inside. Here are some tricks to improve functionality and make your home cozier, so your family has more time to enjoy the season’s treats:
Make your Family Foyer a Priority
With cooler temperatures, come heavy outerwear and footwear. Make sure your family foyer, or mudroom, is ready to handle the additional gear by removing your summer items.… Read More >
Enjoy remodeling. Seems like a simple idea, right? Remodeling your home should be enjoyable. You should be able to engage with a remodeling partner and talk about goals, wishes, and long-term plans. You should be able to review and iterate on different designs, so you can understand what all of your options might be. You should be able to have honest conversations about money upfront to avoid pricing surprises later on in the process. You should have a single point of accountability so praise, questions, comments, or concerns only have one place to go. You should know when your… Read More >
A common misconception about remodeling your home is the idea that you need to add on to get more useful space. While additions can be a great way to create the extra space or functionality you and your family need, they aren’t always necessary. In some of our recent projects, the solution to more functionality wasn’t an addition but instead reimagining their existing footprint. For instance, how many times a year do you use your formal dining room? Usually, it’s reserved for special occasions and holidays and the other 300+ days out of the year it collects dust. In two… Read More >