What adjustments are you planning to make in your home to ensure your long-term comfort and safety?
For many of us, when it comes to our homes, the “Big Game of Life” plays out in two halves. The first being when we’re in growth mode: building careers, raising families and adding on. The focus is usually short-term or immediate. Perhaps we’ve just moved into a home that needs major changes to suit our active lifestyle. Or, growing children now crave a space of their own. Or we’re trying to create the “neighborhood destination,” a great indoor or outdoor space to… Read More >
There’s nothing quite like the announcement of an approaching winter storm to send area residents scrambling to the store for bread, milk, “TP” and other common necessities. While many welcome the snowfall, winter storms can be challenging and downright daunting if you and your home are not prepared. Consider the following tips to help keep your family and home safe this winter, whatever this weekend may bring us.
Keep up-to-date on weather forecasts and plan accordingly. If there is the chance of a storm, it’s better to stock up ahead of time, rather than waiting until the last… Read More >
The 2015 Great American Living Awards (GALA) were announced last night and BOWA took the top prize in two of the three renovation categories – it might have been a sweep, had we also entered the third!
A beautiful renovation in Potomac, Maryland, designed by one of BOWA’s on-staff kitchen designers, won the Best Design and Architecture – Custom Renovations or Additions Under $500,000 category. To learn more about this design build project click here.
BOWA’s second design build winner, a whole-house renovation in Chevy Chase, took the top honor in the Best Design and Architecture – Custom Renovations or… Read More >
Having run the program for two years now, we’re pleased that so many clients have been able to take advantage of our Winter Incentive Discount.
It was a great opportunity for them to get the high standard of quality, service and aftercare that has earned BOWA the loyalty of so many valued clients AT A SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED COST. And for BOWA, it has been a great way to ensure a steady stream of design build remodeling projects running through the winter months providing great stability for our valued employees.
The program, LIMITED TO 5 PROJECTS per year, offers this significant… Read More >
Is now the time to jump into that project you’ve been considering, but you don’t know how to get started? In my opinion, finding the right fit in a renovation partner is the first and most critical step to setting the stage for a successful remodeling project and great client experience.
Your overall experience from the beginning of design through completion and beyond will be directly related to the person and company with whom you choose to partner. That’s the most important decision you’ll make, not what to do or how much to spend, but who you choose to help… Read More >
Almost every luxury remodel starts with the same question “How can we improve our family’s life at home?” But the answer varies as families grow, age and evolve. As such, the best designs consider both current and future needs.
For young families, the focus is almost always children. Kitchens are designed with low drawers for easy access to important items, like sippy cups and napkins. Refrigerator drawer beverage stations and below-the-counter microwaves allow little ones to help themselves. Study areas are incorporated into family spaces to allow for parent-child interaction at homework time. Creative storage solutions and child-friendly finishes, like… Read More >
We’re pleased that several of our clients were able to take advantage of our Winter Incentive Discount last year.
It was a great opportunity for them to get the high standard of quality, service and aftercare that has earned BOWA the loyalty of so many valued clients at a significantly reduced cost. And for BOWA, it was a great way to ensure a steady stream of design build remodeling projects running through the winter months.
The program is LIMITED TO 5 PROJECTS per year and offers this significant discount in exchange for some flexibility in start date.
Believe it or… Read More >
As the “new guy” at BOWA, I’ve had the unique opportunity of evaluating the company from the perspective of a “seasoned outsider.” I bring to BOWA more than 30 years of experience in residential remodeling, as an entrepreneur, division manager and designer. My background has given me a deep understanding of best practices at all levels. I’d like to share a few things that, in my opinion, set BOWA apart.
The BOWA Way: Similar to Mercedes’ motto of “The Best or Nothing,” “The BOWA Way” is a philosophy of excellence that is woven through everything we say and do. It… Read More >
BOWA’s Design Center eliminates selections process headaches
Understanding how frustrating and time consuming the materials selections process can be for clients who face countless showroom visits and endless traffic jams, BOWA’s Design Department recently introduced a new streamlined method for its design build projects. Based on feedback from clients who have already experienced this refreshing approach, the keys to its success are our approach to the selections process, our appropriately stocked Samples Library, our well-structured planning meetings and the seamless interaction amongst the BOWA team.
After moving into our new offices about one year ago, BOWA’s Design Department got to… Read More >
Our homes are a mix of many different materials, all with different properties, so proper care of these surfaces isn’t a one bottle solution. Below is a round-up of common surfaces and the recommended care methods for each type.
Granite: Routine cleaning with just mild dish soap and a soft cloth is recommended. General household cleaners, such as Windex and 409, can be used, but may leave a film, so it’s best to use these sparingly. Although granite is highly durable, avoid using any harsh solutions that may break down the sealant.
Marble: As a porous stone, marble is susceptible… Read More >
BOWA’s Doug Horgan, Vice President, Best Practices, has been tapped to present two sessions at the JLC LIVE New England 2015 conference to be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI on March 18-21, 2015.
Details of Doug’s sessions are as follows:
Friday, March 20 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
F13 – 2012 Code Update: IRC and IECC
Saturday, March 21 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
S08 – Low-Slope Roofing: Troubleshooting in Advance
The premier residential construction event, JLC LIVE, celebrates its 20th year in Providence. This year boasts an expanded exhibit hall and over 60 hours… Read More >
BOWA’s Winter Remodeling Discount is a great opportunity for clients to get the HIGH STANDARD OF QUALITY, SERVICE AND AFTERCARE that has earned BOWA the loyalty of so many valued clients at a SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED COST. And for BOWA, it’s a great way to ensure 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.
Act now to secure one of the last remaining spaces for this year’s program!
To learn more about BOWA’s Winter Remodeing Discount Program… Read More >
Everyone at BOWA would like to thank all those who took the time to refer BOWA to their family, friends, clients and associates seeking advice from a design build expert. Your trust in BOWA means the world to us, and we assure you we will take good care of your referrals.
Jana Abel, J. Abel Interiors Errol Adels Marlene Aisenberg, Coldwell Banker Pam Albers, ACG Architects Paul Almanza Jill Baker Greg and Bess Ballentine Karen Barker, TTR Sotheby’s Ankie Barnes, Barnes Vanze Architects Shawn Baron Jim and April Barrett Joan Begelman, Long & Foster Avi Benaim, ABE Networks Susan… Read More >
A successful remodeling project is one that improves your family’s enjoyment of your home long after the project is completed, and the process starts with a great design. BOWA’s team of trained and registered architects and designers weighs in on tips for helping to ensure a successful design, and how to get your remodeling experience started on the right foot.
Collect your Ideas
While tearing pages out of magazines is one option, a great online tool for collecting and sharing ideas for your home renovation is Houzz. Houzz features more than 3.5 million photos uploaded by remodeling and design professionals,… Read More >
It’s amazing how much of our lives we can control using the push of a button on our smart phones and tablets these days. Besides schedules, to-do lists and steps walked, there are countless tools we can use to make our homes safer and our lives a little easier by combining home automation with smart phone technology.
Thermostats: We’re all familiar with the benefits of programmable thermostats, which allow you to set temperature adjustments for various times of the day, but do you know about thermostats you can control remotely from the convenience of your smart phone or tablet? Perhaps… Read More >
The traditional incandescent light bulb has been in use for over 100 years, without many major changes. So why all the hoopla over our trusty incandescent bulbs the past several years? Well for starters, they’re not very energy efficient. Less than 10% of electrical power used is converted into visible light, while the remaining energy is lost as heat. A federal law was passed in 2007 to raise minimum efficiency standards for traditional incandescents, as well as a gradual phase-out plan. In 2012, 100-watt bulbs were no longer being produced, followed by the 75 watt bulbs in 2013. At the… Read More >
BOWA is gearing up for a busy summer and fall, and we’re looking for a few men and women to join our team. If you know anyone who is committed to providing superior customer service, has experience in residential construction, would enjoy working for an industry leader and is interested in one of the positions below, let us know.
Customer Service Manager
We are looking for someone to join our Customer Service Team who has remodeling knowledge, management skills and a great attitude for providing heroic customer service. A Customer Service Manager works closely with clients to punch out remodeling… Read More >
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 >