Reston, VA

By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Even with some lockdown restrictions easing in Northern Virginia, we know many homeowners are wondering if it’s safe to start a home remodel during this phase of COVID-19. As an essential business, we’ve been open throughout the pandemic and are proud of our team’s hard work to ensure we maintained exceptional standards on all of our job sites to keep our clients and our team healthy and safe but still deliver on-time, on-budget home remodels.

We also know that now is not the time to ease up on any protocols and safety standards. If you decide you are ready to move forward with your remodel, don’t be afraid to ask your chosen remodeling company or general contractor what they are doing to help ensure safety on your project. Here are some of the measures we have in place. This is not an exhaustive list, but it can be used as a starting point for a discussion with your home remodeler:

  • A 3-stage HEPA filtration air purifier to reduce viruses, germs and dust particles in the air
  • Handwashing and sanitization stations at the entrance to job sites
  • Dust barriers with zippered doors that separate the construction site from the rest of the home
  • A screened portable toilet so team members or tradespeople do not use your bathroom
  • Organized and efficiently run job sites keep things clean
  • Close partnership with trade partners to ensure job site standards are upheld
  • Thermometer checks to ensure anyone with an elevated temperature is not allowed on the job site

Our featured home remodel this month is a transitional kitchen, dining room and pantry remodel in Vienna. Every remodel tells a story but this one is particularly meaningful to us. This project was mid-way through construction when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Despite the lockdown, we were able to safely complete the remodel on budget and ahead of schedule for our client who is a healthcare professional. Creating beautiful spaces for her to come home to was an honor.

Don’t just take our word for it! Listen to our client tell you about her experience in her own words.

About this remodel: Our clients have a beautiful home, but the walled-in kitchen and little-used separate formal dining room made the spaces feel cramped and closed-in. They were ready to completely change things up by removing the walls that created a physical separation of space on the main level and create a truly open concept!

The home also has a great backyard with a pool, but an open porch off the kitchen provided little usable functional space. We enclosed the porch and refinished it to create the perfect multi-purpose pantry. It now has tons of built-in bench storage for pool equipment, a second refrigerator, cabinetry storage, shelving and, most importantly, a cosy place for beds under the countertop for their beloved dogs!

Ready to take the first step on your remodeling journey? Get in touch!

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Ever feel unsettled in your home but not quite sure why? It has a lot to do with energy.

Often we focus our attention on pretty countertops and new flooring, but if we don’t clear the stagnant energy from our homes, we’re sometimes left feeling drained and depleted without really knowing why.

With most of us spending more time in our homes than we ever imagined, this is the perfect opportunity to find out how to shift that energy. Join us on Friday, June 26 at 1 p.m. EST as Mina Fies, CEO of Synergy Design & Construction, shares best practices on how to shift your home’s energy both before and after a remodel. Mina is a Zen Remodeler, Certified Practitioner of Interior Alignment™(Instinctive Feng Shui) and a Certified Green Professional (CGP).

The webinar is FREE. Claim your spot now!

If you can’t make the webinar but you’re ready to remodel, we can help! We’re open and employing our innovative methods that allow us to continue to deliver our same caring customer service and beautiful home remodels, while keeping our team and client safety and well being as our top priority.

See more of our projects and hear from clients who have renovated happy during the pandemic with Synergy Design & Construction here!

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Life in Reston sure feels a lot different these days and we hope you and your families are staying healthy and safe. Construction is considered an essential business service here in Virginia, so we’re still open and employing innovative tools to continue to deliver our same excellent customer service and beautiful home remodels, while keeping our team and clients safe.

We’re proud to say the Synergy team continued to work hard on the on-time completion of the home remodeling projects that were mid-way through construction when the lockdown took effect. Fortunately, we had many of the business tools and job site safety practices already in place, so were able to quickly respond and react to the dynamic situation that was (and continues to be) life in the middle of a pandemic.

You might think it’s an odd time to think about a home remodel during a health crisis, but we have been hearing from people working from home and self-isolating who tell us they have started to focus on the things in their home that just don’t work — from the lack of a dedicated home office space to the aging kitchen that is just too cramped. Now is the perfect time to think about the design of your kitchen, even if you aren’t ready to start a remodel.

With that in mind, we got to thinking how we could help. Maybe being at home has you dreaming of a more open concept for your main level or binge watching HGTV home remodeling shows and thinking, “What if I did that in my kitchen…?” If this sounds like you, then join us as one of our resident experts, Emily Bickl, Interior Designer, shares the secrets to creating a more open concept kitchen.

The webinar is FREE. Claim your spot now!

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

It’s quickly become the go-to kitchen design style in recent years, with many homeowners opting for it over contemporary, traditional or farmhouse kitchens. It’s also a phrase that’s often used in design magazines and reality T.V. home remodeling shows, but what does ‘transitional kitchen’ mean?

Simply put, transitional design blends styles in a fuss-free way with clean lines and a fresh, modern flair. If you aren’t a fan of either ultra contemporary kitchens on the one hand or traditional kitchens on the other, a transitional kitchen may be the look that is right for you.

What’s great about transitional design is it balances design elements, so it can feel modern and more contemporary without going too overboard on edgy finishes as well as artfully incorporating more traditional elements. If the rest of your home is more traditional, it is a great way to update your look without making your kitchen feel out of step with the rest of your home.

Thinking of selling? Another benefit of a transitional kitchen is that it’s more likely to appeal to a broader range of potential buyers than ornate traditional or urban-vibe contemporary kitchens (for example) will in the future.

The key is to simplify the look and keep the lines clean. The #1 request we receive from homeowners is to make a kitchen feel “more open”. This usually means spaces flow into one another and open up into a family (or other) room. The design goal of a transitional kitchen is to create a light, open and airy feel that complements the rest of the first floor.

So how is this look achieved? We show you in this month’s featured remodel which is a transitional first floor remodel in Leesburg. The overall footprint on the first floor was too closed-in. With only one small window and a small doorway from the main living areas, the kitchen felt cut off from the rest of the house.

Planning to stay in her home for the longer term, our client was ready to lighten up the kitchen to create a better flow throughout the entire first floor with tons of room for entertaining. Synergy incorporated traditional elements into a transitional design that reflects our client’s French country/farmhouse design aesthetic. The result? A stunning first floor that is chic, warm and welcoming!

At Synergy Design & Construction, we provide a full design-build kitchen remodeling service. That means we partner with you to design your perfect kitchen that takes into consideration how you use your space and reflects your personal design aesthetic. There’s nothing cookie cutter about any of the projects we work on!

We work with you all the way through construction and professionally project manage your home remodel along the way so you have a turn-key home renovation experience. One point of accountability, one team. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy a hassle-free remodel! See more of our remodels here.

If you are looking for a design thoughtful kitchen remodel, first floor or whole home remodel, we’re happy to discuss your needs. Get in touch!

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

They make it look so easy. The reality TV shows where they “take out a few walls” and suddenly the whole space is transformed.

It isn’t as straightforward as they make it sound, but it is incredible what opening up a floor plan can do in terms of making a home feel more spacious — without the expense of an addition to do it!

The traditional way of building homes was to have defined rooms with specific functions. The Kitchen. The Dining Room. The Family Room. The Office. This creates smaller rooms with lots of walls and doors which can result in dark corners and little used rooms. There is a lot to be said for a more open concept, but more important than this is the ‘flow’ of a home.

Spaces should feel like you easily move from one to another, and not feel ‘chopped up’ with bonus rooms or spaces that just don’t make sense and are a waste of valuable square footage. A more open flow also completely changes how you feel about your home.

It will come as no surprise then that the number one request we get from homeowners is to help ‘open up’ and improve the flow of their space, especially when it comes to the Kitchen/Living/Dining rooms. Most homes built in the last decade come with an open concept, but with very few new builds in the Reston and Herndon area, the home remodels we tend to work on span from the original homes of the Lake Anne community (shout out to our Waterview Cluster clients!) to homes built in the 90s onwards that missed the ‘open concept’ wave.

A word of caution: open plan living isn’t for everyone. There are factors such as load bearing walls (which add time and expense to any remodel) that need to be taken into consideration. There is a happy medium. In this month’s featured project, we’ll show you how we changed the configuration of the main level of a local Herndon home and opened up the floor plan without making it completely open concept.

The single family home is in a great location and has plenty of room, but the main level configuration just wasn’t working for our clients. We partnered with them to not only improve the curb appeal, but also change the flow of the entire first floor. The main level of the home now makes much more “sense” and the spaces flow seamlessly from one to another. You can see more photos of this amazing transformation here.

If you’re thinking of a home remodel but just don’t know where to start, we’re here to help you get unstuck! We’re always happy to help homeowners understand their options and get the right fit for their remodel. Ready to chat? Get in touch!

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Ah, the Kitchen. The heart of the home and the place that no matter how great your main living area is, friends and family gather there on every social occasion.

It’s top of most homeowners’ wishlists when it comes to the space they’d like to remodel in their home. It’s a big investment, so whether you are planning a complete remodel or are just thinking of making a few updates, here are 5 kitchen remodeling trends worth keeping in mind.

1. Transitional Design Reigns Supreme

When it comes to design aesthetic, most of us don’t want a kitchen that is too futuristic and risks looking dated in a few short years. Transitional design is still a great go-to for many homeowners in this area who want their space to have classic elements but with modern flair. The beauty of transitional design is that it still feels warm and welcoming as well as being functional and family friendly. Want to learn more about transitional design? We’ve got you covered!

2. Cabinetry

It doesn’t have to be fully custom, but investing in a quality product when it comes to your kitchen cabinets can make or break your remodel. Many home remodeling companies in the area have relationships with cabinetry manufacturers. Each usually provides a number of cabinetry lines, so do your homework and make sure you understand what you’re getting. Semi-custom cabinetry is a great choice for a custom look without the price tag.

When it comes to cabinetry color, white is still a classic choice, but two toned kitchens are still on-trend as well as colorful pops of color like navy. We are also seeing the resurgence of wood and the introduction of more natural elements in design.

3. Pull-out Pantries

Gone are the days of the built-in pantry being a “must-have”. There’s nothing wrong with a beautiful pantry, but they take up a lot of square footage — not to mention things tend to get lost in them. Recently, a homeowner admitted to finding 25 year old cloves hidden at the back of her pantry! Pull-out cabinetry pantries are a great solution and keep your kitchen design modern and clean.

4. All about Lighting

With so many options out there now, lighting choice can be overwhelming. Pendants are still “in” and help to define a space (especially if you have an open plan kitchen and dining area), but the new pendant designs are more sculptural in look than their predecessors. The trend for lights that look jewelry-like started a while ago and that doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time soon.

5. Matching Backsplash and Countertops

There was a time when you’d never see the same materials used in both the countertop and backsplash, but no more! Using the same finish simplifies the design and gives a more contemporary vibe. Slab backsplashes are also increasingly popular, providing a dramatic but “fuss-free” look.

This month’s featured remodel is a Kitchen in Ashburn. This local family was ready to lighten things up in their kitchen! The result is a stunning transitional kitchen filled with design details galore and a large island with plenty of room for the family to gather.

Are you ready to kick start 2020 and finally do something about that home remodel you’ve been dreaming of? We’ve got you covered! Download our FREE guide to hassle-free remodeling to get started!

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

There’s nothing like the holidays and a house full of guests to make you re-evaluate the space in your home.

And nothing brings more festive cheer than one of your teenagers having to give up their room and double up with their younger sibling so Grandma and Grandpa have a place to sleep. If you are dreaming of a separate guest bedroom, bathroom or just a place for the family to hang out during the holidays, then read on.

One of the most frequently neglected spaces in a home is the basement. The beauty of a basement (especially one that has a guest bedroom) is that it provides separation of space (and therefore privacy) for your family and your guests. But, all too often, basements feel dark, unwelcoming and become a dumping ground for everything you no longer need but just can’t bear to get rid of just yet (yes, I’m talking about that drum kit you bought 10 years ago to relive your college heydays that’s now just catching dust…)

Now’s the time to do something about it. With the New Year fast approaching, get your Marie Kondo on and start the clear out. Tackle it a little at a time: all too often it becomes too overwhelming to think about doing it all at once, so set small goals and start with one drawer, one cabinet, one closet and KEEP GOING! Schedule a pick up through Green Drop and they’ll come straight to your front door to pick everything up. No excuse now!

Basements also don’t have to be dark — or feel cold. You don’t have to undertake a large scale basement remodel if you have the right footprint already in place. Lighten up the color scheme and switch out the flooring so it becomes a more welcoming space. Dark wood will make a basement feel even darker, so think about white or neutral cabinets and paint colors to keep it feeling less, well, like a basement! Adding recessed light is another way to get a lot of bang for your buck and completely change the feeling of your basement.

If you have an unfinished basement, it’s a waste of square footage if all you are using it for is storage. Basements easily add value to your home when remodeled. Unfinished basements are like a blank canvas with lots of potential and, with the right creativity and vision, they can be turned into beautiful but functional spaces.

It might be hard to envision how an empty space can become a multi-room, multi-use level of your home, and that’s where the professionals come in. Any reputable design-build firm in the area like Synergy should be able to provide you with design options for your basement remodel and what will work in your space.

This month’s featured project is a basement remodel right here in Reston. We transformed the unfinished and under-used basement of this lovely home to provide the family of five with family-friendly spaces to enjoy time together as well as creating a private guest bedroom and bathroom when out-of-town visitors come to stay. The finishing touch? A built-in office with room for two when working from home or for the kids to use as homework/crafting space.

Looking for more inspiration? See some of our other Before & After transformations or give us a call. We’re always happy to chat about your remodeling needs.

Happy Holidays from the Synergy Team!

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Nothing brings a home remodel or simple project to freshen up your home together more than beautiful paint. However, with the ever increasing number of gorgeous colors and types of paint available, it can be daunting knowing where to begin — or even knowing what to use. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

  • Preparation is KEY. Clean your walls and repair any nail pops or other imperfections if at all possible
  • Primer helps even out the surfaces and prevents a blotchy appearance. Stain-killing primers both prime and seal surfaces
  • When it comes to the actual paint finish to use, it depends on what your project is. Our go-to is flat/matte paint. It wipes clean, tends to show less imperfections and can be more easily “touched-up” than other paint finishes

Download our FREE “Paint Finishes” Tip Sheet to help you get started on making the right choice of paint finish for your home.

Colors, Colors Everywhere…

You’ve prepped your walls and decided which paint finish you want. Now you’re standing in a local hardware store completely overwhelmed by the array of colors. How do you make a choice?

  • First, decide which tones you like. Do you like grey tones vs. brown? Green tones over blues? Even white paint comes in different tones, so if you want a warmer feeling, use white paint with a cream or brown tone rather than grey or blue.
  • Take lots of color swatches home and tape them on your walls. What looks one color in the store will look completely different depending on the lighting in your home. Narrow your choices down.
  • Got your shortlist? Then spend a few dollars on getting sample paint pots to bring home and try them on your walls. Color swatches and actual paint color are sometimes completely different, so it’s worth a little expense upfront to make the right choice rather than buying enough to paint a room and discovering it’s nothing like the sample once you put it on your walls.
  • If you like bold colors and are planning to stay in your home, we say go for it. Statement colors are visually impactful and just plain lovely to look at. Use sparingly — consider painting one or two walls or strategically use accent color. Too much bold color in a room can make it feel smaller than it really is.
  • If in doubt or you are thinking of selling your home in the near future, go with neutrals. You may love cobalt blue, but sometimes other people can’t see beyond bold colors to imagine their furniture in the space. Use throws, pillows and other accents in the room instead. These can be switched out as the mood strikes you rather than having to do another paint job.

Using a Paint or Home Remodeling Contractor

It’s important to have realistic expectations when either hiring a painting contractor or a home remodeler for a project that involves painting. For example, unless you are having new drywall or crown moulding installed, imperfections are going to show after the painting is complete. Remember that dent you put in your baseboards with the vacuum cleaner? Or that nick in the wall when you were moving a piece of furniture? Those aren’t going to magically disappear with a new paint job.

New recessed lighting or new lighting fixtures will also show up imperfections you just didn’t realize were there because brighter/better lighting will make them more obvious. Unless you point out the areas that just plain bug you beforehand, contractors can’t give you a smooth, blemish-free end result. Even with patching or repairs, it just isn’t possible to give you a “new drywall” finish. For this reason, some home remodelers no longer include paint in their scope of work. This is because it can be a hassle trying to manage expectations about the paint finish in your home.

This month’s featured remodel is a McLean Kitchen remodel. The original green and blonde wood color scheme had to go! Use of Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” in matte on the kitchen walls and refinishing the solarium structure in the same color (but in semi-gloss) keeps the look consistent and allows the rooms to flow from one to another. It also makes the space feel much larger without being cold.

At Synergy, we believe in providing a full service design/build experience. That’s why we include painting in the scope of every project we work on. We want you to have a turn-key experience, with nothing left to do after the dust settles except relax! Ready to renovate happy? Get in touch!

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The $39 million renovation of Langston Hughes Middle School (11401 Ridge Heights Road) could be completed as early as August 2021.

The project, which began earlier this year, is in the first phase of construction. So far, the parking lot and bus loop were partially completed of the summer.

Originally constructed in 1979, the expanded school is set to be 189,000 square feet and serve 1,250 students, according to Hughes Group Architects. Fairfax County Public Schools officials estimate the project will be mostly completed by August 2021. 

The first phase of the project, which runs through December 2020, will include a two-story addition with an administration office, library, science and technology classrooms, communications and electrical rooms, as well as parking and other site work.

The second phase, which runs from January 2020 through December 2020, will improve the north entry point, renovation classrooms, and create a lecture hall and collaborative space. Demolition of the existing library and the north entry area is planned.

The final phase of the project, which runs through January 2021 through August 2021, will include upgrades to the performing arts and drama area, the gym, and locker rooms.

The project includes a central court called the “Hall of Nations” — a collaborative and flexible space meant to serve as an auditorium, a classroom or a breakout space.

Photos via FCPS

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

You might be under the impression condo remodeling can be approached in the same way as any home remodel. Not so!

When it comes to remodeling, a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work. Condo remodeling brings its own unique challenges and requirements. Luckily for you, we’re here to help you navigate the road to a successful condo renovation project!

Condo Association Rules & Regulations

Remember that Condo Owner Association (COA) binder you received when you bought your place? Dust it off, because it’s going to become your new best friend. Most (if not all) COAs have an approval process in place that must be followed if you are making significant changes to your space, even though it’s just the interior. We’ve seen most approval cycles take a minimum of 45 days, so plan in advance and don’t start work until you have the seal of approval.

Hire the Right Remodeling Partner

As with any home remodel, it’s important to understand exactly who you need to do the work. If it’s just a simple pull and replace of your condo powder room, that’s a much simpler project and completely different to a total redesign and renovation of your condo’s kitchen or master bath.

If you are simply looking to update your powder room or replace your kitchen countertops, there are plenty of General Contractors who could be the perfect match for you. A full service design/build approach is a better fit for a more complex, design thoughtful condominium remodel. If you aren’t sure what you need, read Best Remodelers in Reston & How to Find Them.

Logistics Matter

There are a lot of nuances to consider and things you might find helpful to know before you meet with any remodeling contractor or company to discuss your condo remodel:

  • Elevation — Enjoying the beautiful view from the 10th floor? Gorgeous, yes, but if you don’t have a lot of storage space, the time it takes to go up and down from the ground floor with supplies and materials eats into the time the crew can work in your home so projects may take a little longer.
  • Visitor Access — Many luxury condo buildings have requirements for pre-approval of guests in the building. Your building management may require you to be the central point of contact for your contractor to ensure they can gain easy, daily access to the building.
  • Time Restrictions — Home remodelers tend to be early morning people. Most of our carpenters and crew are usually hard at work by 8 a.m. Many condo buildings, however, put time restrictions on when work can be undertaken in the building. Working around these restrictions is a necessity, but it also means your remodeling partner may have to adjust their schedule accordingly which may add extra time to your project.
  • Parking — This can be one of the biggest challenges, especially now in Reston Town Center since — dare we even mention it — paid parking! Your contractor will need approved bay(s) in your building garage to use to keep the project flowing smoothly.
  • Dumpsters — It may not be the most glamorous thing to have to think about, but if you need a dumpster for demolition items, your contractor will need approval for a place to put it on condo property.

Ask your prospective condo remodeling company if they have undertaken a remodel in a condo building before. If they have, it’s a good sign they will take all of these things into consideration with the added benefit of having developed relationships with many of the building managers in the area.

Special Considerations

Although you may think of condo remodeling in the same way as residential remodeling, it brings with it special commercial building considerations. There are some things no remodeler may be able to change for you such as sprinkler locations, limitations on what can be done with concrete ceilings or even certain structural changes.

There are also specific requirements in many condo buildings with regards to use of specific flooring to reduce noise or other building materials. The more you plan for this in advance, the smoother the process will be once you begin your condo remodel.

Luxury Condominium Remodeling Right on Your Doorstep!

This month’s featured project is a Reston MidTown Condo remodel. This is a gorgeous condo, but the bathrooms were original to the unit and the owner’s were ready to completely remodel all three of them to reflect their personal taste and design aesthetic.

With many condos in the Reston area now well into their second decade, you might be thinking it’s time to remodel yours. We can help! With over 10 years of experience and based right here in Reston, we know a thing or two when it comes to luxury condominium remodeling. We apply our same proven Renovation Roadmap™ methodology to all of our remodels to ensure you renovate happy!

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

You’ve started to think about a home remodel and it’s suddenly taking up a LOT of your time and is quickly becoming overwhelming. We get it. This isn’t (and shouldn’t be) your full time job!

So this month, we’re providing answers to some of the most commonly asked questions and concerns we hear from homeowners just like you.

Where do I start? 

Figuring out the different approaches to home remodeling is key to helping you understand what type of contractor you need. Added bonus? If you’ve already started getting estimates it’ll give you insights into why they may be all over the place. A general rule of thumb:

  • A general contractor (GC) will usually focus on the install and execution of your vision, meaning you take on more of the legwork in making design and materials decisions, ordering/buying materials and managing the project yourself.
  • A design-build approach means you are guided through your remodel all the way from design to construction with project management along the way. Design-build firms do the heavy lifting so you don’t have to. They do, however, tend to focus on medium to large scale home remodels.

What is the cost per square foot for a home remodel?

This is a great question! Like most things in life, there is no simple answer. It depends on the level of service you are being provided (for example, full service design-build vs. general contractor), the level of finishes you want (from cabinetry to countertops to fixtures and everything in between) and the complexity and size of the space or spaces you want to remodel (is that a “load bearing wall” I hear you say?).

Read more in Square Foot Pricing for a Home Remodel: What You Should Know.

How long does a home remodel take?

Ah, yes, queue HGTV. Three weeks and a few thousand dollars, right? Not so fast! If someone tells you a few weeks, run! Designing thoughtful remodels take time. The design phase comes first, then construction. Most of our remodels take somewhere between 8 to 14 weeks depending on the size and scope (and that’s just the construction phase)!

Having realistic expectations about how long your home will be under construction will set you up for success and avoid those “renovation nightmares” you hear so much about. Don’t let anyone start your remodel until you’ve finalized the design and selected all your materials (materials should be waiting on construction and not the other way around). Once everything is ordered and/or delivered and ready to go, then, and only then, can the sledge hammers start swinging!

Do I need a permit for my home remodel?

Permits are like insurance policies; if you don’t have them and something goes wrong, you’ve got no coverage and no recourse. Some remodeling companies or general contractors will tell you that you don’t need a permit. It saves them time and money and allows them to skirt around limitations set by the state as to the size of projects they’re authorized to do.

Bottom line: Don’t let others put the responsibility on you to pull your own permits (again, not a good idea), so ask your prospective remodeling partner this question at the outset.

In Reston, if you are part of Reston Association you will also need approval from the Design Review Board (DRB) for any exterior changes to your home. You do not need approval for interior changes.

What red flags should I look out for?

There are a few:

  • The contractor hasn’t worked on a project of similar size and scope to your project before
  • They tell you they can get started on construction right away
  • They don’t have a well-rounded website with project examples and client testimonials (and/or won’t give you any references to talk to)
  • They outsource all of their work to subcontractors and have no in-house team for any aspect of your remodel. Read more in Life Under Construction: Who’s in Your Home?
  • The contractor isn’t licensed and insured

Read more frequently asked questions and get the answers you’re looking for! Still not sure what you need? Here are resources to help you figure out what type of approach is right for your remodel and how to find the best remodelers in Reston.

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Students who poured through the halls of Herndon High School on the first day of school yesterday were the first to take advantage of the school’s newest renovation features.

So far, phase one of the major renovation project is nearly complete. Improvements include a new entrance that requires entrances to pass through security and the main office, 65 classrooms, a new gourmet foods room, new science labs and additional classroom spaces.

The new library, which is part of phase one, is behind construction and is expected to open in the coming weeks. For now, students will use the old library, but services will be limited.

Phase two will include new locker rooms, art rooms, an expanded main gym, and a renovated auxiliary gym. Phase three will include a new wrestling and gymnastic rooms, renovated musics rooms and an auditorium, and upgraded baseball and softball structures. The final phase will feature updates to the cafeteria, a new food court design, and updates to the tennis courts and stadium press box.

More than 60 outdoor trailers are expected to remain until next year. School officials said only one trailer was removed over the summer in order to allow construction to take place. Because trailers are in place, a parking lottery will continue, with seniors given priority. The school is working with Herndon United Methodist Church to expand student parking opportunities.

The school’s special education office is now in the new wing of the building. A temporary boys locker room and school clinic is also in place as construction continues.

Photos via Herndon High School

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

Every project we work on has its own story, unique to each homeowner’s needs and personality. Whether it’s a family just about to have their first child or the kids are grown and getting ready to head off to college, every person’s “why” is different. This is one of the reasons we love what we do!

It’s impossible to single out just one as our favorite, so this month we decided to share some of our team’s top picks for our local remodels.

1. Liz, Office & Client Relations Manager

“This Reston kitchen and first floor remodel was one of my favorites because of how special it was for this couple to have their first permanent home given all of their military relocations. They put their trust us in even though they were not currently living in the area and we provided a beautifully finished home for them to move into to grow their family and settle down.”
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2. Matt, Lead Carpenter

“So many projects have had a real effect on me! If I had to pick one, I will go with this kitchen and family room remodel. Just seeing how much my work meant to the family and their way of embracing how Synergy did things, still resonates. The tears of joy and the hugs were amazing!”
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3. Mina, CEO

“I have too many favorites to choose from, however, I’m currently obsessed with a home we’re just finishing up here in Reston. Our clients fully embraced creating an “Intention Painting” (which is writing an “intention” on the walls in order to energetically connect with the purpose of their remodel). The thought and care they put into it and their focus on creating a positive vibe for all who enter their home really resonated with me.”
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4. Nicola, Director of Sales & Marketing

“As a past client myself, I love how Synergy focuses on how each client uses their space and how it can flow better. Every project is unique — there’s nothing cookie-cutter about any of the projects!

This kitchen remodel resonated with me because the homeowner had a beautiful contemporary design aesthetic, but, with 2 young children, the finished spaces were also family-friendly with lots of storage in a mudroom hidden away from the Kitchen.”
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5. Camille, Interior Designer

One of the projects I loved the most was this recent whole home remodel. It’s rare that you get to do an entire home remodel from major construction down to all new furnishings. It’s a designer’s dream to have a project like this! Watching the client’s vision come to life was the best part!”
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Reston Association’s Design Review Board deferred a decision on the proposed renovation of Sheraton Reston Hotel last night (Tuesday).

Board members said that some proposed renovations to the 298-room hotel (11810 Sunrise Valley Drive) were tacky and departed significantly from conceptual plans that the DRB approved in mid-October.

As the direction of the project changed, hotel representatives said they dropped several natural wood tone elements and wood-printed screens on the facade of the building in favor of green paint on the fins. Darker gray tones to the building were also proposed.

The green paint is intended to bring in tones from the landscape into the building, according to project representatives. In October, the design had more wood-based elements and lacked a vertical strip of repeated chevron patterns where the sign of the hotel is currently situated.

W. Neal Roseberry, the DRB’s vice chair, said he had a “visceral reaction” to the proposed green color, which he said does a disservice to one of Reston’s most iconic buildings and departs significantly from the previously proposed wood elements that were “a wow.”

“I think its not what Reston needs to be doing to its older iconic buildings,” Roseberry said.

He also noted that the blue colors of the EXO apartment building — which is not within the DRB’s purview — often produces criticism from the community. If approved, the green paint would likely do the same.

Richard Newlon, the DRB’s chairman, also noted that the broader issue was very different from the original conceptual plan and could stand-alone as an entirely new project.

Wurzak Hotel Group, a Philadelphia-based company and DoveHill Capital Management acquired the property in March 2018. The DRB preliminary approved a conceptual renovation plan in October 2018

Photos via handout/Reston Association

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By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction

We’ve all been there. We pin design and remodeling ideas like crazy on Pinterest, sit glued to our favorite HGTV show and watch with envy as another house is transformed into a dream home.

Or, we browse Houzz projects and wonder how such a dark, closed-in Kitchen became a light and airy space that looks twice the size, but… we are completely stuck when it comes to our own home!

There are a number of reasons why this happens:

  • Maybe you just don’t know where to start, and the different ways to remodel is making your head spin
  • The horror stories of renovation nightmares made you wary of taking on a remodeling project of your own
  • You just don’t want to deal with the disruption and stress and put up with a space even though it bothers you every time you walk into it

It doesn’t have to be like this! While remodeling can be tricky, it doesn’t need to be stressful. It is possible to have a more zen-like experience and keep your stress in check. While there are many ways to feel more in control, here’s a FREE download of the top ten: Ten Secrets to a Stress-Free Home Remodel.

This month’s featured remodel is a single family home in Reston. Our clients were ready to update the home to better reflect the contemporary architecture as well as open up the floor plan of the Main Level. As a busy and musical family of five (with their eldest child soon to be college-bound), they have A LOT going on!

It would have been easy to put it off indefinitely or wait until all the kids were in college before getting started, but the entire family were “all in” and ready to partner with us to keep stress to a minimum during their remodel. Our main goal was to create more open, light filled spaces to allow the family to gather together and enjoy their home for many years to come.

If you’ve been thinking about remodeling for a while, but just keep putting it off because it all seems too much of a hassle, now is a good time to take the first step on your stress-free remodeling journey!

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