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Reno of the Month: Who is in Your Home?

Written by Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

Many homeowners make assumptions about the general contractor or remodeling firm they pick for their remodel. You get a great first impression from the initial sales meeting, but, odds are those aren’t the same people who’ll actually be in your home doing the work every day.

Carpenters and construction crews will be in your life, around your kids and overseeing your investment each day of the project, so don’t forget to ask questions during the selection of a remodeling partner about the people actually doing the work:

  • Are your carpenters in-house employees or subcontractors?
  • Do I have a dedicated lead for my project?
  • What training or certifications do workers have?
  • What standards will the staff follow while they’re in my home?
  • Who will have access to keys while work is being completed?

So much of a home remodel depends on labor, so it’s important you’re comfortable with the field expertise of your team.

While all of our carpenters are in-house team members, and one will be assigned a specifically oversee your project’s quality, safety and security protocols, not every company operates that way.

It takes a lot of trust to invite people into your home and we don’t take that lightly. Although many of our clients live in the home while we’re remodeling, others schedule their remodel while they’re out-of-town, or even relocating from outside of the area!

Regardless of who you choose to remodel your home, the point is to go beyond the initial sales call and find out who will actually be doing the work and overseeing your project.

Our Reno of the Month features a client who was living in Massachusetts during both the design and construction phases of their project.

We took all the necessary measures to ensure we delivered a perfect renovation while respecting safety and cleanliness, leaving nothing behind but a gorgeous, transformed home. Their neighbor even commented, “Thanks again for the neighborly way the crew handled everything. It’s really like we never knew you were there!”

Want to learn more about our team? Find out Who We Are!

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Reno of the Month: Busy Person’s Guide to Choosing a Remodeling Contractor

Written by Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

It’s summertime and the last thing on your mind is hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year.

It seemed like a great idea at the time when you committed, but now you have 24 people coming, it’s already June and you need to get going on your remodel.

If you don’t have time to remember to defrost something for dinner, how are you supposed to find time to pick a contractor who suits your project, fits your family’s crazy schedule and — equally as important — your budget?

If you’re already feeling swamped and overwhelmed, understanding and then aligning your renovation needs to the type of service a particular contractor provides is a HUGE time-saver.

There are many ways to renovate, so knowing what you need is the first step. Which one of these scenarios best describes you?

  • You like a good DIY project on the weekend, but you know this one is above your level of expertise. If it doesn’t involve major design or architectural changes, it could be an easy ‘add’ for you to manage the little details of working with a handyman and coordinate with other trades for your project
  • You’ve done a lot of remodeling before and you feel pretty savvy about what it takes to project manage a remodel. You love making design and material selections and don’t mind ordering materials yourself. In this case, you may find it easiest to work with a general contractor who will focus mainly on install and execution of your vision
  • Your plate is full and you just don’t know where to start. Although you love design (HGTV is your go-to channel), you’re not confident on how to pull everything together and are afraid of making a mistake. When it comes to construction, you don’t want to be coordinating anything! In your case, a full-service design-build firm will guide you through your project from design all the way through to construction, do all the heavy lifting as well as project manage it along the way

Our featured renovation was for a client who fell into the 3rd category. They needed a whole home remodel for an active family with 2 teenagers who wanted spacious, bright, stylish but functional design that matched their busy lifestyle.

Knowing they didn’t have the design vision or time to project manage such a large remodel themselves, they quickly came to realize a design-build approach was the way to go.

The entire remodel was done while the family lived in the home.

Their new Kitchen is now the “heart of the home” and includes a stunning 9-foot plus island with rich blue cabinets and a White Himalaya polished granite countertop.

The new Mudroom/Laundry space has built-in cubbies for storage and even includes a tech-charging station.

The Master Bathroom is now a spa-like sanctuary, with a beautiful tiled shower and relaxing soaking tub. Additionally, a hall bath, guest bath and powder room were transformed into bright, modern spaces.

You can see more before and after projects on our website and learn how we help homeowners throughout Northern Virginia Renovate Happy!

Not sure which remodeling approach is right for you? download our free “Ways to Renovate” guide to help get you started!

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Reno of the Month: Testimonials Matter

Written by Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

Testimonials can be quite like Facebook — everyone puts their best foot forward and selected quotes usually only highlight a company in the best possible light.

As a result, many people skip over them. However, testimonials DO matter. Before you spend your hard earned dollars on a remodel, take a few moments to review testimonials to ensure you’ve found the perfect fit for your renovation partner.

Here’s our quick guide to meaningful testimonials:

  • It might sound simple, but do the testimonials sound like they came from a real person? If they focus on the experience, and not just the end product, it’s a safe bet the client felt cared for during the process.
  • Are there photos or videos of actual people on the website? Homeowners who had a great experience are usually willing to share their experience.
  • Are before & after photos available and are they consistent with testimonials? If not, time to move on!
  • Watch video testimonials — they are a great way to hear personal stories and opinions from genuinely satisfied customers.

Our featured Reno of the Month is a recently completed Master Bath and was the second remodel we completed for this client, having remodeled their kitchen a few years ago. Our clients had long dreamed of a sleek, stylish retreat that would transport them out of the builder-grade, basic-white Master Bathroom they had for many years.

While the footprint of the new bathroom mimics the old layout, the streamlined fixtures and materials bring new energy to the space and now truly reflect our clients’ modern tastes. Luxurious touches include back-lit vanity mirrors, a heated towel rack and a custom, teak-wood shower floor mat.

We treasure the trust our clients put in our team and feel fortunate to work on multiple projects for their family as needs change. Let them tell you in their own words why us.

Synergy believes partnership is the only way to go to ensure the remodeling journey is as fun as the destination. Our testimonials reflect our commitment to customer service and why, for us, it is not just a practice, it’s the driving force behind everything we do.

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Reno of the Month: How Job Site Cleanliness Leads to a Great Remodeling Experience

Written by Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

Most homeowners avoid remodeling projects because they’re afraid of the disruption (and the mess) it will create in their home.

While it’s impossible to completely avoid dust and debris during the process a great contractor will go the extra mile to keep the disruption to a minimum. A few signs to look for in a well-organized job site include:

  • Temporary plastic walls and zippered doorways to separate construction areas from the rest of the home
  • Floor protection is installed to protect walkways to and from the outside
  • HEPA Air Scrubber or other high powered vacuum is in use
  • The dumpster is frequently emptied to minimize dangerous (and unsightly) conditions
  • Garage or staging area is organized with tools in place at the end of each day
  • The spaces being renovated are broom swept daily and left in an orderly fashion

Our featured renovation this month is a Reston townhouse kitchen and first floor. The original floor plan didn’t allow the spaces to interact well. We opened it up from the entry to the kitchen and main living area.

The home is now flooded with light and the updated space is great for entertaining. “What was especially nice was that everything was clean when I came home every night. They took time to clean every day and didn’t have boards and tools lying around everywhere,” commented another happy Synergy client.

Watch the video of our team in action in the field. You can see more of our remodeling transformations and behind-the-scenes videos at RenovateHappy.com.

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Reno of the Month: Why Committing to (and Keeping) Project Completion Dates Matter

Written by Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

The #1 complaint I hear from homeowners is that their previous project took much longer than expected.

Working in the design and construction industry for years, I believe one of the biggest mistakes renovation companies make is not providing a clear timeline and plan to homeowners before construction begins.

Here’s a few questions to ask potential remodeling companies to ensure they’ve got the ability (and capacity) to get your project completed on-time:

  • What is a “typical” project size for your company?
  • How often do you take on projects like mine?
  • How many projects do you have going on at one time?
  • Do you provide a timeline for completion of my project?
  • How will you ensure my project will come in on time and on budget?

Our featured renovation this month is a clean-lined, modern Reston kitchen. Our clients had exacting standards and an eye for details and they chose us because we provided them a clear pathway to the finish line (which we call our Renovation Roadmap™).

We use it to help make all design selections and provide the exact costs and construction timeline and — the best bit — this eliminates unexpected costs, delays and frustration!

We love helping homeowners like you, even if you don’t pick us as your remodeling partner. Download your free Renovation Roadmap brochure and receive monthly tools and tips on everything design and renovation.

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Reno of the Month: Herndon Home Remodel

Written by Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

Like many of us, Pam and Mike have a busy family life. After living in their Herndon home for twelve years, they loved their house but knew it was time for a makeover.  Family, friends and entertaining were all high priorities which made a new kitchen, laundry, guest bathroom and updated family room move to the top of their remodeling list.

Since most homeowners fear the disruption a remodel brings, especially when it comes to the kitchen, we do our best to ease their angst by making it as smooth as possible. We always set up a temporary kitchen with the essentials homeowners need — a cooktop burner, a microwave, pots and pans — we’ll even move the fridge to make life easier!

We find it’s the things that make the biggest impact to the remodeling experience. It certainly helped Pam, Mike and their family go about their day-to-day lives while living in the home during the construction phase of their project.

Interested in learning more? Let Pam and Mike tell you in their own words Why Us!

Want to see more inspiring Reston remodeling projects?  

Learn more about Synergy Design & Construction — Reston’s own award-winning home remodeling firm focused on multi-room and whole home renovations. We provide a personal approach to home remodeling that is evident throughout the Reston community. Whether you’ve seen our work on the Reston Home Tour, through RA’s Helping Homes projects or at Cornerstones, we are dedicated to helping Reston “Renovate Happy.”  

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Reno of the Month: Lakeside Townhome near Lake Thoreau

Written by Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

When Sarah purchased her Lakeside townhome near Lake Thoreau, she knew it needed a complete overhaul. In addition to updating the usual suspects (kitchen cabinets, countertops, paint, flooring, etc.) she wanted a better flow throughout the main floor.

By removing the kitchen pantry, we were able to open up the view to the dining and living rooms and let the light flow throughout the entire space. We also gave the fireplace new life with a modern, brick-like ceramic tile in a herringbone pattern and repurposed a closet area into a built-in beverage and entertaining center.

As always, going beyond just replacing old finishes was important to us. We knew a better flow could easily be attained with a simple, yet thoughtful new floorplan and eye on the overall Interior Alignment® of the space.

The result? Another happy client in a clean and modern Reston home she’d been longing for.

Want to see more inspiring Reston remodeling projects?  

Learn more about Synergy Design & Construction — Reston’s own award-winning home remodeling firm focused on multi-room and whole home renovations. We provide a personal approach to home remodeling that is evident throughout the Reston community. Whether you’ve seen our work on the Reston Home Tour, through RA’s Helping Homes projects or at Cornerstones, we are dedicated to helping Reston “Live Better. Feel Better.”  

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