Focal Point Fix: Your Fireplace

So when Santa comes for his annual visit, will he shimmy down your chimney in style this year, or is your fireplace surround in need of a focal point fix?

Thanks to an abundance and versatility of materials, you can use your fireplace surround to help set the mood and style of an entire room or living space. If you’re building new or have a redux in mind, we found 5 fab looks that are on-trend and transcend traditional brick and stone options.

Trends in Tile

There are few limits to the façade looks you can create with today’s tile options. If you enjoy a bit of bling in your room, metallic porcelain provides a glow that complements those burning embers. The look is achieved by mimicking the appearance of antiqued metals. While this option is said to provide the strength and endurance of ceramic tile, experts caution it is more maintenance-prone. If you crave style, however, this option is often applied without the grout associated with tile to create a seamless and sophisticated vibe.

Wood-look porcelain tiles are a great workaround if you LOVE the look of wood and want it to embrace your fireplace. With real wood being a fireplace surround hazard, the ability to mimic this natural resource with a more durable and much safer option can speak volumes of not only your good sense, but your great taste.

Patterned tile really allows your creativity to flourish. Think about a pattern you’ve always loved and odds are you can duplicate that look with your fireplace surround. Options in this area are incredibly versatile, but be thoughtful of just how much space you have and how long you want to live with the pattern you choose. Choosing a too-trendy look here can have your whole room looking dated before its time.

Creating with Concrete

The beauty of a concrete façade is that it is highly customizable, durable, easy to keep clean and requires very little maintenance. This is also an especially desirable option if you prize the look of a floor-to-ceiling fireplace. For the safety-conscious and the practical, concrete can be the wise choice that affords the benefits of a stylish statement piece.

The Other White Marble

If you’re a fan of Carrara marble, experts say you might also want to consider a fireplace surround made or Naxian or Naxos marble, named for the area in Greece where it is sourced. This ultra-white and creamy looking marble is the ultimate option for the homeowner striving for a classy, upscale look. Described as lightly dappled and accented with shimmering crystal deposits, this marble is often seen in striated form for fireplaces delivering textured appeal and visual impact. Since marble is a form of limestone, it is a softer material and will require a regular, but simple maintenance routine to keep it looking beautiful.

Ready to build a better fireplace? Contact the home building pros at Lundberg Builders today at 410-643-3334 or visit lundbergbuilders.com. Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD.

Curb Appeal Series: Adore The Door!

If windows are said to be the eyes of the home, your front door could very well be considered entry to the soul of your home. Your approach to and choice of a front door surely sets the tone for your home…and here, where the salt air and Bay breezes abound, you will also want that door to be as functional as it is beautiful.How can you make sure that happens? Consider the three primary aspects you will need to address: Safety, Durability and Curb Appeal. (Photo by Lisa J. Gotto)

Safety –the Number One thing your door needs to do is keep your family secure within the walls of your home and keep the criminal element out.

Durability –no matter the material you choose for the door, as a homeowner you need to make peace with the fact that it will require some amount of periodic maintenance to ensure long-term reliability.

Curb Appeal –Finally, the fun stuff! What’s great about today’s doors, is that you need not sacrifice form for function. So, go ahead-think about what the door on your dream home looks like and then talk to your builder and home design pro. They can help you choose the right material and craft the look you desire.

Answering the Wood, Steel or Fiberglass Question

 Like the door above, for many homeowners only the look of wood will do. It’s a warm, earthy material…and truly some of the most inviting entryways are those that are showcased in wood. Wood choices include oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, maple, and fir.(Photo courtesy of Shabby & Charme)

Solid wood doors make an awesome canvas for color, especially softwood varieties, such western hemlock or pine. So if you are going for the wood look, keep in mind that these doors are best installed in areas that have a degree of protection like an overhang or a portico so they are somewhat shielded for the elements. If you are concerned about wood’s natural tendency to shrink or warp, you may wish to compromise and choose a stock wood door that offers a veneer skin over an engineered wood core.

There are ways to keep warping at bay. This includes purchasing a door that was stored properly prior to installation and treating the door with a minimum of two coats of a good quality exterior solvent-borne or water-borne clear finish. Adding a polyurethane sealant and polishing your door twice annually should be part of a regular maintenance plan.

Choosing a steel door is wise if maintenance is something you would prefer not to have to do as often. While just the word “steel” may sound cold, your front door and entryway does not have to look that way.

With a variety of colors, glass insets and detail work available, your steel door can say “welcome” just as well—and as warm—as any wood door. Steel also provides a step up in safety aspect department. Steel is the strongest of the three materials and the inner frames of these doors are generally constructed of wood or steel—again the strongest option. This is also a cozier option than you may think, as the interior cavities of steel doors are filled with high-density foam insulation, so they are energy-efficient, as well. (Photo courtesy of wanhaptoori.com)

While dings and dents can occur over time, they can be addressed with basic sand paper, a putty fill and a paint-over. Expect some paint touch-ups as part of regular maintenance with this option.

Fiberglass doors can also be warm and versatile.

The image above proves you can still make a statement and create tons of curb appeal with a dream door that also prizes practicality. A fiberglass door can do a great job of mimicking the look and feel of a solid wood door. Even in the harshest climates fiberglass does well requiring just periodic resealing. Most of these doors are made with a core of polyurethane-foam insulation over a framework of wooden stiles and rails, and then covered with a molded fiberglass skin. fiberglass door. This option is highly durable and virtually maintenance-free. So, if wood was your dream but that option is not a practical one for your home, fiberglass could be the answer. (Photo courtesy of Codel Entry Systems)

Remember, when choosing your door, the standard about making that all-important first impression, because curb appeal is still king! Look for more door tips in our upcoming newsletter and for the next blog in our Curb Appeal series coming in September!

If you’re ready to start your front door project, call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience; we are open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

The Romance & Rustic Ambiance of She Sheds and Sleeping Porches

A secret space. A quiet place. A restful repose for a hectic day. Don’t you want that? We do!

Whether you are fortunate enough to have an existing structure on your property or opt to buy a basic shed and “she” —or even “he” it up for a reflective outdoor space for male repose, this alternative outdoor concept seems to complement the inherent charm of living on the Eastern Shore perfectly. (Photos courtesy of Janis Nicolay and Living Vintage)

Go For Cozy!

Probably the greatest advantage of this luxe shed trend is the fun you can have with the creative process. This could be the perfect opportunity to pull some great heirlooms or yard sale finds from the attic and put them to good use. It could also be the chance you’ve been waiting  for to address a worn out building on your property that needs some love.

Even if you have a ruin of an old farmhouse, cabin or greenhouse on your property, you can consult with your builder and design professional to see how it can be salvaged and turned into additional “pride of place” space.

The pros can make sure your shed design provides ample natural light, any custom touches you desire and addresses the way you wish to use the space.

Once you have a basic, sound structure (some shed dwellers opt to run electricity for small lamps or even space heating) then the fun really begins as you take the space and make it “all about you.” The key is to surround yourself with everything that you love and items that inspire you! (Photos courtesy of Finding Silver Pennies, Janis Nicolay and The Painted Home.)

Getting Some Zzz’s

And there’s another unique outdoor retreat…the sleeping porch, that might work well for some Eastern Shore dwellers with limited space on their existing property, the sleeping porch. In fact, if you have a screened-in porch, you could be well on your way to some serene and starry nights, or perhaps just naps, with this reminiscent summer camp-like option, that first became popular during the Victorian Era—the days before air conditioning.

Back then it was a matter of necessity, as it was too hot to sleep in the house at night, especially in the South.  It was also a matter of health, as doctors regularly prescribed sleeping outside as a means of enhancing one’s immune system. (Photo courtesy of Coastal Living.)

Today sleeping porches are coming back into fashion as homeowners seek to get more use out of their hard-earned square footage and there are so many more materials suitable for outdoor living.

What you’ll need for a restful night’s sleep on your porch:

  • Invest in good, tightly woven screening material to keep bugs at bay. Privacy screening is also available but it can look darker and take away from the ambience you wish to create for your space. A great compromise would be to invest in polyester screening with an 18 x 14 mesh screen and then hang blinds or simple indoor/outdoor cabana-style curtains for extra privacy in the evening.
  • Make sure your roof structure is sound. While rain is likely to lull you to sleep, a soggy bedsheet is far from comfortable.
  • Install a ceiling fan to keep air circulating on muggy days.
  • For security, a low railing along the perimeter is recommended.
  • Consider furnishing with versatile pieces like a wicker day bed to provide a large enough place to sleep at night that can double as a comfortable seating area during the day. (Photo courtesy of Portage and Slain)

With proper planning, the right materials and sound professional advice you could be enjoying the benefits of a sleeping porch three seasons each year. If this sounds like a plan you wish to pursue, contact Lundberg Builders today at 410-643-3334 or visit lundbergbuilders.com. Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD.

 

 

 

The Essential “S’s” of Home Window Selection

We are fortunate to live in an area of the U.S. that offers some of the best views on the Eastern Seaboard. Indeed, life along the Chesapeake comes complete with many visual amenities from our tiny town inlets, to our bucolic farmlands, to our more expansive Bay views. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

This is one of the reasons why if you are building or buying a residence here, you will want to be certain that the windows you choose meet the criteria for the three essential “S’s” of window selection: Safety, Savings and Style.

Window Primer

Before we get into our three “S’s,” perhaps a brief overview of window basics would be helpful.

First of all, window frames are generally made of wood, aluminum, fiberglass or vinyl. Each coming with their own sets of pros and cons. The most common windows today are made of wood or vinyl. Wood is found especially in older homes and remains a highly desirable choice because most homeowners feel they just look better. With proper installation, they also help insulate the home and perform reasonably well in the long-term, if they are maintained regularly. Vinyl has become the more popular standard for modern homes because it is less expensive than wood. While they are low-to-no maintenance and energy efficient, vinyl does not get high marks in the longevity department, so over the lifetime of a home, you can expect to replace them. Meanwhile, fiberglass windows are super-insulators and have been steadily gaining in popularity in the new-build market over the last decade. Fiberglass is also known for its low thermal expansion rating and its versatility—which allows for more design options. High-performance aluminum is also a contender in the efficiency category as it is said to exceed environmental standards for thermal performance. Like fiberglass it is also, low maintenance, more economical than wood and is highly versatile from a design standpoint offering a wide array of finishes to complement any décor. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

You will also have options when it comes to glass. Single-pane windows are basically obsolete and should only be used in the most temperate of climates. Double-pane windows are considered standard and feature two sealed panes to reduce heat loss. Variations are available to increase the level of insulation, including a “low-E” glass option that has an invisible metal coating on one surface. Windows that contain inert gases like argon are available in double- and triple-paned styles providing maximum insulation for homes in colder climates.

Safety

While those million-dollar views are highly desirable, they are not worth the price tag if your windows are not structurally sound and built in a manner that has your safety in mind for years to come. We all know the impact an imposing Nor’ Easter can have on properties in vulnerable bayside communities, so safety and protection from the elements is key.

It is wise to provide for any scenario Mother Nature throws out there by investing in impact resistant windows and reinforced storm windows. These types of windows offer reinforced framing and thicker, heavy-duty double-pane glass. Other features of impact-resistant windows include larger window locks for increased strength and durability, interlocking sash and meeting rails and fully extruded lift rails. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

 

When we think of safety, of course, we are also talking about protection from home invasions and break-ins. Certain window styles, for example, casement windows, have an edge when it comes to security over single and double-hung window styles. Certain window glazes also provide a greater level of security. These important aspects should always be a central part of any window selection discussion with your builder.

Savings

Fortunately, many of the features that make windows safe also make them highly energy efficient, so over the life of your home you are likely to recoup the money spent in investing in the most efficient windows. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

So how do you know what you are getting when it comes to energy savings? There is a rating system associated with window types; this is called the window’s “R-Value.” This rating runs from an R-1 rating for a clear, single-paned window, to triple-paned windows with an R-Value range of 5 to 7. The higher the rating the better the efficiency factor.

Another variable in the rating system, is the “U-Rating” associated with the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow. In this case, the lower the U-Factor, the more energy efficient the window is. So look for these ratings when shopping or ask when consulting with your builder about your window selections.

When in doubt, always look for or ask whether the product is Energy Star-rated. Tax credits for consumers who purchase Energy Star-rated materials and products remain in effect at least through 2021 under the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2018.

Style

Okay, so now we come to what many consider the fun part of selecting their home’s windows—style!

While basic single and double-hung windows will always have a place in home building, adding in some other options, can help turn an ordinary façade into a home with depth and character. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

Bay, bow, casement, sliding and arched styles are just a few of the ways that homeowners are injecting personality into their abodes with window options. With today’s flexibility in materials, letting the sun shine in can be an opportunity to personalize and customize just the look you’re going for.

Have you traveled abroad and gained inspiration from the Palladian architecture of Italy? This window option helps put the word “great” in great room every time!

Are you fortunate enough to have a Bay view? Well, then a floor-to-ceiling option may be just the way to show it off. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

Speaking of the Bay, how about a bay window? This charming option that offers a series of three connected panes and sometimes an added inset, helps a smaller room look bigger, lighter and brighter and turns an ordinary eating area or breakfast nook into your own “pride of place” viewing spot. Bow windows offer similar advantages but offer a curved window line. (Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows)

What about making a simple statement using a series of small arched windows for a wonderfully romantic bedroom effect? How dreamy! (Photo copyright Lisa J. Gotto)

Contact Lundberg Builders today and talk to our experts about what the windows of your dream home look like! Call 410-643-3334 or visit lundbergbuilders.com. Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD.

 

 

 

WATERFRONT CUSTOM HOME – QUEENSTOWN

Annapolis-based, Bohl Architects called on Lundberg Builders to provide the building expertise needed to deliver on the promise of the stunning architectural design for their client’s new custom home in Queenstown, Maryland.  At the heart of the design was the homeowner’s desire to maximize and capture the spectacular views of their incredible Wye River front property.

The 7500 square-foot 4-bedroom contemporary home boasts notable custom features that required a remarkable level of craftsmanship and construction precision to execute the project flawlessly like the elliptical transom windows shown here in the front foyer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With that goal leading the vision for the project, the home was designed with an open floor plan that seamlessly connects indoor spaces with the outdoors. We imagine it may be a challenge to concentrate with an office view like this!

The waterfront side (rear) of the home overlooks the Wye River.  Screened porches on both the upper floors off the bedrooms and on the 2nd main floor off the kitchen and living rooms are built for maximum enjoyment of the Chesapeake lifestyle.

The elegant and ingenious design of the lift and slide glass panel wall system used on the porch (far right) was a labor of love and great care. The wall tracks are strategically hidden within the ceiling beams to essentially disappear when recessed!

NEW HOUSE

Our sister company, 314 Design Studio Kitchen and Bath Designers, worked with the homeowners to design this exquisite kitchen with extensive custom-built cabinetry meticulously crafted by Lundberg Builders.

 

Wye River Pool House

Pool houses are the ultimate summer retreat for a backyard. They offer shade from the sun and can extend evening fun by bringing it indoors.

This pool house was designed and built by our team with the concept of mirroring the main homes “staycation” vibe. The homeowners wanted the ability to use the space year round for entertaining, and wanted to incorporate the views of the Wye River.  All of the main amenities are positioned for easy access to the pool and terrace and show extensive views of the river. 

Features include a cathedral ceiling, a 7 foot folding glass wall, a fire pit, a fireplace, compact kitchen and exterior cushioned seating.

The folding glass wall allows for the space to be opened, allowing those who wish to be indoor the ability to still be present to those outdoors. As a pool house should be, this space is an extension of the main home and definitely  has all that is needed for entertaining year round,

Click on the photo to enlarge. 

H.O.M.E: Home Operations and Maintenance Evaluation

Are you aware of all that our Home Operations and Maintenance Evaluation (H.O.M.E) offers? For the majority of homeowners today their homes are one of their most valuable investments. H.O.M.E. provides homeowners a comprehensive evaluation of the operations and maintenance of your entire home inside and out.

WSP1Why should you choose the H.O.M.E. program?

  • Save money by eliminating avoidable repairs and failures.
  • Extend the life of home components, equipment, and systems.
  • Reduce safety and health risks in your home.
  • Shorten your ‘to-do’ list.
  • Maximize your home’s value and resale potential.
  • Improve and maintain your home’s appearance and appeal.
  • Take pleasure in your beautiful home where everything works as designed.
  • Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your home is professionally maintained.
  • Extra Time to do the things that are most important to you.

How does H.O.M.E work and when should it be done?

  • A Lundberg technician will conduct up to a 4 hour evaluation using a 300+ point check list.
  • The H.O.M.E. checklist inspects all operations and maintenance needs of your home inside and out.
  • During the evaluation minor repairs will be addressed (Included in evaluation).
  • Larger repairs, if needed, will be noted and an estimate for repairs will be provided if desired.
  • It is suggested that homeowners check the maintenance needs of their home 2-4 times a year.
  • Routine maintenance as needed.

Subscription rates
H.O.M.E is offered as a yearly subscription, providing 3 levels of comfort for home maintenance

  • 1 Yearly inspection visit: $250.00 total investment
  • 2 Yearly inspection visits: $400.00 total investment ($150.00 annual savings)
  • 4 Yearly inspection visits: $600.00 total investment ($400.00 annual savings)

***If repairs are needed and work is commenced a $250.00 credit will be applied to your final invoice after repairs are completed. Credit may only be used one time in a calendar year.

downloadHome Operations and Maintenance Evaluation extended services
We understand that your time is valuable and when issues arise with your home, whether it be your weekend retreat or your main abode. H.O.M.E. extended services are available to address those issues when you cannot. Let H.O.M.E. extended services be your hassle free solution.

H.O.M.E extended services include:

  • Seasonal preparation
  • Pool closing/opening
  • Landscape clean-up
  • Deck and ext. furniture cleaning
  • Outside furniture prep or store
  • Dock and lift maintenance
  • Ext. hoses/water line maintenance

Don’t let your unfinished projects and to-to lists continue to grow. Let us provide you with high quality workmanship for your home and check off all of those to-dos!
Contact us today at 410-643-3334 for more information.

Your Fall Home Checklist

Boost your homes energy efficiency and prevent winter damage by checking  off these to-dos before cold weather hits.

concrete-walkwayCheck outside walkways, stairs and the driveway for cracks or imperfections. When covered in ice and snow these can be hard to maneuver and can become hazardous

Take a walk around your house and look for signs of damage. This includes the roof, siding and foundation. Schedule these repairs before winter comes.

Seal gaps where critters could enter. With colder weather animals are always looking for a warm place and some only need a small gap to sneak in.

Stock up and check the condition of winter supplies. This includes snow scrapers, shovels, emergency kits and snow blowers (if you use them).

Raking-leaves-300x225

Rake leaves. Letting leaves sit over winter can inhibit spring growth.

Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses. Drain the hoses and protect your pipes from the dropping temperatures.

Add weatherstripping. This is often overlooked, but this small step can help you save money on your energy costs. Apply it around the frames of windows and doors.

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Clean gutters and downspouts once most of the leaves have fallen. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.

 

 

Check safety devices. Test smoke detectors and carbon download (1)monoxide detectors and replace batteries as needed. In addition to this check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher.

Clean dryer vents. Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire.

Schedule a chimney cleaning and heating system maintenance. Make sure your chimney and furnace or boiler are cleaned, maintained and in working order.

Thank you for voting!

2016-window-decal-300x300We wanted to take a moment to thank you, our loyal supporters, for voting us ‘Best Builder’ for the Shore Updates 2016 Golden Anchor awards for the second consecutive year. As we are nearing our 40th year in business, we couldn’t be more proud to be part of such a supportive community.

We recently were awarded ‘Best Custom Home Builder’ in the “Whats Up Best of” awards for the Annapolis and Eastern Shore. It was our 6th year winning for the Eastern Shore and our 1st for Annapolis.

The team at Lundberg Builders take great pride in each project that we work on and aim to provide exceptional customer service to each client even after their project is completed. We thank our clients for trusting us with building, maintaining and renovating their homes and for their many referrals. We sincerely appreciate your support, trust and loyalty.

You can check out the full list of winners here: shoreupdate.com/2016goodies

Easy ways to Transition your Home from Summer to Fall.

summer to fall

Can you smell that? That’s the comforting scent of all things pumpkins, apple cider and spice. We may still be in the depths of summer and planning beach trips, barbecues, and enjoying warm summer nights, but Fall is almost within our reach! Check out these quick tips to help transition you’re home decor from Summer to Fall.

Layer rugs and pull out the throw blankets
Add warmth to your home by adding a few textured throw blankets and area rugs to your rooms. For an added touch, choose ones that are in rich fall colors: red, orange, dark purple and browns.

P1040699Turn to the outdoors for inspiration
Bring the outdoors inside and fill some jars with branches from your yard or your local craft store. Add in fall smelling potpourri for added affect. A bundle of fallen twigs wrapped in a bow could be used in an entry way or as fireplace decor, fallen leaves could be used as a base to fill a jar and pine cones could be used to fill a wooden bowl along with other accents. Bonus because those decorations are all free!

Switch out pillows
This is always a fairly inexpensive way to change your decor. Choose fall colors and textured pillows such as ones with knitted covers or faux fur. 976f5cadb19258571309a186e537467c

Change our your bedding
Add linens in rich colors, plaids and darker prints. Simply adding darker colors can totally transform your home to feeling more seasonal.

Change out your welcome mat
The best way to say “Hello fall!” is to have a festive welcome mat by your front door! 

Create a welcoming autumn feel with scented candles
Scented candles in the season’s vanilla, spice, apple and pumpkin fragrances can easily bring warmth to any space. Try arranging large candles around a centerpiece with faux leaves and pine cones.

Switch your hand towels
Choose darker, bolder, earthy and warm fall colors. You can also bust out new hand soaps in fall scents.

kitchen-accessory