by Madeline Pillow on August 22, 2014

 Jeannine Miller, Moss Building & Design

By – Jeannine Miller (jmiller@mossbuildinganddesign.com)

 

I just read that the Ice Bucket Challenge ALS donations have hit the $50 million mark.  How awesome is that?  Not only are good people everywhere donating to a worthy cause, but they’re providing me with endless entertainment.

If you know me, you know it’s not the nicey-nicey, pretty-pretty videos that I love – I prefer the fails.  Click below to see a bunch of great ones.

http://youtu.be/WQlvW0aFnKo

In addition to the fails, I am truly humored by a few different types of people I’m seeing over and over.  (I hate to stereotype, but it really does save time.)  I’ve enlisted a few folks you may recognize to show you what I mean.

 

  • The girl who loves an excuse to show herself in a bathing suit.

  • The good ol’ boy who may have had one too many sips from the jug before taking the Challenge.

  • The reluctant kid.

  • The over-reacting woman.

 

All silliness aside, it’s great to see people come together to support a good cause.  Each of the Miller goofballs shown above will be making a donation to the ALS Association in memory of Kenny Duane, a fun guy who would surely have made a hilarious video.  Join me!

 

And now a word from my sponsor: If you’re in the market for some home remodeling, call the experts at Moss Building & Design.  We will consult with you and help you explore the many possibilities for updating your home.  Call 703-961-7707 to schedule an appointment for a free estimate.

In addition to blogging about all things home and family-related, Jeannine Miller manages Moss Building & Design’s Community Relations Department, which includes the popular HandyMOM 101 and HandyGirl 101 workshop programs.

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by Madeline Pillow on August 21, 2014

Northern VA Contractor Gives Tips on Home Organization

Moss Building & Design

 

It’s almost that time again. Sharpen the pencils, the tools of last year’s homework, and buy the crayons to replace the small stubs left from last year’s doodles and prized family drawings—school’s almost here.

And though your job as a parent is to make sure the transition from summer to the school year is smooth sailing with the right backpack and the locker supplies that will make every other kid on the school block jealous, there are also things you can do at home to make sure this school year is organized for your family and home.

First ask yourself: What are usually the systems of organization that breakdown through the year? They might include:

  • a place for  backpacks and lunchboxes when kids get home from school
  • area for school-related parent information
  • a go-to place for coats and rain jackets for the colder months
  • a homework spot

One answer to some of these needs is a mudroom.

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A mudroom allows the perfect space for kids to store clothing that will be required for the winter months without tracking soggy jackets or wet boots further into the house. As well, it is the perfect space that can house a backpack. The mudroom seen above was part of a larger addition in Oakton, VA which helped shape the entryway into organization.

You can also create a space in the mudroom to keep papers and general mail. With this trick, you can say goodbye to lost papers with this visual reminder to be organized.

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But there are other alternatives if you do not have a mudroom ready to go. Create defined spaces for mail by hanging boxes or floating shelves and  extra organization and storage can come in the form of bins and  hooks.

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Creating Home Organization in your Northern VA Kitchen

Stay on top of those permission slips and recital reminders by creating a small nook for paperwork. This might be a corner you take advantage of or some empty countertop space that is never used.

In this Great Falls, VA kitchen remodel seen below, the homeowners took advantage of this space in an organized and stylish way.

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Although an unusual shape, this small nook packs a big punch of utility, now, with decorative personality that adds to the kitchen’s style and function.

Another example is the kitchen seen below in Centreville, VA.  This countertop space might be otherwise unused, but it is the perfect space for mail or family-related documents.

Moss Building & Design

You can also integrate mail slots in an unused place in the kitchen so that every family member can keep track of their papers. For younger children, this can be a great lesson in organization and personal space. Older children will benefit from an added sense of accountability and peace of mind if their papers don’t get lost on the way home from school or in their rooms.

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By creating a defined kitchen space for documents, you may also inadvertently create the perfect area for  homework. Especially with younger children, you want to keep the homework space in a place where you can monitor their progress, offer help, or interact while you prepare dinner.

Basement Ideas for Home Organization

Your basement can also be a location to create a homework spot. For older kids, this might make more sense if this is their go-to place when they get home from school or they need a quieter place to do homework.

Here you can take advantage of the space under the stairs and or make a multi-purpose desk.

Ultimately, when it comes to picking out homework spots,  it depends on the age of the child as well as the personal study habits you see developing.

Moss Building & Design

The advantages to being organized before school is that it allows you to enjoy the last days of summer without a wave of panic as summer kicks you into fall.

Having a clear plan into the school year will not only keep you on target but, for your children, it will alleviate the stress that might come from wondering where they left that textbook or what happened to their lunchbox.

 Home Improvement with Northern VA’s Top Remodeler

It is a great time of year to think about those things on your “honey-do” list with the kids heading back to school. Moss is here to help.

Call us at 703-961-7707 or email us at Sales@MossBuildingandDesign.com to go over your remodeling ideas or to have a handyman come to your house to take care of your home improvement.

We also offer a $499 handyman deal on Angie’s List for 8 hours of handyman services! With this deal, you will be one step closer to getting your home improvement  checked off your list this fall.

 

Photo Credit:

http://www.savvysugar.com/Mail-Organization-Ideas-30480790#photo-30480798

http://www.bystephanielynn.com/2011/02/entryway-mudroom-inspiration-ideas-coat-closets-diy-built-ins-benches-shelves-and-storage-solutions.html

Better Homes & Gardens

 

 

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Meet Moss: Blake Barker

August 18, 2014

Meet Moss is our new series where we introduce an employee bi-weekly.  We’ll describe what they do here at Moss as well as some fun and interesting facts that you may have never guessed!  We’ll also share a photo so that you can put a face to the facts and get more familiar with our employees. This Week’s Meet Moss Employee is Blake Barker Blake is the lead of a turn key team at Moss, specifically for basements and additions. Turn key by definition is a team that works on project from start to finish with each member of the team holding a different discipline (plumber, electrician etc.).He has been with Moss for 2 years and started as an electrician with Moss Home Services. His experience in the industry has spanned 9 years.Blake, while on the job, finds great joy in the new opportunities presented with every day. “I learn something new …   
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Home Addition Ideas for Northern VA Residents

August 15, 2014

Choosing the Right Addition for your Northern Virginia Home Home additions are a large undertaking not only for a family but for the home itself. An addition, depending on the type, can make a home take on a completely different look. But with this added look comes the added utility that an addition provides. In-law suite additions are very popular right now, providing peace of mind and enough room for additional family members in the house. (For more information, see our recent in-law suite addition featured in The Washington Post.) As well, an over the garage addition takes advantage of space that is usually ignored without needing additional square footage. With every addition, there is a different need or situation which makes the decision very personalized. In this blog, we will focus on a one room office addition in Arlington, VA. Home Addition in Arlington, VA Additions have useful benefits …   
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Arlington Homeowners: To plaster or not to plaster…

August 12, 2014

…Is that really the question? By –Pam Kopiak (PKopiak@MossBuildingandDesign.com) This Old House.  I’m not talking about the TV show, I’m talking about my home, specifically, the plaster in my older Arlington home.  If you live in Arlington, VA, chances are you know just what I’m talking about. Last month, I held one of Moss’ HandyMOM 101 DIY workshops in my house.  The hands-on workshop taught attendees how to repair a hole in their walls.  Our handyman, Marty, did a great job of showing guests how easy it was to repair a hole in a sheet of drywall he had brought with him for the presentation. Several of the attendees had the same question:  What about plaster? A lot of Arlington homes are of the older variety (mine was built in 1930!) and plaster is pretty prevalent throughout.  So, how does it differ from drywall?  Well after checking into it a …   
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Your Northern VA Basement: Brighter and Better

August 11, 2014

By – Jenn Zschunke (jzschunke@mossbuildinganddesign.com) A basement remodel, whether an unfinished space or a more substantial update, involves a variety of decisions for our Northern Virginia clients: what is the space going to be? If our clients have young children, will there be a play area? Older children: a space for a pool table or ping pong? A media room? Wet bar? While these are the larger, more overarching decisions, there are multiple smaller, yet just as equally important ones, when redesigning your basement (or any space). One of the most important ones in basement remodeling is the lighting. If you are lucky enough to have a walk out and some natural light, this helps immensely when planning the lighting design. If not, Moss offers several ideas for ways to create lighting that is warm, comforting, and as natural as possible. Recessed Lighting for your Basement Remodel A favorite lighting …   
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Meet Moss: David Keys 

August 7, 2014

Meet Moss is our new series where we introduce an employee bi-weekly.  We’ll describe what they do here at Moss as well as some fun and interesting facts that you may have never guessed!  We’ll also share a photo so that you can put a face to the facts and get more familiar with our employees. This Week’s Meet Moss Employee is Dave Keys  He has been with Moss since November 2013 and works on a team that primarily works inside the beltway. Dave has been in the industry for over 25 years. He started his career by learning the trade and moving his way up to become a lead carpenter. He became a Certified Remodeler with NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) in 2003 and received an achievement award from NARI National for getting the highest score in the country on the CR exam. While he is on the job, …   
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Making Your Kitchen “New To You” at an Affordable Price

July 31, 2014

By – Jenn Zschunke (jzschunke@mossbuildinganddesign.com) A full kitchen remodel, in which walls are knocked down, plumbing reconfigured, a new room added, etc., is not an inexpensive project to undertake. While the benefits, at the end, are absolutely worth it, you may not be ready for such a large undertaking whether due to family needs, budget, or timing. Moss Home Services offers many ways in which our Northern Virginia clients can update their kitchens without a large price tag or the major commitment – we happily offer our clients multiple ways they can “facelift” their kitchen and truly make it an updated and more aesthetically-pleasing room. Kitchen Backsplash One of the easiest ways to update your kitchen is to add a backsplash. There are truly countless designs to choose from as well as tile colors and material. Moss Home Services can install a new backsplash over the course of a few days. …   
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Let’s Take This Show On The Road!

July 31, 2014

Meet Pam Kopiak, the newest member of our marketing team.  Pam joins the marketing department as a community liaison bringing HandyMOM 101’s and HandyGirl101’s to moms groups in Arlington, VA.  She will also be active in our community and will contribute a monthly blog, specifically regarding home improvements in Arlington, VA. Get to know Pam: Pam was born in Tampa, FL but grew up in Woodbridge, VA.  She went to college at George Mason University where she received her BS in Public Administration.  After college, Pam moved to Arlington and has been there ever since. Pam enjoys traveling and has made many trips to Ireland where her husband’s family is from.  She has also traveled abroad in Germany, England, Spain and other locations in the U.S.  Even though she has not travelled as much as she would like since having kids (as many of us can relate to), Pam feels …   
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Kitchen Remodeling in Arlington, VA              

July 31, 2014

 Northern VA Kitchen Contractor Kitchens are usually the first room homeowners choose to remodel. This is because the kitchen functions as one of the most useful and high-traffic areas in a home, condo, or apartment. A kitchen should meet a homeowner’s needs based on aesthetic, budget, and family dynamic when considering a remodel. It should also be both functional and meet design needs to ensure that the space has longevity. In this blog, we will take a look at a recent kitchen remodel in Arlington, VA (seen above and below) that features a modified accessibility design and combines both function and design, meeting all the homeowner’s needs. Arlington, VA Kitchen Remodel For this remodel, the homeowner had concerns about accessibility in her high-rise condo throughout the space but also in the design. These concerns included: The condo needed to be power chair accessible, especially in the kitchen for entertaining The …   
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