by Haley Johnston on November 25, 2015

Sliding doors can do a lot for a remodeling project, depending on what function you want them to serve. Maybe you want a grand entrance into your new den. Maybe your current bathroom door swings into a small hallway. Maybe you just love the style of a rustic looking barn door, and need that in your kitchen. Whatever your reason, sliding doors can be a great solution for homeowners who want to get creative in their home improvement.


Many homeowners like the appeal of sliding doors due to the convenience of eliminating the need for the door swing. This can be a huge obstacle for people who are remodeling a small bathroom that doesn’t have much wiggle room. This bathroom remodel in Alexandria, VA utilized a pocket door (a door that slides into the adjacent wall, completely disappearing) to save space in their bathroom as well as their upstairs hallway. While pocket doors are excellent for saving space, they require more in-depth work and should be installed by a contractor.

pocket door











Best for: Small Bathrooms, Closets


Sliding barn doors are a great option to add some character to your home. You can find barn doors in all kinds of antique thrift stores, and reusing an old barn door in your remodel can not only be a way to flex your creative muscles, but save some money by repurposing the door yourself. Check out this DIY tutorial by This Old House on how to install your own sliding barn doors. 

Installing barn doors is a great option for homeowners because with a little work  the tracks are relatively easy to install. Though you should be aware that barn doors are typically heavier and harder to lift. If you are uncomfortable installing them yourself, hire a contractor to install them for you. These addition remodels in Northern Virginia used barn doors to add some rustic charm to their home.

0012 web barn door

Best for: Kitchens, Mudrooms, Accent Pieces


For a grand entrance, use sliding doors as a functional divider between rooms. Having the ability to slide the doors to open up the room is beneficial for homes that want a more spacious floor plan.This is also a great option for homeowners who have the wall space and want their sliding door to double as a decor accent, as well as a room separator. This accessibility remodel in Arlington, VA made great use of sliding doors to section off their home office.

barn door barn door

Best for: Home Offices, Dens, Guest Rooms

If you are considering installing sliding doors in your home, the professionals at Moss Building and Design and Moss Home Services can help you through the entire process–  from planning to installation. Contact MOSS today for a quote.


by Haley Johnston on November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving is a holiday full of food, traditions and family. Here’s what a MOSS Thanksgiving table would look like with recipes from our very own employees! Happy Thanksgiving!

make-ahead potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Provided by Jodi Jameson, Customer Care Manager

“The trick to these is getting the consistency right. Too much sour cream will make them runny. I love this recipe because I can make a huge vat the night before and just heat them up right before the meal.”

  • 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted


  1. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  2. In a large bowl, mash potatoes with cream cheese. Combine the egg whites, sour cream, onion powder, salt and pepper; stir into potatoes until blended. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Drizzle with butter. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover and bake 50 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 12 servings (3/4 cup each).












Recipe provided by  Valerie Irons, Customer Care Manager


  • 24 slices firm-texture white bread (1.5 one lb loaves) OR you can cheat and buy pre-cut bread.
  • 2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 medium tart apple, peeled and chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
  • OPTIONAL finely chopped cooked giblets
  • 3/4 to 1 cup giblet broth or chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • Pecans
  • Craisans


  1. Toss bread cubes on cookie sheet by baking at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, sauté celery, onion and apples in butter. Add salt, parsley, thyme, and rosemary
  3. In a large bowl toss bread cubes with sautéed vegetables/seasonings until bread is well coated.
  4. Add chicken broth to moisten.
  5. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan.
  6. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

broccoli casserole

 Broccoli Casserole

Recipe provided by  Haley Johnston, Marketing Coordinator

  • Ingredients
  • 2 ½ lbs. broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 6 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped button mushrooms
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup milk (whole or 2% preferred)
  • ½ cup half-n-half
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups whole-wheat breadcrumbs (homemade* or store-bought), divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and boil for 4 minutes. Transfer to a colander, rinse with cold water, and drain. Place broccoli in a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the broccoli.
  4. In the same saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk and half-n-half. Bring to a low simmer and continue to whisk constantly until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt.
  5. Pour sauce into the bowl with the broccoli and mushrooms. Add the onion, egg, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, and ½ cup of the breadcrumbs.
  6. Stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  7. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and stir into the remaining ¾ cup breadcrumbs. Stir in the remaining ½ cup cheddar. Sprinkle breadcrumb topping over the casserole.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, until filling is hot and bubbly. Check after 30 minutes and cover with foil if topping is browning too quickly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


apple spice cake









Apple Spice Cake

Recipe provided by Deanna Llewellyn, Kitchen Designer

Honey Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and stir until smooth. Set the bowl aside.


  • 3 cups diced Granny Smith apples, about 2 apples
  • 1 cup lightly toasted chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a Bundt pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the apples, walnuts, vanilla, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and beat until completely combined. Fold in the apple mixture.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Allow the cake to fully cool in the pan, about 1 hour, and then turn it out onto a plate.
  6. Drizzle the apple cake with some of the honey glaze, serve and enjoy!
  7. The cake can be wrapped tightly and stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

pumpkin roll dessert








Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Recipe provided by Valerie Irons, Customer Care Manager



  • 3 eggs (beat for 5 minutes)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ⅔ cup canned Pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt


  • 8 ounces Cream cheese softened
  • 4 tablespoons Butter or margarine
  • 1 cup Powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla



  1. In large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating with an electric mixer until thick and light yellow in color. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended.
  2. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to egg mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into greased and waxed paper lined 10 by 15 inch jelly roll pan.
  1. Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven. Cool for 5 minutes
  3. Sprinkle ¼ cup of powdered sugar onto a kitchen towel.
  4. Invert the cake onto the powdered surface and wait 2 or 3 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove the wax paper and if there are places that stick, carefully cut the edge off with the spatula.
  6. Slowly roll up the cake in the kitchen towel jelly roll style (starting with short side).
  7. Cool completely in refrigerator (about 30 minutes)
  8. While cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling.


  1. Beat together cream cheese and butter
  2. stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth
  3. Unroll cake. Evenly spread filling over cake.
  4. Roll up cake (without the towel). Wrap in plastic wrap.
  5. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Slice before serving. Keep leftover slices refrigerated.

This pumpkin roll freezes well!


Bedroom Too Small? Work Some Magic.

November 20, 2015

      By Pam Kopiak (   Sometimes I feel like my bedroom is the size of the one pictured below. It isn’t. It’s a bit bigger… but not much. It definitely is NOT a place where the kids could play hide and seek. They wouldn’t be doing much hiding and certainly not much seeking. If you have a small bedroom too, there are things you can do to make the room appear larger than it is. Let’s discuss these magic tricks. You Complete Me… Or Not. With a small space, sometimes you have to get a little creative. For example, who said you needed a whole side table? Try using half the unit and mount it on the wall, as shown in the HGTV gallery ‘20 Space-Saving Solutions for Small Bedrooms‘ below. This still gives you a nightstand surface but keeps your room from feeling cluttered. The client in this McLean, VA …   
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Hosting for the Holidays? Find Elbow Room in Smaller Additions

November 17, 2015

By Pam Kopiak ( With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, visions of turkey and mashed potatoes are filling my thoughts.  I have to say, I have been pretty lucky in the past to have been able to mostly avoid hosting the big shindig.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday but I don’t enjoy the idea of having THAT many people in my kitchen at the same time – each one with a dish or two to heat up in my oven (no double oven for me!)  If you find space is an issue at the holidays, it might be time to consider some creative solutions. To The Left. To The Left. We have all seen those houses in our neighborhoods that have had BEAUTIFUL two-story addition renovations.  Wow.  Those are great but they are also costly and take a good bit of time to finish.  For some  “small space” relief, try …   
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DDIY– Don’t Do It Yourself!

November 14, 2015

DDIY: Leave These Home Improvement Projects to the Pros A recent surge in the DIY movement has led many homeowners to roll up their sleeves and get more involved in their home improvement projects. This can be a cost effective way to revamp your home, as well as a creative outlet for those who take pride in the craftsmanship. Sometimes, however, it’s easy for homeowners to bite off more than they can chew. In this case, the benefits of DIY become drawbacks as homeowners may spend more money to correct the problem after the failed project or put themselves in danger to complete them. Leave these home improvement projects to the professionals. Recessed Lighting While recessed lighting adds lots of charm to a space, any project requiring electrical work or new wiring should be crossed off your DIY list. Incorrectly done, electrical wiring could turn into a major safety hazard …   
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Appliance Alarms– Thanks, but I know the dishes are clean!

November 13, 2015

 Jeannine Miller- With my kitchen remodel, I got the appliances of my dreams. Unfortunately, they are slowly turning into a nightmare. While the appliances themselves operate very quietly, the alarm sounds they make are driving me nuts. EVERYTHING makes a sound. Some are short, some play a whole friggin’ tune. At first I didn’t even know which sound belonged to which appliance, so trying to silence them was a real treat. My beautiful kitchen remodel that is a symphony of reminders…. The fridge and freezer beep if you’ve left the door open too long which, I suppose, is helpful since my kids don’t give a crap about wasting electricity or food. The microwave beeps if you don’t retrieve your reheated food in a certain amount of time – that’s okay too since my husband is now less likely to leave his coffee mug in there all day. I guess …   
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Creating your own In-Home Getaway

November 5, 2015

Everyone needs their personal space from time to time. Do you ever feel like you are consumed by your everyday life and have nowhere to reclaim your peace of mind? It may seem silly, but having a physical room designated to recharge your batteries or have some much-deserved alone time (even if it’s just for 15 minutes) can make a world of difference in terms of stress and well-being. Inside Escapes Here are some ‘in-home getaways’ that make for a nice place to call your own when you need some down time from your work, kids or visiting family (perfect for the holidays.) Fun-Sized Spaces While some can allow for more of this space than others in their home, your personal escape doesn’t necessarily have to be a luxurious studio or office to grant you these moments alone. A quiet place to read, work out, or simply catch up on …   
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Fireplace Fever

October 30, 2015

Picture This. You are anxiously awaiting the arrival of your extended family as holiday smells and music swirl around your kitchen. As you sip on a glass of wine, you are excited to show off your new living room addition, which you just bought new furniture for and decorated for the holidays.  After the family begins to arrive and hugs are exchanged in the foyer, you steer them into your living room for the grand tour and bask in the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ as you describe the ins and outs of your recent remodel. Then, in a quiet admission only you can make out, you hear your mother-in-law say, ‘That fireplace is gorgeous.’ This small triumph is what remodeling is all about. Transforming your home to impress your mother-in-law…. OR it could just be that rewarding feeling  you have when your project is completed, and able to be shared with friends and family. With the holidays …   
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Fall Maintenance #ProConvo with Angie’s List

October 28, 2015

Let the #ProConvo begin! We’ll be asking questions about fall maintenance and would love for you to chime in! — Angie's List (@AngiesList) October 28, 2015  Important Projects For Winter Q1: What are the most important projects to take on before winter hits? #ProConvo — Angie's List (@AngiesList) October 28, 2015 #ProConvo A1: Winterizing hose bibs, check weatherstripping on doors and cleaning out gutters to prevent ice dams. — Moss Building&Design (@MossBuildDesign) October 28, 2015 Once the leaves have fallen, cleaning your gutters and downspouts is important to avoid ice dams. “ If your gutters are clogged, the ice will back up into the eves and damage the framing and drywall,” said MOSS expert Brian Swain.  See more ways to prepare your home for fall in this season’s blog post.  Only Time For One Task? Q6 If a homeowner only has time for one fall maintenance task, what should …   
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More Kitchen Storage, Please!

October 23, 2015

        By Pam Kopiak (   I can’t remember the last time I heard someone say “Wow!  I love how cozy it is in here” when entering a galley style kitchen.  Actually, I am not sure that has ever happened, in all of  history.  Why?  Because people tend to panic when they see a small kitchen (or is that just me?).  There are so many pots, pans, cookie trays, plates, glasses and various gadgets you might find yourself “needing” in order to consider it a fully functioning kitchen and where oh where will all those things go?  We must find a way to house all those “must haves.”  Here are a few ideas. Live Off That Island In recent years, kitchen islands have become huge.  Figuratively and literally!  If you have the space, you can considerably increase your storage space by adding a larger kitchen island. Cooktops, sinks and …   
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