What to Consider Before Planning a Home Addition

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The Washington DC area, especially the Bethesda area, is home to beautiful historic houses that add character and style to our tree-lined streets. However, as our families grow and needs change, more space is often needed. Adding on to an existing home provides an opportunity to gain extra square footage while also adding desired functionality and personal style.

Over the years, we’ve helped many homeowners add to their homes. Below are a few tips to consider when looking to make an addition.

1. Consider your lot size
First and foremost, you have to find where you have the space on your lot while also considering zoning laws and restrictions in your neighborhood. For most, available space is in the backyard or side yard. Decide if losing some of your yard space is worth the extension. You’ll also directly affect the space you are connecting to on the house, perhaps losing window light or an existing entryway. For those with little to no yard space, an option may also be to go upward, adding an additional floor, which requires understanding of the home’s structural stability, roofline, and more. Working with an experienced builder is necessary when making such massive changes to the structure.

2. Select a style that adds value
Many are tempted to step way outside the box, using a different exterior material or color scheme, or creating a more modern aesthetic when the house itself is traditional. While some creative additions end up adding value to the home, others can look awkward and out of place. Consider a style that best complements the existing structure, including the roof, facade materials, and foundation.

Size and scale can also affect the final result. While homeowners are tempted to take advantage of the opportunity and add as much square footage as possible, an addition that is too big can devalue the character of the home. An addition should look secondary to the original structure, allowing it to still take center stage.

3. Understand the timeline
Adding on to a home you’re currently living in can be obtrusive, from taking up regularly used space to adding noise, equipment, and dust. Be ready for these changes, especially if you’re adding on to a kitchen area. Talk through the estimated timeline and understand that unforeseen delays may occur due to inclement weather or decisions made throughout the process.

To learn more about our building services in Bethesda and Washington DC, please contact us at 301-656-6500 and visit our portfolio.

Kitchen Remodeling Tips

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Art-kitchen-1Often the first room new home occupants want to remodel is the kitchen. As the heart of the home, the kitchen is a direct reflection of style and lifestyle. Customizing it to better fit your needs can make a substantial difference in your every day. At ART Design Build, we’ve been helping our clients remodel kitchens in the Bethesda and Washington DC area for decades. We’ve compiled a few tips below from our years of experience.

Function Trumps Form
While we wouldnormally strive for form equals function, when it comes to kitchen remodeling, function wins in the initial planning phase. Think first about how you use the space and then determine what’s most important to you. Consider what types of foods you cook most and then about what would make it easier or better. If you cook with fresh foods, consider a larger sink area and prep area. If a morning breakfast person, consider a built-in griddle. If take-out is more your style, add a larger kitchen island with bar stools.

Consider Who’s in the Space
The kitchen is often the center of the house where everyone gathers. The flow of traffic throughout the space should be top of mind. Ensure enough room around the cabinets, island, and appliances. Add plenty of seating for casual dining or chatting during prep and clean-up.

Brighten It Up
Lighting placement in the kitchen is essential to consider. Shadows and dark spaces can be frustrating and make it more difficult to enjoy the cooking process. Under-cabinet lighting can be an excellent supplement to overhead lighting. Consider hanging lights above the sink and over the island for more controlled lighting, as well.

Get Electric
Having appropriately placed power outlets in the kitchen requires forethought. Think not only about your big appliances, but also your small appliances, from your countertop mixer to your coffee machine. Add a special outlet dedicated to cell phone charging and other mobile devices for added convenience.

Think Quality
With so much traffic in the kitchen, don’t skimp on heavily used surfaces, including the countertops and flooring. Select materials that will stand the test of time with ongoing use. Stone in neutral colors not only has the strength, but can also remain in style for longer periods of time.

To learn more about our kitchen remodeling services in Bethesda and Washington DC, please contact us at 301-656-6500 and visit our portfolio.


Many Washington DC Newcomers Choose Bethesda 

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Bethesda Home Remodeling
Located adjacent to Washington, DC, Bethesda, MD is known for being one of the most affluent and highly educated cities in the United States. Census da
ta shows 86% of its residents are college educated and earn a median income of $171,930. With such a reputation and its convenient location, Bethesda is often a first choice for area newcomers. Most are families, 75% actually, and many seek the prized public school systems and many private school options.

Even though the area experiences high turnover every four years, most are homebuyers, making up 84% of the real estate market, according to Trulia.com. While the sale price has been dropping slightly, the median prices range from $790k-$890k. 

With such a hot market and the lack of inventory, homebuyers often choose to select a home based on neighborhood and then remodel it to meet their own families’ specific needs. Beautiful older homes and even more recently built homes often don’t have the features or the design aesthetic that the homebuyer prefers. While it has been a growing trend to tear down homes in the Bethesda area, small renovations or larger additions can preserve the historic qualities of the home and aesthetic of the neighborhood while refreshing the entire interior as desired. 

ART Design Build has done home remodeling in the Washington DC area since 1994. The firm’s award-winning projects, including remodels, ground-up builds, kitchen remodeling, and bath remodeling, line Bethesda neighborhoods and Washington DC. View our portfolio to view our latest work and contact us to learn more about our services. 

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CoTY Awards!

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We are very proud to announce that again we have won three Contractor of the Year (CoTY) awards from the National Association of the Remodeling industry this year.

1st Place!

2nd Place!

3rd Place!

Open House

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SUNDAY JUNE 3, 2012, 1-4pm




Two First Place CotY Awards!

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ART Design Build, COTY Award in home remodeling

We’re proud to announce that once again we have won two Contractor of the Year awards from the National Association of the Remodeling industry this year.

*First Place Creative Design
*First Place Residential Bath

To learn more about the honors we’ve received at ART Design Build from other prestigious associations and publications, please see our Honors page. To see our award-winning designs, please visit our Portfolio.


We Are Having an Open House!

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Please join your neighbors for

a reception and open house showcasing

ART Design Build’s Latest Project

Sunday October 23, 2011, 1-4pm

5012 Jamestown RD

Bethesda, MD 20816

For More Information Please Contact 301-656-6500

We Remodeled Ourselves!

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For more than 17 years, we have been in your neighborhood, remodeling homes to create more enjoyable living spaces.

Now we’re introducing our own remodel with a new logo and a new website to feature our latest work.


Visit A.R.T Design Build at the TW Perry Home Show

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If you are considering building or remodeling or simply enjoy home improvement, join us on Saturday, April 2 at the TW Perry Home Show. Visit our booth to talk with us about all your upcoming plans and dreams and discover how we can help you with your home. At the show, you can also check out the  75 other exhibitors, join in on educational workshops, sign up for door prizes, and more. Plus, while you are learning how to improve your living space, your kids can enjoy crafts and activities designed especially for them.
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