Simple Home Improvement Projects for Memorial Day

The Memorial Day weekend means trips to the beach, the mountains, or a fishing trip on a lake.  It also means it’s time to spruce up your home to get it ready for the summer season!  So if you’re staying home this Memorial Day weekend, here are some projects to tackle around your house before the hot summer season begins!

We all want to spend time outside over the Memorial Day weekend!  Go outside and look around – there’s plenty to do right in your own back yard.

Gardener holding wooden seedling tray in vegetable garden, with plants for cutting garden and vegetable patch (zinnia and pea).

Take advantage of the sunny weather by preparing your garden and landscaping for summer. Don’t be afraid to get dirty!  Get in those gardens to pull weeds, mulch your flower beds, trim shrubs or bushes, or plant flowers or vegetable plants in the garden or planters.




Clean driveways and outdoor areas to get rid of the winter and spring dirt that was left behind. Hose or sweep off your deck, sidewalks, and patio. If needed, stain or clean your deck and fix any loose boards or nails. Use a power washer and rediscover the real color of your driveway, porch and patio!



A fall tradition - cleaning the gutters of leaves. Here, we see them clogging the gutters of a traditional home. Could be used for advertising/clean up articles/etc. Narrow DOF

Your gutters have been collecting leaves and other debris for a couple months, so Memorial Day is an ideal time to clean out your gutters. This should be done at least twice a year. Scoop everything out by hand then spray a hose into the gutter to wash it out.  This will keep your gutters clear and ready to handle summer time down pours!





Prepare your patio furniture and barbecue for all your summer parties. Take your outdoor furniture out of storage and set it up; then clean each piece thoroughly. Wipe down your barbecue and scrape away any grimy or crusty substances that may still be on your grill.  Now you’re ready to host your first barbecue… and Memorial Day is a perfect time to do it!


If the weather doesn’t cooperate, and you’re stuck inside, don’t worry – there are plenty of rooms inside waiting for your attention!





Tidy up your garage. Memorial Day weekend is a great time to organize your garage and sweep out its floor. If you’re tired of all the clutter, you may even want to put up shelving units or storage bins. If you haven’t used something for a year, then throw it away, or plan to have a yard sale to get rid of things you no longer need or use.


You don’t necessarily need new appliances, after a good cleaning, they’ll be as good as new.  Use your long weekend to wipe down interior surfaces of your refrigerators and freezer, stove tops and ovens.  Use your vacuum attachment to clean out all the refrigerator coils.





Organize your closets. Are you ever going to wear that sweater again?  Open up some space in your closet by donating clothes, shoes or handbags that haven’t seen the light of day in years.  Rearrange your entire closet by swapping out your winter clothes for your summer clothes so you’ll have them easily available for warm weather days.



And after all your chores are done, sit back and enjoy your clean, organized, beautifully landscaped home – you earned it!  Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day!

Surviving Your Bathroom Remodel

DSC_5512-printRemodeling your Bathroom is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase the value of your home. It can also go a long way toward improving the quality of your life and happiness in your home.  Remodeling your Bathroom is not for the timid and certainly not for the unprepared.  Few remodeling projects carry with them the weighty burden of this one.

Of course, the inconvenience of renovating a Bathroom depends on how many of them you have in your home. If you’re overhauling your one and only, this project is one you’ll want to start and finish as fast as possible.  If you are preparing for a remodel of a Bathroom, here are some suggestions to help you survive your Bathroom remodel and preserve your sanity.

If you are remodeling your only Bathroom, your best course of action may be to stay with a family member or take a vacation during the renovation.  If your home also has a powder room, staying in your house during the remodel is more manageable, but you may consider asking a neighbor for the use of their shower or if you have a gym membership, showering there is also an option.

Once you have a plan for yourself during the remodel, knowing what to expect in your home can help you prepare.  Count on dust, noise and traffic from workers that you’ll probably get to know quite well as they become part of your daily life.

There will be Dust


Sanding drywall is a dusty job, and so is cutting and removing a tub. Ripping out old tile? Expect some flying shards and, yes, more dust.

Cover floors leading from your bathroom to the exit. A reliable contractor will use drop clothes so that foot traffic will not carry bathroom demolition dust all over your house.




Plan on Delays

Despite a careful plan, detailed schedule and having all materials on site, sometimes a remodeling project runs longer than you expected. With the level of complexity involved in an all-out Bathroom renovation, you must count on “surprises” along the way. So don’t plan to entertain overnight guests or host a birthday party the weekend after your Bathroom project is slated for completion.

Have Fun with It

Embrace the process and take plenty of before and work-in-progress photos. Keep your eyes on the prize—your dream bathroom, the updates you’ve been wanting for years, the features that will nab a higher home sale price. Remember during all the dust and through all of the inconveniences, why you are doing this.

Find the Right Remodeling Company

The single most important factor in the remodeling of your Bathroom is, perhaps, the selection of the contractor. You must pick someone who is dedicated to moving through this job with determination, experience and intensity. It must also be someone you believe you will be able to talk to you when you are angry and tired.  When this room is taken from you for several weeks (yes, it can be several weeks—if all goes well!) you may begin to display behavior and experience feelings of frustration. Working with an experienced contractor who can demonstrate progress each day and show you that things are proceeding toward completion can aid you in understanding that everything is OK and that, soon, you’ll be showering in your beautifully renewed bathroom.  bath24

Are you ready for the Bathroom of your dreams?  Please call us at 215-660-5635 and schedule a free consultation to get started!

Spring is Here! More Daylight = More Time to Tackle a New Project!

springtime clock

Daylight savings time is upon us again, so what should you do with that extra hour of sunlight we just gained? When spring comes around, we tend to shift our attention to what we have been missing since Fall… the great outdoors! So naturally, that extra hour comes in handy for going for walks after dinner, tidying up your gardens, or just taking in a sunset from your back yard.

Spring also means homeowners are ready to end the days of being cooped up in the house. They also want to change. Now is the time to address all those things that annoyed you about your home this winter. Whether you want to add more natural light, get rid of that drafty door, or figure out a way to enjoy the beauty of your backyard from the comfort of your home, spring is a great time to embrace a new project.

Make a Better First Impression

One popular spring remodel project is revamping the curb appeal of your home. The first thing your neighbors and guests will notice is the appearance of your home’s exterior and the entry area. Update the exterior by replacing the siding, updating or adding a walkway, or even just install a new front door. Any of these will provide a great first impression for guests.





Home additions

Screened In Porch Costs FactorsSpringtime is a great time to enjoy your beautiful backyard. But if you’re not a fan of boiling under the hot summer sun, this is the perfect time to extend your living spaces with a Sunroom Addition or Screened-in Porch. A Sunroom Addition or a Screened-in Porch can allow you to take in extra sunlight and garden views from the comfort of the indoors. They are also a great way to combine indoor and outdoor living.

Efficiency improvements
Installing new, energy-efficient windows and doors can give your home added curb appeal, while also keeping your heat and AC inside to save you costs and keep you comfortable.

Bring in More Natural Light

Natural light is the best way to wake up a room, plus it creates the illusion of more space.
The most obvious way to add natural light is to install windows. Kitchens and living rooms are common places to add windows, but stairwells and landings are also great places to consider because they’re frequently dark and windowless spots. You can also replace your solid front door with one with glass. If privacy is a concern, there are many options, such as etched or frosted glass, for maintaining privacy while allowing light in.


So now you have some ideas. You have the extra time. Use that time to call Gehman Design Remodeling today at 215-660-5635 to schedule your free consultation.

Is an Open Kitchen For You?

For centuries the Kitchen was just a work space. Often hiding in the back of the house, cut off from the rest of your home. But many new Kitchens are stepping out from behind the wall, and becoming part of the view when you come through your front door.

Just like everything in life, the decision to open up your Kitchen, or keep it separate is a personal choice.  Let’s examine some of the pros and cons for both the open Kitchen and the traditional closed off Kitchen.

Open Kitchen

Removing walls between the Kitchen and adjacent rooms is a great way to create an open feel within your existing space.  Choosing an open Kitchen adds space to your home without changing the footprint – which saves you money! 

Open KitchenOpen Kitchens provide you with more social time. They allow you to stay in contact with your family and guests and to interact with them while you’re preparing a meal or cleaning up the Kitchen.   

Removing a wall will open up your view of the rest of the house so you can enjoy more of your home more of the time.  Young parents will appreciate being able to see their kids while they cook and do other household duties.   

An open Kitchen also benefits from more natural light after you tear down some of the walls.  The light from the dining room or the living room, which usually have large windows, can fill your Kitchen with sunlight.

Opening up your Kitchen also gives you the option of adding an island.  Sometimes, closed off Kitchens do not offer the space required for an island.  By removing a wall, you can add an island that will give you extra storage and a place for guests or your kids to sit while you are in the Kitchen. 

If you plan to stay in your home late into your life, or take in your aging parents, opening up your Kitchen creates a better traffic pattern, or fewer obstacles to navigate.

Traditional Closed Off Kitchen 

More walls mean more cabinet storage, countertop work space, and room for appliances.  Keeping the traditional Kitchen allows you to have more storage and work space.   

A traditional or closed off Kitchen makes it easier to hide or contain messes. With busy schedules, we don’t always have the time to keep the Kitchen neat and tidy.  Keeping it closed off from the rest of the home helps you to look like a better housekeeper to guests entering your home. 

By keeping your Kitchen separate from the rest of your home, you can also contain the noise.  Noise from appliances or clanking pots and pans won’t travel as far with extra walls to can help contain and limit noise.

Factors Affecting Your Decision

Your decision to open up your Kitchen is personal choice; however, there are some other factors that may play into that decision.

If the wall you wish to remove is not load-bearing and doesn’t hide plumbing pipes, it’s a relatively simple task for a contractor to:

  • Demolish drywall and studs
  • Reroute electric lines
  • Patch flooring
  • Patch and paint the ceiling where the wall was attached

However, if your plan includes taking down a load-bearing wall, it is not as simple, but definitely doable by a professional.     

Another factor to consider is what is behind the walls.  After drywall is removed, you may discover plumbing water and drain lines, electric cables, low-voltage wires for intercoms, doorbells or sound systems, HVAC supply or return air ducts, and even dryer vent piping. All of these things would have to be rerouted to take down a wall.

This job is best done by a full-service remodeling company. Gehman Design Remodeling has seasoned employees who know how to do the demolition and deal with all the things that need to be relocated.

One More Option

You don’t have to take down the entire wall to get a more open feeling.   A half wall will open sight lines and bring in more natural light while still defining the different spaces.  Half walls can also serve as an island to provide extra storage or serve as a bookcase or shelving. 

If you need help deciding what works best for you, or imagining what an open Kitchen would look like in your home, our team of design consultants can help.  Please feel free to call us at 215-660-5635 for a free consultation.

Kitchen Pain Points









The first thing that comes to mind when you think of pain is physical injury, or maybe emotional pain.  But… have you ever considered your kitchen may be causing you pain? 

When homeowners are considering remodeling their kitchen, it is typically because something about their current kitchen “pains” them.

So what are these dislikes that pain homeowners to the point when they say, it’s time to remodel?  Let’s take a look at the most common pain points:

Organization: Everyone would like to improve accessibility to appliances throughout the kitchen. They also want ways to reduce the amount clutter on countertops.

Supplee, Kitchen (2)

  • One solution is an organization station, which can be utilized in an end cabinet to incorporate a clever space for keys, a notice board for family and to-do lists, as well as stowaway slats for magazines and cookbooks.
  • Clear off countertops and maximize corner-cabinet space by installing a two-tiered carousel, or lazy Susan. This helps you to keep both often-used and rarely used items tucked away but within easy reach.
  • Having a paper towel drawer frees up some more counter space. The towels are easy to reach and out of sight.
  • Try adding hinges and a convenient tray to the false drawer under your sink for an extra place to hide cleaning essentials.
  • Kids love playing in the kitchen while you work, so look for clever options like toy drawers in your kitchen island, which can hold everything from crayons to puzzles.

Cleanliness: Homeowners want products, surfaces, materials, and appliances that are easy to clean and maintain.

  • When it comes to material, think smooth (no cracks, crevices, texture, or other places for dirt to accumulate), stain and water repellant, a pattern, earth tone in color (food colors), durable, and not glossy.    The more of these features a material has, the easier it is to keep clean looking.
  • A great way to see how well a countertop disguises daily messes, is to test out a counter sample using food crumbs and some common liquids
  • Consider soft close doors and drawers.  This allows you to close the door and drawer by just bumping it closed when your hands are dirty.
  • When searching for a cooktop, look for removable controls, sealed burners, and black grates that can go in your dishwasher.

Space:   Having more room is always high on a wish list.  Adding cabinets, pantries, and islands are typically how more space is achieved.

Gehman Kitchen (5)

  • There also are many options for making the storage capacity within the cabinetry more efficient. Among the most popular are the drawers for pots and pans that roll out from the cabinet.
  • Adding an island to your kitchen allows for more storage space, additional seating, and it’ll keep you in the middle of the action while you prepare meals.
  • If the shelves in your pantry don’t hold enough items, consider getting new shelving installed. Shelves that are deeper or wider can accommodate more. Instead of only using one type of shelving, vary the storage throughout the pantry. Pullout drawers and varying height shelves can give flexibility for housing small kitchen appliances and varying sized boxed goods.





Product Design: Homeowners want improved products and features those products offer. Many appliances, materials, and products were originally installed to save costs and people want to upgrade.  When you’re ready to upgrade appliances, you may want to take advantage of new or improved ideas since the last time you bought.

  • A sleek induction cooktop has no open flames and generates heat directly into compatible pots or pans, making it more efficient than gas.
  • Digital temperature controls on your refrigerator will display the actual temperature and the temperature you set.
  • Hot-surface warning lights are an important safety feature on electric ranges and cooktops because the surface can remain hot long after an element has been turned off.

 Noise: Too much noise from appliances and products in the kitchen are constant problems for homeowners.

  • Designing your new kitchen with appliances covered in integrated doors that match your cabinetry is an easy and smart way to reduce noise. Your dishwasher will be just as functional, and blends in nicely when closed.
  • Trash compactors and disposals should be installed with a perimeter strip-type gasket or with rubber spacers to isolate vibrations.
  • Mount exhaust fans outside the house and secure the ductwork by boxing it in tightly with plywood. Use rubber mounts to install the fan to reduce noise generated from vibrations.
  • Large, heavy appliances, such as refrigerators, transfer their vibrations to the supporting floor, creating additional noise. These vibrations can be isolated from the floor by placing pads of rubber underneath the appliance’s legs or corners.
  • Soft close kitchen cabinets close gently and physically can’t be slammed.
  • If noise is a concern, consider staying away from stone flooring. A stone floor will make the  room much more prone to echoes

Are any of these points paining you?  When you’re ready to discuss remodeling your kitchen to cure what pains you, please call us at 215-660-5635 for a free consultation.

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