Morning routines.  I wake up, shower; maybe turn on the local news.  I pour myself a cup of coffee, as I high five myself for remembering to prep the machine last night – what’s better than waking up to a fresh pot of coffee?  I grab my phone and scroll through Facebook with my first, then second cup of coffee.  At the same time, I wonder why I have to do this morning ritual of checking Facebook.  Somehow, it really has become a habit.  I suppose at first it was a great way to re-connect with old friends, or even discover family members that you either lost touch with, or didn’t know you had.  However; it seems like nowadays it has become a place where you end up comparing yourself to other people.

steam-cup-coffee.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smartComparison.  Whether we mean to or not, we are using social media to boost our self-image.   We post pretty pictures of our family, our pets, or our home.  Why not?  Everyone else is.  Sometimes when I see someone else posting about their child’s great accomplishment, or a fun family trip or just a great photo, I’m happy for them – I hit that “like” button.  But that insecure part of me thinks, how can I top this?  How can I show everyone else that my life is great too.   But why?   Life isn’t a competition.

Maybe we all just need to be the best we can be and be that for ourselves.   But what if comparison is something that inspires us to be the best we can be?  Maybe comparing ourselves to other people helps us strive for success or happiness.

We all have a need, some greater than others, to impress people.  At Gehman Design Remodeling, we also have a need to impress and to please… but for us, it’s our clients that we want to impress and please.  If you decide to remodel your home with us, we want you to look at our work and be proud of your home.  Our hope and our goal is for you to show it off however you choose to… by inviting over friends, by simply sitting back and relaxing in your new room, or maybe even posting pictures on social media… go on, we know you want to.

The underlying need to compare ourselves to other people, or our belongings to theirs will always be part of human nature.   But we can’t let that rule our lives.  I think the next time I log on to Facebook with my morning cup of coffee (prepped the night before of course), I will just be happy for my friends… for whatever it is they have making them happy – their kids, their most recent adventure, or maybe… their newly remodeled home!

What’s Your Wish List?

The holiday season changes as you get older.  I remember as a child, the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas felt just as long as January through November.  There was waiting for school to let out for break, creating the perfect list for Santa, and helping out around the house just a little bit more to earn extra points from your parents.

45431c6aa2861ecc8a0573063a7efe19Fast forward to your late teens/early twenties, and now your thoughts turn to buying your boyfriend/girlfriend the perfect gift, and how can you get out of Christmas dinner early so you can spend more time with them.

Then you reach the age where you have kids of your own.  Now you understand the frantic looks you used to see as a kid on the adult faces as they raced around town buying gifts and planning family gatherings.  Even after you buy all the gifts, where in the world do you hide them all???  You think to yourself, how did my parents do this?

As time passes by, and you realize that Christmas is so much more than the gifts or the decorations, all you really want for Christmas is to be with your family under one roof.  Whether it be for a whole month for your college-aged kids’ winter break, or just one day when your grown children’s families come over for Christmas dinner; having everyone healthy and together in your home is what truly makes you happy.

When you decide it is time to remodel your home, whatever the size of the project, whatever the time of year, Gehman Design Remodeling wants to bring your family together in the home that you are dreaming of.  The home that your family will wake up in Christmas morning, the home where you prepare your holiday dinner, the home your children grow up in and will return to with their children someday.

We hope that you will put us on your wish list now, because time flies by, and next year’s holiday season will be right back at our doorstep before you know it.

From our family to yours, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Pre-Christmas? Or Thanksgiving…

Why do we wish away our days?  We circle an event on our calendar hoping each day in between goes by quickly so that we can finally get to the day we’ve been waiting for.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to have something fun to look forward to, but in doing so, we can’t forget about the days in between.  Each day is a gift, and too often we take that for granted.

This time of year, we all point our attention to Christmas.  It’s hard not to.  Christmas displays are up in the stores, our neighborhoods are quickly lighting up with decorations, the music has already started playing on the radio stations, and companies are vying for our dollars to be spent at their stores with pre-Christmas sales.

In all this hype over Christmas, we are all looking past Thanksgiving.  Christmas just happens to be my favorite holiday.  I truly enjoy the entire Christmas season.  But what I don’t enjoy is when Thanksgiving simply gets lost in the Christmas hustle and bustle, becoming more of a gateway to the Holiday Season.

Thanksgiving really is the perfect holiday to precede Christmas.  We gather as families to count our blessings, and to remember what is most important in life; the people around us that day, our family.

Who and what we choose to give thanks for are the things we need to remember most as we go into the Christmas season.  Thanksgiving, in a way, prepares us, or reminds us that the people in our lives are a gift, and that each day should not be taken for granted or looked past.

All of us at Gehman Design Remodeling would like to thank our customers for choosing us to help make your home a more comfortable place for you to live.  We will never take you for granted, and we are truly thankful that you gave us the opportunity to serve you.

So, enjoy the Thanksgiving season.  Thanksgiving is a special time, and much more than just pre-Christmas.

Let Us Create the Kitchen You Are Dreaming Of

Kitchens are evolving

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No longer does apron-clad Mom cook alone, hidden away in a closed off kitchen as the family waits in another room. These days, you’re just as likely to see a couple cooking together, or the whole family pitching in for Thanksgiving dinner, or friends gathered around the kitchen talking while a meal is prepared.

The kitchen has always been a gathering center when you entertain in your home.  So why not open it up and enjoy more space with friends and family?    There is no reason to make do in a cramped kitchen that was designed decades ago.

More and more home owners are saying hello to the open concept, especially when it comes to opening up their kitchen.  We created this kitchen for our clients because they were tired of their tight space and the feeling that it was closed off to everyone.  Their desire was to have a kitchen that was open and inviting, one that allowed their family and guests to sit around and talk with each other while the host prepared a meal.

However, wanting an open space, and getting that open space isn’t always that easy.  Our clients wanted two walls removed to open up their kitchen; however, the walls were load-bearing walls.  Our team had to install two steel beams in each of the load-bearing walls.  In the basement below, we installed a lally column, a round steel column filled with concrete, to provide support to the new beams.

Homeowners don’t often consider all the steps that are needed when opening up a space.  Many times, as in this case, HVAC ducts and drainpipes that were in the wall need to be rerouted.  Other rooms in the house are affected while doing an open concept kitchen remodel.  This is why it is important to have a plan for your family during the remodel.  Sometimes the family can stay during the project, other times staying with relatives is a better option.   One thing that is always certain, you must select a home remodeler who is trust worthy and can problem solve, which means you get back into your new space as soon as possible.

Sometimes during a remodel, clients will opt for larger, new wall ovens.  In this particular kitchen remodel, the clients’ wall ovens were surrounded by brick.  Since the brick surround provided structural support to the chimney, enlarging the opening for the new ovens required some creative engineering!  Additional support was added for the chimney above, and after the new wall ovens were installed, we added cabinetry to cover the bricks to match the new kitchen cabinets.

Since our clients’ number one wish was to interact with their guests while cooking, we installed the cooktop on the other side of the peninsula.  This provided a place for guests to sit and talk with the host while the meal was prepared.

After a kitchen is remodeled, no one notices all the behind the scenes work that has been done, and that is a good thing!  What everyone does notice are the finishes.  We will always offer suggestions if asked, but our clients choose the countertops, cabinets and finishes.  In this remodel, our client chose Natural Rocky Mountain granite countertop, along with stainless steel appliances and top knobs.  The custom cabinetry they selected has built up crown molding above the cabinets, adding elegance to their kitchen.  For their wallsplash, they selected a Mosaic Icelandic blend; the outlets are underneath the cabinets to preserve the aesthetics of the wallsplash.

Natural light can make a big difference in any room.  Now that the wall was gone between their dining room and kitchen, sunlight can pour into the kitchen from the existing sliding glass door.  No more dark, closed off kitchen.  Their new space is open, bright and inviting.

We want you to love being in your kitchen. It should inspire you.  We believe in comfort, beauty, and functionality. Our work reflects your vision.  Call today to schedule 215-513-0300 a consultation with one of our Remodeling Consultants and your vision can become your reality.



Do you know what is behind your stucco?

Stucco is favored in home construction around the country, providing a durable alternative to traditional siding. When installed properly, stucco is long-lasting and largely weather resistant, providing you with a simple, high quality surface that does not rust, rot, or burn.

Despite the benefits of stucco, however, there is always a potential for problems, especially when installation isn’t properly performed. Unfortunately, many problems with stucco are not immediately apparent, creating hugely expensive repairs down the road. By taking the time to learn what’s behind your stucco, it may be possible to identify problem areas before they cause lasting damage, saving you substantial amounts of money should trouble come to call.

Cracks in Stucco

All stucco, even the highest quality options, can crack over time, even when installation has handled properly. As is the case with most concrete products, a little cracking is inevitable, no matter how hard you try to prevent it.

Cracks in stucco come in numerous different forms. Hairline cracks, or cracks smaller than 1/16th of an inch in diameter, are fairly normal in stucco properties and may not require immediate attention. Spider cracking, on the other hand, can be a sign that the base coat did not properly cure, and patterns in a wall can indicate that the wire, or lath, underneath the stucco was not properly adhered. These kinds of cracks are more urgent, and can require immediate repairs.

Mold Problems

While cracks are a fairly obvious problem that can signify improperly installed stucco, mold may have no warning signs. Since stucco is porous, water can penetrate the surface, creating mold problems behind what appears to be a pristine wall. Synthetic forms of stucco can be more susceptible to this kind of damage.

Mold behind stucco is not easy to detect, and generally requires a professional to do so. Home construction and renovation experts know how to recognize water damage, and can often identify mold problems with help from an infrared camera. When damage gets too bad, stucco may need to be either partially or fully replaced.

Wood Rot

Excess water penetrating your stucco can cause mold damage, but it can also cause the building materials behind the stucco to rot. These issues can be even harder to diagnose than mold, especially when there are no visible signs of water damage.

Wood rot is a very serious issue, and one that can lead to massive structural damages within a home. While other stucco problems can often be repaired, severe wood rot can require removing a wall’s exterior in order to replace the rotting wood inside. This kind of work can costs thousands of dollars, creating an expensive problem you never saw coming.

Although stucco holds many advantages for homeowners, it also can put you at risk for serious and expensive problems that could entail a complete renovation of your walls. Facing the issues involved with stucco walls may not be easy, but with the right team of professionals, you can identify damage, make necessary repairs, and take the steps needed to elevate the look, feel, and function of your home.