Each week Mosby Experts share the latest in home remodeling tips and trends. Explore our blog for answers to your remodeling questions, or just to see what the Mosby employees have been up to. Be sure to visit our Solution Center blog for the latest news from our industry partners.

My Dad’s Lawn Care Recipe

Noël PowersClient Experience Coordinator

Mosby Building Arts Client Experience Coordinator Noël Powers’ describes her Dad’s long-standing lawn care recipe. This recipe has been successful for years.

When I was growing up my Dad always had a lush lawn, the neighbors have always complimented him on his thick green lawn. My Dad has a lawn recipe that he follows every year. He gets all of his products from Brian at Supreme Turf in Fenton, visiting him every 6 to 8 weeks for advice on what to put down, based on the present and past weather patterns we have had for that season. I know Supreme Turf will even test your lawn if you bring them a sample of it and tell you what kind of soil you have and exactly what products to use. I will lay out my dad’s “lawn recipe” for you to follow.

patterns we have had for that season. I know Supreme Turf will even test your lawn if you bring them a sample of it and tell you what kind of soil you have and exactly what products to use. I will lay out my dad’s “lawn recipe” for you to follow.

Winter Months

In February to be exact, lay down a pre-emergent with a barrier in it for weeds.

Spring Months

Around 6-8 weeks after the pre-emergent (usually late April), put down another dose of that fertilizer used in February. This should cover the lawn for most of the summer.

Summer Months

In early June my Dad sometimes sees a case of fungus in the yard. If there is a fungus, lay a very strong fungicide along with around 180 lbs. of gypsum. Then the first week of July put down a small dose of fertilizer with a bug protectant.

Fall Months

Come every other September aerate and over-seed, and lay a bag of starter fertilizer. Don’t cut the grass for about 3 weeks after laying the fertilizer so that the seedlings can root. And finally, at the end of October, lay a bag of winter fertilizer.

Once you get your lawn in tip top shape, call Mosby Building Arts at 314-909-1800 or contact us here and we can help you make your home look just as great!

 

 


A Quick Guide to Replacement Windows

Replacement windows are one of the most common and popular home improvements, which is why there are so many details and questions around the topic.  For an educational head start, we give you this quick guide to replacement windows.

Detecting a Window That Needs to Be Replaced

• Condensation frequently appears on or between glass panes – a health and energy efficiency issue
• Difficulty opening or operating a window – a safety and comfort issue
• Drafty areas around the window frame – a comfort and energy efficiency issue
• Water stains or rot on wood window sashes or sills – a mold and structural issue
• Locks don’t work or are missing – a security issue

Selecting the Right Window

There is an endless variety of types of windows and price points. It becomes easier to narrow down your choices by considering the following:

• Choosing a style easy to operate and addresses safety and energy efficiency issues
• Selecting a look that compliments both the exterior and interior design of your home
• Adhering to historical or neighborhood association requirements
• Understanding the structure of the wall around the window
• Providing a strong manufacturer’s warranty and a workmanship warranty

Choosing a Window Installer

The most important part of replacement windows is how they are installed.

The most expensive window will perform badly if installed wrong, while the cheapest window can perform admirably if installed correctly. Choosing a qualified window installer is assurance your new windows will perform properly and not cause other, unintended, problems.

The taping and sealing step in the Exteriors By Mosby window installation process.

A carpenter certified in window installation will have a holistic view of how your new windows interact with the whole house. For instance, if structural or water management issues are uncovered while removing the old window, a carpenter can correct them before installing the new window. A knowledge-guided window installation keeps your home – and its new windows – safe, healthy and valuable.

The Exteriors by Mosby method of selecting and installing windows includes treating your home with the utmost respect while taking care of all the details that deliver effectiveness and efficiency for your window investment.

And for additional peace of mind, Exteriors by Mosby includes a 10-year workmanship warranty with every window installation. Have us walk you through your replacement window options by calling Exteriors by Mosby at 314.909.8383 or contacting us here.


8 Ways to Bring Natural Light into Your Home

Increasing the amount of natural light in your home reduces your reliance on artificial light during the day (also reflected in your electric bill!) while boosting your sense of well-being. Here are 8 ways to light up your life, ranging from do-it-yourself to professional remodeling projects:

1. Open the Door

Replacing a solid exterior door for one with windows or side lights instantly brightens a room. Even one window at the top of a door (as shown above) will increase daytime visibility.

2. Use Existing Windows

Opening the curtains or blinds during the day immediately illuminates a room. Trade heavy drapes for sheer curtains. Rearrange the furniture if heavy furniture blocks light coming through those windows.

3. Lighten Up

Painting walls white or other light colors will help move the natural light around a room. Dark moulding can absorb light, so consider a lighter hue for those, as well.

4. Trade Walls for Windows

Let the sun shine in and take advantage of a view by installing a wall of windows or sliding glass door. In the kitchen above, a wall becomes windows, and even the back door has panes of glass and a transom window. Speaking of transom windows, they are the solution for having more light if the view isn’t so good or privacy is a concern, like in this St. Louis kitchen remodel.

See more photos of the sunny kitchen remodel shown above.

5. Let’s Reflect

Place mirrors around the room to reflect existing natural light. Experiment with different sizes of mirrors and how they’re placed. An added benefit is that mirrors will also make the room appear bigger while doubling your light.

6. Enlarge Windows

Without enlarging the opening in the wall you can increase daylight with replacement windows that have thinner frames, or bay windows whose three sides naturally grab more light.

7. Light Up Anyplace

Solar tubes make it possible to bring light to most any space in your home. As shown in the master bathroom above, they are ideal for rooms where a window or skylight is not feasible. And their small footprint on both the roof and ceiling makes for a relatively affordable installation. See more photos of this master suite addition that uses solar tubes and plenty of additional windows.

8. Welcome the Skylight

Modern technology and improved installation techniques have eliminated most of the leakage problems once associated with skylights. The addition of ventilation panels and remote control blinds also makes them ideal for indoor climate control.

See a modern kitchen where the addition of 2 skylights made a huge difference.

If you’re ready to increase the amount of natural light in your Metro St. Louis home, explore all your options with the designers and craftsmen at Mosby Building Arts. Call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here.


Before & After: A 3D Kitchen Design = No Surprises

A 3D rendering of what the new kitchen will look like after the remodeling project with Mosby Building Arts is complete.

A Webster Groves, MO family was ready for a new kitchen. They wanted two ovens, special zones for cooking, entertaining and working, and a look that was more architecturally significant to match the classic style of their home built in 1922.

To gain historical heft, Mosby Building Arts designer Jill Worobec suggested a deeply coffered ceiling in the kitchen, along with furniture-grade white cabinetry. And instead of the kitchen flowing directly into the family room, a formal arched entry way would add grace and sense of place.

After the client made initial selections for cabinets, counters and colors, Jill presented them with a series of drawings in both 2D and 3D (one of those is shown above) so they could get a precise picture of what their new kitchen could look like.

Before & After photos of a Webster Groves, MO kitchen remodeling project, designed and built by Mosby Building Arts.

The Mosby Planning and Design team employs drafting software that converts their floor plans and elevations into multi-dimensional renderings. Along with truly being able to understand the design concepts, you can also “walk through” the drawing. More about that in a moment!

Jill tucked a desk into a bank of pantry cabinets, and designed a cherry wood island that contrasts beautifully with the white cabinetry. As shown above, she did a 2D drawing of how this end of the kitchen could look, as seen if one is standing in front of the stove.

And this is how it turned out after the Mosby carpenters completed the job. Having access to these multi-dimensional drawings is just as useful to the builders as it is to the homeowners. Everyone benefits from a detailed road map to get them to the final destination, with no surprises.

Previously (above), the kitchen spilled into the family room. Jill envisioned a wall with a wide, arched entry. Along with drawings, they were able to give the client a 360 degree view of the kitchen. And now there’s another advancement in truly experiencing your space before it’s built: A 3D Viewer.

View FINERTY_3 in Chief Architect’s 360° Panorama Viewer.

Floor plans and elevations are converted into 2D and 3D models. These models can now be uploaded to a Chief 3D Viewer app that a client can access on an iPad. This lets you navigate in any direction and virtually walk through every nook and cranny of your project. The video above conveys how it looks and feels for the client to “walk around” in their new kitchen.

See another demonstration of the 3D Viewer from our recent appearance on KMOV’s Great Day St. Louis.

Because Mosby gave the family the tools to see exactly how their remodeling project would turn out, they signed off on the construction phase of the project with complete confidence. Then came the the excitement of watching those drawings come to life in their house. And now there’s the continual delight that they got exactly what they paid for, with no surprises.

To remove the guesswork from design-build remodeling projects, work with Mosby team. See a portfolio of some of their kitchen remodeling projects. And to get started, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.


Take a Mosby Tour: Modern Kitchen in an MCM Home

Brand new modern kitchen in a vintage mid-century modern home in Creve Couer, MO. Designed and built by Mosby Building Arts.

A 1960 split-level flat-roof mid-century modern home in Creve Coeur, MO was creating a bit of cramp for the growing family of 4 (soon to be 5). They needed more usable space as well as an updated kitchen. Mosby Building Arts designer Jake Spurgeon, AKBD, advocated knocking down the two walls that separated the kitchen from the dining and family rooms to create an open space that better suits their lifestyle.

As seen above, the living room was isolated from the kitchen and dining room, having to enter both through separate entries.

The family inherited a kitchen that was last remodeled in the 1980s (above left), and they felt isolated while in the space. So it was a logical thought to remove the long wall, but because it was a load-bearing wall they shied away from doing anything about it. Learn more about identifying load-bearing walls.

To create a completely unobstructed open floor plan, Mosby obtained a steel beam so large it had to be moved about with a crane! Once our carpenters installed it (above right) they were able to remove all temporary supports and begin the kitchen remodel in earnest.

Installing new White Oak plank flooring across the entire area was the other way to create a cohesive look to the newly free-flowing space.

Now they have a thoroughly modern kitchen that boosts the authentic mid-century modern architecture of their home. The flat-front maple cabinets with a Nutmeg finish are from Showplace Cabinetry. The cabinet hardware is Skinny Linea pulls in stainless steel from Atlas Homewares.

The white cabinet center island with bar sink, microwave drawer and beverage cooler has a unique feature: a “floating” upper deck of deepest blue granite, providing a futuristic feel echoed by the planetary pendant lights from Crystorama orbiting above it. We also installed two skylights to bring even more natural light into the open kitchen.

The white honeycomb porcelain tile backsplash from Anatolia Tile + Stone coordinates smartly with the Cambria Brittanica quartz countertops. And the sleek cabinets hide all kinds of specialized storage, which you can see detail photos of on Houzz.

A really nice feature that is used by the adults and the children in the home is the built-in desk nestled between the refrigerator and ovens. With a comfortable leather bench seat and a nice view into the front entry garden courtyard, it’s become a favorite spot for quality computer time.

Designer of this modern kitchen: Jake Spurgeon, AKBD, of Mosby Building Arts.

Along with the delight the family experiences in their new lively and welcoming space, Jake (above) is excited about how well the floating top on kitchen island turned out. He designed it so the granite would appear to cantilever from the base, supported by stainless steel legs. He was told the design was impossible, but with the help of a structural engineer and an assist from his father’s steel fabrication company, Jake made it happen (see a detail shot of it).

For your own personalized kitchen and home makeover, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here.


Q&A: What’s the Difference Between Design-Build and Remodeling?

We recently sat down with the leader of the Mosby Building Arts Planning and Design team, Jack Culian. He detailed the difference of design-build vs. remodeling projects, and revealed a new design innovation coming to Mosby in 2017.

Here are Jack’s answers to 4 questions:

Jack Culian, the Design-Build Business Manager of Mosby Building Arts.

In general, what is the difference between design build vs. remodeling?

A main differentiator between remodeling and design build is how much of the space is being re-constructed from its original design, and is an architect involved?  Are we simply pulling and replacing elements of the space – which is remodeling – or are we moving things around and changing everything that existed before? Design-build projects generally involve major renovations to the client’s home that include designing concepts from certified designers and architects, drafting construction plans, moving or installing plumbing, electric, and HVAC, and the selection of numerous materials.  These are the factors that help us decipher between remodeling and design-build.

Specifically, how does the Mosby design-build process differ from other remodeling companies?

The 3-Step design-build process at Mosby stands apart from other firms for a few reasons.  First; because it is a process that is managed over 3 distinct steps: concept design, selections and final design, and construction.  Second; our level of detail and pace at each of the different phases provides the client with confidence that the job stays on schedule, and that what we build will be exactly what they will love for years to come.

What aspects of your design team are you most proud of?

The team excels at creativity.  They are a well-rounded group of designers, drafters and field experts who willingly lend their knowledge and ideas to ensure that the outcome of each job exceeds their client’s expectations.  They understand how to create inspirational and functional designs within a given budget.

A 3D rendering of a theater room in South St. Louis County basement remodel by Mosby Building Arts architect Brian Yount.

For you and your team, what are you most excited about for 2017?

2017 brings a lot of promise and potential!  In addition to our 3D project renderings, we’re experimenting with 3D optic headsets that let a client take a 360-degree view of the space. We’re also testing a new app that lets you move about the 3D drawings like you are actually walking around in the home. It’s phenomenal technology.

There are also many new products and innovations coming into the market that will not only improve the look and feel of your home, but will improve people’s quality of living.  Each year more people are finding reasons and ways to stay in their homes longer, so it provides the Mosby Planning and Design Team the opportunity to push our creativity and knowledge to greater heights. We look forward to creating more perfect spaces for St. Louis homeowners.

Learn more about Jack Culian and his design team. For all of your St. Louis remodeling, design and architecture needs call the Mosby Building Arts office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here.


Planning Romantic Spaces in Your Home

Dimmed lights, candles, and neutral colors create a more romantic pallet in the home. Women tend to be more affected by the colors and mood in the bathroom and the master bedroom. Women tend to look at their home as more of our personality and style. The colors, decorations, pictures, and style is what we choose for others to know about us.

Decorations
Use decorations in the bedroom that remind you of special moments or places you and your spouse have been together. Wedding photos or photos of trips will remind you of the love you have shared throughout the years. Making your bed every morning can be a simple task to make your room more romantic.

Clutter
Everyone has stacks of mail, school papers, bills, and other things that seem to pile up around the kitchen and bedroom. If you want to create a romantic space the clutter needs to disappear. Find a system that works for you, your spouse, and family then create this new space for the clutter to go so you can keep a romantic setting in the kitchen and bedroom.

Candles
Many people tend to allow candles to sit around and collect dust. Pick a candle that has a nice aroma and a good color to go with your decorations. Nothing creates nice romantic ambiance like candlelight, so find a scent you and your spouse love and burn it often.

 

A freestanding copper tub is a romantic space within a master bathroom remodel by Mosby Building Arts.

Colors
Pick colors that soothe you and your spouse, if your bedroom or bathroom colors are too loud you won’t be able to relax and enjoy the space. If you choose a color that is relaxing to you, you will find you and your spouse can be more romantic.

Romantic stone fireplace in a cozy den of a Mosby Building Arts basement remodel.

Fireplace
Adding a fireplace to the home will add warmth and light. The fireplace is often associated with romance and a cozy environment. Place a fireplace in your master bedroom or in your living room and enjoy.

Flowers
Fresh flowers can help enhance a romantic space. Almost anyone who walks into a home with fresh beautiful flowers looks at the home as a warm, welcoming space.

If you need help creating a romantic space in your home, our designers are here to help you. Contact Mosby Building Arts at 314-909-1800, or here on our website.


DESIGNER TALK: Red Flags When Interviewing a Designer

Mosby Building Arts designer Jake Spurgeon, AKBD

Every day, designer Jake Spurgeon is in the homes of potential clients who are interested in working with Mosby Building Arts for their remodel. This is essentially a job interview to help you determine if this is a company you want to partner with. It is also the time to be looking for red flags that indicate you and the company may not be a good match.

To have complete peace of mind and trust in whom you hire, Jake reveals the best questions to ask to reveal red flags and help you make the right decision of who to work with:

What is your process and how long will it take?

You want an idea of how the company works together, from the beginning to the end of the project. A clearly defined process indicates an organized company. After defining exactly what you want done to your home, your designer should have a good starting estimate of how much time is needed to design and build your project. Do not accept vague time frames if you have a specific deadline.

What is your work permit process?

The only good answer to this question is the company will pull permits, and they will do it – not you. Every reputable remodeler prefers to be responsible for the detailed permit process, and this saves you a lot of time and headaches. If a company says permits are not necessary or that you should get them, that is your red flag to look elsewhere.

What are your credentials?

You need to know how qualified you designer and their company are to work on your project.
Are the designers certified in kitchen and bath design (for instance, I’m an Associate Kitchen & Bathroom Designer with the National Kitchen & Bath Association)?
Is there a registered architect that will oversee and stamp the construction drawings?
You also want to be assured that the company is accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and has appropriate insurance.
All of these items protect you, your investment and your remodeling goals. If they lack credentials, you may need to look elsewhere.

What kind of warranty do you have?

Many items used in a project have a manufacturer’s warranty. What you need to know is how the company that installed these items will take care of any problems that may arise after the fact. You’re looking for a workmanship warranty, and what exactly does it cover and for how long (this is our 10-year warranty). You need to be assured that your company stands behind their work for the long haul.

St. Louis kitchen remodel by Mosby Building Arts, designed by Jake Spurgeon.

Can I see examples of your work and references?

Examples: We love this question, and by all means yes! You will learn a lot of valuable information about your designer and the production team while viewing the portfolio.

References: Reputable companies are happy to share them. Though I have seen a shift in the last 5 years or so, with that question being asked less often because homeowners do a lot of internet research (think Houzz, BBB, Guild Quality, etc.) before inviting a designer into their home. Often I offer to share references and they decline because they already know more about us than I do! But anyway, if you ask for references and they hem and haw, consider it a red flag.

Asking these basic questions will usually give you a good idea of what kind of remodeling company you’re dealing with, and help you decide if you want to pursue a working relationship with them.

Oh, I also recommend paying close attention to the kind of questions the designer asks you! It will give you valuable insight into the company’s priorities and focus. And you can learn if the project will be about you and your style, or just something the designer wants in their portfolio. It happens.

If you have a St. Louis home remodeling and design project in mind, and would like to put me through my paces, give me a call at 314.909.1800 or contact me here.


Winter Planning for Summer Outdoor Living

Don’t wait until you have ditched your winter coat for shorts and flip flops to begin planning your new outdoor space. If you want to enjoy it for the spring and summer, it needs to be planned now, in the winter.

Whether it is an outdoor kitchen, patio, or deck, it will take time to organize, design, and construct. Starting now gives you the time to have it done for a Memorial Day BBQ, for example. When planning your outdoor space keep in mind these 3 things:

1. The Location of Your Outdoor Living Space

Accessibility to the space, privacy, property boundaries, water drainage, and landscaping and scenery all come into effect when planning these outdoor spaces. With spaces like outdoor kitchens you have to consider the layout of plumbing, electrical, and gas lines. You’ll also have to take into consideration the time it takes to grow new grass. Most of these outdoor projects entail tearing up parts of your yard. Having a new outdoor space but a barren land to sit around and look at is not ideal. This is why starting your project earlier in the year benefits you the most.

2. The Features of Your Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor living spaces can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Some homeowners just want a space to be able to sit and relax; others want to bring the same amenities from inside their home to the outside such as, televisions, sound systems, fireplaces, lighting, and even heating and cooling elements.  It’s important to remember the level of features you choose will not only impact price but the project timeline as well.

3. The Materials Used on Your Outdoor Living Space

You’ll also have to choose the material your outdoor space is made of.  For decks, do you want a wood or composite deck? Patios can be laid with poured concrete which can be stamped, molded or tinted for a variety of styles. Patios can also be made of pavers, either from brick, concrete, or natural stone. All materials have a different degree of maintenance to think about.

In order to successfully execute an outdoor project that hits on all these points, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced company that has a history of being able to design and build these spaces. This will ensure everything is taken into account.

The team at Mosby Building Arts can design and build your St. Louis outdoor living space, taking care of your project from start to finish. See a gallery of our outdoor living projects. And to schedule a home consultation, give us a call at 314-909-1800, or contact us here.


Our Favorite New Kitchen & Bath Products

Every year, Mosby Building Arts designers attend the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) to see brand new kitchen and bath products. Jake Spurgeon and Julie Giljum each share their 5 favorite items from the recent KBIS 2017.

Jake Spurgeon, Mosby Building Arts Designer

Mosby designer Jake Spurgeon shown “lifting” Mosby architect Brian Yount at the Kohler booth at KBIS 2017.

Robern InLine Series Lighting

Lighting that can be connected and paired with medicine cabinets have long been around, but lighting with temperature control? Brand new! Ranging from 3000k – 4000K, this is lighting that lets you adjust between warm white and natural light to ensure your look will match the correct time of day or night, indoor or outdoor. If you do the bulk of your grooming in front of the bathroom mirror, this is the system for you!

Ann Sacks ITAI BAR-ON Tiles

Ann Sacks introduced hand-crafted concrete tiles that have curved edges and openings so you can place accent lighting behind it. They show them as being used for accent walls or fireplace surrounds, but I see them as a kitchen backsplash! Imagine it providing a unique look plus extra task lighting in your kitchen and know why I’m hoping to get a chance to try this idea.

Best by Broan Hood

Are these cool looking pendant lights for your kitchen? Nope! They are recirculating range hoods to be mounted over a cooking surface. Lighted venting has never been this beautiful. The product is so new that it’s not yet on the Broan website (I snapped the photo above). And this is why we go to KBIS each year – to get a jump start on the innovative new products for your home.

American Standard Spray Selector

Here’s another product so new it’s not yet available, so I had to take a photo of it to prove that it exists. Do you have difficulty reaching your shower head to adjust the spray pattern? Do you see that shower wall button on the right, above? Well, just press it to control your shower head! This new American Standard product is a universal design game changer.

Moen U Shower System

We can now install a control pad in your shower that hooks to your smart phone so you can control when your shower starts and what the temperature will be. It’s the ultimate shower gadget with the potential to save you time when getting ready.

Julie Giljum, Right Bath Coordinator & Designer

Right Bath by Mosby designer Julie Giljum (bottom) with Mosby Building Arts designer Jill Worobec at KBIS 2017.

This was my first time at KBIS, and here are my photos of the 5 products I’m most excited to try out in future Right Bath by Mosby projects:

Kohler had a lot of great new stuff at KBIS, including a new vanity light series! They had a limited selection before, but with these expanded lighting choices I can eliminate a separate shopping trip to a lighting store because these Kohler options are excellent. This is a great service that will free up time with selections so we can get even more done on our never ending to do list!

Kohler Real Rain Shower Head

Another amazing new Kohler item lets you experience real rain in your shower. This shower head has 775 nozzles, replicating the feel of actual rain washing away a long day! The sound is also as soothing as a gentle spring rain.

Sterling Frameless Sliding Shower Door

For all of the parents that bathe their children in a tub with a shower door atop it, you will love this!  Sterling has introduced a shower door or a tub/shower door with comfortable track. This is a cushioned threshold you can step on without pain, or lean over the frame without it cutting your abs. All I have to say is it’s about time!

Brizo Litze Slide Bar Handshower

Brizo has brought the Industrial Steampunk look into the shower – or at least that is what I am calling it!  This handshower unit has a unique style, and you move the handheld by rolling the wheel up and down. Just so much fun!  Also, the rest of the Litze collection has some amazing bathroom accessories.

Armstrong Alterna Engineered Stone Tile

Armstrong Alterna tile has been around for years, but this new engineered stone is warmer to the touch than ceramic or porcelain tile. Alterna just introduced this wood texture pattern, which brings a warm look to the bathroom; add radiant heat below this tile and it will feel as warm as it looks!

Mosby designers are here to help with your St. Louis kitchen and bath remodeling projects. Contact Mosby Building Arts’ Jake Spurgeon at 314.909.1800. Julie with Right Bath by Mosby is available at 314.909.1820.