(888) 437-2373
Talk To Us
Rochester, NY Blog

Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Designing the Kitchen in Your Rochester Custom Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Sep 13, 2019 @ 09:09 AM

Whether you’re building a new custom home or remodeling the kitchen in your existing Rochester area home, your kitchen is one room that needs special attention. So much happens in your kitchen (food preparation, casual meals, entertaining, and more) that it’s important to get this room right. Achieving the right results, however, is about more than simply installing new kitchen elements. You need a good plan to make sure everything comes together. That's what kitchen design is all about. With that in mind, let's look at designing the kitchen in your Rochester custom home—and cover some essential kitchen design ideas.


Balancing Form and Function

Kitchen Made For Entertaining in Your Rochester Custom Home

There are two key elements to creating a modern kitchen that will delight you for years to come. You want to pay attention to both form and function. Homeowners want to create beautiful kitchens that are attractive and inviting—and match their sense of style. But it's equally important to end up with a kitchen that matches your lifestyle. And that means building in the features—and designing the space—that make your kitchen comfortable and convenient for the way you live and entertain.


How to Design a Kitchen Layout

Kitchen Layout in Custom Home in Rochester NY

So, how do you go about planning a kitchen that meets your needs? First, think about how you like to use your kitchen. What are the things that can make it convenient and enjoyable for making meals?  If you do a lot of cooking, you might want to consider a design that incorporates double ovens. That enables you to have multiple items (with differing temperatures) cooking at the same time. If you plan to use your kitchen for casual meals, or like making breads/pastries/pastas you may want to build in an over-sized island that allows you more work space (with a built-in sink, or possibly an island cook-top) while still allowing room for family and friends to eat breakfast or a snack on the other side of the island. By the way, if you’d like some additional tips about how to design a great kitchen (and other rooms in your home) for entertaining, check out this helpful article.


What About “Extra” Kitchen Features?

Special Features for Your Rochester Kitchen

Once you have your basic design mapped out, you can focus on some other details that can make your kitchen more comfortable, convenient, and even fun. If you’re in the habit of having friends over for coffee, you might want to look at building in a coffee bar to add an element of fun and interest. Many Rochester homeowners love having a separate pantry in the kitchen. This extra space makes storing small appliances and dry goods so much easier—and it helps to keep your kitchen uncluttered. And don’t forget about touchless faucets that make food prep much more convenient.


Choosing the Look You Want

Choosing the Look You Want For Your Rochester Kitchen

You have a lot of options when it comes to the visual impact of your Rochester kitchen. You can choose from contemporary, classic, modern, or farmhouse styles. But keep in mind that most kitchens today are part of an open floor plan. That means whatever style and décor you choose for your kitchen will probably be visible from other rooms in the house. That means you’ll want to make sure that the cabinets, countertops, and flooring blend well with what’s in the adjoining rooms.


How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Kitchen?

How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Kitchen in Rochester NY

Naturally, you’ll want to keep an eye on the budget with your new kitchen. Your builder can walk you through the design and provide you with an accurate estimate so that you’ll know what to expect. If you’re remodeling an existing kitchen, here’s a very helpful post that gives you an idea of what various levels of kitchen remodels cost in the Rochester area—and what the return on that investment will be. We want you to be able to make an informed decision about remodeling before starting. 


Next Steps

Prepare to design the kitchen in your Rochester custom home

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling the kitchen in your current home, gathering good information is essential to achieving the results you want. A great way to get started is to download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen eBook. It’s packed with helpful information and insights. You can also contact us directly. We know you’ll have lots of questions and our knowledgeable Gerber Homes team will be delighted to guide you through the whole process.


Schedule a Consultation to Build a Custom Home in the Greater Rochester area

Topics: Kitchen remodeling, Custom homes, kitchen design, Home Design, Custom Home Features

Which Remodeling Trends Matter Most For Your Rochester Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Aug 1, 2018 @ 08:08 AM

Which Remodeling Trends Matter Most For Your Rochester Home?Every year industry experts talk about the newest trends in the remodeling industry. You’ll hear about these trends on home improvement sites such as houzz.com or on remodeling shows on television. A lot of what you’ll hear or read tends to focus on interior design: What are the “hot” colors this year? What kinds of backsplash materials are “in?” Which hardware finishes are most popular?  Those are all interesting and important items to consider, but which remodeling trends matter most for your Rochester home?

I’d like to suggest that real remodeling trends—ones that have staying power—focus more on functionality and changes that come about in response to homeowners’ changing lifestyles.  Let’s look at a few of these kinds of remodeling trends in some key areas of your Rochester home.

Kitchen Trends

Kitchens have changed dramatically over the years. They’re no longer simply spaces for food preparation. These days, people use them for entertaining, cooking, casual dining, and even family meetings. While color changes and finishes may constantly change, one trend that seems to have great staying power is the use of kitchen islands as a major feature in kitchens because they lend themselves to multiple uses. Take a look at some of the kitchen projects we’ve worked on recently.

Bathroom Trends

Bathrooms are kind of a big deal in today’s homes. There’s a good reason for that. This is a room you use multiple times a day. It’s where you get ready to meet the challenges of the day and it’s also a place you relax at the end of the day. A couple of trends in bathrooms have been to make them more comfortable and functional. That means dual sinks and more space for getting ready in the morning. And when it comes to comfort, many homeowners have replaced old conventional tubs (and even whirlpools) with elegant soaking tubs and spacious showers that enhance relaxation. Here’s a look at some of the things you’ll want to consider as you plan your bathroom remodel.

Interior Trends

Even though open floor plans have been around for a few years they continue to be a popular trend. It’s a way to bring more natural light into your home and it also gives the inside of your home a more spacious feel. Often homeowners choose to repurpose existing rooms to meet their changing needs for things such as a home office, a guest bedroom, or a multi-purpose family room/entertainment room. You can even finish out your basement or convert your garage into extra living space.

Addition Trends

There are also trends in home additions that are worth noting. There has been an increase in the number of multi-generational households over the past few years. Often that requires adding physical space that can be used as an in-law apartment (which can be used for older parents moving in, or for adult children who are still working on getting started in their own careers).  Click here for some inspirational images of how you can add beautiful—and needed—space to your existing home.

Download Remodeling a House, Creating a Home ebook for your Rochester NY home remodel




Topics: Kitchen remodeling, Bathroom remodeling, home remodeling, whole home remodeling, Home Additions, Interior Remodeling, Exterior remodeling, Home Design

Kitchen Remodeling: What Would Go Into Your Dream Kitchen?

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 @ 13:04 PM

Kitchen Remodeling: What Would Go Into Your Dream Kitchen?Kitchens are one of the most-remodeled rooms in today’s homes. It’s not surprising, given the increased role kitchens play in family living today. And while kitchens have become increasingly popular as social gathering places, they are still very much working rooms. That means they should be designed for efficiency and for comfort. What features would you build into your dream kitchen? Here are a few ideas. 

  • Plenty of Space to Work: Work with your designer/builder to ensure that you have plenty of space to prepare food. You don’t want to feel cramped, so allow ample room between countertops to turn around (and bend over!). 
  • Rethink Your Base Cabinets: Traditionally, base cabinets in kitchens have been shelves with doors on them. You might want to consider switching to drawers. Instead of getting down on your hands and knees to see what’s in the back of the cabinet, you can pull the drawers (and contents) out into the light where you can see everything. It’s much more convenient. And by the way—spend just a little more to get “soft-close” drawers. You’ll get a lot less bang for your buck! 
  • Let the Light In: If at all possible, take advantage of natural light on outside walls. Adding windows in your kitchen changes the whole personality of the kitchen. If space is really at a premium, you could at least consider narrow windows above your cabinets to let in more natural light. You’ll be amazed at how much bigger your kitchen will feel. 
  • Include a Dishhhhhhwasher: Because so many floor plans today have kitchens that are open to the family room or great room, the last thing you want is a noisy dishwasher. You’ll probably want an appliance that has a decibel level below 45. One word of caution, the lower the decibel level, the higher the cost (generally). You’ll have to decide how much the shhhhh-factor is worth. 
  • Build in a Pantry Wall: Having a good-sized pantry wall (on your inside walls where you can’t have windows) gives you lots of space for storage and it also helps to consolidate a variety of items. Instead of searching through various cabinets, you’ll have everything in one place. And if you like the idea of seeing things at-a-glance, you might consider a glass front to the pantry so you can see what you’re looking for before you open the door. 
  • Water Without Hands: This may seem like a small thing, but it can make a big difference. Consider putting in a hands-free faucet. Some you can turn on by touching anywhere on the faucet. Others have a built-in sensor that responds to movement. If you’re working with raw meat or messy sauces, you can still turn the water on without having to wipe down the faucet and handles all the time. 

Those are just a few things to think about as you begin planning your new kitchen. What would you put in your dream kitchen?

Download Remodeling a House, Creating a Home ebook for your Rochester NY home remodel


Topics: Kitchen remodeling, kitchen design, home remodeling

Rochester-Area Remodeling: Which Projects Make the Most Sense?

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 @ 19:12 PM

Rochester-area-remodeling-which-projects-make-the-most-senseThe winter months are a great time to think about remodeling projects for your Rochester-area home. Normal outdoor construction tends to slow a bit and that means quality builders are more available for indoor projects.

But which projects make the most sense for your home? There may be some projects you have to take on simply because your needs have changed. If you have kids that have gotten older and need more space, a home addition may be the obvious choice. But if there are other areas of the house you’ve been thinking about, which one’s will give you the most bang for your buck? 

The 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvalue.com) provides an overview of what a variety of home renovation projects in the Rochester area cost—and what kind of return they provide on the money you invest (the money you’ll get back out if you sell your home). They cover a wide variety of projects, but let’s look at just a few midrange projects here. Bear in mind that these are average figures.

Project Type  Cost                Resale $         Recouped
Attic Bedroom Remodel $48,792 $25,545 52.4%
Family Room Addition             $79,500 $34,667 43.6%
Major Kitchen Remodel $54,231 $31,667 58.4%
Minor Kitchen Remodel $18,587 $10,500 56.5%
Home Office Remodel             $27,596 9,045 32.8%
Two-Story Addition $152,978 $ 63,636 41.6%

As you can see, there’s a fair amount of variety in costs and in return on investment (ROI). But the ROI is only part of the story.  What it doesn’t reflect is the comfort and enjoyment you receive from living in a newly remodeled home. And while a project such as a home office remodel doesn’t generate as much money at resale, if it allows you to work from home efficiently, it can be worth a considerable amount.

These are just a few of the projects you might consider. You can check out Gerber’s remodeling services that include kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, home additions, in-law additions, and more. And if you’re concerned about remodeling during the cold winter months, rest easy— we’ve developed an approach that allows side, back, and second-story additions to be completed while your family remains in the house throughout construction process!

Download Remodeling a House, Creating a Home ebook for your Rochester NY home remodel

Topics: garage additions, Kitchen remodeling, Bathroom remodeling, home remodeling, whole home remodeling, Home Additions, Interior Remodeling, Exterior remodeling, Home Design

Rochester-Area Kitchen Remodeling: The Big Take-Away

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 @ 19:11 PM

Rochester-area-kitchen-remodeling-the-big-take-awayIt’s been pretty well established over the past few years that the kitchen has become the heart of the home. But if you live in an older home in the Rochester area, it may be hard to imagine your existing kitchen as the focal point of your home. Sure, all those glamorous photos of stunning kitchens on TV or online look great—but how can you achieve that when you’re dealing with a cramped kitchen to begin with? 

When it comes to making the most out of the space you have, there are times when it’s not what you add to the picture that matters most—it’s what you take away. That’s where a seasoned remodeler can really help. Sometimes builders and remodelers see your home a little differently than you do. They not only see what’s in front of their eyes, but what could be there. And sometimes that means taking something away in order to uncover something better. 

The photo you see here is a perfect example. How in the world can a dark, cramped kitchen be turned into a bright and open space where people love to hang out? That was the challenge facing these homeowners. 

Years ago, kitchens were separate rooms, devoted to meal preparation and closed off from guests. Nobody wanted to see pots and pans. Today, however, family and guests don’t want to be cut off from what’s going on in the kitchen.  The “big take-away” in the kitchen pictured above was the wall that divided two rooms. By taking away that dividing wall and moving some of the kitchen components, we were able to create a warm, comfortable, welcoming space with lots of light. 

I invite you to take a look at some additional before-and-after images of Rochester-area kitchens. In most of the examples you’ll see, the transformation of the kitchen wasn’t simply a matter of putting a new face on things. It involved re-thinking how best to use the existing space—and the space around it. 

We’ve been building and remodeling homes in western New York since 1981. We know our way around the kitchen—and the other rooms in your home. We’d love to be able to help you see the possibilities in your home that perhaps you haven’t yet discovered.  And sometimes—if you want more, that means taking away something to get there!



Topics: Kitchen remodeling, kitchen design

Is Your Rochester-Area Home Changing With Your Needs?

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Oct 1, 2014 @ 07:10 AM

Is your Rochester area home changing with your needsOver time your family’s needs change. Children come along. Then those children grow. The activities that your family engages in change, too. Your house, on the other hand, stays the same. Sure, you may redecorate the rooms and move some furniture around. But the basic structure of your house doesn’t change.

Then one day you realize that the house that was perfect for you just a few years ago no longer fits their needs. And while you can’t stop your kids from growing, you do have some options when it comes to your home.

An addition to your Rochester-area home can be a great solution. But don’t just settle for a bigger house when you can actually get a better house at the same time. And while more space is something that a lot of families look for, what really makes a significant difference is when you put on an addition that delivers the right kind of space—and makes your home the comfortable and inviting place you’ve always wanted.

So before you simply expand the square footage of your house, think about what kind of space you really need.

  • Bedrooms: How many rooms do you want to commit to bedrooms? Does each child need his or her own room? How long will they use that space? Think ahead. What will you do with that space when the kids are gone? Will it be a guest bedroom? How about a home office, or maybe a craft room? Talk to your builder about creating space that can have multiple uses.
  • Bathrooms: A lot of parents don’t relish sharing their bathroom with their kids. Simply adding bedrooms doesn’t solve that problem. Depending on how your home is laid out, maybe the kids can “inherit” your old bathroom, and you can build a new one with features that you really want. Maybe you want dual sinks. Or perhaps you want an over-sized shower (or even a steam shower). Your builder can help you create a new bath that makes getting ready for work in the morning a whole lot more pleasant.
  • The Kitchen: When your children are small you can make do with a smaller kitchen. As they grow, they take up more space—and they bring their friends over to hang out. And guess where they often end up? In the kitchen. Consider a kitchen remodel that turns your kitchen from a utilitarian workspace into a comfortable, convenient place to prepare meals and entertain friends.
  • A Great Room: A great room is a natural extension of the kitchen. Opening up you kitchen to a great room allows you to have plenty of space to work and entertain guests (your kids aren’t the only ones who have friends!). Nobody gets stuck alone in the kitchen because one room flows naturally into the other. And the open concept makes the existing space feel bigger.

Those are just a few ways that your house can be changed to meet your family’s growing needs. For more ideas, download our free Create Your Dream Home eBook. It’s backed with helpful information and ideas to help you create the home you’ve always wanted—even if you never change your address!

Topics: Kitchen remodeling, whole home remodeling

Rochester-Area Kitchen Remodeling: Beyond Cabinets And Countertops

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 @ 07:01 AM

describe the imageIf you’re thinking of remodeling the kitchen in your Rochester-area home, you’re not alone. Kitchens and bathrooms are still the most remodeled rooms in the house. But what’s the first thing you think about when you consider remodeling? A lot of homeowners start thinking about what kind of cabinetry they want—what kind of wood, what kind of hardware? Others focus on the kind of countertops they want. Should they go for granite or some other natural surface? And what about a backsplash to tie everything together? Then there’s flooring to consider. Should it be tile? Stone? Maybe something exotic like bamboo?

Those are all fun ideas to wrestle with—even if the sheer number of options can sometimes be a little overwhelming. How your kitchen looks is extremely important. Chances are that you’ll spend a lot of time there, so you want it to look right. But there are some basic things you need to consider first: Things that go beyond cabinets and countertops.

Before you get too wrapped up in the finishes your kitchen will have, you’ll want to revisit why you’re remodeling in the first place. Most homeowners tackle a kitchen-remodeling project because they’re not entirely happy with the way the kitchen works. That’s a bigger issue than just how the kitchen appears.

How do you want to be able to use your kitchen? Are you planning to do a lot of gourmet cooking? Will it be a place where you entertain? Are you planning to eat family meals in the kitchen? Are you a “make-meals-from-scratch” kind of family, or do you tend to pop something into the microwave?

The way you answer those questions will shape how you want to organize the space in your new kitchen. It will also affect the kind of appliances you install and even the work surfaces you put in.

Even if a big reason for remodeling was cosmetic, you’ll want to think about exactly what you wanted to change. Was the kitchen too dark? Are you after more natural light? Did the kitchen feel too cramped? Did it feel cut off from where people tend to gather and eat? Is removing a wall to expand your space an option? By the way, don’t plan on moving a wall until you talk to a builder or an engineer. You need to make sure that the wall you’re planning to move isn’t a load-bearing wall!

Once you figure out how you want to use your kitchen, then you can move on to figuring out what you want it to look like.  We’ve got a great guide that can help you design your kitchen to fit your personal style—and get what you really want out of your kitchen. Download our free Optimal Kitchen Designs and Layouts here, and you’ll also pick up tips on best practices for usability and some pointers on how to plan for your kitchen remodeling.

Then the cabinets and countertops you pick out will really make a difference!

Topics: Kitchen remodeling, kitchen design

September Is the Season For Learning: Increase Your Kitchen IQ

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 @ 20:09 PM

September is the season for learning increasing your kitchen IQMost of us equate September with the start of a new school year. We’re always telling our kids how important education is, but our kids aren’t the only ones who need to keep learning. If you’re considering remodeling the kitchen in your eastern Rochester home, increasing your “Kitchen IQ” before you get started is a good way to make sure you get the kind of results you want.

There is much more to a successful kitchen remodeling project than just picking out new cupboards and appliances. Sure, you’ll want to make cosmetic changes, but the kitchen is far too important a room in your home to just re-touch the surface. You really want to ask yourself how you want the room to be used.

The “before-and-after” pictures of the kitchen at the right are a good example. The homeowners could have asked us to simply make a few cosmetic changes to the kitchen at the top. Instead, they did their homework and asked us to take out a wall and open the kitchen to the adjoining dining room. That change altered not only the appearance of the kitchen but the entire flow of the house. It’s much more open, inviting and social.

One good way to educate yourself is to visit sites such as HGTV.com and houzz.com to see some of the great ideas others have come up with. Some of the ideas may not be in line with your tastes, but you’ll get a sense for what can be done. You can also check out some of our other “before and after” kitchen projects to get an idea of the dramatic difference a well-planned and well-executed kitchen renovation can make.

Another way to improve your kitchen IQ is to download our free Optimal Kitchen Designs and Layouts design guide. In addition to providing you with great ideas for your kitchen, it will walk you through how to design your kitchen to fit your personal lifestyle. You’ll learn to identify what you really want from your kitchen, and you’ll find out how to work with your builder to get exactly what you want.

Now that you’ve got the kids back in school, further your own education! Take some time to learn the impact a remodeled kitchen can have on your entire home. And bring yourself up to speed on what it takes to make that happen!


Topics: Kitchen remodeling, kitchen design

How Do You Know It’s Time To Remodel Your Rochester-Area Kitchen?

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 @ 07:08 AM

describe the imageThe kitchen is arguably the most remodeled room in the home. It’s easy to understand why. So much happens in the kitchen. Years ago it may have been Mom’s domain—a place devoted to preparing food and little else. Today it’s the “heart of the home.” It’s a social center for family and friends. Families eat there. Kids do homework there. And if you happen to have a party, just try to keep people out of the kitchen!

As a result, homeowners expect a lot from their kitchens these days. And that’s why so many people remodel a room that’s so critical for the whole home. But how do you know if it’s time to remodel your kitchen?

The impetus for kitchen remodeling can vary quite a bit, but essentially it boils down to two key things: form and function. Homeowners either don’t like the way their kitchen looks (and feels), or they don’t like the way the workspace is set up. It’s just not conducive to their lifestyle.

FORM: Kitchens in the Rochester area (like everywhere else) are subject to changing trends. Trends come and go. Some have more staying power than others, but sometimes it doesn’t take much for a kitchen to feel dated. And what seemed so trendy a few years ago can make the most important room in your home feel like an exercise in time travel. Here are just a few examples:

  • Hanging pots and pans: This was a big trend not very long ago. It was a nod to gourmet cooking and showcased that the kitchen was all about that. But many homeowners value open space more than hanging pots and utensils they never actually use. 
  • Appliance colors: The “hot” colors seem to change regularly. Although we’ve certainly moved back the avocados and browns of previous decades, other colors seem to peg a kitchen’s timeframe. Black was big for a while, but you don’t see it much anymore. Some designers keep trying to kill stainless—but it seems to have more staying power.
  • Built-ins: For a while designers were building in all kinds of things into kitchens such as built-in desks (until designers realized that nobody ever sat at them). There were also built-in cubicles for phones and other appliances. Fewer homes even have landlines now. And homeowners don’t want to take up counter space with cubbies. 

There are other things that can date a kitchen, but you get the picture. Sometimes you don’t feel comfortable in your own kitchen simply because it feels dated. 

FUNCTION: Sometimes a kitchen doesn’t feel right because the kitchen’s design doesn’t accommodate daily family activities. Even if your kitchen serves multiple purposes, its primary function is food preparation. And good kitchen design is built around what some call a work triangle. If you feel like you’re running back and forth—or around things—when it’s time to prepare meals, you’re going to be frustrated. And if you have a hard time reaching appliances and utensils, that’s not going to help you enjoy the time you spend there.

Our design experts can guide you through the kitchen remodeling process so that you end up with a kitchen that looks great and works the way your family needs it to. And if you’d like some advance help in thinking through just what you want from your new kitchen, you’ll want to download our free Designing Your Idea Kitchen guide. It will help you create a kitchen that fits your personal style and identify what you really want from your kitchen.

If your kitchen doesn’t look the way you want it to, or if it doesn’t work the way you think it should—it’s time to think about a “do-over!”


Topics: Kitchen remodeling

Is Moving the Only Way To Get the Rochester-Area Home You Want?

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 @ 07:06 AM

Is moving the only way to get the Rochester area home you wantWhat do you do if you’ve outgrown your Rochester home? Or what if the floor plan and traffic flow of your current house no longer fits your lifestyle? Or what if you simply want a completely new look and feel that will make your house feel more like “home?”

Sometimes when people are looking for dramatic changes in their living situation, they feel like the only option they have is to pack everything up and move to a brand new place. That’s certainly one choice, but what if you don’t want to move? What if you like your Ontario, Victor, Perinton or Webster neighborhood? Maybe you don’t want to give up all your favorite local places to eat, meet others and enjoy the community. And what about the folks who live next door? Good neighbors are hard to find.

Another option is to look at remodeling the home you’re in. You can dramatically change the look and feel of your home—without moving. Maybe a brand new kitchen is what you need to put some spark back into your home. Kitchens today are truly the heart of the home–where most of the social interaction (for both family and friends) takes place. And you’d be amazed at the impact a kitchen remodeling will have on your whole home.

Maybe turning your boring master bathroom into an exquisite escape is what you have in mind. There are lots of things you can do to create a beautiful bathroom in your existing home.

Or maybe you simply need more room. It could be that your kids are getting older and need more space of their own. Or maybe you have an older family member moving in and you need space to accommodate that need. It can be a lot more reasonable to add a room than to sell and move.

If you’re looking for information that can help you decide if building a new home or remodeling your existing home makes sense, download our free e-book, Building a House, Creating a Home. It also contains plenty of ideas on how to make the most out of the space you have.

When it comes to creating the home of your dreams, you have options!


Topics: Kitchen remodeling, Bathroom remodeling