Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Are You Dreading the Holiday Season Because Your Kitchen is Outdated?

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 @ 20:09 PM

HolidaysThe holidays are a time when a lot of us enjoy having friends and family get together for a great time and a great meal. For some of us, however, the joy gives way to dread because we’re really not comfortable in our own kitchens.

There are generally two main causes of kitchen discomfort: Either our kitchens don’t look the way we want them to (and we’re a little bit self-conscious of having guests hang out there), or our kitchens don’t function the way we’d like. Let’s take a quick look at both scenarios.

Ugly Kitchen

Dealing With a Kitchen That Doesn’t Look Good

When your kitchen doesn’t look good, you simply don’t want people in there. But keeping guests out of the kitchen over the holidays is virtually impossible. It’s where everybody congregates; and if you’re the host or hostess, it’s where you’re going to spend a significant amount of time.

What can you do with a kitchen that’s dated, dark, or crowded? Simply changing your color scheme isn’t going to give you the results you want. New cabinets and countertops can dramatically change the look (and feel) of your kitchen. Adding larger windows or even a glass door can let in a lot more natural light and make the room feel bigger and more inviting.

Small Kitchen

Fixing a Dysfunctional Kitchen

Sometimes an existing kitchen simply isn’t designed to be a space for efficient food prep and entertaining. With a remodel, you can start from scratch and create a kitchen to match your needs and style. It’s a bit more involved (especially if it involves moving walls) but the impact can be remarkable. With a remodeling project, you can open up the kitchen to the rest of your home. Opening up a kitchen can increase the visual size and feel of the whole first floor—making it brighter and more functional. 

Image 3

Kitchens that maximize your space and are welcoming places for family and friends don’t just happen. You have to create them. If you’d like help in creating a space where you’ll love to cook, eat, and entertain, download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen eBook. It’s packed with information about how to design a kitchen to fit your personal style; how to get what you really want from a kitchen, and how to plan ahead for your kitchen remodel.

Image 5-1

You don’t have to dread the time you spend in your kitchen over the holiday. You can create the kitchen of your dreams with a little planning and help from a professional.


Topics: Rochester Area Home Remodeling, update Rochester-area kitchen, Rochester kitchen remodeling

Want a Home in Rochester with Custom Features But Don’t Want to Wait

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Jan 4, 2017 @ 19:01 PM

Want-a-Home-in-East-Rochester-with-Custom-Features-But-Don’t-Want-to-Wait.jpgWhat can you do if you’re the kind of person who wants customized features in your new home—but don’t want to wait for a custom home to be built? Are you simpy out of luck?

It doesn’t have to be that way! The good news is that Gerber Homes has a number of Model homes for sale with upgraded features that can be ready for move in when you are.

If you check out our inventory of available model homes you may find exactly the features you’re looking for—without having to wait through the whole home construction process. We currently have homes in Summer Lake in Ontario, Magnolia Manor in Perinton, Briarwood Estates in Webster, Wishire Hill in Pittsford, and Old Brooside in Canandaigua.  Of course, other savvy home shoppers will be checking out these homes as well, so some of them may not be available for long.

You can download floor plans and get additional information about these great homes. And in some cases you can even take a virtual tour of the home  And you may even have the opportunity to customize final features to your liking.

That can be an ideal option if you’re in a situation where a job change, a family addition, or some other unforeseen change in your family means that you simply don’t have the luxury of waiting. It’s also a very attractive option for people who want an upgraded new home and just don’t want to wait for it to be built.

If you have questions about availability or specific features in any of these homes, you can give us a call at 1.888.437.2373. Or you can fill out the online form if you prfer getting information via email.

It’s been said that good things come to those who wait, but sometimes really good things come to those who can’t wait or simply don’t want to!


Topics: Model homes, Rochester Area Home Remodeling, move-in-ready Rochester homes

2017 Remodeling Trends in Rochester, NY

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Dec 27, 2016 @ 14:12 PM

2017-Remodeling-Trends-in-Rochester-NY.jpgEvery year when the calendar gets flipped over to December, we start hearing about what we can expect in the New Year. It’s certainly true  for homeowners and people in the remodeling industry. How does that affect you if you’re planning to remodel your Rochester-area home?

A lot of the talk you’ll hear (or read about) will focus on new trends for 2017. Often that involves which colors are the “hot” new colors, which countertop materials are expected to be popular, and whether stainless steel appliances will finally fall from fashion as so many experts have (wrongly, so far) predicted. (By the way, color is important and here’s what the color gurus at Pantone/House Beautiful are projecting to be the hot palettes for 2017)

At Gerber, we’re more concerned with the true trends in remodeling that reflect what actual homemakers say they want. These are the trends (changes) that shape the way people live and feel comfortable. An October 2016 survey of remodelers provides some insights into what homeowners are actually asking for. Here are some of the results (by percentage from low to high):


How will those things impact the changes you make to your Rochester-area home in 2017? For one thing, you may want to think about how your home can continue to meet your needs both now—and into the future. Here’s a post that talks about some of the details you’ll want to consider.

If you’re planning to add space to your home, you may want to think about adding space that could be used if extended family members come to live with you. Multi-generational living situations are on the rise. It could be that you’ll want to have aging parents live with you. Or you might want to provide space for grown children who are not quite out of the nest, yet. Here’s some helpful information to keep in mind.

Both of those things reflect significant trends that have been gathering momentum for some time—and will continue to do so in 2017. Another trend has become so mainstream that it’s sometimes easy to overlook. But homebuyers are increasingly looking for homes that are energy-efficient and easy on the environment. That’s certainly something any remodeling project should reflect. Here’s a look at what it really means to live green in the Rochester area.

So as you look forward to possible remodeling projects for the coming year, look beyond color trends and which fixtures or finishes are expected to be hot. Pay attention to the trends that really matter and will enhance your comfort and convenience in your Rochester-area home.


Topics: Rochester Area Home Remodeling, focus on essentials for remodeling in 2017, remodeling trends for 2017

3 Things to Remember When Remodeling Your Canandaigua Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Dec 9, 2016 @ 06:12 AM

KitchenA significant remodeling project can breathe new life into your Canandaigua home. In fact, you can end up with what feels like a whole new home. But there are a few things you’ll want to remember before you get started. Let’s look at three of those things.

Clarify Your Goals: There’s a big difference between simply giving your home a “face-lift” and undertaking an actual remodeling of your home. You can spruce things up with paint and perhaps a changing of fixtures. But if you truly want to change the way your home looks, feels, and functions, it’s a different process. Make sure you’re clear on what you want to accomplish. Here’s a helpful post that can help you get a grip on the scope of your remodeling project so that you can plan accordingly.

Not All Remodeling Projects Pay the Same Dividends: It’s a good idea to make sure that the projects you have in mind will make your family’s life more comfortable and enjoyable. But you’ll also want to keep in mind that some projects will give you a higher return on investment if and when you ever decide to sell. Here’s how a number of different projects compare when it comes to long-term value.

You’ll Want to Prepare Yourself: Even if you’re dealing with a friendly, courteous, and skilled remodeler (such as Gerber!) the fact is that remodeling can be a bit of an invasive process. That’s particularly true if you’re re-doing an essential room such as your kitchen. It’s extremely helpful to have a plan in mind for how you’re going to manage your household while your kitchen is torn up. Here’s a helpful post that can help you prepare yourself for remodeling ahead of time.

Remodeling your Canandaigua home can make a huge difference in your family’s well being. It can allow you to comfortably stay in a home and a neighborhood that you love for many more years. It offers many of the benefits of building a new home for less money and without the hassle of having to move and adapt to a new area.  But before you begin, make sure you have clear goals, an understanding of what your project will give you for the money you’re spending, and that you’re prepared for the experience.




Topics: Rochester Area Home Remodeling, preparing for Canandaigua home remodeling

Does the Popularity of Remodeling Mean You Can’t Find a Good Rochester-Area Remodeler?

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Oct 22, 2016 @ 09:10 AM

Does-the-Popularity-of-Remodeling-Mean-You-Cant-Find-a-Good-Rochester-Area-Remodeler.jpgYou don’t have to look too hard to find a remodeling program on television. Take your choice between Property Brothers, This Old House, Design on a Dime, Extreme Makeover, or whatever else catches your eye on the small screen. There’s no question that Americans have remodeling on their minds.

So does that have an impact on you if you’re planning to remodel your Rochester area home? According to National Public Radio (NPR) it might.  A recent broadcast and article suggested a very significant situation: There’s a Home Renovation Boom But Good Luck Finding a Contractor.  Does the popularity of remodeling mean you can’t find a good contractor in the Rochester area?

While it’s true that remodeling contractors can be in high demand, don’t fall prey to contractors who enter the market looking to take advantage of the situation. Remodeling your Rochester-area home is a serious undertaking. You’ll want to make sure you take the time to select a remodeler who can deliver the results you really want.

Just because someone has a hammer and a saw plus a business card doesn’t mean he has the skills to tackle the kind of remodeling project you have in mind. We’ve been building and remodeling homes in the Finger Lakes region for three generations and we’ve successfully completed a wide range of home remodeling projects that range from kitchen remodels to bathroom remodels to in-law additions of a variety of complexity. Here’s a look at some of the remodeling services we provide

Keep in mind that remodeling your home isn’t an overnight project. You’ll be living with the results for years to come, so you want to make sure the plan is right and that the work is excellent. And you’ll also want to make sure that whoever does the work will stand behind it—and will be around for years to come. We’re lifelong residents of the area. The people for whom we remodel aren’t just customers; they are our friends and neighbors. You won’t get the same attention and dedication from someone who’s trying to make a quick buck while the demand is high. Here’s a helpful post that can guide you through the process of choosing the remodeler that’s right for you and your project.

Make sure you select a remodeler who will help you think through what you need before you start tearing things apart. A remodeler who’s only interested in making money will pressure you to get moving. That’s not the way to approach an improvement to your home. A reputable and reliable remodeler will help you with information that helps you identify your goals and take the right steps to achieve them. So let’s say you’re planning to remodel your bathroom. A good remodeler will get you to think about more than just the tub and the sink. Here’s an example of the kind of information a good remodeler will provide for you.

Does the popularity of remodeling mean you can’t find a good remodeler in the Finger Lakes region to take on your project? Of course not! You just need to take your time and not feel pressured to work with contractors who are here today and gone tomorrow. Select a remodeler who will makes sure your project holds up for years to come—and will be here to stand behind the work.


Topics: Rochester Area Home Remodeling, eputable Rochester-area remodelers, finding reliable remodelers in Rochester area

Preparing Yourself for Kitchen Remodeling in your Rochester-Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 @ 19:04 PM

Preparing_Yourself_for_Kitchen_Remodeling_in_your_Rochester-area_Home_.jpgMost of the time when someone considers remodeling the kitchen in their Rochester-area home, the focus (naturally) is on what’s going to happen in the kitchen. There’s the basic design to consider. There may be flooring to choose and cabinets to pick out. On top of that, you’ve got fixtures and lighting to figure out. There are a lot of details, but the process is kind of fun and exciting. If you’re looking for help with these kinds of decisions, we invite you to download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen e-book here.

There is, however, another aspect of remodeling that’s equally important. But it has nothing to do with cabinets or flooring or appliances. It’s all about how you prepare yourself for the remodeling process.

Remodeling doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens in the middle of your home and in the middle of your life. It’s also something that isn’t finished overnight. Depending on the scope of your project, it could take a few months. How will you live during that time? Preparation can mean the difference between enjoying the process and being stressed out by it. Here are a few things to think about:

Meal Preaparation

Where will you fix meals? Sure, during the remodel, you may eat out a bit more frequently than you normally do, but you probably won’t want to leave every meal to restaraunts and take-out joints. Set up a temporary kitchen in another room in your house. You might want a portable microwave, a hot plate, and even a dormitory-style refrigerator to make fixing meals a little easier. Also, do a little bit of meal planning in advance. Think about meals you can easily fix using the microwave and hot plate. If it helps, think of it as camping out in your home. Maybe you’ll even fire up the outdoor grill more often than you usually do.


It’s one thing to prepare meals outside of your kitchen, but how are you going to handle clean-up? Where will you wash the dishes and pots and pans? And where will you keep the trash can? If you happen to have a laundry room with a sink, that may be a great solution for doing dishes. But think about what you’re going to need ahead of time. You might want to purchase a drying rack if your dishwasher is out of commission for a while. And you may want to get a large Rubbermaid® tub or tray for hauling items from your temporary kitchen to the area you’re using to wash dishes.


Think about all the stuff you have in your kitchen cabinets. If you’re replacing the cabinets, all of those items will have to go somewhere. Pack away any items you don’t use regularly and label boxes clearly. You’ll be glad when it’s time to put things back at the end of the project.  For things you plan to use regularly (silverware and commonly used utensils), put them in a place you can easily access. It may be great to think: “We’ll just open a can of soup and heat it in the microwave,” but if you can’t find a can opener, you’ll be frustrated.

Chances are you’ll be delighted with your new kitchen when everything is done (and here are some additional ideas you might want to consider before you get started). But a little bit of self-preparation” can make the whole experience a lot more pleasant for you!


Topics: Rochester Area Home Remodeling, remodeling process in Rochester

When Emotions Enter the Home Remodeling Process

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 @ 07:11 AM

HomeEmotionsThere’s a lot more to the home remodeling process than ideas, plans, measurements, materials and tools. Sure, all of those things are important—and demand a lot of our attention, but there’s more to the story than just those elements. We’re talking about your home here. It’s a very personal space. It’s where you retreat for comfort, peace, security and serenity. When a builder starts messing around in your personal space, something else enters the equation: Your emotions.

That’s not a bad thing. It’s normal to have an emotional attachment to your home. It’s an indication that it really feels like home! But how do you keep your emotions from disrupting the home renovation process?

Emotions can become a problem in the building or remodeling process when expectations get out of balance. Those expectations often surface in a couple of areas: Changes to the plans and deadlines.

Changes to the plans: It’s easy to get excited about improving your home. And sometimes when you’re in the middle of the process it’s easy to think: “What if . . .?” Maybe you see something online that piques your imagination. Or maybe a friend makes an improvement that you think would be great in your home.

As builders, we love building homeowners in the Rochester area the best possible home they can afford. But afford is a key word in that last sentence. Sometimes a homeowner’s good emotions (wanting to create a comfortable, secure and serene space) cause them to forget that they’re working on a budget and they don’t distinguish between what they’d like to have and what they really need—or what they can afford. That can lead to frustration, especially if the demands for upgrades and improvements come when you’re already in the middle of a project.

So how do you keep emotions in check so that you don’t overspend—and get yourself in trouble? One way is to make sure you’ve set a realistic budget up front. And leave yourself a little bit of “wiggle” room in case you want to make some upgrades. Another thing is to meet with your builder regularly to make sure your expectations are being met. And if you want to make some changes, write down the specific changes and get a revised budget. It’s amazing how seeing actual numbers on a page can rein in expectations!

Sometimes, however, the expectations have nothing to do with added features. Sometimes there is an expectation that a home remodeling project will be completed by a certain date (usually driven by an event such as the holidays, a birthday, a wedding or some other major event). That can result in stress if the builder can’t complete the remodeling before the big event.

How can you deal with these expectations? Again, make sure they are communicated at the beginning of the process. If you have a specific deadline (driven by an event), make sure you communicate that clearly up front. Your builder should be able to tell you if he can finish ahead of your expected deadline. Don’t try to cut it too close. Delays happen. Leave yourself enough time.

Remodeling your Rochester-area home should be an emotional experience. But by keeping your expectations in line, you can make sure that the emotions you experience are positive ones.

Looking for home remodeling ideas? Check out our free Create Your Dream Home guide for great ideas on how to make the most of the space you have—and much more.


Topics: Rochester Area Home Remodeling, managing expectations, remodeling process

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 and 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!

Created on 05/18/12 at 13:26:28

Topics: Kitchen remodeling, Rochester Area Home Remodeling, getting the most out of your kitchen remodeling pr

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, Rochester Area Home Remodeling, reasons to remodel your kitchen

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