Archive for May, 2011

“Check local rules on egress windows before beginning renovations”

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Recently, the Washington Examiner wrote a story about the importance of checking local rules on egress windows before beginning renovations. Egress windows are: “windows that big enough and low enough so that occupants can escape through the opening in an emergency, such as a fire. In the United States, exact specifications for emergency windows in bedrooms are given in many building codes. Vehicles, such as buses and aircraft, frequently have emergency exit windows as well.” (Wikipedia)

I’m quoted in the article by the Examiner and state a few points that homeowners should be aware of. To read the article, click here.

If you’re planning a basement renovation, which may include adding a bedroom in this space, you’ll need to consider whether an egress window will be part of your project. Merrick has worked with many homeowners on this issue, guiding them them through this part of the process and the rest of their successful basement renovations.

If you have questions on the use of egress windows or other renovation questions, please contact me at (301) 946-2356 or

David Merrick

What Changes Might I Notice in My Newly Remodeled Spaces?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

After your remodeling project is complete, you may feel relief, excitement and renewed pride in your renovated home. And, after the dust has settled (literally) and you begin to live your remodeled space, you may notice some of the following items. Many of these changes occur due to seasonal changes, fluctuations in your home’s temperature and the materials’ response to the environment (natural elements like wood can swell with moisture). Many of these items occur in most remodeling jobs, so Merrick offers “tune ups” to ensure your project continues to look and feel its best.


Some of the changes you may notice include:

Settlement Cracks and Nail Pops – You may notice small cracks in the drywall, which often appear in the corners of the room. Cracks may appear within a few months or within a year because of temperature and humidity changes. Nail pops can occur anywhere, but happen most often in ceilings.


Small Separations and Paint Lines – With crown molding and painted panel doors, you may observe small separations and paint lines due to changes in the seasons and humidity.


Loose Cabinet Doors and Door Knobs – For your cabinet doors and door knobs that get a lot of use, loosening and changes in alignment may occur.


Color Changes and Minor Cracking in Grout – New grout in kitchens and bathrooms may change color due to wear and tear. Signs of aging and minor cracking may appear where tile meets another surface (sometimes, the adherence of grout to materials other than tile can be inconsistent).


For more information or to discuss scheduling a tune up, please contact us today at (301) 946-2356 or

David Merrick

Merrick Design and Build Hires Summer Intern to Support Business Efforts

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Merrick Design and Build has hired Chase Rodgers, a summer intern, to work as the Business Manager. Chase will perform bookkeeping, human resources tasks and work on a variety of office projects.

Chase, who is a Florida native, attends the University of Florida and is studying General Business with a minor in Accounting.

Read the full press release…

Thoughts or comments? Please contact me at (301) 946-2356 or

David Merrick

New Trends in Lighting

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Here’s some great news: things are really changing in the world of lighting. New trends and technologies are emerging to make your choices greater and your energy usage lower – the best of both worlds.

We recently enjoyed a visit from our lighting rep, who gave a terrific presentation and we wanted to pass along this information:

  1. LEDs are changing the lighting scene. The letters “LED” stand for light-emitting diode. The light-emitting diode creates light when electrons move through a semiconductor material, causing tiny light sources to become illuminated. Since LEDs do not scatter light and energy, they are more light and energy efficient than incandescent and compact fluorescent light. By adopting LED lighting in the U.S., we could see major savings to the tune of billions of dollars and substantially reduce electricity demand. Developers are working to make the light brighter, as LED lighting is suited to task lighting and not effective for general or ambient lighting. Currently, LED lights are more expensive that traditional lights, however, LEDs will last much longer than incandescents or even CFLs, making them less costly in the long run.
  2. New shapes and proportions are making an appearance. Arc lamps have gained an edge over other floor lamps, which is due in part to the popularity of sectional sofas and in part because of the mid-century modern look. You may have also seen taller shades and squat bases as the prevalent look in table lamps. In the bedroom, the popularity of platform beds has resulted in the popularity of this look, and these new lamps emphasize the shade and look substantial because of that emphasis.
  3. Different materials and textures are being used. Gone is the resinous and plastic look that was used everywhere. Metal, glass and crystal are now used for lamp bases and distressed finishes give a textured look. Brass seems to be coming back and antique finishes, along with polished nickel and copper, are popular.  These trends are fostering a more handmade look, as opposed to a factory made look.

I’m happy to shed more light on this subject (I couldn’t resist that one!). Contact me today at (301) 946-2356 or

David Merrick