Posts Tagged ‘david merrick’

Homeowners in Maryland and DC: May is National Home Improvement Month

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

It’s mid May, yet there’s still time to celebrate National Home Improvement Month. If you live in Maryland or Washington, DC and have been thinking about a renovation project – large or small – now’s the time to start acting on it.

According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), “Homeowners are advised not to wait until summer to start thinking about making changes to their homes. Finding the right design, choosing a professional contractor, and securing the necessary financing for a home improvement project can sometimes take months, so NARI suggests that homeowners who want to start a project by summer start planning now.”




To kick-start your remodeling process, NARI also recommends the following:

  • “Think through your project from start to finish. Careful planning of your home improvement projects will enable you to update your home, increase the value of your investment and customize your living space-all for a lot less than the cost of a new home.”
  • “Look over your property carefully. What repairs are needed? What improvements would you like to make? Think ahead and determine your future needs. Professional remodeling contractors can help you in your planning by outlining options and discussing the improvements you can make within your budget.”
  • “Be sure to review your homeowner’s insurance policy and make adjustments for the added value of the work being done. Most homeowners can handle routine maintenance projects and cosmetic touchups, but it’s recommended they consult with qualified professionals for larger remodeling jobs and major changes to the home’s structure.”


Renovation and remodeling take time, planning and expertise, and can yield a finished product that offers a fantastic transformation of your home or a return to a more comfortable state with needed home repairs.

As always, we welcome your questions about your remodeling projects. Reach us today at (301) 946-2356 or


David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build

An endorsement from our new client, Luke C.

Monday, April 15th, 2013

We’re honored to share this endorsement from our new client, Luke C.:

“While Merrick hasn’t yet begun the work (it should commence in June of 2013) we wanted to write a review of the design process that we began a year ago with Lindsay.

Lindsay is, with all sincerity, the sweetest, most honest, and most professional person we’ve ever encountered in the home improvement realm. We cannot imagine working with anyone else. In fact, my wife and I were so compelled to work with her we decided it would be a waste of time to get additional bids.

Lindsay has, over the course of the design process, taken every one of our unusual requests with patience and consistently found a way to make them work in order achieve the effect we’re after. There was no curve ball she didn’t crush and no email she didn’t respond to and absorb. We’ve been blown away at her ability to track and integrate every single one of our off-handed requests and rapid-fire emails. She oozes a level of competence and attention to detail you just don’t expect to encounter these days.

We strongly encourage anyone looking to work with a design-build firm to begin and end their search with Lindsay @ Merrick.”


David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build

Renovate Your Outdoor Spaces

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

This may come as a shock to you, but Merrick Design and Build can assist homeowners in the DC metro area in renovating their outdoor spaces. I know, I know, you may be thinking, “But you’re always talking about kitchens and bathrooms and additions.” We do work with many clients on these core types of remodeling projects, yet clients also come to us to change the look, feel and functions of their outdoor spaces.

Clients work with Merrick when they need to change their homes – inside and out. They want to feel better in the spaces they already own and enjoy more effective living.

How do we assist with outdoor space renovations? For starters, we step outside and walk the property with a homeowner. We listen to their needs and brainstorm on the possibilities. Then, if it makes sense, we talk about the next steps, which include a design agreement and a discussion on their “build.”

What kinds of projects do homeowners hire us for? Clients in Maryland and DC work with us on decks, front porches and patios, outdoor kitchens and other modifications to and around the exteriors of their homes. And, in some cases, we work alongside a landscape contractor to bring projects to life.

Are you considering changes to your outdoor spaces? We’d be happy to chat with you about your needs and mutually determine if we may be the right fit for your project.

Spring’s almost here, so reach me today at (301) 946-2356 or

David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build


A Testimonial About a Wall Repair

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Here’s a testimonial for a small project we recently received:



We wish to thank you and your fine team for the quick, excellent repair of our living room wall. The work was finished in time for the holiday season, for which we also thank you. That you were under no legal obligation to do the work, makes you efforts all the more deserving of thanks.


We wish you and the Merrick Design and Build team all the best in the New Year,
Amb. Thomas E. McNamara and Mrs. Emma McNamara”


We’re honored and touched when clients send us their comments and remarks and are always glad to assist them with their needs.


Do you have a small project that’s nagging you? Reach us today at (301) 946-2356 or

David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build

Generations in the Kitchen

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Merrick Design and Build - Mother and Child Cooking in the KitchenIt’s been said that the kitchen is the ‘new’ or ‘real’ living room, and this has been especially true during the past decade. For the last 10 years, families have been spending more time together in the kitchen during weekday mornings and evenings, weekends and special events.


When the Merrick team renovates a kitchen, homeowners often share a strong need of to add more square footage to this high-traffic, high-functioning space. There are also needs of the various generations who live in or visit the home that include features and special elements that will make the kitchen space more useful and comfortable.



For the young (under 10 crowd), many homeowners are opting to create “kid-friendly zones” (away from the stove) with space for:

  • Child-friendly cooking
  • A desk-like environment for computer work or homework
  • Two prep areas


For the Millenials (age 18-34), “wish lists” center around technological advances that include:

  • A microwave that allows swiping a package bar code, which triggers cooking using the exact directions
  • A TV screen that’s built into a kitchen wall or an appliance
  • Technology that allows heating an oven using a cell phone or computer


Baby Boomers (age 45-64) have specific “wish lists,”which often enhance entertaining and can include:

  • A cooktop with special features like a built-in grill, wok or rotisserie attachment
  • Commercial or professional-grade appliances
  • A built-in coffee pot that’s directly connected to the water supply
  • Ovens that dramatically reduce cooking times


A newly renovated kitchen can easily meet the needs of residents and guests of all ages and stages, improving the experience and enjoyment of this central and important space.

As always, we welcome your questions, comments and feedback. Contact me today at 301-946-2356 or

David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build


Source Note: This blog post was developed using data and information from a press release entitled “Moen Uncovers Top Trend in Kitchen Remodeling.

Aging in Place – Part Three: Resources for You

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Mature CoupleWith most changes, there’s usually a bit of learning involved as you undergo a current or impending transition.

While you research the topic of “aging in place,” take a look at the following websites. We found them informative and easy to navigate, while providing useful resources and sound approaches.








- Book Search on for the keywords “Aging in Place”



- National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) – Aging in Place


If you have questions about the information on these sites, give us a call and please let us know if we can be of service with your choices and decisions regarding “aging in place.” Reach me today at 301-946-2356 or

David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build

Aging in Place – Part Two: Changes to Consider

Monday, June 18th, 2012

A kitchen with ample maneuverable space and storage

If you’re considering aging in place modifications in your home, it’s important to examine all of your home’s major spaces including entry ways, bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen and even your yard. Here’s a quick reference list to use as you review the rooms and spaces in your home:









Entry Ways

The entry to your home is your connection to the rest of the world: it’s where you receive guests, bring in groceries, and head out for appointments and social events. It should be safe and convenient no matter the weather, time of day or your physical condition. Barrier-free entryways make it easier for family members or friends who use wheelchairs or for others with special needs.

No-Step Entries

The walkway leading from the sidewalk or driveway to the front entrance can have no steps and very little, if any, slope to accommodate those in wheelchairs or who have trouble climbing steps. A ramp is another type of no-step entry.

No-Step Thresholds

Entryways leading into your home or passages into other rooms are not divided by a threshold, eliminating a common tripping hazard.


Garage Lifts

Garage lifts enables enable those in wheelchairs, or who have problems climbing steps, to gain access from the garage to the inside of the home.



There’s no space in your home more personal than your bathroom. You use it countless times every day; it should be comfortable, attractive and safe. To increase safety and accessibility in your bathroom, consider the following modifications:

  • Build a roll-in shower with multiple showerheads
  • Lower your bathroom sink, ensuring there’s proper knee clearance
  • Instal an elevated toilet
  • Instal grab bars



A comfortable and welcoming bedroom provides respite from the world and helps create an environment for proper rest after long long works days and fun activities:

  • Ensure ample maneuvering clearance
  • Build a walk-in closet with storage at varying heights
  • Install rocker light switches, which are easier to turn on compared to the more common flip switch
  • Install light fixtures in closets and passageways



If you love to cook, but find it difficult to bend or have a height limitation, there are numerous steps you can take to modify your kitchen, making more ‘user-friendly’:

  • Ensure ample maneuvering space
  • Vary the height of countertops
  • Instal a sink with knee clearance
  • Instal a raised dishwasher
  • Lower cooking surfaces
  • Mount a wall oven and/or microwave at reachable heights
  • Create an abundance of reachable storage space
  • Provide a desk/work area with knee clearance



Lighting sets the mood, so controlling natural light and electric light when you need it makes your home personal, convenient and safe.

One way to reduce accidents in your home is to have proper lighting installed. Outdoor areas, stairways, the kitchen area, the living room and other spaces are just a few examples where proper lighting is helpful. We recommend using rocker-type light switches wherever possible, which you can turn them on and off with the touch of an elbow when your hands are full. Additionally, well-placed skylights and ceiling lights are just a two examples of the type of lighting to consider adding to your home.



If you maintain a flower or vegetable garden in your yard, consider raising your beds at some point. Raising your beds can help reduce fatigue and the stress on your body when gardening for extended periods of time.


As always, we welcome your questions, comments and feedback. Contact me today at 301-946-2356 or

David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build

Aging in Place – Part One: Three Scenarios

Monday, May 14th, 2012

A spacious kitchen with generous lighting

These days, there’s a lot of conversation around the topic of “aging in place“, so we’ve decided to write a three-part series on the subject. This first post will map out three aging in place scenarios, but before we get started, let’s review at what aging in place means.


The website speaks of aging in place as more than just living in the environment of choice as one gets older. It means being home in a place where emotional and functional needs are met, where family histories continue to develop and where precious memories are protected.


The National Association of Home Builders gives a similar definition: “aging in place means remaining in one’s home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. It means the pleasure of living in a familiar environment throughout one’s maturing years, and the ability to enjoy the familiar daily rituals and the special events that enrich all our lives. It means the reassurance of being able to call a house a ‘home’ for a lifetime.”


The choices, decisions and modifications regarding aging in place are unique to the couples and individuals undertaking the changes. Yet, most homeowners find themselves in one of these three major aging in place scenarios:


  1. Aging in Place without Urgent Needs – This scenario relates to individuals who want to stay in their current home and are not experiencing immediate health/mobility issues, yet they sense current or future needs for aging in place and universal design conveniences.
  2. Aging in Place with Progressive, Condition-Based Needs – This scenario relates to those with chronic or progressive conditions that will require aging in place modifications. These individuals are often aware of their needs, but making changes is not necessarily urgent. Some have chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung or heart disease that pose current challenges and will create future challenges.
  3. Aging in Place with Traumatic Needs – This scenario includes those who experience abrupt changes that demand immediate adjustments in their living environment through aging in place modifications and universal design.


If you’re considering aging in place modifications to your home, be sure to check back and read our next post, which will focus on the specific changes many homeowners in the DC area hire Merrick to make.


As always, we welcome your questions, comments and feedback. Contact me today at 301-946-2356 or


David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build

The Entertaining Kitchen

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Merrick Design and Build has completed multiple kitchen remodeling projects over the years and one of the most memorable was for an “empty nester” couple living in the DC metro area. Their main focus for their kitchen was entertaining and their remodel occurred after the couple had made the conscious decision to, more often than not, stay home rather than eating out and hire a professional chef to cook for them and their guests.

Nancy, the Merrick Design and Build kitchen and bath designer, shares insight on this “entertaining kitchen” project:


Tell us about the residents in the home: They were a retired couple who entertained friends and other contacts quite often.


What prompted them to remodel? They wanted a space that would easily and graciously host their friends and provide the necessary items the professional chef would employ during his “main event” cooking at their dinner parties. They also wanted countertop space that would be used to set out and serve food.


What lifestyle changes or improvements did they hope to bring about through their project? This couple wanted to create a space where they could eat and entertain in style in lieu of going to restaurants or the country club.


How long had they been considering their remodel? They had been considering the remodel for several years and decided to make it happen after doing research on products and other contractors. They also obtained ideas from the chef who would be cooking for them regarding his needs in preparing gourmet meals.


Prior to their remodel, did they see friends’ homes where their type of project had been completed? To my knowledge, this was their own vision.


What were some of the challenges they faced during their project? It was a pretty smooth job. The existing structure was an eat-in kitchen and laundry room that was merged to create the new kitchen and the laundry room was recreated in part of the garage.


What did they like about remodeling? The really loved seeing island, the two sinks and the lighting. They were also happy to see the daily progress unfold as their new kitchen came to life.


What was their happiest moment regarding their project? Picking all of the appliances: there were two Sub-Zeros, two freezers, a wine captain, a warming drawer, a six burner cooktop and a freestanding ice maker, just to name a few!


If you have questions about your upcoming kitchen remodel, contact me today at 301-946-2356 or

David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build

A Spring Checklist for Your Home

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Spring’s in full swing and, for many DC area homeowners, this season prompts a professional check of their homes spaces in need of inspection, maintenance and repair.

In addition to home remodeling projects, did you know that clients come to Merrick for home repair projects?  Our home repair division is dedicated to completing smaller projects for local homeowners.

If you’re not sure what needs to be checked or repaired around your home, open out this ultimate spring home maintenance checklist, (provided by HGTV) which lists many of the services clients rely on us for. We also assist clients with:

- power washing of decks and siding
- assembly of outdoor patio furniture/playgrounds
- repair for fences and gates

Why wait?
Get your home in the shape you want  by contacting us at 301-946-2356 or today. And, for more info, visit our Handyman page.


Have a good spring,

David Merrick
Merrick Design and Build