kitchen remodeling how building services philadelphia pa

The databases available today offer a nearly limitless toolbox of resources to make project planning easier, more efficient, and more successful.

Home improvement is a particular project type that has benefitted greatly from modern resources. From planning upkeep and maintenance to laying out your next remodel or addition, there are a number of essential tools at your disposal that can make every step of your home improvement project smooth and successful.

In fact, there’s so many tools and resources available that it can be hard to determine which are the most useful. That’s why we’ve put together this home improvement toolbox that brings together some of the best, most practical tools of the home improvement trade.

Home Improvement Toolbox: Our Favorite Resources for Home Improvement

Where’s the best place to start the planning and brainstorming for your next home improvement project? Here are some of the basics that will help you to begin structuring your project:



You’re probably already familiar with Pinterest. This social media site, which allows users to collect and share pictures, websites, and ideas, has become a household name in recent years. Create a “board” for your home improvement project and start pinning! Look around on Pinterest to find popular and creative ideas for home improvement and gain some inspiration for your own dream home.

You can also search the web for other home improvement and design sites and add anything that strikes your interest to your board. It is a great way to keep all of your ideas in one place and get a feel for what your dream home would look like. And it’s a perfect addition to your home improvement toolbox.

Room Sketcher

From basic floor plans to interior design, Room Sketcher is a fantastic tool. This interactive website allows you design floor plans and populate rooms with various features: windows, walls, furniture, etc. It’s not only great for designing new homes or additions–it’s also handy for envisioning your interior decoration for your existing home.

ColorSmart by BEHR® Mobile

The best home improvement resources present essential tools and services in convenient, interactive platforms. The ColorSmart app from BEHR® Mobile does just that. ColorSmart is a convenient, easy-to-use color pallette tool that allows users to choose and compare paint colors, explore new designer-coordinated color combinations, and apply different color choices to room scenes and exteriors to effectively preview your paint selections. This handy app belongs in any homeowner’s home improvement toolbox.

Ready to begin assessing the costs of a remodeling project? helps to estimate the costs of every facet of your project, from flooring to roofing and everything in between. Users can enter the specific type of remodeling they are planning and the calculator tool presents them with an approximate quote that takes quality, location, and other important factors into account. Remember that a lot of considerations go into a project budget so, to get an accurate calculation, contact a builder for a quote.

The Perfect Builder

When your plans for your new home, addition, or remodeling project have taken shape, you’ll want to hire a builder that offers expert service and strives for, not only customer satisfaction but also ongoing customer relationships. How Building Services, a well-respected Main Line building firm, will work with you through every step of your projects to ensure that your dreams for your home are realized. They’re the perfect final piece to complete your home improvement toolbox.


To lead the crowd, you’ve got to do it better.

On one of the many Some Nation’s Got Talent shows, there was a recent clip where a woman did a puppet show…with her foot. It was, admittedly, impressive. However, it also showcases the lengths people will go to to be unique–special–different. Going viral is the new name of the game, and that’s generally achieved by doing something totally out of the ordinary. Water-skiing squirrels? Check. Sister hitting sister over the head with a shovel (on repeat)? Check. Surfing sheep? Check (well, not really–turns out it was photoshopped).

Main-Line-Home-BuildersAnd there you have the problem. Our viral nation doesn’t really care anymore if what we’re seeing is true or not. All that matters is that it’s new.

That’s why Main Line home builders like How Building Services are unique. Not in the trendy, fad sense of the term, but in the truest sense of the word. If the order of the day is fluffy, shiny, too-good-to-be-true trends (thank you, Kardashians, we’ll take it from here), Main Line contractors are the complete opposite.

5 Unique Qualities Of A True Main Line Custom Home Builder

  • Quality
    It’s like the difference between eating a burger at a fast food joint and eating a juicy, rare steak at an exclusive, high-end restaurant. Quality means not feeling sick at the end of the day. Quality means paying for something that is both good and memorable.
  • Professionalism
    How Building Services’s project managers are customer-oriented professionals who have the answers to your questions and will pick up the phone when you call.
  • Relational
    Building a custom home on the Main Line isn’t a one-day affair. So it stands to reason that your builder put effort into getting to know your vision, style, and goals. And real relationships matter, according to MainLineToday. That’s why communication is one of our number-one priorities, because, without it, your Main Line build will fail to meet your expectations.
  • Satisfying
    Sure, you might crave that greasy burger and fries from time to time, but only because we humans have a remarkable ability to forgot the sick feeling we get about 20 minutes after having eaten it. All the qualities that make How Building Services the leading Main Line home builder are the same qualities that will leave you smiling and satisfied at the end of the day.
  • Valuable
    A great home that fulfills your dreams is valuable. If you want to sell it some day, the quality of the build means it will sell well. If you want it to be your forever home, there’s value in the opportunity of living each day in your dream house.

Don’t settle for less than the best of the Main Line Home Builders. How Building Services can promise you an experience that is unique in its reliability. Don’t hesitate to contact us to get more information on how your next home can be your dream home.


Related Tags: Main Line Home Builders | How Building Services


Because mothers deserve the best.

With summer comes summer vacation, and visits from the family. While it’s always wonderful to have family over, one of the first problems to crop up is often the problem of ‘too many cooks in the kitchen.’ It’s an arrangement that can add unwanted stress to what would be an otherwise wonderful experience. The fact is, moms want to help!

Custom-Home-KitchensWhen you’re young, it’s easy to take it all for granted. Of course your mother takes care of you! Then it can become annoying or frustrating. But as you age, and you learn what it means to sacrifice your own desires and ambitions for someone else’s benefit, you start to appreciate what your mother did for you. You don’t want there to be tension in the kitchen. Here we have a list of great ways to optimize your kitchen for easy usage by multiple people, as well as making it a welcoming, beautiful space.

Design Custom Home Kitchens Everyone Will Love

Designing a home’s custom kitchen can be overwhelming; there are enough colors and materials to make your head spin. Here are three easy ways to take any home’s personalized kitchen from good to mom-worthy.

Niche Appliances

To add a little luxury to the kitchen, suggests considering unique, useful custom kitchen appliances. Steam ovens make for moist, tender meat without the need to add fats, butters, and sauces. A warming drawer makes entertaining a snap–no more having to worry about getting everything cooked at just the right moment, especially since there’s always that one family member or friend who’s always late. You can save space with induction cooktops, which are also safer for families with children.

Make The Most of the Space

If your custom-made kitchen is not quite large enough to house extra appliances or hold many cabinets, splurge on a marble backsplash or luxury vinyl tile (it looks like stone, but it’s not cold like stone).

Go handsfree

I’ve always said that women should have evolved more hands than men, and this is never more true than in the kitchen. Fortunately, we now have technology–hands-free kitchen faucets, sensor soap pumps, sensor-triggered trash cans, and robot vacuums–all of which turn a kitchen into a much cleaner, easier-to-navigate space.

There’s no need for tension in a kitchen that is at once beautiful, spacious, and easy-to-use. For more detailed information on designing and constructing custom home kitchens that will make Mom say ‘Wow!’, contact How Building Services @ (484) 483-1690 today!


Related Tags: Custom Home Kitchens | How Building Services

How Building Services can work with you to implement energy efficient home design for your current home or your new property.

Energy Efficient Home Design: Great for Homeowners, Great for the Planet

Earth Day is on the horizon. On April 22nd, people all over the country will take a little extra time to pick up litter, plant a tree, or cut back on their energy usage. It’s a great way for us as a nation to remember the importance of caring for the Earth and reflect on ways we can reduce our impact on the environment.

But, of course, it’s only one day.

If we want to truly make a sustainable difference, it’s important to look for ways in which we can reduce our environmental impact each and every day, all year long. And one of the best ways we can do that is by investing in energy efficient home design. While it might not occur to us as readily as recycling or planting trees, building a home with an energy efficient design or updating and remodeling your current home to improve energy efficiency is one of the most effective, long-lasting actions you can personally take for the planet’s future.

And the best part? Energy efficient home plans don’t just help conserve the environment – it’s also a financially beneficial investment for homeowners.

Advances and Innovations in Energy Efficient Home Design

Did you know that per-household energy consumption has been on a steady decline over the course of the past three decades? Average household consumption has decreased from 114 million Btu to 89.6 million Btu per household unit.

Does this mean that consumers are becoming more conscious of their environmental impact? Hopefully! But, even more so, it demonstrates how successful the recent advances and innovations in energy efficient home design have been in reducing home energy usage.

Some of the most important improvements aren’t just better architecture, but the efficiency of home fixtures. Outdated appliances and home electronics can guzzle energy–and, consequently, money. New fixtures can go a long way in reducing home energy usage.

If you’re planning a new home, consider investing in the numerous innovative energy-reducing designs that architects are implementing. Installing high-efficiency HVAC (heat, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems can greatly decrease energy consumption and save on long-term expenses.

Consider the many options for improved insulation and air sealing, energy-efficient fenestration (ultra-sealed windows, doors, and skylights), daylighting (the use of skylights and windows to take maximum advantage of natural light), water heating systems with improved efficiency, and an overall design that consciously minimizes the energy usage need for effective space heating and cooling.

If you already are a homeowner and are considering updating or remodeling your house to a more energy efficient home design, your first step should be having a home energy assessment conducted; this will allow your home’s current energy usage to be assessed and analyzed. From there, the best means of reducing usage and the types of remodeled design and fixtures that would best improve efficiency can be determined.

Designing Energy Efficient Homes with How Building Services

If the financial and environmental benefits of energy-efficient home design plans are a priority for you, then you’ll want to look into the innovative energy-efficient home design features offered by How Building Services. This company is renowned for its exceptional design offerings in new construction, custom home additions, and remodeling. Whether you’re starting from scratch, or looking for a new energy efficient interior design for your current home, How Building Services will work carefully with you to create a green home design that takes advantage of the best innovations in the industry.


TEAM: Together Everyone Accomplishes More

If you’ve experienced trouble in the past with a Development company or heard horror stories about separate builders and architects butting heads, you might be interested in hearing more about the design build construction process. Here, we answer some FAQs about the Design-build approach.

4 Questions to Ask About the Design-Build Construction Process

Design-Build-Construction-ProcessWhat is the definition of design-build construction?

Design-build construction, or the design/build delivery method is a construction delivery method where both design and construction services are contracted by a single entity.

How is a design-build contract different than a normal one?

The Design Build Institute of America has a great graphic that breaks down the flow of work. In a traditional design-bid-build project, each phase of the project is separated from the others. That means separately hiring an architect to draw up the designs, and a builder to construct them, and then mediating between the two entities. In a design-build contract, you’re contracting a single firm that works internally to resolve any issues and meet specifications.

Could my project classify as a design-build project?

If you don’t already have plans drawn up, the answer is yes! However, be aware that you should vet design-build firms more closely than their individual counterparts. You might find a builder you like, but still lack the necessary chemistry when it comes to the architect. Vice versa.

Are some design-build approaches better than others?

The answer to that question is, it depends. The quality and reputation of any company should be your number one priority. Not all design-build firms are created equal.

The advantage of doing the entire construction process with a design-build firm is the builder and the architect communicate directly. So many times the homeowner gets caught in the crossfire if there’s a disagreement between them, and it’s your project that suffers.

The disadvantage of that arrangement is that you have less freedom when it comes to architects. And in the luxury custom home business, your vision is king. If you have a hard time being heard by an architect, it’s harder to move on, since the whole process is tied up in that one contract.

However, there are contractors like How Building Services; companies that recognize the benefits for the homeowner of not having to mediate between an architect and a construction company, and so have close working relationships with several architects.

While this exonerates you from the responsibility of mediating between two parties, it also leaves you with the freedom to choose your own architect. In either case, the builder works directly with the architect throughout the entire project, effectively creating a design-build construction process.

For any further questions on the subject, don’t hesitate to give How Building Services a call @ (484) 483-1690.

Design Build Construction Process | Construction Process with Design Build


Tips for ensuring a positive experience in your dream home construction project.

Perhaps you’ve been looking for a custom home builder in Pennsylvania to construct the home of your dreams for a long time, or perhaps your search has just begun. You may feel conflicted over which builder to choose for one of the biggest investments you’ve ever made. Or maybe you are just unsure of what you should be looking for in a builder.

5 Tips for Selecting A Custom Home Builder in PA

custom-home-builders-in-paChanging your perspective when searching for a custom home builder in PA includes a thorough investigation into the builder you’ll be teaming up with to create the home of your dreams. These five tips will help you ensure that you are selecting the right custom home builder for your needs.

Tip #1: Make sure that your builder’s style meshes with your style.

You might be going for the look and layout of a traditional home design, and the builder you are interviewing for the project might only have experience with more contemporary, modern style homes. Or maybe your decision-making and communication styles are more reserved and thought-out, but the builder you’ve been communicating with about your custom home plans has been pushy and you feel like you’re being forced into rushing your decision.

Whether design style or project management style, these are two very important areas in which you’ll want to ensure that you’re on the same page with your builder.

Tip #2: Look for a builder who can give you an overall experience that will mean more than the bottom line cost.

As a buyer, you can take a builder’s price at face value, or you can look at the builder’s business and approach to the project, knowing that a trusting relationship makes for an unforgettable experience. This type of experience is not just about the end result – a home that you love – but also about the process and the journey of creating the home of your dreams, step by step, together with your builder.

Rick Davis, teacher and mentor to leaders in the construction industry, puts it this way:

“Don’t judge business practices based upon your feelings as a consumer. Case Study: Many business professionals shun Starbucks because they perceive it as overpriced yuppie coffee… Enjoy your Dunkin’ Donut coffee, but recognize the power of an experience created by the higher priced provider… You might not like Starbucks, but must appreciate they have created an experience and profit model that is one of the great American success stories of the last half century.”

Tip #3: Tour homes completed by the builder.

When you have a short list of luxury home builders in Pennsylvania, and you’ve narrowed down your search, you’ll want to be sure to tour a home or two completed by each of those builders. There’s no substitute for seeing with your own eyes the quality of work completed by your builder.

Tip #4: Look into the resale values of homes that have been constructed by your builder.

While this is certainly not an exact science, looking into the estimated values of homes constructed by the builders you are considering, and ensuring that they have maintained, if not increased, in value is important. You might also consider calling a few reputable realtors in the area where the builder has completed projects to see what the builder’s reputation is like among realtors and buyers looking for homes. A respected builder will likely also be well known in the network of realtors, and you’re likely to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly from a realtor.

Tip #5: Go with your gut instinct.

Nothing can take the place of your own intuition and personal perspective on how well you and your custom home builder will work together. As long as you’ve done all your homework on the builders you are considering, you’re highly likely to have a sense of which builder will best mesh with you and share the vision you have for your dream home.

How Building Services is a custom home builder serving Pennsylvania, specifically the Main Line and surrounding areas, who has extensive experience exceeding the expectations of our clients in the construction of their luxury dream home. Contact us today to set up a time to meet with you to see if we’re the right fit for your custom home building project needs!

Custom Home Builders In PA | PA Custom Home Builders


Want a vacation without all the stress? Try these travel hacks!

Ever have that feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation? The long hours travelling to your destination, smokey hotel rooms and over-crowded pools are making staycations more and more popular. But all these problems don’t drown out the call of the unknown–the lure of white, sandy beaches, tempting ethnic dishes and cities far older than our country.

Home-Away-From-Home-VacationsOne of the reasons we travel is for the experience of it. There’s no substitute for what the French refer to as the opportunity to changer les idées. Change your ideas. Refresh your mind. Open your eyes.

If only you could eliminate the three main obstacles that families face when looking for a home away from home vacation.

  • Traveling with kids = temper tantrums, fatigue, and jet lag
  • Language barriers
  • Sub-par accommodations

Curing Common Holiday Getaway Hiccups

When you head off these problems, the rest is a breeze.

Traveling With Kids Made Simple

Kids will be kids, no matter the age. And let’s face it, travelling makes everybody grumpy. There are several ways to make travelling a better experience for everyone:

  1. Make sure they get a good, balanced meal right before leaving for your vacation getaway, especially if they’re picky eaters. If you can coax them to eat some veggies or even drink a healthy, delicious smoothie, it will keep their stomachs full (but not too full!).
  2. Make it a group experience. Letting them be in charge of something, giving them important travel tips, sharing your own experiences in airports or foreign countries, all of these are great ways to make sure your kids want to travel with you. And don’t forget to ask them questions! Even teenagers might welcome the chance to turn a silent trip into some quality family time.
  3. Throw the rulebook out the window. Of all the families I’ve spoken with who travel, this is the tip I hear the most often. Having tired kids toe the line is next to impossible. If you worry that it might set poor precedents, don’t! Kids naturally adapt and can separate Vacation Rules from House Rules. For long journeys, pack some junk food (although experts suggest that you endeavor to keep those options to the healthier end of the spectrum–think smoothies and granola bars instead of potato chips). Sick kids make for unhappy travelers. It’s always useful to have an ace up your sleeve, though: whether that be unlimited technology use or a pack of their favorite candy.

Language Tools That Break Down Barriers

The language barrier used to be a huge obstacle when travelling abroad, but welcome to the 21st century! You could do any of the following:

  1. Actually learn the language! You can always get a language software to learn the conversational basics, if you have the time. Learning a language is never a waste of time, but if that’s just not an option…
  2. You can find travel dictionaries with common phrases and popular expressions. The NY Times has a list you can find here.
  3. Travel + Leisure has a breakdown of the best available translation apps. From GoogleTranslate to Waygo, you’ll be able to navigate any situation with ease.

The only thing left to do is find accommodations that make your home away from home vacations true to the name. If you’re considering buying a second vacation home, or you’re just desperate to find a holiday getaway that is more relaxing than stressful, Part 2 has some great suggestions on finding luxury dream homes around the world.


Related Tags: Home Away From Home Vacations | Home Away From Home Vacation

What comes to mind when you read about building a pool house? Small, prefabricated pool houses with light gray vinyl siding–just enough to store hoses and towels and vacuums and pool toys, leaving barely enough room on the bare concrete floor to shimmy in and out of a swimsuit? Take that idea, and throw it in the Bad Idea Bin. There’s no use in constructing a detached building that costs money but that you’re barely ever going to use.

Let’s be clear. We’re talking about entirely different kinds of pool house ideas: the kinds of pool houses that become the attraction at a social gathering, an oasis in a busy life.

How To Build A Pool House That Will Add Value To Your Home

True, small pool house designs and prefabricated pool houses won’t break the bank. But they also won’t give you much return on your investment, and they certainly won’t make a big difference on your enjoyment scale either. So what does make a pool house a truly unique, special place? has some tips to offer.

  • Seamless Design

The little gray vinyl prefab shed will stick out like a sore thumb next to your home. Incorporating design elements from your house when building a pool house ensures a good fit.

  • Indoor and outdoor shelter

For when those summer storms spring up, plan to have a lounge area that is open, and one that is protected from the rain.

  • Amenities

A pool house has little purpose apart from storage if you have to go squishing into the house every time you need towels or drinks or a snack. Keep all those things on hand with a mini-fridge, dishware, and some munchables. If you really want to make it worth your while, you can install a bathroom complete with shower. You’ll keep your house dry, and the convenience will be unbeatable.

  • Technology

Wifi, a sound system, and TV: these three things will transform an ordinary pool house into the gathering ground for children and adults of all ages.

  • Storage

To keep everything organized, all it takes is a few well-appointed shelves and storage benches.

  • Space

Now that you have a pool house that everyone is going to want to hang out at, think of adding in some water-resistant couches. Having that extra seating will put everyone at ease, and double as seating for any backyard entertaining you do.

Now you have all the tips to build a pool house that transcends the ordinary and becomes functional, beautiful, and worthwhile…all at the same time. But with all these added elements, you can’t afford to delay planning. Jot down your ideas now! Contact How Building Services now! By this time next year, you could have the pool house of your dreams!


It’s finally spring. The erratic winter is (hopefully) over, the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, and you have a major case of cabin fever. Each beautiful day is calling you to go outside and soak up some Vitamin D.

So here’s a question: where do you go? Do you find yourself meeting friends at an outdoor bar, or taking your kids to the park? That might be a sign that your backyard just isn’t up to snuff. Why not utilize your backyard for more than just storing rusty patio furniture? Imagine having a space fit for backyard entertainment. Designs that create a new space are just around the corner!

Backyard Entertainment Designs: Idea Central

backyard entertainment!

Food, Food, Food!

Nothing brings people together like food, so it’s no surprise that this is number one on our list of backyard entertainment design tips. Built-in grills for BBQing, an outdoor fireplace or firepit: any of these options creates the opportunity to bond over eating. Say goodbye to awkward silences with burgers, ribs, and cocktails.


Eating is great. Eating while sitting down? That’s what takes backyard patio ideas from drab to fab. Go elegant with a beautiful table and comfortable chairs, or go informal with benches, couches, and well-placed steps.


A wonderful hardscape–whether it be an enlarged patio, elegant pergola, or romantic arbor–can work wonders.

Go Green

For backyard entertaining, landscape ideas are a must. Trees provide shade and a natural barrier from the elements. Topiary can make for beautiful statement pieces that add elegance or whimsy. And don’t forget gardens! According to, gardens are one of the most popular backyard entertainment design features. Even if you are limited space-wise, container gardens are lovely and provide a nice talking point, not to mention fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables!

Add Some Romance

You always need good lighting: lanterns, outdoor chandeliers, string lights, etc.. But you can go beyond the functional, using lighting to create a romantic or intimate space. Fountains, while less a la mode, are also a great choice for adding romance to what could be an otherwise functional design. Your choice of color for chair cushions, flowers, etc., also plays into the kind of ambiance you want to create.

Splurge a Little

Apart from all these elements that make for great backyard entertainment design, you can also stand out by getting a cabana or a daybed, or by installing a hot tub or outdoor movie theatre. And if you’re thinking of backyard entertainment for kids, be sure to shop around for a great play structure.

The options are endless. If the process of combing through them and coming up with cohesive backyard entertainment designs  gets your idea-train going, contact How Building Services, where you can benefit from a lifetime commitment to making your dreams come true.