The Luxuries of Custom Building

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One of the best parts of building a home over buying is the ability to add features based on your habits and personality. For instance, if you have a large family and love to keep lots of snacks and food in the kitchen, you can add more pantry space and have a bigger kitchen.

If you want a quiet living room to relax in front of the television that is separate from the area your children will be watching disney movies, you can add a recreation room. However, many homeowners forget about the other luxuries of custom building – the rooms you see in magazines but never think about adding to your own home. Here are a few examples from recent Schneider projects:

  1. An in-home sauna. For the homeowner who works long hours and needs a space to relax, or the fitness and wellness enthusiast, an at-home sauna is the perfect feature to have in your home. You’ll never have to sit uncomfortably in a public gym or spa when you have one available just down the hall.
  2. Wine and cigar room. If you love to entertain and throw holiday parties, or host gatherings, a wine and cigar room could be the perfect addition to your home. Whether it’s in-sight to impress your guests, or out of view as your own private retreat, this feature will make your home the place to be.
  3. Home library. Maybe you already have a home office and it feels too busy, or maybe your living room has become too cluttered as you collected books throughout the years. Either way, a home library is the best way to keep your book collection out of sight and provide the quiet space you need to focus while you read or study. You can even add your own library ladder for those hard-to-reach books!

If you’re ready to customize your home during your build or remodel to finally have the luxury space you deserve, give Schneider Custom Builders a call at (757) 819-4466 and let us help you take that first step toward your dream home.

What Makes the Perfect Vacation Home?

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With summer approaching, more and more people are planning for vacations. This means they are either on the lookout for rentals for their family and friends, or working on building or renovating a home of their own to rent to others.

If you’re one of these summertime planners, you know that not just any house is the perfect vacation spot. Vacation homes are carefully planned to fit a specific aesthetic, accommodate large numbers of people and provide a relaxing atmosphere.

So, how do you build the perfect vacation home? As always, our designers and builders are equipped with right tools and experience to help you through the process, but here are a few considerations of your own to make:

  1. Space: How many people will your home accommodate? Keep this in mind throughout the design process not only to choose the number of bedrooms, but also for considering the size and function of other rooms. How big should the dining area be? Is the kitchen equipped to fit the hustle and bustle of dinnertime with a large number of helpers? Are there enough bathrooms?
  2. Atmosphere: No one wants to spend a summer vacation or winter retreat inside of a dark and confined home. Use window placements to let light in at the right time and provide peaceful views (especially in an oceanfront house), and keep ceilings high to help the space feel large and airy.
  3. Style: Even in a vacation home, exterior and interior style can differ from house to house. Some homeowners prefer to go with a complete beach or coastal theme, while others like to maintain a classic or modern style with just hints of waterfront living. Our experts are great at blending styles, helping your home fit in with the surrounding community while still standing out to possible renters.

If you’re ready to get started on creating the perfect vacation home, give us a call at (757) 819-4466 or visit our office today!

Which Design Style is Right for You?

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Building a home is full of important decisions, and the plethora of options can make each one feel tougher than it should be. Our design team is full of experts that can help you choose a style for your home that works best for you and will make you excited to come home each day, but you may still be scouring the internet and magazines for ideas before you give us a call.

If you’ve searched, pinned ideas and taken style quizzes, and still aren’t sure where to start, it’s time to take a look at our portfolio! Here is our guide to picking the right design style, based on our past builds:

  1. Modern: If you favor clean lines, minimalistic design and neutral colors, a modern home may be the one for you! This design can make any home feel elegant, and is a great option for making your living space stand out if you’re in a suburb where every house looks the same. Take a look at this past project as an example:

  2. Beach living: There are a number of reasons to design your home on a beach theme: it’s your family’s vacation home, it’s your beach or waterfront rental property, or you just love the bohemian feel that a beachy home gives! If any of those reasons align with your home-building goals, a beach cottage-type home may be the one for you. Here is an example of a classic beach community home we designed:

  3. Classic: If you like the feel of a traditional home where the entire family will be able to enjoy the space and the design will withstand the test of time and fluctuating trends, a classic home is right for you. If you aren’t sure what we mean, check out this project and its beautiful hardwood floors, cabinet work and open space:

If you’ve picked a design style and are ready to get started, or if you don’t see something you like and are ready for an entirely custom build, give us a call at (757) 819-4466 or visit our office today!

Creating Shaded Spaces This Summer

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One of the most common remodeling projects homeowners invest in during the summer months is outdoor living spaces. Whether you want an outdoor kitchen or patio that adds great value to the home, or a beautiful space for entertaining and simply enjoying an evening outdoors, we have some great ideas.

As you plan for  your summer remodeling project, take into consideration the addition of shaded spaces. Adding a gazebo or covered structure to your home will add beauty and offer much needed relief from the summer heat. Not only can we create the outdoor covered structure you’ve been dreaming of, we’ll also take into account factors you may not have thought about!

For instance, does the addition you desire block natural light from your home? What may be a relief during the summer, can become a frustration in the winter. We look at the big picture when designing your addition, taking into account your needs, the aesthetic of your home, and the short- and long-term functionality of the space.

Give Schneider Custom Builders a call today to discuss exactly what you’re dreaming of. If you already know what you’d like done, great! Looking for inspiration? Here are some ideas for the perfect covered spaces for your home.

Pergolas are wonderful in that they offer a shaded space that’s not connected to your home. These can be installed almost anywhere in your yard, without blocking natural light, and are a great fit for homeowners who prefer not to add new elements directly to their home. We can work with clients to be sure their pergola is placed in the best possible location within the yard, taking into account sun and tree coverage. Imagine hanging up the hammock inside your pergola on a nice summer evening!

Hard Covers & Gazebos
Hard covers are a great fit for those who’d like to add directly to their home. We can create the perfect outdoor covered deck, porch or patio for you that accounts for your lifestyle, and desires for the space. An additional advantage of an attached hard cover to your outdoor space during the summer months is that it can also help with energy costs. Looking for many of the same benefits in a detached solution? Ask us about gazebos.

Screened Porches
A screened-in porch can truly offer the perfect space year round. Enjoy the breeze, while avoiding bugs, or enjoy an evening on the porch with young kids, knowing they’re safely contained. Screened porches are great transition zones, giving you the best of both worlds- an outside space inside, or an inside space, outside. They’re perfect for outdoor dining as well!

As you transform your outdoor living space, the options are endless. Give Schneider a call today, and let us make your dreams a reality!

Aging In Place. The Smart Choice.

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Did you know that according to a recent poll taken by the American Association of Retired People (AARP), nearly 80 percent of Americans hope to stay in their current home as long, and as comfortably, as possible. This hope can become reality with a little bit of extra-planning and a home builder or a home remodeler that specializes in this design specialty.

This building trend is often referred to as “Aging In Place”. This approach is to provide a carefully planned design that will allow the homeowner, regardless of age or ability level, to live in the home safely, independently and comfortably.

Here are some examples of design features that support this objective:

– One-story living. No-step entry into home and interior rooms.
– Wide doorways and hallways.
– Countertops at varying heights to accommodate use while standing or sitting.
– Extra floor space.
– Floors and bathtubs with non-slip surfaces.
– Shower and tub walls built ready for installation of handrails.
– Thresholds designed flush with the floor.
– Electrical outlets that are accessible without bending down.
– Windows that can be opened with little effort.
– Easy to operate levers on doors and rocker light switches.

In addition to functionality, these elements offer beauty and comfort that support a healthy living experience for people of all ages and abilities. They also ensure a safe living space if you or a family member experiences a temporary or long-term disability. A home that is safer and easier to live in provides both short and long-term benefits to your family. Now that’s a smart choice!

How to Add Calm to Your Home with a Custom Addition

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The next time you walk through your front door, take note of how it makes you feel to come home. Are you relaxed and at ease? Or does your home make you feel overwhelmed or stressed with the to-do’s and hustle and bustle of your daily life? As we move into the holiday season, it is especially important to be sure you are taking time for yourself to enjoy your home.
There are many ways you can incorporate calmness into your daily life by creating space in your home specifically for that purpose through building an addition. Here are a few solutions that have helped many families find more satisfaction in their homes:

Sunroom + Screened-In Porch = Sunporch

You don’t need to renovate your entire home to find a peaceful spot to unwind and relax! A sunporch adds valuable space to your home while also inviting you to step away from of the high-traffic areas of your home. This offers a calm sanctuary to your otherwise busy life. An added bonus is that whether its holiday season or not, you can enjoy the beauty of nature while indoors. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as hearing the surf from within the coziness of a sunporch!
13227704_10154081676708820_8241965123734890844_oNot Enough Room

Additions can also solve the problem of limited space when it comes to entertaining around the holidays. When extended family comes into town to visit, you may notice as you’re adding the leaves to the dining room table that there simply isn’t enough space to comfortably host everyone. Adding an eat-in kitchen or extending your dining room to accommodate more people is something you’re likely to appreciate even when you don’t have the entire family over. This expansion gives your living areas a more open, spacious feel all year long.

Customized to Fit Your Lifestyle

Your idea of relaxation may differ from your neighbor, or even from your spouse or children. At Schneider Custom Builders, we always strive to work with our clients to ask specific questions about how your space will be used. We’ll take into consideration the time of day you’ll be most likely to use your new sanctuary, as to optimize lighting and comfort. We’ll ask about your hobbies and create the perfect balance of form and function for your newest custom addition to your home.Sunroom[1]Depending on your current home’s design, you may feel limited as to what you can do but that is where we can help. With over 30 years of design-build experience, Jim Schneider and his skilled team believe there is a solution to every homeowner frustration. Let us help you fall in love with your home again. Call today to set up a consultation: 757-819-4466 or email

Should I Remodel My Existing Home or Build a New Custom Home?

By | Baths, Homes, Industry News, Kitchens | No Comments

It seems to be the age old question: should I remodel my existing home or start from scratch with a blank slate to build something new, exactly to my liking?  If you feel your current space is no longer working for you, you may be weighing the pro’s and con’s of both options. We like to tell our clients there is always more that one way to get what you want, and when you work with a custom, design-build builder like us, you are in good hands no matter which path you take.

custom kitchen stone fireplace tile backsplash stainless steel appliances

If you are on the fence, asking yourself: “Is building a new home our best bet, or should we remodel our current home,” we have some thoughts to consider to help you decide:

Location plays a huge determining factor here for most families. Is staying in your current neighborhood a high priority? Will moving impact your children’s school, your commute to work or your social life? Perhaps you bought your home when proximity to local businesses was important, but now you long for some solitude on the coast in the form of a beach style retreat.

Schneider Custom Builders-5103

Real estate experts and housing studies reflect a steady increase in home remodeling spending, projecting to reach almost $325 billion by 2017. But is it always more economical to renovate your existing home? Not necessarily. If downsizing your empty nest, or adding strategic square footage to accommodate adult children and grandkids when they visit is on your list of priorities, starting with a blank slate to get exactly the floor plan you want might be a better use of your budget.

Going Green
Remodeling or building a new home is an opportunity to make a conscious effort to reduce your impact on the environment with green building. A green kitchen remodel using energy-efficient appliances can increase a home’s value more than installing basic appliances. Building a new home using a high-efficiency HVAC system, energy-efficient wall and ceiling assemblies, and energy-saving appliances and technology reduces average utility costs while minimizing your carbon footprint! Schneider Custom Builders recently earned its Master Certified Green Professional (Master CGP) designation from NAHB, solidifying our expertise as green building contractors.


Serving Hampton Roads and Coastal Virginia – from Norfolk to the Eastern Shore – Schneider Custom Builders understands that your home is your family’s most significant investment. It is the center of family life and entertaining, and is your personal retreat. We pride ourselves as the custom builders who give our clients the very best, either through renovating the property they’ve cherished for years, or crafting their dream home on a new plot of land. We handle it all and do not compromise quality in the process.

This is why we do not build you a house… we build you a home! Whether you stay put or relocate, Schneider Custom Builders is well equipped to work WITH you, not simply FOR you, to create a home that allows you to enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.  When you’re ready to discuss your plans for the next few years, give us a call. We look forward to working with you.


Zip System Roof Sheating Bay Creek Schneider Custom Builders

Why Schneider Custom Builders Uses ZIP System Roof and Wall Sheathing Exclusively

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Schneider Custom Builders has been building high-quality, custom homes for over thirty years, and since 2003 has been building custom homes on the lower Eastern Shore and throughout Hampton Roads, Virginia. Interested more in quality over quantity, Jim Schneider and his team of builders use only materials that they can stand behind in terms of durability and craftsmanship. This is why Schneider Custom Builders exclusively chooses to use the ZIP System roof and wall sheathing and AdvanTech flooring for every home we build.

When Schneider made the switch away from housewrap and regular OSB in 2012, there was simply no going back. “It isn’t even a point of decision anymore for us. We know we aren’t going to deliver a product that we can’t stand behind, and there isn’t a comparison in terms of quality between the ZIP System and AdvanTech, and their outdated alternatives,” says Jim.

advantech flooring framing custom home virginia schneider custom buildersAdvanTech flooring and ZIP System roof and wall sheathing are both products of Huber Engineered Woods, a fifth-generation family company that is recognized globally for providing solutions its customers can trust. Winner of Builder Magazine’s #1 Quality Brand Leader award every year since 2002, AdvanTech flooring and sheathing products far outperform the competition. AdvanTech flooring offers fastening guide marks and self-spacing tongue and groove for seamless installation while also providing an industry leading 50-year limited warranty and 300-day no sanding guarantee. That means no swelling when it gets wet during construction – a great advantage. ZIP System sheathing also comes with a fastening guide and installs quickly with two easy steps – fasten the panels and tape the seams while eliminating felt and housewrap from the building process. Since the weatherproof barrier (house wrap) in impregnated on the sheathing, once it’s taped it’s like putting a wet suit on the house. Building a home in Hampton Roads and Southeast Virginia, a region where we often experience sideways rain, this is a must. ZIP System sheathing also offers a best in class 30 year system and panel system house sheathing Virginia Schneider Custom BuildersSchneider Custom Builders’ choice to only use the ZIP System and AdvanTech flooring is a symbol of our commitment to high-quality craftsmanship that is the foundation of our business. We do not believe in cutting corners, and we always want the families we work with to feel that we have their best interests in mind when we build their home.

Read more about our switch to AdvanTech and ZIP System back in 2012 here.


AdvanTech_Flooring_and_Sheathing_Gold-Black-Blue_CMYK ZIPSystem_Sheathing_and_Tape_Black-Green_CMYK

After of completely renovated beach home

Don’t Just Renovate to Sell – Renovate to Enjoy!

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We hear it all the time: “I want to upgrade my house to get it ready to put on the market.” Although we certainly understand the importance of updating your home to make it more appealing to potential buyers, it’s fascinating what folks will spend on others that they won’t spend on themselves. Why would you want to have a new owner enjoy these upgrades when you can enjoy them yourself?

bathroom before  oldbathroom

 bathroomblue  bathroomreno

If you’re considering moving and selling your home, whether in the next year or in the next ten years, you’re probably looking around your home to assess what potential buyers will have on their wish list. While your overall property value is good to keep in mind, ask yourself what you would want most out of your own home? The areas of your home that are “fine” or “okay for now” have the potential to serve you better to maximize the time you are living there. Remodeling these areas will help you enjoy your spaces even more!

We have worked with clients to bring new life to their kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and more, and after their renovation project is complete, they rave to us about how they wish they had made these upgrades years ago! Sometimes it can be hard to imagine what you are missing out on in your home when you haven’t stopped to think about the possibilities.


There are a number of reasons to upgrade your home sooner rather than later. Accommodating a change in lifestyle such as an empty nest, an in-law moving into the home, or repurposing a room all call for a significant remodel. From adding much-needed storage throughout the home to updating the look and feel of your old appliances, fixtures and features, it’s important to take stock of what you currently have, and identify why it is no longer working for you. This will help to frame the scope of your project for a massive overhaul versus simple upgrades incorporated throughout the home.

It’s important to be mindful that not everyone will be as thrilled with your renovations as you. If you want a very bold look for a certain room, or to convert a guestroom or powder room in a way that limits its use, these may be changes that you’ll regret when it comes to selling your house. It is important to keep in mind that everyone has different tastes, while also granting yourself the freedom to express your own style. Talk with the custom renovation experts at Schneider Custom Builders about which remodeling decisions are more permanent than others.

We pride ourselves on decades of building the highest quality renovations and custom homes in the Hampton Roads, Eastern Shore and beyond. Uncover the countless ways you can fall in love with your home all over again by talking with us about renovating your home to enjoy, rather than sell!

schneider custom builders before and after home


Schneider custom builders fireplace

Custom Fireplaces Add Practical Ambiance to Complement Any Room

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Gathering around a fire is a human tradition that can be dated back to prehistoric times. People love relaxing by a fire to connect with friends and family or simply to enjoy in the background while reading a favorite book. While winter weather keeps us indoors, we are likely to use our fireplaces more if we have them, or wish for one if we don’t!

If you have been considering adding a fireplace to your current or future home, and are wondering if the costs will recoup over time, read on to find out why the answer is yes. Or, if you’re tired of looking at that old, boring hearth that hasn’t been appreciated in years, we have some suggestions for you to consider to spruce it up:

Pick Your Fuel: A Variety of Options

·      Wood-burning fireplaces are traditional for many homes, particularly in older ones. Fireplaces that burn wood can be true masonry fireplaces or prefabricated units that are installed in wood chases and vented with metal ductwork. While they provide the most authentic fire experience, it can be a pain it is work to have to cut or purchase wood and as well as store kindling and along with regularly cleaning chimneys of ash and soot.

·      Gas fireplaces offer convenience, as they can be turned on and off immediately. They require minimal maintenance, but are less authentic and can prove to be expensive as you must have a continuous supply of natural gas or propane to keep them running.

·      Electric fireplaces are relatively inexpensive, and can easily be positioned in (and even moved to) most any room due to their smaller size but often look fake.

·      Bioethanol fireplaces such as EcoSmart’s collection, use a clean-burning fuel to create a smokeless, mess-free flame. These can replace a traditional fireplace by sealing the flue, or can be added in virtually any room for an eye-catching, conversation-sparking element. This is a great option for older homes with flues in disrepair as they don’t need to be vented.


Customized EcoSmart Fire element featured in the Norfolk Idea Center

Fireplaces Increase a Home’s Market Value

Fireplaces remain a popular item on the list of preferences for homebuyers. A fireplace can increase a home’s value by 6-12 percent! Many families enjoy the warmth their hearth provides on cold nights, or simply how it creates a cozy atmosphere for hosting gatherings or enjoying time with family. Virginia experiences all four seasons, and it’s not unusual to be hit with heavy snowfall and below-freezing temperatures at least once each year. Fireplaces offer the perfect solution of comfort to beat the wintertime blues.

Fireplaces Offer Ambiance and a Focal Point

There is a reason that most living areas are positioned in such a way that furniture is arranged around a fireplace. Your fireplace should be a point of pride within your home, and a beautiful focal point in any room. The design possibilities are endless for creating a fireplace that suits your own unique lifestyle and captures the essence of your family. Schneider Custom Builders specializes in artfully crafted, custom cabinetry to surround fireplaces and provide useful storage space.

Schneider Custom Builders Beach Home Living Room Fireplace

Gas, electric, bioethanol or traditional wood-burning…. Whatever your preference, a Schneider custom-built fireplace is sure to keep your family cozy on cold nights. But they add more than just warmth — Our design team blends your architectural style into the perfect design that adds market value to your property, and offers ambiance and a focal point to your living areas.

Give Schneider Custom Builders a call today at 757-819-4466 to have us put the warmth back into your home with a custom-designed fireplace.