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  • It’s All About “Add-Ons”

    Axel had gone around and around with his wife, Arielle, about stickin’ within the budget of their home renovation project. But he couldn’t seem to make his point with her. Finally out of desperation, Axel decided to get creative and try a new approach when for the 14th time Ariel wanted to completely change the design of the fireplace, again.

    “Why, Axel,” Ariel said after listening to his song, “Don’t you see? I am just trying to live up to my name.”

    Axel ran off in a huff, he couldn’t take any more confrontation. Later he looked inside a book called The Name Game wondering what’s in a name?   Arielle – “alter hearth.”

    A smile rose on Axel’s face. He hated to say no to his wife, so he called up the name of the company who had been

    building trust with it’s clients for generations. Batton Builders, Inc. 

    Now, there’s a good name! Axel thought.

  • Before and Afters

    It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become. ~ Dr. Seuss

    When you look an historic property do you automatically think of it as an eyesore? Or are you able to see it’s star-worthy potential?

    There are buyers who like newly built homes, others tolerate a partial fixer-upper where they can incorporate their design fingerprint on a room with small DIY changes such as repainting a wall or two, installing new kitchen cabinets or updating a bathroom. Some individuals are up for tackling big projects such as an historic preservation project or complete structural remakes. Your success will depend upon whether you are realistic with yourself as to how extensive a project you can live with.

    If you have trouble seeing the potential in older properties, before you walk away, it may pay to have a builder or architect with a wealth of knowledge and an experienced eye for design show you what they’d suggest doing with an older property. Computer aid design (CAD) software is very handy because you can quite clearly understand what the final renovation, rehab or reconstruction will look like.

    The photos below are properties are great examples of homes which have gone from ghastly to glam!

    Batton Builders, Inc. has resources and experience with historic properties to help you make wise decisions through our associations with people who have interests in saving old homes and buildings. It is wise to reach out to others about an older property you are considering because going into a project blind sighted is never a good idea.

  • Windows into History

    “If history repeats itself, I am so getting a dinosaur.” ~ Anonymous

    On many Sunday evenings if you had looked into the windows of the Batton house in Towson, Maryland in the 1960s, chances are you might have seen Helen and Fred and their four children sitting on Pier 1 cushions around a huge coffee table, in their sunken living room. You’d probably witness them dipping their forks into a cheese fondue pot having dinner! Helen loved the idea of being a bit bohemian but in reality, during that era, other families were having the same kind of dining experience.

    Homes in the 1960s had other trendy things you’d “dig,” including neon colors such as the gigantic flowered wall paper on one big wall in the Batton kitchen. It was “groovy!” Wood paneling similar to what you’d have seen in the family room or in Fred’s in-home office for F.C.Batton & Son, Inc. lined the walls of many residences. “Far out” were the bright prints and patterns and textured carpets used in interiors. Scandinavian furniture was the rage, and open shelving was used frequently for room dividers. Remember “conversation pits?”  The Batton home had some of all of that.

    At times, trends in home building and decorating repeats itself. What, if anything, would you like to see come back around from the 1960s? Scott Batton, the one at the head of Board of the Historical Society of Baltimore County might be all “bummed out” if you didn’t leave him a comment!

    If you tune into this site frequently, one day we will show you authentic pictures of the Batton’s late 1960’s contemporary home. We need to dig them out of the archives!

     

  • Tips about Warranties

    So, all indicators say “GO!!” and your home building project will begin in the spring. Yahoo! Good for you!

    Soon your good fortune of having a new home built will come with many advantages. If you are wise, a move gives you an opportunity to better organize. Most of your new home appliances and fixtures will be purchased around the same time and will come with warranties. The perfect opportunity to set up a system so when you need to know when an appliance was purchased or when it’s warranty expires, you’ll have the information right at hand. There will be no need for panic.

    Our house warming gift to you is to pass along a few tips about organizing your warranties. Check out this article.

    Your new home looks beautiful, smart, and trendy, just like you. Congrats.

  • Stylish Transformations

    So, you’ve been pondering the entryway to your home for a long, long time feeling as if when you come into your house, it’s like arriving into a deep abyss. You want to scream out to visitors, “bring the light in with you” but your funds will only allow for small renovation, rather than a big change to a floor plan.

    Transom windows can do great things to brighten up a home’s entrance and provide big rewards in the overall stylishness of a home. But that is not all. Did you know the early use of a transom window was to help with the overall health of the home? Here’s an article that might be of interest if you feel a stagnancy in certain places within your home.

    A New Year is a good time to make changes to appearances. Louis Kahn once said “The Sun does not realize how wonderful it is until after a room is made.” So, take that dark and dreary space in your home and give it some bright and light. Illuminate it with the addition of a stylish window.

    There are so many options to chose from. Give us a call and we will see what we can do to help you change the façade.

    First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality.  ~ Napoleon Hill

     

  • A Tip for the Season: Home Shows

    “Always be a work in progress.” ~ Emily Lillian

    Back in 1964 my parents took the family to the New York World’s Fair.  I was very young but my older siblings recall it.  They’ve talked about some of the futuristic things they saw such as the General Electric Pavilion which at the time featured ideas that seemed so very outlandish. Most of the household appliances have come to pass and have entered into many generations of progress beyond what was showcased back in the 1960s.  For example, today robotic driven vacuum cleaners are available.

    So, in a New Year and in the new decade of 2020, we at Batton Builders, Inc. stop to ponder what the houses of the future will look like. How will science and technology drive how we function in and outside of our homes?  In the last decade the popularity of controlling things with a remote rather than the flip of a electric switch has increased significantly. We can now turn heat and air conditioning on and off from a remote location or lower storm shutters from a distance.

    What’s next? What tools of our trade are coming down the track to make our jobs as builders easier? I am sure exhibitors at the spring construction trade shows, as well as at the home and garden shows, can’t wait to show us!

    An inside tip from Batton Builders: The Maryland Home and Garden Show is January 25 & 26. If you register on-line ahead of time, admittance is free! 

  • Keeping the Vintage. Cheers!

    Happy New Year 2020! If you are like us, we did plenty of tasting of food and drink over the holidays. Now two-thousand and nineteen is behind us in more ways than one. Sorry for the bad pun. Will try to do better in the future.

    Perhaps in your sampling of wine over the holidays you’ve decided in 2020 you want to seriously pursue something new like becoming a wine collector and/or connoisseur. Ok, that’s fine! But what about storing the vintage? You need a proper environment. Hate to tell you but you can’t just stash it in the basement in a way that won’t properly protect your investment in the drink. But, I know you know better than that.

    We at Batton Builders, Inc. have built wine cellars for folks whose intentions are real serious! They know their stuff. Here’s a sample, drink in all the ambiance and then call us. We can help you!

  • Creature Comforts

    We don’t know about you but your pets do! They idolize people whom they recognize treat them right. If you are anything like us, your pet becomes a part of the family and in many cases they rule the house.

    More and more people who are having new houses built are looking for ways to make their homes more pet-friendly. You know, help their creatures fit in so pet bowls aren’t being tripped over in the kitchen, and spaces where the whole house doesn’t go to the dogs on bath days for the pup. Here’s an article with 8 pet-friendly home design ideas . Some of the suggestions can be easily accomplished with a small home renovation project, and it does not necessarily mean building a new home to accommodate for pets.

    Don’t forget to be thoughtful toward your pet this holiday season and include them in your gift giving. You probably know from experience neglect can come back to bite you! Or worse, you might end up in the dog house!

    Happy holidays from one dog house to another!

     

     

  • PSA: Chimney Care

    Among homeowners there is always a rush to get the  “to-do” list finished by the time the holidays roll around. Some of  tasks “honey” can do but some take a professional. At this time of year, entertaining is at the top of the list. Today Batton Builders, Inc. would like to  post this public service announcement and remind you not to neglect your chimney! You don’t want to start any trouble with the creosote or the man in the red suit.

    When was the last time you had a conversation with your local chimney sweep? 

  • Community Building

    Today we are going to share an article from Preservation Maryland which we found of interest since we recently did some work on this historic place of worship in Baltimore City.  We need all the peace we can get in cities and towns in America both during the holidays and year round.  Spread the good news about this sacred place, near and far, with others who are interested in restoration, preservation, houses of worship and museums. Check out the article.

    During this season of Advent, let us all remember “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” 

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