Boston Builder Blog

How much to remodel a kitchen?
March 8, 2020 Russ Busa

The kitchen is the heart of the home. And is one of its greatest value drivers. Here are some helpful guidelines to help you determine and appropriate budget for your kitchen remodel.

Wide Open Spaces in Winchester, MA
October 21, 2019 Russ Busa

This Winchester family of five was seeking to update their ranch-style home. Their wish list included an open floor plan, master suite and a garage addition.

Master Suite and Guest Room Addition in Newton
December 29, 2018 Russ Busa

This busy family of four needed some additional space in their 1950 Newton ranch. The home had three bedrooms and two small baths. With two teenagers and frequent house guests, a master suite, guest space and bathroom upgrades were in order.

A New Age in Home Design: 3D Planning with Joe Dellanno
September 8, 2018 Russ Busa

Sterling Homes is happy to welcome Joe Dellanno and his 3D design models to our team.

Sterling Homes Ranked One of the Best General Contractors in Boston
June 11, 2018 Russ Busa

Sterling Homes is proud to announces that we have been rated one of the best residential General Contractors in Boston by Boston Architects.

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas to Make the Most of Small Spaces
April 2, 2018 Russ Busa

Upgrading your bathroom is one of the best ways to add value to your home. Even so, bathroom remodeling can sometimes be challenging whenever there is a limited amount of space available to work with. Small bathrooms do not have to be dull and boring, as there are a number of practical ideas you can use in order to make the most of this space.

Top 5 Tips for Your Spring Renovation Project
March 22, 2018 Russ Busa

It’s hard to believe for us New Englanders, but spring has officially sprung! As we dig out of the snow and put memories of power outages behind us, it’s time to think about more fun endeavors like home renovation!

You’ve been dreaming about it for years. You can see the fixtures, the flooring; it’s all coming together in your mind. You know you are ready to start that home renovation project, but you are not sure where to begin.

For many, a home renovation project can seem daunting. We’ve compiled a list of five key items to consider in your planning.

Reimagined Living Space: Kitchen and Living Room Renovation in Bedford, MA
September 30, 2017 Russ Busa

Sterling Homes transforms another cramped, dated kitchen into a warm, open and functional family-friendly living space.

Budgeting for Your Project
September 12, 2017 Russ Busa

One of the questions I get most frequently from people contacting us about new jobs is, what will it cost to build my new home / addition / kitchen, etc.? It’s an understandable first question – you need to know what things are going to cost so that you can determine what you can afford – but answering the question without knowing what exactly you’d like to build and what your existing site conditions are, is difficult for any contractor. That being said, I do want to offer you some guidance to help you with your project planning.

The True Cost of Modular Homes
June 9, 2017 Russ Busa

We’ve all seen the ads for $150,000 two-story 2,500 square foot modular homes in the newspaper or on the web. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But at the same time, if the ads seem too good to be true to you, your instincts are correct. The $150,000 price tag is designed to get you interested, but it doesn’t represent the full cost of building a modular home.  

1900 Colonial Update: Bedford, MA Kitchen/Family Room Renovation
March 9, 2017 Russ Busa

This family of four wanted to open and update the living spaces of their Colonial home, built in 1900. Not only did the first floor have four different types of flooring, but it had varying ceiling heights which contributed to the choppy look and feel.

Sterling Homes Awarded Best of Houzz 2017
January 20, 2017 Russ Busa

Over 40 million users nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and around the world, and we won!

A Tribute to My Father
January 1, 2017 Russ Busa

"The words that a father speaks to his children in the privacy of home are not heard by the world, but, as in whispering-galleries, they are clearly heard at the end and by posterity." — Jean Paul Richter

The New Year is a time for reflection and for inspiration for the year ahead. I’m beginning 2017 by reflecting on a man who inspired me and this company beyond what words can express. I would like to dedicate this post to my father and mentor, Frank Busa, who passed away in December at 85.  

Design Decisions!
September 16, 2016 Russ Busa

There are myriad decisions to make when building your dream home – literally hundreds of questions that you will need to answer before you are ready to move in. Top of mind for most people is what type of tile they are going to put into their bathrooms or their kitchen cabinet and counter choices, but there are many more options to consider – from exterior paint color to bathroom mirrors. Click here to learn more and get Sterling Home’s Design Checklist.

Innovative building technology products
July 21, 2016 Russ Busa

Technology isn’t just for electronics – the building industry is constantly innovating to create energy-efficient and low-maintenance products for today’s state-of-the-art homes. From low-maintenance siding and trim products to the newest thinking in home weatherization, here are just a few of the innovations available to builders to make your new home the best it can be.

Construction Financing Demystified
July 11, 2016 Russ Busa

Most people are familiar with mortgages and understand the mechanics of how you purchase a home with a long-term loan secured by the house as collateral. But how does financing work when you want to build a new home? Let’s dig in.

New Project: Modular Colonial Home in Lexington, MA
July 6, 2016 Russ Busa

This young family of four was living in a 2 bedroom, 1 ½ bath on this same lot in Lexington, MA. They loved their neighborhood, but were simply outgrowing the space. They wanted a master suite, a bedroom for each of their two children, as well as space for entertaining and a play space for the kids.

Before you Build: 5 Steps to Building your New Home - Step 5, Obtain Estimate & Contract
June 26, 2016 Russ Busa

The last step in preparing to build your custom home is to obtain a cost estimate and sign a contract. To find out what the average price is for a project, most homeowners opt to get at least three quotes from different builders. Bids are complicated and time consuming for the builder, so it is important to only request bids from companies with whom you have a good rapport, have heard good things about and are serious about doing business with. To get tight bids that you can really compare, you must have clear directions and a goal so each contractor is bidding on the same thing.You must compare apples with apples.

Before you Build: 5 Steps to Building your New Home - Step 4, Create your Plan
June 20, 2016 Russ Busa

When it comes time to develop the plan for a custom home, many of our clients come to us and ask – do I really need an architect? The answer is – probably. A custom-designed home is created specifically for the family who will live there. In most cases, custom-designed homes require the services of a licensed architect.

Before you Build: 5 Steps to Building your New Home - Step 3, Choose Your Team
June 13, 2016 Russ Busa

You'll need a team of experts to design and construct your house. Key players will include a builder, an excavator, a surveyor and a home designer or an architect. Many homeowners begin by selecting the builder or contractor. That professional then selects other members of the team. However, you may also opt to hire an architect or designer first (more on this in Step 4!).

Part 2 of 5 - 5 Steps to Building your New Home - Choose Your Lot
May 30, 2016 Russ Busa

Last week we talked about the importance of planning your home building budget. This week we will dive into the next important step to building your new home: choosing your lot.

Before you Build – 5 Steps to Building your New Home
May 30, 2016 Russ Busa

Building a new home begins long before the foundation is poured. To help you avoid costly mistakes during the construction process, we’ve identified five important steps you should know about before you build. I’ve presented this topic in the past and it is always well-received by audiences that are looking for guidance on this sometimes overwhelming process. Over the next five weeks, we will highlight a new step in the process and hope it is helpful to you as you think about building your new home.

Another satisfied customer!
March 29, 2016 Russ Busa

At Sterling Homes, we take pride in the quality of our homes and our collaboration with our clients. Part of our process is to solicit feedback from clients throughout the build, and once the job is complete. We recently completed a home in Lexington, MA and thought we would share some of the highlights from the customer feedback. Also, check back this summer for photos of this gorgeous new home!

13 Mistakes Not to Make if You Ever Want to Sell Your Home
February 25, 2016 Russ Busa

If you are getting ready to build, chances are you have a property to sell. Spring is a popular time to put your house on the market. But before you do, check out the following post from Bob Vila's blog with some great preparation tips. 

Winter home maintenance tips
January 28, 2016 Russ Busa

Preparing your home for winter is an important annual ritual for homeowners. For instance, did you know that adding insulation in your attic before winter arrives can help prevent ice dams this winter? And do not forget that tuning up your heating system now can help prevent more costly emergency repairs at the height of a storm, when it can be difficult to find supplies and licensed contractors. The following winter maintenance tips can help you prepare your home to withstand another cold season.

Your January Home Checklist
January 8, 2016 Russ Busa

Make your home (and yourself) healthier while you nestle in and get inspired for the coming year. Check out Houzz's list of 15 things do do around the home in January.

Sterling Homes supports local charity
November 4, 2015 Russ Busa

Sterling Homes Development Corp. was a major sponsor of the 14th annual St. Rose of Lima Golf Tournament in Northborough Mass.  We were happy to support this local fundraiser.

New modular home construction underway in Wellesley, MA
October 1, 2015 Russ Busa

We are excited to announce that we have just started construction on a new energy efficient modular home in Wellesley, MA.

McMansion trend is thriving, especially in a handful of suburbs
August 7, 2015 Russ Busa

Our very own Russ Busa is interviewed by about the McMansion trend... Read the full article

Are Modular Homes Built as well as Site-Built Homes?
April 6, 2015 Russ Busa

There is a saying in the industry that modular homes are “built better because they have to be.” The simple reasoning behind this phrase is the transportation and set. Modular homes are actually overbuilt due to the transportation of these boxes (sometimes traveling for hundreds of miles) and the set of the crane (being lifted 40’ in the air).

Watch a Modular Home Set!
April 1, 2015 Russ Busa

Witness the day of the home set with a Preferred Building Systems modular home. This home consists of 3 modular home boxes and several roof sections. The home will be secure and weather tight in a single day and typically only takes a few weeks to complete.

Sterling Homes Opens New Office in Woburn, MA
March 21, 2015 Russ Busa

We've got new office space! Sterling Homes is happy to announce we've opened new office space at Cummings Executive Suites, on Rt. 128 in Woburn, MA (same building as Strega restaurant).

Spring Maintenance Checklist
March 15, 2015 Russ Busa

Too many homeowners think that spring maintenance is all about “Spring Cleaning”. While cleaning comprises some of your spring maintenance, projects aimed at various structures, appliances, and systems within your home are just as important. Though you may love to see spotless windows for that first sunny, 60-degree day, you can't forget your roof and the possibility that ice dams formed over the winter. Follow this spring maintenance checklist to ensure your home is in optimal condition for the rest of the year.

Sterling Homes Featured on NECN Money Saving Mondays
September 29, 2014 Russ Busa

When NECN's Money Saving Mondays was looking for a home improvement expert, they contacted our very own Russell Busa. Russ was interviewed on cost effective home renovations that can help improve the value of your home. The piece features the whole house renovation we did in Marblehead, MA.

Top Kitchen Remodeling Trends
September 25, 2014 Russ Busa

Want to know what kitchen trends are popular in 2014? Here's what 25 kitchen designers said were the top kitchen trends they're seeing in 2014.

The Final Product: New Home Construction in Needham, MA
August 17, 2014 Russ Busa

As promised, here are the photos from our latest and greatest in Needham, MA. We thinking the photos speak for themselves. A spacious, comfortable 3 bedroom family home, with all of the modern upgrades and amenities. Browse the photos and see what you think. We'd love to hear from you!

Welcome Home to Weston: A Gorgeous Open Concept
April 17, 2014 Russ Busa

Our client grew up in this Weston neighborhood, but his 1950’s childhood home was in need of an update and more space for this growing family. Sterling Homes tore down the original structure and built a brand new 4 bedroom, 3 ½ bath, 4,000 square foot modified-Cape style house. The home is an open concept, with a large sunny white kitchen that opens up to a dining room and living room and high 9 foot ceilings.

Beauty by the Sea: A Home Renovation in Marblehead, MA
April 25, 2013 Russ Busa

This young family found the not-quite-perfect 1930's house in the perfect neighborhood in Marblehead, MA. After seeing the beautiful work and getting a glowing recommendation from a happy Sterling Homes client in Andover, MA, they tapped Russell Busa and the Sterling Homes team to bring their dream home to life.

Transforming Your Living Space: Andover, MA Kitchen/Family Room Renovation
April 25, 2013 Russ Busa

Sterling Homes did a complete overhaul of this 1978-built colonial in Andover, MA. This young family was tired of the cramped/dated kitchen and awkward flow...

New Homes are Less Expensive to Maintain: NAHB Report
April 10, 2013 Russ Busa

April is new homes month. And one of the virtues of a newly constructed home is the savings that come from reduced energy and maintenance expenses.

Data from the 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) offer proof. The AHS classifies new construction as homes no more than four years old.

For example, for routine maintenance expenses, 26% of all homeowners spent $100 or more a month on various upkeep costs. However, only 11%  of owners of newly constructed homes spent this amount. In fact, 73% of new homeowners spent less than $25 a month on routine maintenance costs.

New Homes Sales Hit 2-Year High: Perfect Time to Build a New Home
November 30, 2012 Russ Busa

2012 has been a great year for the housing market and it has continued to show steady improvement thanks to consistent increases in new home sales, home prices and new home construction. 

How to Winterize Your Home
October 24, 2012 Russ Busa

We thought we'd share this great article from this week's Boston Globe Magazine - enjoy!

How to winterize your home: A procrastinator’s manual with 8 tips. These measures — some finished in only a few minutes--will lower your heating bills and help prevent property damage. By Elizabeth Gehrman

Should You Move or Remodel? That is the question...
October 9, 2012 Russ Busa

If you want to change your home, your other option besides remodeling is to find a new one. But more and more American families are deciding to stay put and improve their existing home. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, here are some of the reasons...

4 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Winter
September 15, 2012 Russ Busa

If there’s one more thing left on a gardener’s summer to-do list after Labor Day, it’s to prepare your garden for winter and the onset of cooler temperatures. The best way to ensure a fruitful garden in the spring is to take the proper steps now to winterize your garden and make sure it can withstand the upcoming weather.

A Homeowner's Work is Never Done: Fall Maintenance Checklist
September 4, 2012 Russ Busa

With cooler temperatures, homeowners start to think about their home fall maintenance checklist. The season is a transition between summer and winter, and a few maintenance projects prepare your home for the upcoming months. From winterizing your pool to trimming dead tree branches, make time to protect your home.

Kitchen Functionality Questionnaire
July 2, 2012 Russ Busa

When it comes to your kitchen, what type of "user" are you? Are you an aspiring chef or a take-out queen? Do you have young children in your house? What about pets? What tasks do you use your kitchen for besides cooking (i.e. homework, bill paying, internet surfing, etc.)? Answering these questions will help inform your kitchen design. Use this functionality questionnaire to help you define your needs.

Keep Dad in Mind When Searching for Your New Home
June 5, 2012 Russ Busa

As Father's Day approaches, we wanted to be sure to remember dear old Dad. We talk an awful lot about the great kitchens, terrific school systems and family-friendly amenities that are important when selecting a new home, but when you’re searching for new custom built homes in the Greater Boston area, remember to keep Dad in mind, too.

New Home Construction: Budgeting for Furniture and Tools
May 22, 2012 Russ Busa

Most new homeowners are so preoccupied with building their new home that they forget to make room in their budget for things like furniture, DIY home tools, and gardening equipment. One of the advantages of building a new home is that it usually does not need repairs for years. However, most first time homeowners will need tools and furniture to enjoy their new home. These items can cost thousands of dollars. Here are a few tips to take the sting out of the little extras that go along with new home ownership.

5 Popular Home Designs for 2012
May 15, 2012 Russ Busa

As the economy continues to recover, one place that people seem comfortable spending is on their homes — after all, money you put into home improvement is essentially an investment rather than an expense. This year we’ve seen a few new trends in home design.

Spring Home Care Tips
April 23, 2012 Russ Busa

You’ve turned your clocks forward, so that means it’s time to take advantage of the extra sunshine and warmer temperatures, and give your home the TLC it’s been missing over the winter months. Before the spring rains, warmer weather and bugs hit, there are a few easy things you should do for your Greater Boston area home to keep it energy efficient and performing at and looking its best. As a top Boston home builder, we know just what you need to do to keep your home in tip top shape, and we’ve offered some suggestions below:

11 Things Every Kitchen Should Have
April 2, 2012 Russ Busa

Updating your kitchen? House Beautiful asked designer Mick De Giulio — who designed his first kitchen when he was 19 and has 3,000 projects under his belt — to give them a list of what he thinks are the essentials. We reposted this article, as we thought this was great food for thought. Check it out!

Replacing Doors: Homeowner’s Top 5 Questions
January 30, 2012 Russ Busa

In addition to windows, replacing your homes’ doors is one of the best home improvements you can do. Replacing doors can add value to your home, increase curb appeal, and saves you financially on heating and cooling costs. More importantly, doors provide necessary security and, in turn, make your home comfortable for you to live.

Choosing the right door can be an overwhelming process once you have decided that a new door is needed. Here are answers to the top five question regarding replacing doors.

Kitchen Budgeting Tool
January 11, 2012 Russ Busa

The big question on everyone’s mind before a kitchen remodeling or renovation project is “how much is this going to cost me?” This Kitchen Budgeting Tool can help.

Safety First…Your Home Fireplace
December 13, 2011 Russ Busa

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." There’s something extra special about a fireplace. It doesn’t matter if it’s wood-burning, gas or electric, a fireplace adds ambiance to your home especially during the winter.

Whether you have already lit your first fire of the season or not, here are a few important fireplace safety tips to remember:

Winter is Coming. Can Your Roof Handle the Pressure?!
November 9, 2011 Russ Busa

The October snowstorm has got all Greater Boston residents thinking of the long months ahead. Before winter really sets in, you should evaluate the condition of your roofing to determine if it can handle the pressure!

Don't Get Left Out in the Cold!
November 2, 2011 Russ Busa

So the October Nor-Easter left a lot of us without power, cable, and all the creature comforts! To be ready next time, take a look at the following tips to “weather the storm”!  Also, check with your insurance provider about coverage on storm damage. This USAA site provides some good info on typical coverage.

Thought-starters For Your Kitchen Remodel
October 12, 2011 Russ Busa

Many of our customers come to us wanting to remodel their outdated kitchens. Here are some important considerations to think about before you take on this type of project.

Your Home: The Real Deal on "Going Green"
September 14, 2011 Russ Busa

This is an excerpt of a Q&A about green building that recently appeared in Wellesley/Weston Magazine. I thought it would be a good one to share with our readers.

Russell Busa of Sterling Homes Development Corporation is an award-winning custom home builder. He is a Certified Green Building Professional and an Energy Star approved builder. Russ answers commonly asked questions about green building and home improvements

Increase Storage by Adding an Island to Your Kitchen
August 31, 2011 Russ Busa

If you’re looking to do a kitchen remodel and want that designer look and feel – not to mention the added bonus of extra storage space – then it’s time to add a gorgeous island to your kitchen.

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas: Traditional vs. Contemporary Kitchen Design
August 22, 2011 Russ Busa

When it comes to kitchen remodeling ideas, the choices can often seem overwhelming.  However, working your way through these choices boils down to a deceptively simple question: Do you prefer traditional or contemporary kitchen designs?

15 Tips for Securing Your Home Before A Vacation
August 8, 2011 Russ Busa

August is here, and some of the Sterling Homes team will be heading off on summer vacation. That got us thinking… Whether you are still trying to sneak in a summer getaway, or going away later in the year, home security is always an important consideration.

About Boston Builder Blog
May 19, 2011 Russ Busa

Boston Builder Blog is a forum for Sterling Homes to share information with homeowners and folks who are considering building a custom home. We will post advice on building a home, tips for home maintenance, news, events, articles, info on green building and more.