Cubbies and Benches

Cubbies and benches are being included in the majority of new homes being built today. A catch-all space to hold coats, shoes, backpacks, keys and much more, this area, often called a mudroom or dropzone, is usually located inside a back door or near the garage. There are endless possibilities to the type of cubbies and benches that can be built. Check out the photos below for some inspiration if you’re thinking of adding a cubby or a bench to your home. We guarantee that once you have this great organizing space in your home, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!

built-in-mudroom-bench-lancaster-pa entryway-cubbies-home-renovation cushioned-bench-entryway




Project Spotlight: Outdoor Living Space Makeover

Bob and Robin loved their home, but it lacked one thing their previous home had – a screened-in porch. They had a deck, but it was small and needed replaced. They decided it was a good time to make the switch to a screened-in porch, which would provide them the outdoor living space they could use for more months out of the year.

The homeowners were aware of Metzler Home Builder’s reputation for quality and had heard of positive experiences from several of their neighbors who had used Metzler’s for renovation projects in their homes.  Tim Zehr, Senior Designer and Estimator, worked with them to create a design for their new porch and patio area. The result was a lovely 11 ½’ x 12 ½’ screened-in porch, with TimberTech AZEK decking and white vinyl railing and posts. The adjacent 10’ x 13 ½’ patio was constructed with flagstone pavers and a radius brick border.

Bob and Robin love the way the patio and porch blend into the existing design of their home. They appreciate the quality craftsmanship provided by Metzler Home Builders and the subcontractors that worked on their patio and porch. “Mike and Adam are a talented team and were easy to work with,” said Robin. “They were responsive and ensured the project went smoothly!”

before and after renovation photos of a screened in porch conversion from a patio outdoor-living-space-build-lancaster-pa


Mudrooms & Dropzones: Great Spaces for the Home

Mudrooms are the perfect way to ensure a clutter-free room. These rooms serve as a transition space where family members can keep purses, backpacks, electronics, footwear, wallets and keys, as well as other items they “grab-and-go” as they enter and leave home.

What are mudrooms and dropzones?

A mudroom is a space that is typically nestled inside an entrance of the home. The word “mudroom” refers to a dedicated space for removing muddy boots and wet clothes before entering the home. But today, these spaces can do so much more!

A dropzone, as a military term, refers to the designated area in which troops or supplies are “dropped” from the sky (via parachutes). Inside the home, a dropzone is a place where family members can “drop” their stuff upon entering the house. Just like a mudroom, ideally, it should be located near an entrance.

Remodeling your home to incorporate a mudroom/dropzone is becoming more of a necessity for busy families. The two biggest benefits include:

Adequate storage: While closets and entryways are traditional places where you’d store jackets, umbrellas and other items, these places are usually not spacious enough to accommodate everything. And they create clutter. Luckily, mudrooms/dropzone are an excellent way to make a dedicated space in your house where you can stash almost anything.

Less clutter: One place where everything can be hung and organized is ideal for a busy family. A mudroom/dropzone is where coats, hats, shoes, sports bags and backpacks can all be stored—instead of near the kitchen table or on the island, which creates an eyesore and unorganized mess.

sample mudroom build by Metzler Home Builders. shows shelving for coats, bags and jackets and storage shelves underneath

What does a good mudroom/dropzone include?

Mudrooms are flexible spaces intended to balance functionality alongside style. Consider the following features to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of your mudroom/dropzone.

  • If space allows, the mudroom should be big enough to accommodate all family members and pets. You may even consider installing a pet bathing station.
  • Install plenty of hooks and cubbies to hang coats, jackets, gloves and other clothing used on a daily basis so you can easily grab it as you leave home.
  • Install benches for sitting while taking off shoes or organizing belongings.
  • Create a “landing counter” where you can place mail and packages, instead of piling them on the kitchen counter.
  • In this tech-savvy area, your mudroom/dropzone is a great spot for installing a charging station to plug in your mobile devices and other electronic gadgets. A dedicated spot like this helps to diminish the clutter in other spots in the home.
  • Consider hanging a “must not forget” wall peg board where you can store outgoing mail, bills, to-do lists and face masks.
  • Add a hamper to throw in socks or other dirty clothing that lay around your house, as well as damp clothes from swimming or a wet day playing outside.
  • Since these floors experience heavy traffic, select a durable floor. Tile or luxury vinyl flooring (LVF) are two excellent options.
  • Choose the color of the mudroom to complement the decor of the house.
  • Go for an (ideally classy) design that helps you organize the area.

Constructing a mudroom/dropzone

While mudrooms/dropzones are a practical addition to the home, they do not have to be unimaginative or sterile. With the help of a creative design and thorough planning, you can transform an underutilized space in your home into a stunning and functional mudroom/dropzone. As your contractor, we can provide you with the best design options and solutions. Contact us to talk.


Project Spotlight: Spectacular One-Story Living

Bob and Claudia wanted to build their dream home that would enable them to stay-in-place as they grew older. They found a 10-acre parcel of land that overlooked a farm valley with a spectacular 3-to-4-mile view of the countryside. They had already worked with an architect to develop a plan for their 1 ½ story home, so their next step was to approach Metzler Home Builders about building their new home. Metzler’s worked with the plan and made it into a well-executed design to meet all their needs. Their top priority was to have a home that had all the main rooms on one floor, so Bob and Claudia could continue to live there as they age-in-place.

The 3,345 square foot home has an open floor plan and many floor to ceiling windows that allow an abundance of light into every room. With the kitchen, breakfast nook and family room all facing south, Bob and Claudia get to see phenomenal sunrises and sunsets across southern Lancaster County. A favorite area of their home is the covered patio off the kitchen, which features ample space for outdoor furniture and a fireplace and overlooks the pool in the backyard. Continue reading


30-Days to Organize Your Home

Many of us yearn to have a house that is more organized and less cluttered. But where should you start? As Desmond Tutu once wisely noted, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.” That’s how you should organize and clean your home. Instead of getting overwhelmed with all the stuff, tackle it as bite-sized projects. Continue reading


What’s Up With Lumber Prices?

As we all know, 2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least. There is nobody that has not been affected in one way or another. The building industry is no different. Our most recent challenge has been difficulty in getting our building materials on time and at a reasonable price. Expected lead times (the time from when a product is ordered until it is received by our supplier and sent to our job sites) for siding, windows, doors, door hardware, garage doors and many more products have increased significantly. For the most part, the pricing has been stable on these items. It has just been an issue of availability.

Framing lumber, however, is a completely different story. There has not been as much of an effect on the lead time for lumber and trusses, but the pricing aspect has been dramatically impacted. Here is an excerpt from the National Association of Home Builders describing the impact on an average single-family home, and the economic and supply chain factors that have caused this volatility. Continue reading


Biophilic Design in Bathrooms

If there’s a building design that can prove the impact of surrounding on one’s well-being, its biophilic design. The loving-life approach uses natural elements to boost wellness and positivity.

Most of us show a preference for natural materials and design aesthetics when designing and decorating our homes. However, the preference is not only due to personal choices or liking. Researchers have pinpointed other benefits such as improved learning skills, lower stress levels, reduced blood pressure and enhanced healing abilities.

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Project Spotlight: From Wishlist to Reality

various new home interiors & exteriors by metzler home builders Denny and Kate were in the market for a home. They had a location in mind where they wanted to live, but had trouble finding a house with the “must-haves” that they needed. After making the decision that they needed to custom build a home to get the house they wanted, they headed to the Building Industry Association of Lancaster County’s annual Spring Home Show. They talked with several different builders and found they felt the most comfortable and at ease with the family feel at the Metzler Home Builders booth. “They immediately took us seriously, asked us questions, and showed us examples of their work,” says Kate. “They even followed up the next week with a phone call to see if we wanted to get together and continue the conversation.”

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