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After: the Nusbaums’ initial goal was an open “kitchen-centric” plan that would make it easier for Sandy Nusbaum to entertain. A three-stool dining counter proved an effective starting point; the new surface is also well-positioned as a serving station for porch dining.

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Demand for Incremental Improvements

Over time, some owners makeover the entire house—one phase at a time.

If you compare the current home remodeling market to 2007, it's clear that homeowners are less likely to execute a top-to-bottom makeover in a single stroke than they were five years ago. Home resales are rising again, but the belief that every dollar spent on a Northern Virginia home will be quickly recovered has been suspended—if only temporarily—as homeowners reassess.

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