Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mark of Excellence Introduces New Home Maintenance Club

Mark of Excellence Remodeling, an award winning New Jersey remodeling company, is taking their customer service one step further and introducing their new Home Maintenance Club. The goal of this new club is to help families keep homes maintained and energy efficient.

Using the NJ Clean Energy program as well as Energy Star, the Home Maintenance Club is offering home energy audits. These audits provide excellent incentives and rebates when families evaluate and work on improving the energy efficient of their home. Audits are conducted by technicians that are trained and certified and include taking inventory of the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, safety and health checks, lighting, insulation levels, the overall level of comfort, and more.

Air sealing of the home is offered free, up to the amount of $1,000 of sealing. A special comprehensive package is also offered, which includes other measures including insulation, domestic hot water, HVAC upgrades, more air sealing, and other measures that are recommended and eligible. The cost of this package can vary, but includes various incentives that provide excellent savings to consumers.

Handyman services are also offered through the Home Maintenance club. Labor for small projects and simple home repairs is provided at hourly rates by the club. Services available include trim work, repairs, flooring, stairs, masonry, doors, carpentry, decks, drywall, windows, tile repair, caulking, and more. All estimates on handyman services are totally free.

Another benefit offered by the new Home Maintenance Club is their aging in place aid for seniors. Both tips and advice are offered on improving accessibility throughout a home by remodeling to avoid accidents. Various remodeling services are available as a part of the aging in place program, including bigger bathrooms, eliminating steps at the entrance, non-slip floors, elevators, wider hallways, emergency call buttons, easy open windows, and more.

Building on their superior reputation for customer service excellence, Mark of Excellence Remodeling is taking this one step further with this new club. Consumers can benefit from all the excellent programs offered as a part of the Home Maintenance Club, enjoying better safety and comfort in their homes.

To learn more about the new Home Maintenance Club and how you can become a part of this club, visit for more information.


Name: Neil Parsons (VP of Sales & Marketing)

Company: Mark of Excellence Remodeling, Inc.

Address: 952 Broadway, West Long Branch, NJ 07764

Phone: 732-263-9890



Get to know: Mark of Excellence Remodeling

Having the area's most accomplished staff, including Certified Graduate Remodelers, Certified Lead Carpenters, Certified Green Professionals, Build Performance Institute certifications, and National Award-Winning Project Designers is only part of what makes Mark of Excellence Remodeling the premier Design + Build remodeling firm. The unparalleled attention to detail and white glove service from the initial design and budget consultation through the project's timely and efficient management, place Mark of Excellence Remodeling in an elite group of one! The Mark of Excellence Remodeling Design + Build process is aptly named the “Path to Excellence”.

Mark of Excellence Remodeling, Inc., located at 952 Broadway, West Long Branch in Monmouth County, New Jersey specializes in Design + Build remodeling projects. Projects range from whole-house renovations and additions to kitchen, bathroom and exterior remodels. The company also has a division that provides Home Energy Audits through the state Energy Star Home Performance program, Professional Handyman Services, and Aging in Place Upgrades through its Home Maintenance Club.

Mark of Excellence Remodeling has received numerous local and national awards and was named the 2009 Northeast U.S. Remodeler of the Year by Chrysalis Awards for Remodeling Excellence. Other accolades include the Asbury Park Press “Best of the Best”, QR 2008 Master Design Awards, Innovation in Construction Awards, “Best Design + Build Addition Project” and “Best Marketing Program.” The company has been featured in Remodeling News, Qualified Remodeler, Design NJ, Remodeling Magazine and the Asbury Park Press. Mark of Excellence Remodeling was also selected to “The BIG 50” among the nation’s premier remodeling contractors for its business acumen.

Mark of Excellence Remodeling has been lauded both locally and nationally for its dedication to client satisfaction. The company has several programs in place, most notably its On-Time Project Completion Guarantee. Mark of Excellence Remodeling is prepared to pay a client $500 for each day that the completion of the remodeling project extends past the targeted date.

Company President Mark T. Elia, CGR, CGP settles for nothing less than complete customer satisfaction, especially with his name on every Mark of Excellence Remodeling sign. Making people happy is merely the start. The goal is a dynamic transformation that leaves the clients with great value for their investment plus a renovation project that they will enjoy and rave about for decades.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

is on the road again

is on the road again

Monday, September 14, 2009

is looking forward t

is looking forward to this very busy week full with new, exciting opportunities

Sunday, September 13, 2009

If today was any bet

If today was any better it would probably bwe illegal!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

has the cyber office

has the cyber office all weekend for business. All web traffic is welcome!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Most decisions in li

Most decisions in life are determined by time and/or money

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The system never fai

The system never fails, only we can fail the system

Monday, August 31, 2009

is closing out a goo

is closing out a good month and is now ready for a great one

Saturday, August 22, 2009

knows the importance

knows the importance of being FIRST and BEST. When the others finally catch on I better be doing it better or different.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What do you think is

What do you think is better birthday gift fir an adult? Wine or scratch offs?

Sitting in stopped t

Sitting in stopped traffic heading NORTH on the Garden State Pkwy???

Just heard there's a

Just heard there's an accident 8 miles ahead...ugh. My whistle has gone dry!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

knows the importance

knows the importance of being FIRST and BEST. When the others finally catch on I better be doing it better or different.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

is ready for Monday

is ready for Monday - part two

Monday, August 17, 2009

home performance ene

home performance energy audit information -

has a full day of CA

has a full day of CAD work, emails, spreadsheets, forms, websites, etc...looks like Monday will be 5 days long

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Energy tax credit in

Energy tax credit information for residential homeowners for insulation and windows -

Outdoor Living Project Stands Proud

Exterior Remodeling Project Stands Proud

Since 1987 Mark of Excellence Remodeling has always taken great pride in producing fantastic remodeling projects and satisfying clients by exceeding their expectations. The best testimony to this business mantra is how long does it last? Is the client still pleased with the result years after completion? How have the project’s quality, integrity, and appearance held up over time?

We are pleased to share this project that we re-visited as a routine, courtesy follow up. The design + build exterior renovation consisted of an elevated deck with a screen room plus a ground-level patio. The home is in Middletown, New Jersey. The work was done seven years ago. Mark of Excellence Remodeling is extremely proud of our craftsmanship that clearly has withstood the test of time. The exterior work has now been exposed to the elements for 28 seasons. The client extends an open invitation to stop by anytime. “We love the work that you did. It has been quite useful and we enjoy it greatly and often,” attests this very happy client.

Here are a few current photos of the seven your old project. You be the judge. Please share your comments with us.

Energy Efficient Windows and Insulated Siding

Energy Efficient Windows and Insulated Siding

August 16th, 2009

tax credit - Mark of Excellence RemodelingMost homeowners today recognize the importance of having an energy efficient home. The social and economic benefits are far-reaching. The United States government recognizes the importance also and has created incentives through the Energy Star program. Presently there are up to $1,500 in tax credits available for purchasing energy efficient windows and insulated siding.

While interest and awareness of these tax credits are gaining, many homeowners do not realize that most window and siding products do not qualify. Only products that meet and exceed a standard that has been set by Energy Star can be considered for the incentives.ENERY STAR - Mark of Excellence Remodeling

Mark of Excellence Remodeling, a Certified Green Professional and a newly state certified Home Performance Energy Star contractor, offers qualifying window and insulated siding products. The company’s trained design Consultants take the time to educate each homeowners on all the features and benefits so that might make the best informed choices for their home and family. The practice of green remodeling incorporates many considerations. Energy conservation is great importance with regard to future resources and current cost savings.

premium insulated siding from Mark of Excellence Remodeling

Below are a few photos illustrating the development process for an insulated siding project in Barnegat, New Jersey.

stone, vinyl siding,

stone, vinyl siding, door, portico project started this week in Howell, NJ. Here is the development -

Mark of Excellence R

Mark of Excellence Remodeling outdoor living project stands proud seven year later

VIDEO: The Gathering

VIDEO: The Gathering Room from Mark of Excellence Remodeling

VIDEO: Room to Dine

VIDEO: Room to Dine

VIDEO: Outdoor Livin

VIDEO: Outdoor Living with Style by Mark of Excellence Remodeling

Monday, June 22, 2009

BLOG from mark of Excellence Remodeling

Our new website BLOG is now up and running. It is worth checking out.

There is industry news, helpful homeowner tips, project updates, GREEN information, and much more.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lifestyle Suites - Nine Crucial Decisions You Must Make BEFORE You Plan Your Home Addition

Have you always wanted your family close? Are they moving in? Maybe your mind is made up concerning having aging parents or in-laws live with you, but there are considerations everyone needs to be aware of.

In this article I want to list some of the scenarios most commonly faced by those I've worked with over the years. My hope is that at least a few of them will give you reason to pause and reflect. No one should get deep into a major house remodel or home
addition without having these questions answered.

Understanding the "Either-Or" Aspect of In-Law Quarters Home Additions

Preparations for the addition of extra family members can be involved and time consuming. Frankly, I believe they should be. It's not a decision that should be made quickly and, in my opinion, decisions about this that were made years ago need to be revisited.

Done correctly and with proper forethought, the best solutions will be achieved. Otherwise, great intentions can become the worst nightmares. Here's what I mean:

PRIVACY: Yours vs. Theirs

A certain amount of privacy will usually be lost. Knowing exactly what privacy issues are most important to both sides is going to help you with planning and designing. Will you want complete separation? Will there be shared spaces and functions? How will this be arranged and managed over time?

LIVING HABITS: Loners vs. Socialites

People are different. Families are different. Assumptions that everyone will get along because "we're family" is naïve. Who's the loner in your family? Who has to be around others all the time? What provisions can you make to accommodate these differences?

HEALTH ISSUES: Independent vs. Nursing Care

Some people remain independent to the end. Many hold on to their independence longer than they should. Are you in agreement with your loved ones about how this will be now and in the future? Sometimes you have to prepare for one thing now and then be set up to adjust later on. Will there be home nursing care?

LIVING COSTS: They Pay vs. You Pay

It is not wrong to discuss money. A home addition,
remodel, or the addition of an apartment costs money to create and then maintain. It costs money for their care as years go by. By all means, have open and frank discussions about how the money will work and who pays for what. I've seen assumptions sour many good relationships.

HOME VALUE: Equity Creation vs. Functional Addition

Your hearts may be set on assisting your family. This shouldn't preclude using good
design that adds value to your home. Good design also makes living more comfortable. This being said, it is up to you whether your goal is to simply care for your family or focus more on adding value to the home. Sometimes there will be a little give and take there. Address this.

ARRANGEMENTS: Permanent vs. Temporary

What happens when they are no longer around? What will become of your addition? Will you be able to use it for guests? Will you rent it out to others as a source of income? Will you want to turn the area into a completely different use?

EXPANSION: Simple Remodel vs. New Addition

The make-over doesn't have to be a major addition to your home. Depending on decisions you make in accordance with your needs, a simple remodel may be sufficient. It may not even require adding any square footage to the home, separate entrances, or additional
bathrooms or kitchens.

HOW EXTENSIVE: New Addition vs. Separate Apartment

If your current home is not adequate to handle any more people living in it then an addition is required. This can be an extension to the house, a room above the garage, or a completely separate apartment. All these options should be considered and building codes explored. Usually a balance between the advantages and disadvantages of each is required.

PROFESSIONAL HELP: Owner-Builder vs. General Contractor

I'm a proponent of Owner Builder projects. I have guided people through complete Owner-Builder home building projects from scratch. Is this for you? I can't say, but what I can say is that a home addition is major and if you elect to be an owner builder, please utilize the help of a home building coach.

In conclusion, the direction you take should take all these considerations into account. It will likely be a joint decision that can't please everyone completely but offers the best help where it's needed the most. I wis

Mark T. Elia, President of Mark of Excellence Remodeling, named July NAHB Remodeler of the Month

Washington, DC—Mark T. Elia, President of Mark of Excellence Remodeling, Inc. in West Long Branch, NJ was named the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers July Remodeler of the Month. Mark T. Elia, selected through a stringent judging process of NAHB Remodelers leadership and staff, exemplifies the best in the remodeling industry.

Mark of Excellence Remodeling has received numerous local and national awards and most recently was named the 2009 Northeast US Remodeler of the Year by Chrysalis Awards for Remodeling Excellence. Other accolades include the Asbury Park Press “Best of the Best”, QR 2008 Master Design Awards, Innovation in Construction Awards, “Best Design + Build Addition Project” and “Best Marketing Program.” The company has been featured in Remodeling News, Qualified Remodeler, Remodeling Magazine and the Asbury Park Press. Mark of Excellence Remodeling was also selected to “The BIG 50” among the nation’s premier remodeling contractors for its business acumen.

More information about Mark of Excellence Remodeling, including project videos, picture portfolios, prize drawings, special offers, and an “ask the expert” section, can be found on its website:

The purpose of the NAHB Remodeler of the Month award program is to celebrate local, active remodelers who stand out because of recent quality work, customer service, community involvement, and dedication to furthering the industry. The winner, once selected by the NAHB Remodelers, is profiled in Qualified Remodeler magazine.

ABOUT NAHB REMODELERS: NAHB Remodelers is America’s home for professional remodelers, representing more than 20,000 remodeling industry members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Founded in 1982, the organization provides information, education and designation programs to improve the business and construction expertise of its members and to enhance the professional image of the industry. Its membership incorporates 145 local councils in 43 states. Learn more about remodeling at

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing more than 200,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Known as "the voice of the housing industry," NAHB is affiliated with more than 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units for 2009.

What your home improvement money will buy What your home improvement money will buy BY KAY BLOUGH Special to Newsday

For many, warm weather means it's time to turn to home improvements and add a new look or refresh the old one.

But what can you get for your hard-earned dollars these days?

It's a no-frills approach in many cases, says Ray Accettella, president of East Meadow-based Jarro Building Industries and chair of the Long Island Builders Institute, an Islandia-based trade association.

Despite the economic downturn, the cost of materials remains high, Accettella and other builders say.

So many homeowners are choosing smaller, lower-cost, maintenance-related projects to enhance the value of the home. "People are doing what they have to do, not what they want to do," says Jerome Burdi of DJ's Home Improvements in Franklin Square. "What they're asking for is less elaborate."

Projects such as adding a new roof, siding and
replacement windows will give payback on lower energy costs, contractors say, while inside the house, detail work such as new baseboards, wainscoting, crown molding and painting will give the house a new look.

Adding a new front door, shutters and maybe a new garage door, fixing the stoop or landscaping the front of the house, are other lower-cost improvements with impact.

"A new front door and shutters will really make it look nice and make a statement," says Sal Ferro, president of Alure Home Improvements in Plainview.

If you're going to be spending more time at home, adding a deck or landscaping with a new patio or outside fireplace are other recession-friendly options.

And larger jobs such as updating the kitchen or
bathroom or adding a basement playroom are projects that offer resale value as well as satisfaction.

Here's a look at what Long Island contractors say they are charging for common jobs in this economy.

What you can get for $5,000
Long Island contractors say that for $5,000 they can do cosmetic repair work such as painting, fixing doors and molding, damaged walls or floors, and address those ever-present eyesores. "Every home has them," says Ferro.

Or you can get a new entranceway and front door, along with new front windows, perhaps a bay or bow window, he says. And you can add shutters and perhaps a new garage door, depending on how extensive the entranceway work is, although the price will start edging up.

Landscaping the front of the house is another option, says Joseph Cerbone, with JLC Landscape Services in Farmingville. Maybe keep a favorite tree, but have everything else taken out and replaced with new plantings and have beds edged and mulched.

That $5,000 will pay for replacement windows on one or even two floors, depending on the grade of window and whether it's vinyl or wood, says Art Donnelly of Legacy Builders and Remodelers of Holbrook and chairman of the Long Island/New York City chapter of the National Association of the
RemodelingIndustry. Replacement windows, along with caulking and insulation, will make the house more energy-efficient.

Adding insulation to the attic will run around $500 to $1,000, depending on the size of the house, but it can pay off in reduced heating costs.

A couple who wants to stay in their home as they get older but needs accommodations to do that might want to consider a partial bathroom upgrade -- a "right height" vanity and toilet, grab bars, a pressure balance unit to prevent surges of hot and cold water, a fresh paint job and maybe a drop-down shower seat.

"For less than $5,000, you've created a bathroom with a new look and one that lets you be safer and more comfortable," says Burdi. Or, Ferro says, you could refinish hardwood floors with sanding, staining and polyurethane, for less than $5,000.

What you can get for $10,000
It's possible to do a no-frills bathroom for $10,000 to $15,000 with a 24-inch vanity and limited tile work, says Accettella. And Burdi says $10,000 also will pay for a universal design bathroom, one meant to accommodate all levels of ability, with a hand-held and regular shower head, pull-down seat, grab bars, barrier-free shower and a floor drain, and larger doorways to accommodate a wheelchair.

Ten thousand dollars also will get new vinyl siding, or an architectural roof that includes removal of the old roof, Accettella says.

Outdoors, you also could add a patio of paver stones around the pool for $8,000 to $10,000, depending on the square footage, says Cerbone.

For between $5,000 and $10,000, you could add a hot tub, he says, or a small patio in the backyard, and for between $7,500 and $10,000 you could add a small retaining wall on either side of the front door, a segmented garden wall, or a new walkway from the driveway to the front door, maybe a new stoop, too. Or, Cerbone says, add an outside freestanding fireplace or a built-in barbecue area with space for tables and chairs.

What you can get for $15,000
You can remodel your bathroom with slightly higher-end fixtures and tile around the shower to the ceiling for $15,000 or remodel a small basement, depending on how extensive the work is, says Kevin Wrynn of Kevin Wrynn Carpentry Inc. of East Meadow.

Or you can upgrade your
kitchen if you have decent cabinetry and work around that, says Wrynn. Change the countertops, hardware and color scheme, add tile backsplash and install a laminate floor.

For between $15,000 and $20,000 you can add a composite deck, depending on the size, says Dominick Mupo of Chelsea Home Remodeling of Huntington. Or you can add significant landscaping around a pool area, a waterfall or water slide, or forgo the pool and add a hot tub, landscaping and lighting, Cerbone says.

What you can get for $20,000
Those with $20,000 to spend can get a new kitchen -- not an upscale model, but, if appliances are carefully chosen, one that Accettella calls a good, solid kitchen to open the floor plan so you can watch children in the backyard or in the family room while you cook.

You also could upgrade that basement playroom remodeling job to include a few more bells and whistles, Wrynn says, or add a small sunroom.

David and Michelle Glovinsky of East Northport added a large pantry-mudroom in place of a deck, evening out the look of the house and gaining lots of storage. They've moved their washer and dryer to that room, added a slop sink and a large closet, and there's lots of space on an open wall to play with.

Their contractor, Dominick Mupo of Chelsea Home Remodeling, says it was a cooperative project for which David Glovinsky did some of the work. Mupo says homeowners can do some of the work to save money if they're capable, but they need to be clear on exactly who does what so there's no liability for the contractor whose job it was to handle an item.

Another possibility for your $20,000 is adding a pop-up dormer to an upstairs to make a larger bedroom, Mupo says. Or you can add a front porch
portico with a barrel vault roof, Mupo says.

Contractors urge homeowners to do the following to protect their investments:

  • Check the contractor's references. Look at pictures of completed projects.
  • Get different bids. Make sure each contractor is quoting the same scope and level of quality for the work.
  • Hire contractors who are licensed and insured; verify both are current. Ask for a copy of the remodeler's insurance certificates. Check the licenses with county consumer affairs.
  • Look for the initials CR after their name -- it stands for Certified Remodeler. To earn, contractors must pass a written exam, attend 16 hours of continuing education, have a least five years experience and abide by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry's code of ethics.