Sara Besche
Sara Besche

Hi I'm Sara. Call me with questions at (302) 745-9614 or complete this form.

Hi I'm Sara. Let me help answer your questions. Let me help answer your questions.

I'm your online community consultant and I'm here for you. Just call me or send a message through this magic form and I'll contact you right away.

Call Sara at (302) 745-9614

×

Endless Summer [video]

By Jeremy Bell, in All Communities

beach day banner

If you really enjoy wearing sweaters and long pants like I do, you’re probably excited about fall (and spring) weather. But it’s also hard to let go of summer, especially when you live at the beach!

Last summer we started a new company tradition. We close up shop on an especially summery Friday and head to the beach together, just to hang out and have a good time! Actually we do that twice during the summer, first with our families and kids, and then later with just us employees.

This summer we had a blast on both days, so I’m sure this tradition will continue each year. Check out the highlight videos below from this year’s Beach Days. And remember, be awesome everyday.

Responsive Design and Parallax Scrolling Help Kincade Website Win Regal Award

By Jeremy Bell, in All Communities

kincade-responsive

We launched Kincade Homes by Schell Brothers earlier this year. The Kincade Homes brand has a fresh look and it needed a website to match.

One of the freshest web design trends right now is Responsive Web Design. The approach basically gives websites superpowers so they can transform themselves to best fit whatever screen they happen to be viewed on. So if you are browsing from the small screen of a smart phone, everything is sized just right and you don’t have to pinch and zoom, or if you have a bigger screen like a tablet or a big HD monitor the site expands to comfortably fill it.

For the Kincade Homes website, I started out with a responsive layout and added a few extra special touches like parallax scrolling, a fun and eye-catching trend where some background elements scroll slower than others on the page creating the illusion of depth. Everything works great even on small phone screens, but visitors with large monitors benefit from progressive enhancements like huge (near full-screen) images and interactive floor plans. We also created a fun papercraft stop motion video campaign that parents can relate to and everyone can enjoy.

Best website for a home builder.

It seems that I’m not the only one excited about the modern implementation of the Kincade Homes website. On May 17th it was awarded Best Website for a Builder at the Annual Regal Awards Ceremony presented by the Home Builders Association of Delaware. The annual awards highlight the best in both Sales and Marketing within the Delaware home building industry.

The value of responsive web design within the home building industry seems to be a winning notion. Earlier this year, another responsive website I built for Echelon Custom Homes was awarded Best Website for a Builder across the entire nation – I think that might include the US and Canada as there are always a lot of Canadian winners at the event. The website competitors at the Nationals all looked pretty good, but none used a responsive approach, so I think that was the winning feature that took the Echelon design over the top.

The goal of our websites has always been to provide exceptional experiences to our visitors, and not necessarily to win any awards, but it certainly is an honor. I hope I am helping to push my craft a little bit further, and possibly inspiring our contemporaries in the home building industry along the way.

What do you think of the new Kincade Homes website?

Win a Grill at the Block Party

By Jeremy Bell, in All Communities

Win a grill at the Kincade Homes Block Party

Spring has definitely arrived, and with it the inevitable return of grills and outdoor cooking and eating.

Weber Spirit E-210

If you don’t already own a grill, or if it’s time for a new one, you are in luck because we just so happen to be giving away a new grill. Come out to the Kincade Grand Opening Block Party at Wagamons West Shore on Saturday April 20th and sign up to win the grill (you don’t have to buy anything to win, you just have to register). Actually, to make things easier for you, we’re giving away a Lowes gift card which you could use to get the grill of your dreams, or something else in the store.

I’m partial to the Weber Spirit E-210 grill shown here, but mainly because it looks like a robot when the side trays are folded down. You may not rank your grills based on robot-likeness, but I’d like to think my grill is a warm-hearted, calculating cooking machine.

See you at the Block Party!

Thanksgiving Special Air Date

By Jeremy Bell, in Extreme

The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 2-hour Thanksgiving Special featuring the Dunning family is set to air Friday Nov 18th at 8/7c on ABC. In preparation for the show, our local ABC affiliate WMDT plans to show a behind the scenes look at the build experience from 7pm – 8pm.

In the meantime, the Dunning family is settling into their new home at the Jusst Sooup Ranch. Their home is free from many bills thanks to the endowment that was established with funds raised during the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build. Because the professionally managed endowment takes care of the majority of the home’s operating costs through a board that handles all the funds, Ken Dunning will finally be able to retire from one of his many jobs next year so he can help his family more in the soup kitchen.

Check out the video update with the Dunning family.

Build Suspending for Hurricane Irene

By Jeremy Bell, in Extreme

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Schell Brothers will be suspending the Delaware build effective at midnight tonight.

We will attempt to restore the build at 1pm Sunday once the storm has passed, or as soon as we are informed that it is safe to return to the job. The shuttles will stop running today at 4pm. We have been working closely with the Emergency Operations Center to collectively ensure the safety of the production, build and volunteer crew. We will need everyone’s help once work resumes. Given the unpredictability of the weather this could certainly change. The Reveal will likely move to Tuesday so stay tuned to www.SchellBrothers.com for continuous updates.

Additionally all future VIP events have been cancelled, except of course the Reveal day when we move that bus.

Update: Thank you for your patience. We are tentatively planning to resume volunteer shuttles to the Extreme Home build site at 8am on Mon, Aug 29.

Be Prepared For Your Volunteer Shift

By Jeremy Bell, in Extreme

Thank you to everyone for volunteering to change a family’s life. This enormous project can only happen because of volunteers like you! We just wanted to outline some key information to make sure you are prepared for your volunteer shift.

Parking and Registration Location

Volunteer Registration Location and Parking

The Volunteer Registration site will be located at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes on the left side of the parking lot after turning into the main entrance on Kings Highway near the entrance of the school. All Volunteers must park at the high school and take the shuttle to the home location, which will be announced on Monday, August 22nd after the family is surprised. Because of the secrecy and importance of surprise to the family, the home location will not be announced until after Ty and the design team have surprised them with the wonderful news.

Please try to arrive about an hour before your shift as the shuttle ride to the home site may take up to 30 minutes and there are a limited number of shuttles available for transport. Please do not drive to the home location as you will not be permitted to park near the site. Volunteers will be given shirts, hats and wrist bands when they check in at Registration. You must have an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Volunteer T-Shirt, hard hat, and wrist band to enter the build site. The Volunteer T-Shirts are not the same as the Building Happiness shirts that are available for purchase.

Spectators will also be able to park at Cape Henlopen High School and ride the shuttle to the build location, but an additional parking/shuttle location for spectators only will be announced on Monday, August 22nd.

Volunteer Requirements

You MUST be 18 or older to volunteer. No one under 18 is allowed in or around the build site. This is an insurance and liability issue for the Construction and Production team. Please bring a valid driver’s license for proof of age.

All volunteers must complete release/agreement forms at registration. To speed up the process, please print and complete the forms ahead of time and bring them with you to registration.

If you are working more than one shift, you will need to bring new signed forms on each shift.

This is a Construction Site

Fully closed shoes/boots are required on set. There are NO exceptions.

Keep an eye out for heavy machinery, tools, and sharp materials at all times. Please watch your step.

Unless given specific duties, you should not be roaming the set. You will be asked to stand by in a designated area as deemed by your Volunteer Coordinator.

As a reminder, changes to the construction schedule may require fewer or more volunteers than we currently have scheduled for each shift. We cannot guarantee that all registered volunteers will be asked to work on site and appreciate your patience and understanding should such a change occur during your shift.

Rain or shine, construction will continue so please remember to dress appropriately and address the elements.

Shift 4 Clarification

We have had a few questions about Shift 4 in the morning hours and which day those hours are covering. Each Day begins at 8 am with Shift 1 and each shift is 6 hours long. Therefore, Day 1 (Mon, Aug 22) Shift 4 – (2am-8am) is really during Tuesday morning, although it is labeled as Monday. We hope this was clear to everyone but understand there may have been some confusion.

We will do our best to accommodate change requests as a result of any confusion, but since the shifts are all full, we may not be able to accommodate everyone.

Thank you again for your support. We are very excited about this opportunity to help the family and look forward to working with all of you.


Update: The Volunteer Coordinator provided a few other things to be aware of during your volunteer shifts. EMHE wants to stress “safety first” for everyone on hand to ensure a successful show. There are a few additional rules that must be adhered to in order to complete the home makeover within the timeline.

Meals and Beverages

Meals, snacks and beverages will be provided throughout each day and are being donated by local restaurants and cafes. Their generosity is most appreciated.

Autographs

While working as a volunteer, we ask that you do not disturb the designers for autographs. They are working and need to complete their tasks in a tight time frame. If you want an autograph, you must wait for the proper time in the spectator area. Thank you for your patience.

There should be absolutely no autographing of Hard Hats. These are the property of Schell Brothers and must be returned to check-in for future use.

Cameras and Cell Phones

There are absolutely NO CAMERAS, CAMERA PHONES, OR VIDEO CAMERAS allowed in the house at ANY TIME. You will be asked to leave if seen taking photos or videos. Please set your cell phones to “vibrate” if you need to have them on site.

Production Staff

There is a large TV Production staff working to complete the home with the contractors and designers. We ask that you do not disturb the camera operators, audio technicians, or producers when they are working.

Reveal Day

Please join us on our Reveal Day on August 29th to welcome the family home. Don’t forget to wear your shirt! All are welcome.

General Volunteer Shifts Full

By Jeremy Bell, in Extreme

Big thanks to everyone for the overwhelming amount of volunteer submissions, including the late night shifts! Tony filled the last general volunteer shift last night around 11:15 pm. In total we need about 1,100 volunteers during the build and we already have 1,187 signed up.

Today, Tony and his team will be reviewing the comments attached to previous volunteer submissions and updating the schedule with cancellations, changes, and other adjustments such as multiple shift requests. If necessary, they will reopen shifts to fill gaps that may crop up, so check back later if you are interested, or follow @schellbrothers on Twitter.

Spectator Area

Whether you are volunteering for a shift or not, you are more than welcome to come out to the site any time during the build and observe from the spectator area once it is set up. You can also visit the Volunteer Registration area during the week to see if there are any openings or if needs have changed.

More details about locations and parking will be available online after they are announced on Mon, Aug 22. The “Move that bus” day will be Mon, Aug 29.

Building Happiness T-Shirts

By Jeremy Bell, in Extreme

Special t-shirts have been created specifically for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build here in Sussex County. All the proceeds from sales of the t-shirts go directly to the Sussex County Family Fund. Get your t-shirt now in any of our communities and show your support for building happiness in Delaware!

The t-shirts will also be available at the Pep Rally + Benefit Concert tomorrow night.

Here’s the price breakdown on the shirts – again, all proceeds go directly to the Sussex County Family Fund to support the family and Extreme Makeover build.

Adult Tee $15 donation, S – XXL
Tanktop $15 donation, S – XL
Youth Tee $10 donation, XS – L

Behind the Scenes at Benefit Concert Performance Rehearsal

By Jeremy Bell, in Extreme

We’re only a couple of days away from the Pep Rally + Benefit Concert that will publicly mark the beginning of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project in Sussex County, and the excitement keeps building. Everyone is invited to Cape Henlopen High School to really get the momentum going.

An amazing group of young singers, dancers and performers have donated their time and talent to produce an energetic variety show of the highest caliber. How great is that for the rest of us? We get to help support the Extreme Makeover project by just enjoying ourselves at the show!

Whether you’re a “gLeek” or not, I bet you’ll be taken by Telly Leung’s vibrance, humor and honest zest for life. I know I was when I saw him perform at the Blue Moon last week. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this rare opportunity to catch Telly and the rest of the performers in the benefit concert and support the EMHE project.

One group of dancers that will be supporting Telly in the show happened to be practicing today with show choreographer Autumn Schneider. Check out the behind the scenes video below.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Cape Henlopen High School
6pm – Pep Rally in Gymnasium, Free to the public (bring canned food donation)
8pm – Benefit Concert in Auditorium, $30 donation (get tickets)

What to expect when you’re expecting… to volunteer

By Jeremy Bell, in Extreme

To get a better idea of how general (non-skilled) volunteers will be spending their time on the build site during Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, I talked to Mark Fitzgerald, V.P. of construction here at Schell Brothers.

Mark’s been working closely with the Extreme Makeover team to prepare for the build so he’s got a good idea of what kind of help we’ll need. There will be a lot to do every day, and the needs will largely depend on what construction work is being performed during your volunteer shift.

All the nail hammering and wood cutting will be handled by volunteer contractors and other skilled professionals, but early on, we’ll need people to assemble a few hundred hardhats, and later piles of materials will have to be moved, and parts of the site will need to be cleaned up. Of course, everyone needs water, so general volunteers will also be running water to workers.

Mark reminded me that construction will happen 24/7 and the job site will be lit up like a football field around the clock. So if you’ve volunteered for a late night shift there will be just as much work to do as during the day shifts – maybe even more.

Volunteer Online:

Sign up as a General Volunteer
Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.

Sign up as a Skilled Volunteer
Professional trades and skilled volunteers only.

Other Ways to Help:

If you can’t commit to volunteer for an available shift at the build site, there are lots of other things you can do to help support the project.

  • Come to the Pep Rally on Tuesday, August 16th at Cape Henlopen High School and bring a canned food donation. The rally starts at 6pm (doors open at 5:30pm) and is free for all.
  • Attend the Benefit Concert that directly follows the Pep Rally at 8pm. Get tickets online or at any Schell Brothers community.
  • Buy a Building Happiness t-shirt. Find out more about these shirts that were created specifically for this Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project soon. You can get them at the Pep Rally + Benefit Concert, or at any Schell Brothers community.

Another easy way to help out is to share this and other Building Happiness related blog posts with your circles on social networks.

Extreme Volunteer Coordination

By Jeremy Bell, in Extreme

Tony Forrest is the man with the plan for volunteers. You may recognize him as the paper-throwing but fun-loving manager from our “Just another day at the office” dance commercial, but Tony also has a penchant for organization and has taken on the daunting role of volunteer coordinator during the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build.

Tony has been doing his best to ensure that everyone who has volunteered time to help out receives all the information they need and that all the required shifts are filled. We have over 600 general volunteer submissions, and a couple of shifts are already maxed out, which is awesome, but there’s still plenty of space we need to fill.

The late night shifts seem to be the hardest to fill: 8pm-2am, and 2am-8am. Those times might be outside of your normal sleep cycle, but rest assured there will be plenty of activity going on at the build site; the operation does not stop just because the sun goes down. If you would like to volunteer and can alter your schedule to help out during one of the late night shifts, Tony and the rest of the team would really appreciate it! Make sure you select a shift when you sign up.

Update: We need volunteers for all of the late night shifts but here are the ones with the fewest sign ups.

Day 2 (Tue Aug 23) – Shift 4 – (2am-8am) has 2 volunteers
Day 4 (Thu Aug 25) – Shift 4 – (2am-8am) doesn’t have any volunteers
Day 5 (Fri Aug 26) – Shift 4 – (2am-8am) has 1 volunteer
Day 6 (Sat Aug 27) – Shift 4 – (2am-8am) has 2 volunteers
Day 7 (Sun Aug 28) – Shift 3 – (8pm-2am) has 1 volunteer
Day 7 (Sun Aug 28) – Shift 4 – (2am-8am) has 1 volunteer

Update 2: All the general volunteer shifts are full! Everyone can still visit the site as a spectator.

Catch “Glee” star Telly Leung in Building Happiness Extreme Performance Concert

By Jeremy Bell, in Extreme

Telly Leung, recently seen in the hit Fox series “Glee”, will be starring in the “Building Happiness Extreme Performance Concert” on Tuesday, August 16th at 8 pm in the Cape Henlopen High School auditorium. The concert is a fundraiser to help with the upcoming Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project.

The show immediately follows the free 6 pm Pep Rally, which also takes place at the high school, so you’ll already be pumped up and ready for a great show.

A variety of other performers will also grace the stage, including Blue Moon favorite, Pamala Stanley, Melanie Bradley, Leigh Nordley, Jerry Birl, the Vineland Regional Dance Company, the Delaware Arts Conservatory Tap Dancers, and the Delaware Choral Society.

You can grab tickets online or at any Schell Brothers community – the suggested minimum donation is just $30 and all the proceeds go directly to the Sussex County Family Fund. The school auditorium has limited space so get tickets early if you definitely want to catch the show.

Register for Building Happiness Extreme Performance in Lewes, DE  on Eventbrite