Everything Old is New Again

The Home Builder’s Association 2014 Award Winners

By Melissa Andrews

Eight homes. Eight ideas. Eight unique results. A remodel can be as easy as a new backsplash in the kitchen or as complex as an extensive renovation. But in all remodels and redesigns, every square inch has to count, to maximize space and make the best use of the home’s footprint. From complete renovations, updated kitchens, revamped living spaces and new areas to entertain, these remodels prove that, with planning and patience, a dream home, master suite or newly functional living space can become a reality. The winners of the Home Builder’s Association 2014 Remodelers Awards offer ideal examples for those looking to make significant updates to their homes, with new memories and great opportunities to follow. Take a tour of this year’s winners …


Large Addition

Covert Homes

Going from 1,800 square feet to nearly 4,500 isn’t a small undertaking. Just ask John Covert and his team at Covert Homes, who spent more than two years planning this massive endeavor with homeowners Charlotte and Mike Floyd. The final plan that was agreed upon was the seventh rendition of the detailed plan. Charlotte and Mike knew what they wanted and were more than willing to take the time necessary to achieve their dream home.

The plan began with the excavation of a basement on the left side of the house. “This was an interesting task as we were digging by a current structure, had to create the basement and the add-on and then connect the two,” says John. In addition to an expansive basement, the new addition included a workout room, shop and fully functional safe room. Above that was a more than 2,000-square-foot addition, featuring a kitchen, dinette, formal dining room, laundry/pantry and great room. The home boasts gleaming hardwoods throughout, exposed beams and a dumb waiter to the workout room.

Back at the old portion of the house, John and his team had to refinish the exterior to ensure the two parts of the home matched. The old house formerly included a living area, bedroom and kitchen, which were demolished and turned into a stunning master suite. Thanks to attention to detail and logistical excellence, this major repurposing project was successful and made this brand-new home a case study for patience and planning. 

Large Kitchen Remodel

Palmetto Construction and 


With one successful renovation already under their belts, homeowners Jennifer and Patrick Rayfield turned their attention to the hub of their home — the kitchen. The dated, all-white kitchen had laminate countertops, aging cabinets and was in need of a serious facelift. The Rayfields were looking to gain additional casual dining space while also taking the opportunity to create a flow between the kitchen and the exterior living spaces. To meet these needs, Jim Evatt and his team at Palmetto Construction and Renovations planned to eliminate the interior wall that divided the kitchen and dining room and rework the mudroom. Furthermore, they had to do this while the family still lived in the home. Communication and deadlines were therefore critical. 

“I find that the kitchen sink is the key,” says Jim. “As long as people have a place to get water, wash a pot and clean up a dirty dish, everything seems to be okay. Once the sink is gone, the clock really starts ticking.” Jim and his team were able to keep the sink in place up until the last minute. A make-do kitchen set up in another room, complete with a microwave and a good attitude, helped make the remodel a smooth success.

By opening the space, Jim was able to create a much larger area that now serves as both a kitchen and an informal gathering space. The new mudroom features custom cabinets and lockers for the children. Thanks to the larger kitchen space, the team was able to install a large island that is ideal for entertaining and preparing meals. The slight radius of the island countertop adds an elegant finishing touch. Custom cabinets, granite countertops, decorative backsplash tile and can lighting ensure this kitchen has all of the features needed for eating, relaxing and entertaining. 

Everything … and the kitchen sink.

Large Bath Remodel

Palmetto Construction and Renovations

The bathroom in this home should really be called a retreat. With all of the amenities one would find in a five-star hotel, the features in this remodeled large bathroom truly make a statement. The in-depth renovation included removing the existing shower, double vanity and whirlpool tub which allowed Jim Evatt with Palmetto Construction and Renovations to start with a blank slate. An exquisite double vanity with granite countertops was installed. The functional space includes a seating area and additional vanity storage space. The vanity is equipped with custom mirrors and heavy molding details, while sconces set inside the mirrors and halogen accent lighting provide all the illumination needed for the various tasks at hand. A custom eyebrow mirror ensures no detail — on the face or in the bathroom — is overlooked. 

To be sure, the steam shower in this bathroom is a focal point. The large, beautiful shower is surrounded by tile on the floor, walls and ceiling. Frameless glass walls and glass door provide a spacious feeling and an open environment. The spa-like surroundings are enhanced with a sound system and accent lighting. “We were thrilled with the outcome of this bathroom remodel as we were able to check off everything David Sprinkle, the homeowner, wanted and accomplish it within the existing footprint of the current space,” says Jim. “The steam shower works great for them. They have acquired much-needed additional space and they each have their own vanity.” For it’s a well-known fact that separate vanities equate to happier marriages. A steam shower doesn’t hurt either.

Outdoor Living 

Palmetto Construction and Renovations

Today, outdoor living spaces are just as important as the inside. Thanks to Columbia’s climate, outdoor living spaces can be used year-round with few exceptions. This popular trend has spread across South Carolina and is providing builders with the chance to be creative by expanding homes to include outdoor rooms. For Hope Lanier, the homeowner, the Clemson Tigers were the catalyst for the outdoor space. Hope wanted to create a space for entertaining guests and watching Clemson football games. The project included a new screened-in porch and side deck. The porch boasts a beverage station with granite countertops and additional cabinet space for storage. 

The upper cabinet faces were painted with chalkboard paint for leaving notes or jotting lists. Across the porch is a gas fireplace with granite surrounding and a built-in television. “This outdoor living area feels more like a room than a porch,” adds Jim Evatt with Palmetto Construction and Renovations. “It was a really nice tie-in to the existing house.” The porch also includes custom columns, tongue and groove ceilings, can lighting and a ceiling fan to keep guests comfortable. The Chippendale railing on the porch and deck provides a beautiful finishing touch. The exterior deck runs the length of the porch, providing a great place for grilling and entertaining.

Jim and his team also added a half bath and laundry room, which provided a nice flow from the kitchen to the outdoor living area. 

Good luck getting the guests off of this porch.

Remodeled Area

Design & Remodeling Solutions, LLC

“Stealth” remodeling. It’s what Cliff Cinamon, president of Design & Remodeling Solutions, LLC, finds to be the most fulfilling part of a remodel, in which a designer takes the existing architecture and turns it into something that is completely new but looks as though it has always been there. Such was the case for this remodeled area, which turned a den and living area into an expansive family room, ideal for entertaining, relaxing and family time. What was once two separate underutilized rooms became one cohesive, welcoming, bright space.

The central focus of Brenda and Tommy Sanders’s family room is the unique, eye-catching fireplace. Slate tile and custom-cut granite frame the brick fireplace. The mantel and support posts provide hidden storage, allowing for entertainment equipment to be shielded from view but still fully functional. New glimmering real hardwoods were installed where there was once carpeting and older floors were refinished to match the new. Major changes to things unseen, such as new subflooring, 18 piers and drop sills, structural beam, duct and electrical work, were quite an undertaking — but an absolute necessity to ensure the safety and quality of the design. Gone are the popcorn ceilings — a tedius undertaking itself.

“It’s very rewarding to take an existing home like this and turn it into something new and classic without making it look remodeled,” says Cliff. Certainly, the differences in this home were not subtle, but the attention to detail, commitment to a seamless look and expert design ensures that this remodel is one that the homeowners will enjoy for many years to come.

Large Remodeled Area

Design & Remodeling Solutions, LLC

Unlike most remodels, these homeowners had an idea of what they wanted and shared their needs with the remodeler. It’s up to the designer to take those needs and envision it into reality. Together, homeowners Susan Tokarski and Michael Sullivan, and the team at Design and Remodeling Solutions, LLC, created a plan that would turn an inefficient home into the cottage of their dreams. From the exterior of the home to the new bathrooms, customized kitchen and office space on through to the new screened-in porch complete with a new roofline, this remodel created a home that capitalized on all of its space, while adding beauty and curb appeal. What was once an eye sore is now a stand out in the Shandon community.

Great attention was given to every element of the home, starting with the front porch. Faux cedar shake in HardiePlank was added to the front porch gable, while custom fit prairie shutters were made from special order perma-deck boards so that they would be proportionate to the windows. Inside, all hardwoods were refinished. The kitchen was completely refurbished to include new tile flooring, countertops, cabinets and appliances. The efficient design provided for ample storage space and an enhanced flow throughout. What was once an odd-placed bedroom became a hallway and new master bathroom. The previous owner had converted a large bedroom into a make-shift bathroom, which was undone and turned into much-needed office space. A custom area was even created for the cat.

The challenges in this extensive remodel were aplenty. Every piece of wiring, every light fixture and every receptacle in the home had to be replaced and, in some cases, moved. Cliff and his team went to painstaking detail to ensure they kept the integrity of the home, even ordering antique hardware from Pennsylvania to ensure it matched the beautiful hardware already found in a portion of the home. “If you don’t take the time to ensure that the details of the home match, it doesn’t look original,” says Cliff. About 70 percent of the back porch had to be rebuilt — within the current footprint — and Susan and Mike took this opportunity to add a screened-in porch. This called for the design of a new roofline from the center of the home to the back. While challenges did present themselves, in the end, they were all worth the effort, as the homeowners are thrilled with their remodeled bungalow — and so is the cat.

Bath Remodel 

Palmetto Construction and Renovations

A retreat, a getaway, a place to unwind — it’s the master bath. For this homeowner, Geordie Zug, the master bath needed a new look and a new layout. The prior layout had split master vanities, with one vanity and the whirlpool tub on a raised platform, which made for an awkward flow. Jim Evatt and the Palmetto Construction and Renovations team decided to remove the elevated platform and an interior wall, while reconfiguring the entire space. A beautiful custom double master vanity with granite countertops was installed, providing ample counter and storage space, as well as significant personal space. The can and in-cabinet lighting deliver just the ambiance needed for relaxation or hurried mornings.

The custom tile shower and soaking tub are impressive to look at and even more fabulous to use. “Geordie selected a very nice looking tile for the shower, and we took that tile all the way to the ceiling in the shower, which provided a beautiful finishing touch,” says Jim. By incorporating a glass wall in the bathroom, the space looks even larger and more open. The floor of the bathroom is actually tile but looks like hardwoods, complete with knotholes, delivering a unique look to an incredible master spa. 

Large Remodeled Design 

(Universal Design)

Kehoe Constructors, LLC

While still in her youth, Yanisse Adrian Silva, the homeowner of this remodel, was in an accident that caused her to become paralyzed from the waist down. Universal Design concepts were used for this client’s remodel not only to make the home easily and efficiently accessible for the homeowner, but also for guests of all ages and abilities. Being a wheelchair user, Yanisse needed a home that was efficient and provided easy access to cabinets, closets, appliances and other everyday items. Being on the 18th floor of a condominium, every piece incorporated into the redesign had to fit into an elevator to reach the owner’s condo. 

In order to best meet the Universal Design needs for Yanisse, Tim Kehoe and his team at Kehoe Constructors, LLC, began by widening doors to the hall and master baths, installing a roll-under master vanity, pull-down rod systems in the closets and lever handles on all doors and faucets.

The changes to the kitchen were remarkable. The countertop was lowered at the cook top and sink. Roll-under access to the cook top and partial roll-under access to the kitchen sink provided enhanced efficiency and convenience. Full extension drawers for dishes and pots and pans allow Yanisse to easily access everyday items. The cook top is located immediately to the left of the sink, enabling her to fill the pot from the gooseneck faucet and move it to the cook top without picking up a heavy pot. 

This young woman, now in her 30s, is a newlywed, enjoying her home with her new husband. “I am very satisfied with the final project. It has been a great learning experience being that this is my first remodeling property,” Yanisse says. 

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