More and more often, homeowners are choosing to stay in their homes and put effort into remodeling and renovating rather than buying or building. Their reasons are numerous – the benefits of established roots in their community, strong relationships with their neighbors, a love for their existing house and, most importantly, the need to stay connected to the many memories of their existing homes.
The winners for the 2013 Columbia Remodelers Awards, presented by the Columbia Home Builders Assocation, had the goal of creating areas for their clients that would provide them the space they desired, whether it was in a kitchen, a bath or a living room, indoors or out. Each of the winners demonstrates an ability to incorporate practicality with great attention to detail.
Palmetto Construction and Renovations
Large Kitchen Remodel
Sandy and Sam McGuckin enjoy entertaining, but their kitchen didn’t fit the bill in size or functionality. Their renovation required altering the footprint of their kitchen by removing a wall and incorporating an existing mudroom into the new space.
Because the home is an older one, Jim Evatt, owner of Palmetto Construction and Renovations, encountered several difficulties when removing the wall from the old butler’s pantry. He had to relocate gas lines, electrical feeds and heating and air ducts. “We also had to install a beam to provide proper support for the second story,” he says.
The McGuckins’ new dream kitchen has space large enough to accommodate numerous guests as well as plenty of new amenities – although one particular feature isn’t quite so new. Sandy found a 1940s era O’Keefe & Merritt stove that she also had renovated. “This is the centerpiece of the renovation,” says Jim, “as it is Sandy’s pet project. It’s a great conversation piece as well.”
The kitchen has new custom cabinetry, marble countertops and canned lighting along with lighting inside and underneath the cabinetry. Jim also added a unique feature of crop circles in the frames for the glass cabinet doors. To further create a sense of open space, Jim added a larger opening into the dining room. “Our goal was to create a line of sight from the front of the house to the back,” he adds.
Palmetto Construction and Renovations
Outdoor Living/Exterior Renovation
The McGuckins were so pleased with their new kitchen that they turned their attention to the fact that they wanted more space for entertaining. “The porch was really an afterthought,” says Jim, “yet it fits in perfectly with their desire to entertain.”
To help create flow, Jim recommended that they add double French doors from the den onto the porch. “We essentially developed a path that guests can follow from the newly renovated kitchen onto the porch and back into the den,” explains Jim.
The porch covers the entire length of the house with a stained concrete floor and ample room for seating. The ceiling is made of cypress, and new fans help keep air flowing on warm summer nights.
Palmetto Construction and Renovations
Any time a family is planning a kitchen remodel, disruption is inevitable. Ashley and Will Thomas’s instructions to Jim were clear – complete the renovation as quickly as possible with as little disruption as possible. “They’re a growing family who needed to update their kitchen, but with small children, Ashley had a timeline in which everything had to be completed,” Jim says.
To help meet the timeline, Jim knew he would have to finesse the scheduling. “We made sure that we had all the cabinetry ready, and we didn’t start the demolition until we were prepared to set the cabinets,” he says.
Jim met Ashley’s goal in what must have seemed like record time for a kitchen overhaul. His crew was in and out in a month, and the result is a modern kitchen with plenty of new features, including an upgrade from an electric to a gas Bertazzoni stove. “Will likes to cook, so the stove and hood are a great addition for them,” Jim notes.
Other renovations included replacing the old Formica countertops with granite, replacing old metal cabinetry with new cabinets that feature glass doors with interior lighting and adding plenty of new canned lights as well as accent lighting under the cabinets.
Demonstrating how to make great use of a small space are the benches that Jim built in a corner of the kitchen which, with the addition of a table and chairs, create an eat-in area. With a fresh coat of paint and refinished hardwood floors, the Thomases now have a kitchen to last a lifetime.
Wise Guys Home Improvement
Large Bath Remodel
Sissy Todd’s master bath was large but extremely outdated. She had worked with Rob Lindsey, owner of Wise Guys Home Improvement, on some smaller projects in the past, so she turned to him to design a more modern bath that she could enjoy.
The project turned out to be more intense than Rob originally expected. Not only was this a remodel of a second story bathroom, but Rob also discovered issues with the flooring while installing new pipes to relocate some of the fixtures. “We had to completely gut the bathroom shower and floor to fix problems that we found,” he says.
Sissy wanted a large tub for relaxing as well as a big shower, and tile was another key element to the design. The entire shower is now tiled, featuring a frameless wrap-around shower door.
Because the space allowed for it, Rob created a knee wall with a bench in the shower and an area to keep products neatly tucked away.
“We added a design element of wainscoting around the wall,” he says. “That provides dimension to the walls which is especially important in a large space.”
Sissy chose a new color scheme of soft greens to add contrast to the metallic ceiling paint that Rob used to add a bit of shimmer.
Rob credits communication as one of the keys to the success of this project. “We touched base on a daily basis,” he says of Sissy, “and she was very much involved from the beginning. It was custom-built for her, and she was key to the process.”
Design & Remodeling Solutions, LLC
Universal Design Bath Remodel
This remodel involved some very particular requirements from the homeowners. The O’Herns wanted to renovate their bathroom so that it will provide accessibility as they grow older but also appear as normal as possible should they want to sell their house down the road.
“We incorporated universal design into this project,” says Cliff Cinamon, owner of Design & Remodeling Solutions, LLC. “That met the need for the homeowners to stay in their home for a longer period of time.”
Cliff’s crew gutted the 75-square-foot bathroom, removing a large garden tub, shower, walls and the existing vanity. “We widened the doorway so that it can accommodate a wheelchair. We also installed a no-barrier shower large enough for a wheelchair and caretaker, and we created a linen closet where the original shower stood.”
One particular challenge was the window over the original garden tub. “The window was not designed for exposure to water,” adds Cliff. “We replaced the wood sill with a marble threshold and solid PVC trim surround up to the tile so that it is now waterproof.”
The towel bars that Cliff had installed are actually grab bars to provide for future handicap access in the shower and around the toilet. The new vanity meets the homeowners’ current needs, but should they require a handicap accessible wall sink in the future, Cliff installed plumbing that will allow for an easy switch-out. He also ran the new tile floor and border pattern to the wall so there will be no issues with an unfinished floor if the vanity is ever removed.
Design & Remodeling Solutions, LLC
Marilyn Hogan wanted to create an open space between her kitchen and living room, which involved removing a load-bearing wall and two doorways that led from the living room and a hallway into the kitchen. A key component to the success of the project meant that no support beams should be visible. “It’s what I like to call ‘stealth remodeling,’” says Cliff. “My goal is to always make any renovation look as though it has always been there once we’re finished.”
Cliff included columns that provide structural support as well as an aesthetic appeal. The support beam that took the place of the wall is hidden above in the ceiling joists, leaving a flat ceiling for a seamless transition. Considerable focus also went into matching the living room’s original hardwood floors to help with the transition from room to room. air conditioning supply and return vents had to be relocated as well.
The final piece of the project was a custom island for the kitchen. “We put a great deal of effort into finding a countertop for the island that works with the kitchen renovation that was done a few years earlier,” Cliff says. The new bamboo countertop was created by joining two standard sizes, and it was sanded and stained until it looked aged and blended with the existing hickory cabinetry.
“We incorporated several features into the island, including drawers for space, a pull-out trash can, electrical outlets and an eat-in bar,” Cliff says. The island also features beadboard on the cabinet doors and corbels that provide a beautiful look as well as functional support.
Sometimes the size of a bathroom feels right but things just need to be arranged a little differently. Such was the case with Crystal and Jeff Ross’s master bath. They were happy with the size of the bathroom in their Lexington home, but the arrangement felt awkward to them.
“They had a large garden tub which was never used and which took up a great deal of room, the original shower was much too small, and there was no privacy for the toilet,” says Scott Heron, owner of Creative Tile. “We didn’t change the walls. We simply made it a more useable, functional space.”
Scott worked with the Rosses to create a design that eliminated the garden tub, replacing it with a large tiled walk-in shower. The original shower space was converted into a water closet with a door, solving the lack of privacy for the toilet. Other renovations included removing the old vanity and installing a larger one with granite countertops. The new vanity also incorporates floor-to-ceiling linen cabinets for much needed additional storage.
Choosing the right color scheme played a key role in the renovation as well. “We selected porcelain tile that has a natural look and feel,” notes Scott. “The darker colors for the walls make it a warm relaxing space, replacing the sterile look that the bathroom had before. The final result is a high-end look with a reasonable price point.”
Gallup & Gallup Design-Build-Remodel
Kim and Darrell Holifield wanted to turn their vacation home on Lake Murray into a full-time residence. Working with Gallup & Gallup, they more than doubled the size of the house from just 1,100 square feet to 2,600 square feet.
“They loved the house, and they loved the location,” recalls R.B. Gallup, project manager. “They didn’t want to waste what they already had, so the project turned into building a new house off the older one rather than simply remodeling the existing house.”
They kept two of the bedrooms and renovated one of the bathrooms, and the entire roof came off of the house. To add height to the ceiling, the design-build firm added knee walls to the existing structure, creating nine-foot ceilings that allow for a more spacious feel throughout.
The addition also included a new master suite with master bath, a new kitchen, a foyer, a laundry room and a two-car garage. A notable feature is the new covered front porch with a concrete-stamped floor to mimic the look of stone. “The Holifields wanted to make sure they had plenty of room to entertain and lots of space for their grandchildren to have fun,” R.B. adds. “The grandkids even have their own bedroom and bathroom in the suite over the garage.”
Gallup designed the house with a bungalow feel and used HardiPlank® lap siding, which offers the look of wood and is known for its lasting durability. R.B. notes, “We wanted to stay true to their lifestyle of ‘lake living’ with the design.”