A common theme among this year’s winners for the Columbia Home Builders Association’s Remodelers Awards is longevity. Homeowners today are looking for ways to stay in their houses even longer. That means consideration of space, functionality and modernization. The winners of this year’s awards have demonstrated their ability to master the wants and desires of their clients while creating living spaces that will last for years to come. From indoor living to outdoor entertaining, these remodels will show what is possible when it comes to creating a home anyone would be proud to own.
Editor’s note: There was no winner for Category 1 or 9. There were two winners for Category 5 – one was specific to Universal Design – and two winners for Category 6.
To see before and after photos of the remodels, pick up a copy of our September issue or visit the HBA’s website here.
Category 2 – Medium Kitchen Remodel
Winner: Capital Construction
Joanne Hayton and Andy Folk wanted to expand their small, outdated kitchen and have more livable space in their Forest Acres home. Working with Roy Hurley of Capital Construction, they were able to double the size of their original kitchen and, with careful attention to their budget, work in a few extras as well.
After the footprint of the house was expanded, that tiny kitchen became an open space with plenty of cabinetry and a new pantry for storage. White cabinetry with a contrasting solid-surface countertop, updated appliances and under-cabinetry lighting give a modern feel to the kitchen. The original kitchen had different flooring from the remainder of the house; that has been updated with hardwood floors to match.
Roy recommends paying close attention to budget when considering a renovation. “When we began talking about the expansion, we thought we would have to tie in to the existing roof line,” he says. As it turned out, his design offered some options that would save them on the renovation costs and allow for additional changes, including expanding the living area and laundry room and converting their carport into an enclosed garage. They were even able to add a fireplace in the living area.
Category 3 – Large Kitchen Remodel
Winner: Carolina Traditional Homes
The main reason most homeowners decide to renovate their kitchens is because of size. That was the case for the Rubins, who felt the kitchen in their Kings Grant home was too small and closed off from the rest of the house. They had interviewed several contractors, but after reading about a renovation by Carolina Traditional Homes, they decided to talk things over with Ken Baker, president of the company.
It wasn’t the first time at the renovation dance for these homeowners. “The kitchen had in fact been renovated once before, but they never truly felt that it was designed appropriately for entertaining,” says Ken.
To accomplish the homeowners’ goals, Ken created a design to open up the existing space by removing walls and installing a large header for structural support. Dead space in an adjoining hallway was converted to a wet bar that is visible from the island and blends with the kitchen design. A cabinet turn that divided the kitchen from the great room was removed, allowing for a more open design and entertaining space.
The renovation also included removal of existing cabinetry and the hardwood flooring to make room for more stylish cabinetry with granite tops, a large central island with sink and functional storage space and ceramic tile floors. The Rubins special-ordered Jerusalem tile that has the appearance of subway tile to use for the back splash. Other amenities include soft-close cabinetry drawers and doors, along with built-in sliding spice racks.
Category 4 – Small Bath Remodel
Winner: Creative Tile
Homeowners Kelly and Charlton Galvarino like Scott Heron’s work. In fact, this renovation project was their fourth with the owner of Creative Tile. The Galvarinos wanted to renovate the master bath in their downtown Columbia home which had, as many older homes do, a single sink, a toilet and a tub, all aligned on one wall.
The existing space presented a unique challenge. A floor-to-ceiling closet addition and a large window just 18.5 inches from the floor stood in the way of installing a double vanity. The Galvarinos did not want to incur the expense of modifying the exterior of the house to remove the window. Additionally, as demolition began, Scott discovered that the existing floor had two types of flooring, both tile and hardwood. Consideration would have to be given to avoid a significant change in the elevation at the bath entry.
To resolve the issue of the window, Scott installed wooden shutters that were modified and then recessed into the exterior window opening. This gives the appearance that the shutters are closed. On the interior, he placed sheetrock over the window and removed the built-in closet, thus providing the necessary space for the double vanity.
Eliminating the window, however, took away the natural light. “So we installed a Solatube with a vent/light combination along with recessed can lighting and wall sconces, each with separate switches,” says Scott.
To ensure he met the homeowners’ time schedule, Scott had all materials purchased and onsite prior to even beginning the demolition. With the exception of painting, Scott was able to complete the project in just eight days.
Category 5 – Medium Bath Remodel
Winner: von Ahn Design
When designing a renovation for an older home, one key step for an architect is to spend time with the homeowners. After an analysis of Connie and Stan Lacy’s daily living patterns, Pete von Ahn determined that what they thought they wanted would not accomplish their goal.
The Lacys originally planned to renovate a second floor master suite, but Pete realized it meant they would be climbing a flight of stairs every day, even into their golden years. At his suggestion, they instead turned their attention to under-utilized space on the main floor of their home.
The solution was to relocate the dining room and in its space create a beautiful spa-like master bath. A large tile shower features a decorative mosaic on one wall and multiple showerheads. With a screened toilet and double vanities, the suite brings the amenities of a luxurious bath to an older home. “The best part of any project is when the homeowners tell us they absolutely love their new space and wouldn’t change anything,” says Pete. “The Lacys were open to new ideas and didn’t limit their thinking to the preconceived notions of what their existing spaces held.”
Category 5 – Medium Bath Remodel (Universal Design)
Winner: Kehoe Construction
One of Joan and Gary Marco’s main goals for remodeling their bathroom was to make it beautiful and functional. They plan to stay in their house for some time, so it was important to have a bathroom that would be accessible for years to come. Their contractor, Tim Kehoe of Kehoe Constructors, recommended that they consider incorporating universal design into the remodel.
The remodel included replacing the existing tub with a walk-in shower and a hand-held sliding showerhead on a vertical grab bar. The single sink vanity with a plastic laminate countertop was converted to a cultured marble double vanity. “We left enough open space with the vanity to allow them to widen the door to the bathroom if they choose to do so in the future,” says Tim.
Tilting vanity mirrors provide views from any level, for grandchildren as well as adults. Other universal design features include a comfort height toilet and designer-styled grab bars that also serve as towel bars.
“Universal design is becoming one of the fastest-growing segments of the remodeling industry,” says Tim, who is a Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) specialist. “Ten thousand people are turning 50 every day, and four million households now consist of three generations. Universal design principles create spaces that are beautiful, functional, energy efficient and usable by everyone.”
Category 6 – Large Bath Remodel
Winner: von Ahn Design
There was truly no way to describe Mary Prather and Rick Rusaw’s master bath as anything but old, with wasted space, poor lighting and no view of the lake. They wanted a more open floor plan with natural light that would also allow them to enjoy a lake view.
Two of the challenges that Pete von Ahn faced with this remodel were a limitation in size due to property lines and finding a view of the lake not blocked by neighboring houses. By relocating a closet to another area of the house, Pete was able to create a suite featuring an open walk-in shower with multiple shower heads; a Jacuzzi tub centrally located under a window for a direct view of the lake; separate vanities with a make-up area; a separate water closet with a privacy door; and a linen closet.
Achieving the homeowners’ goals is what makes a successful project. “We were able to create an open layout while taking advantage of the limited lake view that was available,” says Pete. “Through the collaborative effort of the homeowners, we were able to meet all their desires without sacrificing their daily needs for the space.”
Category 6 – Large Bath Remodel
Winner: Design and Remodeling Solutions
There wasn’t much Michelle Hogue liked about her original bathroom: it didn’t have adequate storage, the wallpaper was outdated and the whirlpool and shower were too small. While the space seemed expansive with high ceilings, the amount of open space made the room feel cavernous and cold, and she wanted a make-up area added to the vanity.
Michelle selected Design and Remodeling Solutions to complete her renovation. Working with owner Clifford Cinamon, she was able to convey some of what she was hoping to achieve through photographs. “She had photos of a ski lodge that had these beams. It wasn’t the rustic look of the lodge but the style of the beams that she wanted to recreate,” says Cliff.
After ripping out the existing vanities, tub and shower and removing the wallpaper, Cliff moved the closet entry from the bathroom to the master bedroom. New angled vanities with granite tops, a larger whirlpool tub and a glass shower all helped create a more inviting space. To make the bath even more efficient, Cliff added space for a full-size fold-down ironing board, laundry hamper and storage for linens.
Custom mirrors, a new color scheme, granite counters and tile give the space a modern-day feel. A crystal chandelier hanging among the smooth beams in the ceiling transform this once-dated master bath into an elegant and relaxing retreat.
Category 7 – Remodeled Area
Winner: Carolina Traditional Homes
Frances and Irvin Powell were ready to settle down for retirement. While they liked their home, it had not been updated in quite some time and was in dire need of an overhaul.
Ken Baker of Carolina Traditional Homes began the first phase of the renovation in the kitchen. While the existing cabinet frames remained, everything else had to go, including the Formica countertops, cabinet doors, laminate flooring and the white appliances. Ken gave the kitchen an up-to-date look with new cabinet doors and hardware, stainless appliances and ceramic tile floor. “We were able to add more usable space, including a pantry with pull-out drawers in a portion of the existing cabinetry,” he says.
Next on the list was the master bath, whose gold fixtures and cultured marble countertops cried out for a more modern look. Updates include a custom tile floor, tile shower and tub surround with tumbled rock detail and new cabinetry with granite countertop. Ken also installed a unique feature in the shower. Frances wanted a seat there, but it would cut down on the amount of space available. Ken’s solution was to install a seat made of teak wood that can withstand everyday exposure to water and can be raised and lowered as needed.
Finally, Ken remodeled a hall bath, replacing old tile with new, removing wallpaper and adding a fresh coat of color and putting a granite counter on the vanity.
All the changes gave the Powells what they sought – a home in which they can spend many relaxing years enjoying time with friends and family, especially their grandchildren.
Category 8 – Large Remodeled Area
Winner: Design & Remodeling Solutions
Tora and Keith Miller trusted Clifford Cinamon after working with him on a project in 2008, so they sought his help again to remodel their new home in Wildewood.
“They really wanted this house, but it hadn’t been updated in 27 years,” says Cliff. “Their goal was to open up space in the house to give it a more airy feel, as well as to transform the master bath and add more closet space.” The Millers also wanted the leaking basement repaired and renovated into a media room.
To open the living area, Cliff removed three walls and replaced the structural support with columns. He also installed approximately 2,500 square feet of hardwood flooring throughout the house, along with new handrails and balusters on the stairs.
In the kitchen, another load bearing wall with a set of cabinets was sacrificed to open up the view to the living area. New cabinets with drawers rather than doors and a new granite-topped island with a bar for seating give the kitchen a modern look and feel.
In the master bath, Cliff moved the existing shower to the opposite side of the room under an existing skylight. A new claw foot tub, a new vanity with granite countertops and a deco tile mural create an elegant yet useful space.
Another part of the renovation involved adding more closet space, which Cliff created from unused dormer space. “We cut through a wall in the existing closet to access the dormer area,” Cliff says. “I used that area to design two closets that mirrored each other, with drawers for storage and plenty of hanging space.”
Finally, the leaky basement was transformed into a man cave, with new carpet as well as cabinetry for a microwave and small refrigerator recessed on one wall. A large seating area provides a relaxing environment to watch television or listen to music.
In the end, Cliff added an additional 1,000 square feet of heated space to the Millers’ home without adding to the footprint of the house. They now have the beautiful waterfront home they’ve always wanted that will fit their needs for years to come.
Category 10 – Large Room Addition
Winner: Gallup & Gallup
The renovation for Dottie and Fritz Hill’s Lake Murray home was a major undertaking that added 900 square feet with a two-story bay addition. Like many homeowners, the Hills wanted to open up the space in their existing home to give it a more airy feel along with a more functional kitchen. Gallup & Gallup’s remodel transformed a small and inefficient eat-in kitchen into an expansive space on the upper level of the addition. New features include a large granite-topped island, new cabinetry with a paint and glaze finish and decorative tile backsplashes. Large windows fill the dining and living areas with plenty of light, and alternating dark and light colors provide an interesting contrast to the illuminated tray ceiling.
The lower level of the expansion features a large tiled space with plenty of natural light pouring through the expansive windows. With a new staircase leading down from the upper floor, it’s an area perfect for entertaining family and friends.
The biggest challenge in construction is keeping the homeowners comfortable while renovations are underway. “We always work to respect the homeowner and their space,” says project manager R. B. Gallup. “Sealing off the area to be demolished helps keep down the amount of dust and debris throughout the remainder of the house.”
Working with Gallup & Gallup is something of a family affair. Dick Gallup, R. B.’s father, is a residential designer for the company and Elaine, his mom, is an interior designer, providing a seamless process from concept to construction to interior design.
Category 11 – Outdoor Living/Exterior Renovation
Winner: Lamotte Builders
Sherry and Bill Eaddy’s home on Lake Katherine has a great backyard retreat with a pool, but there wasn’t much shade. Bob Lamotte of Lamotte Builders was able to create an outdoor space that gives them the ability to enjoy the outdoors year round.
“The Eaddys weren’t able to use the pool as much as they wanted because there was too much sun. We created a series of roofs that offer them more shaded area,” says Bob. “From the top story of the home all the way down, they now have covered spaces that allow for more use of the pool area.”
The largest addition of the patio cover features a pavilion with exposed beams over a cypress ceiling with built-in uplighting. Along with installation of an outdoor grill, other renovations included a new roof, shutters and brick privacy walls, as well as replacement of siding with low-maintenance HardiPlank, removal of single-pane windows in favor of energy-efficient windows and painting the exterior brick.
Because they enjoy being able to use their pool area and the entertaining space that has been created, the Eaddys plan to add a stone fireplace so they can spend time outdoors even in the winter months.