Our owners, Ben & Stephanie, recently finished their custom new home in Cumming, GA, and if you followed their journey, you'll know they started with inspiration in the form of the beautiful stone cottage in Transylvania County, NC. They even had the opportunity to tour the interior of the home, thanks to the gracious homeowners. One of the interior features that Ben knew he wanted to bring to their Cumming, GA home was the three piece stone fireplace.
Long term projects like new homes have their pacing -- certain parts of the project appear to go quickly, certain parts seem to take longer. External forces like permits, inspections, and the weather can each have their own role in slowing or speeding a job up. As the end of a project draws to a close, time seems to hit fast forward. There's never enough time, seemingly, but so much is being accomplished each day!
The essence of farmhouse design is more than just artsy throw pillows and or rustic signs with painted farm animals hung on the walls. A true farmhouse design is much more focused on connections -- connecting the true heart of the home, the kitchen, more intimately with the living areas, and making it not just beautiful, but highly functional and comfortable.
Work on the interiors is steadily transforming the Kray house into a modern home with an outstanding view. The kitchen, dining room, and living room are getting a completely new look and new layout. The wall separating the dining room and kitchen was demolished, and the two rooms will switch spots in the floor plan. The window which used to be in the old dining room was removed to provide more wall space for cabinets, but more light is brought into the new great room with a large picture window and 10' sliding glass door from Pella onto their wraparound deck facing the golf course.
Tucked away in wooded golf-course lot, a 1980's home boasted gorgeous views, but an exterior and interior that needed more than a facelift. Our whole home remodeling team, working alongside architect Steven T. Giampetro, moved, removed and added walls on the first floor as part of a redesign of the master bath, office, kitchen, and living room. The upstairs and basement are both getting updated, with the upstairs bath being completely remade for plumbing stubs up to tile!
Building a home is both a science and an art. It requires faith and hard work. No wonder the process is frequently used as a metaphor for life, and sometimes we use life as a metaphor for building a home. "The making of a house is a strange blend of dreams and mundane work, of heaven and earth" is the way that Paul Goldberger, the architectural critic for the New York Times described it. The dreams, the inspiration and the exacting, careful, back-breaking labor come together in such a tangible way.
Though NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) meets regularly to educate members, its main purpose is to help consumers get the most reliable, knowledgeable, and dependable remodelers for their projects. But sometimes... there are also tasty treats! Check out the Jenn-Air chefs preparing a few snacks at our recent gathering at Ferguson's. Salmon, anyone?
Check out how amazing this park swing and pavilion turned out! If you want to swing by, the address is 4012 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta.
Nothing says fall like heading to the local park, iced pumpkin spice latte in hand, shorts & fall themed tank top on, sunscreen for the children, right? It's the south, ya'll! The weather may not be ready to change yet, but we've got a great little park for you to try out -- Little Nancy Creek Park in Atlanta.
When embarking upon any project, remodel or design & build, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of decisions to be made. The list of decisions marches through the homeowner's mind. What kind of windows should I choose? What kind of handles do I want on this sink? What kind of shutter dogs should I choose? How about the style of siding?
A drive in the mountains often takes us through interesting twists and turns. A long view over the valley and the next range, a hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint, or an explosion of autumn reds and oranges are all just around the bend. But these surprises are hoped for, expected. Sometimes a drive through the mountains brings something unlooked for -- inspiration. In our story, a house around the bend in a North Carolina road is the instigator, a first step in journey for our homeowners. This isn't just anyone's story, it's Ben and his family's, and it's not just another remodel.
Congratulations are in order for our project manager, Ian Hastings. He recently completed his path to citizenship and took his oath this week. Well done, Ian!
In the Atlanta-area this week, summer paid a visit. The warm air brought visions of poolside siestas, lake breezes, and ice cold margaritas on the deck. Or maybe you got a whiff of baking concrete, the feeling you need another shower by the time you arrive at work, or the listless feeling of laying on your couch waiting for your struggling A/C to keep up with the Georgia heat. A common theme emerges.
A swift perusal through the latest home remodeling magazines will give a taste of the very diverse ideas trending in kitchen design right now. However, it seems that no matter the style, in design there is something that unites the current trend in kitchen remodels -- the open floor plan. What have we learned from the past? Walls are confining; they separate. Upper cabinets aren't really necessary for storage. The work of the kitchen doesn't have to be separated from relaxation or talk or togetherness. The result? Kitchens that are more connected to the rest of the home. Moms & dads rejoice! We can work AND play, talk AND cook, wash AND help with homework.
Our homeowners are taking their new property and reworking the kitchen to reflect a better work flow period, and certainly a greater degree of connectedness with other areas of the home. They had been planning to remodel their previous home, and had contacted Ben during the quote process. When this new property popped on the horizon, Stacy and Todd felt that it was the best of both worlds. While it still needed some work to make it home, they could do the work BEFORE they moved in. Stacy emailed Ben and asked for a fresh quote on a new house and a new plan. Pictures showcase some of the problems they plan to address in their remodel.
The original design elements for this kitchen were not cohesive -- beautiful hardwood floors, a 'natural' finish on the cabinets, black appliances and a white countertop. The failed attempt to pull it all together? The stone backsplash. On a structural level, to create a hallway behind this wall, the builder devised two diagonals to ease the corners. This created a very poor working space between the perimeter cabinets and the island. In fact, the refrigerator door couldn't be opened by someone standing in front of the sink!
The plan? Knock down a few walls and get rid of the awkward angles and arched entrances. New kitchen cabinets, a new layout, and new countertops. Add a door, replace a door, and move a door. All pulled together with a cohesive Farmhouse style -- Shaker cabinets, a glass door into the pantry, planking & beams in the vaulted ceiling over the table, and an incredible show-stopper of a two-story fireplace.
The peninsula and half wall of upper cabinets were perhaps functional, but certainly not beautiful and really cut off the working part of the kitchen from the living room completely. The wall to the left and the wall straight ahead are both on the chopping block.
A better view from the living room -- awkward peninsula, wouldn't you say?
On your marks? Get ready, get set & GO! It's demo time. Out first? The appliances, cabinets, and countertops, then drywall.
Now for the other side.
The short header has got to go to make way for a new longer one that will cover the entire span of the new opening.
In it goes -- this will disperse the load of the upstairs and roof and enable the wall framing to come on down.
Meanwhile, across the way, a two story fireplace surround is going up. This accent wall is going to create the perfect focal point for the great-room and will tie into the planking on the kitchen ceiling..
Beautiful lot, views of Georgia's Lake Lanier from 3 sides of this ranch home on a basement -- sounds like a vacation, right? Maybe if you also wanted to take a step back onto the set of That 70's Show or The Brady Brunch. Our homeowners recently purchased their own fixer upper on the lake and are ready for a huge change.
This original homeowners bought the home, decorated, bought furniture and moved in and then spent the next 30 years maintaining and preserving this home by the lake. They did such a great job preserving that they never felt the need to replace any of it. Any.of.it. We are talking 70's perfection: shag carpet, gloriously vintage floral wall-paper, a television that looks like an end table, and all the decade's favorite colors in the bathrooms -- avocado green, earthy brown, and tawny orange.
Our new homeowners are planning to bring this home way into the 21st century with a modern twist in their design phase. Can't wait to see the finished product, can you?
Let's take a walk through this lake house in all of it's "before" glory.
The laundry-kitchen combo has GOT to go. Everything from the tile flooring, cabinets with a center ring-pull, faux brick backsplash is heading out of the kitchen during demo. The dining room is being transformed into a pantry, laundry, mudroom SEPARATE from the kitchen.
This bathroom, though designed in the 70's, has come back into fashion, but it is not our homeowner's cup of tea. This 30 year old tile & wallpaper in the bathroom (ew!) are going, too.
Needless to say, this furniture suite is heading out of the door, hopefully to a good home, and the amber shaded fixture that is WAY too small for this family room is also outta here. The rustic stone fireplace surround will be replaced by a modern stone fireplace surround. The homeowners are putting an addition (using the same footprint of the porch) onto the family room.
This avocado green showcases how beautifully this home was preserved -- check out how WHITE that grout is. All this is going, going, gone!
So, what do you think? Is this 70's home in need of a change?
One of our promises to clients is to come up with solutions that fit their particular needs, not using mass-produced "solutions" that cannot anticipate each home's idiosyncrasies. Remember the customized barn doors, the doors carefully re-sized to fit the newly redone interiors, or the ultimate custom man-cave?
While our construction team has been focused on the structural aspects of our Kitchen & Bath Remodel for James & Arow, Ben and our homeowners have been finalizing the interior finishes. During the cabinet design process, Arow came up with a problem -- none of the stock legs from the cabinet manufacturer were just right for her vanity make-up table. Solution? Ben crafted one to spec. Maple lumber, cut to size, glued together, planed & sanded did the job. The next step is sending this custom solution to the finishers to be ready to install along with the rest of the bathroom cabinets.
The kitchen addition has made the transition from blueprints to site prep (grading and concrete work) to framing, siding, and painting.
The bump-out is providing our homeowners with the perfect opportunity to add on to their outdoor living space, some of it covered by an extension of the shed roof along almost the entire rear of the home.
TA-DA -- A wonderful covered porch with some sunny spots for deck boxes full of flowers or maybe an herb garden. The new doors provide a functional and beautiful entrance from the kitchen.
A small porch provides enough space for a boot tray or a grill and an additional entrance into the kitchen.
The temporary wall is down, but there is still a bit more demolition to go.
There we go! With the removal of the cased opening, the kitchen is really starting to open up. Next step -- drywall, flooring & cabinets that will really make this space POP.
From large solutions to small details, Benjamin Andrew Construction makes it our goal to provide each homeowner and each project with a customized approach that exceed expectations. We like to think outside the box for solutions that make our homeowners happy.
Need help solving some remodeling problems? We'd love to start a conversation with you.
HOUSE INTO HOME
Long before HGTV or Discovery channel became interested in the drama of renovation, the remodeling profession has been painting, adding, sanding, refinishing, and removing. At the heart of a remodel is the desire to preserve and renew. It also requires a vision -- the ability to see past the outdated, dark, or too small. Thom saw such a vision when he walked into the 1950's ranch home in Atlanta and thought, this is it! It wasn't everything that he wanted, though the home had been renovated since the 50's. He wanted to make the house into his home. In his own words,
I recently purchased a 1950’s home that had undergone some renovations. There were other areas that I wanted to update to make my house into my home. I first contacted Benjamin Andrew Construction via their website after viewing their projects and reading reviews from pleased clients. I received a follow-up call that laid the foundation for my renovation objectives. After my first face to face meeting with Ben I knew that I had found the team that I wanted to work with concerning these changes. I can honestly say that Ben and his team lived up to what I had read from other clients and then some. He totally restored my faith in contractors as well as the renovation process.
So here it is -- this house turned home. The dark interiors with a curious mixture of flooring products (with some hardwoods covered over with wall to wall carpet!!) are replaced with elegant, bright rooms, refurbished original hardwoods--all ready for move in day!
The hardwoods refinished make an elegant statement throughout the home. Painting the beadboard paneling brightens the space and brings the room into the 21st century.
Again, the exposed brick and bead board painted a light neutral brighten the space, while the dark rectangular tiles ground the space.
Double vanities with vessel sinks and channel spout faucets bring just the right touch of glamor and elegance into the master bath.
The glass tiles bring a three dimensional effect into the shower. This no longer looks like a 1950's interior. The marble threshold, marbled floor tiles, and vanity tops are ready to welcome the new homeowner.
Each of the changes reflected the intention of our homeowner to make this house into a home.
BEFORE & aFTERS
A firm foundation is absolutely necessary when building secure & stable structures meant to house our families, those we love and cherish. Even the Sunday School dittie picks up on this theme, "The wise man built his house upon the ROCK!" with emphasis of fists pounding each like a hammer driving nails.
A strong foundation is no less important when adding on to a house. A proper foundation for a remodeling project may consist of additional footers or concrete being poured. It may consist of proper architectural renderings for your project. It might consist of an efficient and experienced contractor making detailed plans to get your project done in the least amount of time with the fewest number of days on the job all the while caring for your property as though it were his own. Or, it might mean all of those things.
Part One: The Kitchen
One of our current jobs for the James and Arow has transformed their backyard and footprint by adding a bump-out to their kitchen, and giving them a low deck to enjoy their wooded view. Watch as we prepared their new foundation for the bump-out form rebar to the concrete forms.
Ready to Pour!
The new bump-out is framed & wrapped, and the new deck is in place. This will make a lovely option for outdoor dining.
On the Inside
The new walls are framed, and it will soon be time for the temp wall to be torn down. Opening up to some wide open spaces!
Part Two: The Bathroom
The old shower stall and bathtub have been ripped out, and with minimal sheetrock damage, our crew has run the new wiring, too!
Framing in the water closet in the new layout.
We can't wait to unveil the finished remodel for James & Arow.
Firm foundations consist of much more than concrete & rebar. Careful planning, communication with our homeowners, and quality installations are ways we ensure each homeowner has a stress-free experience with Benjamin Andrew Construction.