Swinging into Fall

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. Although it is a city park, it has been funded by the community. Neighborhoods and individuals rallied together to decide what they needed and wanted and raised the necessary funds to do so. Purchased in 2007, the park has gone through various phases of construction as the community worked on different elements in their master plan. Walking trails, a bridge, and community garden have made this an active and beautiful part of the neighborhood. 

The latest phase includes a pavilion, playground, and set of bench swings, perfect for family birthday parties and enjoying that crisp fall air. Once again, our friends at Ed Castro Landscape brought us on board to help with the woodwork & construction. 

Pavilion under construction

Pavilion under construction

Portico for the future bench swings

Portico for the future bench swings

This project is a perfect showcase of what local communities partnering with local companies can accomplish. One small example are the brackets we needed attach the corner posts to the beams. We called up a local company, Advanced Iron Works in Suwanee, GA, and they were able to create the custom metal bracket for us. Local companies helping local builders create a more beautiful space for our community--just as it should be. 

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So, go ahead and take a picnic to Little Nancy Creek Park and try to swing into our new season -- maybe the breeze will make it feel like fall!

Community Highlights

Little Nancy Creek Park

Ed Castro Landscape

Advanced Iron Works

Decisions that Impact

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? Making decisions that impact your project, are wise, efficient, and timely all depend on your process. 

If you are a visual learner, this type of up-front decision making involved in a remodel or build can be difficult, because only when you see all of the pieces together do you feel confident you are making an informed choice. For those of you who are hands-on learners, lots of leg-work is involved to do in order to touch and feel products that will eventually make it into your home. Criss-crossing the town with samples and comparisons for days can be exhausting. For the theoretical thinker, there are many surprises when the plans that you carefully crafted in the virtual, precise world of spreadsheets, Pinterest, or architectural plans fail to take in variables that occur in real life. Just imagine for a minute each of these ways to gather information as the leg on a stool. When balanced, the stool is useful, when one 'way' soaks up too much time and energy and the others are neglected, the stool is useless. 

The first step is ALWAYS to count the cost. Do the research. Pin away. Answer those basic questions: What do I need? What do I want? What is my vision? How much do I want to spend? Skipping this step and heading straight to show rooms can get you into some major pickles -- sticker shock or product overload, to name a few. 

Ferguson's plumbing, lighting, and appliance showroom in Alpharetta

Ferguson's plumbing, lighting, and appliance showroom in Alpharetta

However, if you stay in the virtual world too long, you are likely to have trouble getting off the ground. The internet has a way of making everything look perfect, affordable (cheap, really), when the truth is that getting locked into a certain magazine-spread look and trying to replicate can be expensive and an exercise in frustration. Here's how to decide if you are spending too much time 'researching in virtual world' -- if you are spending two or three times more time and effort on browsing sites like Wayfair or Houzz instead of looking at actual products and talking to knowledgeable and helpful salespeople, you are becoming imbalanced. Your stool is about to tip over because it is not balanced! 

Stephanie & Madeline discussing appliance selections

Stephanie & Madeline discussing appliance selections

Where to go look at product is another one of those decisions that can be mind-boggling. Here at BAC, we've spent years cultivating the best vendors in the Atlanta area. When Ben and Stephanie started looking for plumbing fixtures and windows, they went straight to the folks that have helped so many of Ben's client's over the years. Madeline at Ferguson's in Alpharetta was very knowledgeable and helped Steph navigate through the seemingly endless variations on a faucet to choose fixtures that are going to reflect her style, be of long lasting quality, and be within their budget. Not an easy task, but certainly doable with a little expertise to guide the way. To pick out their Enviroguard windows from local window manufacturer Precision Millworks, they headed to Lummus Supply to finalize their choices.  Reid Lummus gave Stephanie the guided tour through trim styles & mulls. Using the North Carolina home as their style guide, they selected a wide trim, 9 light window with the mulls on the top only. 

Reid Lummus shows Steph the options for trim on the Enviroguard windows. 

Reid Lummus shows Steph the options for trim on the Enviroguard windows. 

Making decisions that have the best impact on your project is about keeping your process balanced. 

Related blogs: Inspiration House

Featured Vendors: Ferguson

Lummus Supply Company and Precision Millworks

Inspiration House

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. This is a design and build from the ground up.  We are so pleased to share their story with you. 

While on vacation, the Kitchen family drove past a quaint cottage near the center of town that caught their eye. The Royal and Louise Morrow House stands just off Main Street in Brevard. And while many of us may have had the experience of seeing a beautiful old home and relishing in its setting, its quaintness, its uniqueness, Ben and Stephanie began a different conversation.

"If we ever built a home," they said, "we would base it on this home."

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They even snapped a few pictures. When they arrived back in Atlanta, they continued to talk and dream about the possibilities of designing their own home. . . one day. 

That day came sooner than they expected, when an opportunity to purchase some land in Forsyth County fell into their laps. Not only did God providentially bring this land to them, it was the perfect setting for the Craftsman home they had been designing for their future. Ben consulted with the architect and some sketches and blueprints emerged. The plans retained the side gable, the three-bay dormer, and the central front door with entrance porch (now turned vestibule). 

On another trip to the area later in the year, Ben and a friend decided to stop by the historic home and see if they might find out more about the home and its history (and get a peek at the inside!).

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The owners Mac and Veronica were gracious and welcoming. Mac's grandfather Royal Morrow had built the cottage in 1915 reusing stone from the burned-down Hume Hotel, a property also owned by the Morrow family. Transylvania County considers the historic property, built from a William Stickley house plan, to be the oldest stone cottage in the county. Mac and Veronica opened up their home to Ben and later, he returned with the entire family for an engaging tour through the home, furnished with many original pieces from the J.J. Elliott Grandfather clock built in 1892, the Spode dishes stored in the built-in kitchen cabinet, to first edition copies of a Dickens novel collected by Royal and Louise still in their library. 

More than a year later, with many steps taken on this interesting journey, Ben and Stephanie are grateful for the house that started them on the first step -- dreaming about the possibilities. Their inspiration is rooted in the history of the mountains, and lives from the past and the present. Do not despise the day of small beginnings - a drive through the mountains that led to groundbreaking in our own Georgia red-clay. 

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We can't wait to share a true behind the scenes view of a true ground-up project. 

Interested in your own ground-up project? Let's talk!

 

A Better Backyard

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. Whether you despise summer weather or love it, everyone wants to stay cool in spite of it. 

Don't let that desire coop you up in the house -- create a space for your backyard where you can stay cool and enjoy the best that summer livin' has to offer. What your backyard needs is a pergola, or is it a gazebo? Maybe an arbor? Here are Benjamin Andrew Construction's top 5 Outdoor Living Guide to get you started. 

1. DECK 

deck - a platformlike structure, typically made of lumber and unroofed, attached to a house or other building. Originally referred to horizontal planking on a ship's deck.

Decks are pretty common in our area -- but yours does not have to be! Decks are the perfect way to bring the outdoors and extra living space closer to your living spaces. The landing and extra wide-staircase make transporting all of the fun back and forth to the pool easy and family friendly.

This second story provides a covered area underneath, complete with an under deck ceiling. The extra detail on the finishing out the deck makes this a one of a kind in this Atlanta neighborhood. 

This deck has been given a roof and screening to keep the party going rain or shine! One of our favorite projects!

3. PERGOLA

per•go•la - an archway in a garden or park consisting of a framework covered with trained climbing or trailing plants.

Don't need a deck but desperately want to add some visual impact and shade to your backyard? A pergola is a perfect structure to add. They are perfect for adding some organic shade -- plant a Honeysuckle vine or Clematis. Or maybe the fast growing annual, Morning Glory, is more your style (and timeline). The firepit is a lower cost investment than an outdoor fireplace, but provides that cozy spot to gather during the cooler months.

3. GAZEBO

ga•ze•bo - a roofed structure that offers an open view of the surrounding area, typically used for relaxation or entertainment

This gazebo provides much needed shade for the walkway between the main structure and detached garage, but it does so much more than that. A vaulted ceiling, timber framing, ceiling fan, and wicker living room set make this transitional space into an extension of the home, a perfect stopping place for friends and family with drink in hand and bocce on the lawn. 

4. OUTDOOR KITCHEN

out•door kit•chen - An outdoor cooking area that features almost all or any of the capabilities of an indoor kitchen, centered on the grill.

This one is a bit counterintuitive -- how does adding an outdoor kitchen help you stay cool? Same reason we love to grill out in the summertime. It keeps the house cooler! The outdoor kitchen is perfect project for your grilling pro. The outdoor kitchen market is growing in the U.S.,  because "they expand a home’s livable square footage and their return on investment is comparable to an indoor kitchen remodel" says Michele SanFilippo of Casual Living MagazineGoing much further than just a space for a grill, outdoor kitchens can feature refrigerators, sinks, and plenty of prep space. 

5. CABANA

ca•ban•a - a cabin, hut, or shelter, especially one at a beach or swimming pool

This one has to be our all-time favorite Outdoor Living Project. This cabana has a classic design, with double columns, stone pediments, timber-lined ceiling and beautiful metal roof. Simple yet absolutely stunning-- it is the perfect spot to relax, read a book, keep an eye on the kids, or host an elegant cocktail party by the pool. 

We'd love to help you transform your backyard with one of these outdoor living projects. Let's talk!

Want to collaborate with Benjamin Andrew Construction on an ideabook for your next Outdoor Living Project? Start with our Houzz Ideabook.

Updated from a previous article published on Demolition, Design, and Installation 4/2016. 

Farmhouse Kitchen: Demo

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 plan

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. 

before

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?

demolition

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.. 

Ta-Da!

See something you like? Here are more pictures of finished projects & kind words from clients. Have a project in mind? Give us a shout!

Modern Lake House Remodel

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. 

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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? 

Custom Solutions

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

CUSTOM SOLUTIONS

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. 

KITCHEN BUMP-OUT

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.

INTERIOR

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. 

1950's Remodel

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. 

- Thom

TRANSFORMATION TOUR

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

Like Thom did, you may want to conduct a bit more research. There are more stories here, more customer reviews here, and inspiring pictures of our work here

Related Links: (part one) Remodeling Gold

A Firm Foundation

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. 

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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.

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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.

Catch up on more of our finished projects here. Wondering more about what we do? Check out our service offerings

Uncovering Remodeling Gold

For anyone in the business or even someone who has watched television shows about the remodeling business, the words, "We ripped up the carpet and found. . ." is a dramatic sentence opener. And found mold? And found rotten subfloor? All of those hidden costs for repair can be a homeowner's nightmare. But the answer everyone DOES want to hear is this. . . we found original hardwoods. 

Our clients recently purchased this bungalow in the Atlanta area. Dark, bold colors had made the rooms feel dark, and before the homeowners were ready to move in, they had their own fixer upper list! The entire inside of the home is going to be repainted fresh hues that bring light into the home. The old carpet had to go, too. As we began to tear up the carpet, we uncovered that remodeling gold -- original red oak flooring from the 50's, complete with all of the creaks and squeaks, and with plenty of patina. Sanding the floors down, staining in a darker tone to contrast the light filled paint pallette, and finishing with a fresh coat of poly will make these floors not only a fabulous find, but increase the value of the home from the minute they walk in the door. What an amazing find!

Who covers this up???

To complete the interior upgrade, we are going to add trim and replace several doors.

The walkway to the detached garage from the back kitchen door is also getting a redo  -- we are transforming the area into a portico so that rainy weather doesn't mean running into the house with armfuls of groceries while trying to hold an umbrella. Is this back door ready for a makeover or what? 

Keep up with this transformation by liking us on facebook! Want to see more of what we do? Check out our gallery of recent projects here

The Big Reveal

Remember our time capsule from the 1980's? The whole home remodel that promised to bring a home back to, if not the future, at least the present? We can't wait to show you the finished look. 

To recap, we ripped out all of the cabinets, appliances, the flooring on the first floor, and the carpeting on the stairs and the second level. We demolished the wall that separated the kitchen and dining room to create an open concept kitchen, dining, keeping room. We took out the old banister on the foyer stairway, and we removed all of the light fixtures. 

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The new kitchen layout improves work flow, conversation, and style by a factor of 100! Ben sourced the amazing soapstone countertops for the homeowners -- certainly a distinctive statement!

Here we get a better look at the countertop and see the built-in pantry. The design allows for lots of storage while minimizing the chance of things getting lost or misplaced on deep shelves. A definite upgrade!

What an improvement -- more light, a cozy corner for conversation, reading, or wine & tapas! This mid-century modern inspired keeping room gets it right. The chandelier balances the angular lines of the chairs, and the browns & grays are brought to life with accent pillows in a light coral. On point!

The open concept works well here, and perfect for our homeowners, a couple whose children are grown and married. Perfectly comfortable for eating in the dining room, without feeling too formal, and great for visiting with the grandkids when they come over. 

The foyer at the heart of the home ties it all together. A new paint scheme uses a neutral to lighten the spaces and tie the whole home together! 

And, because we never get tired of a good Before & After, here goes a few side by side shots. 

This big reveal showcased some big changes, and a lot of little changes, too. Most importantly, our homeowners have a home that is no longer stuck in another decade. Because of the smaller renovations we made throughout the house like new paint, new carpet, and new hardwoods, the effect is a total home transformation. 

Want the whole story from beginning to end? Follow the links: 

Whole Home Remodel

Whole Home Remodel, Part Two

Is your home in need of transformation, a total home remodel? We'd love to talk. 

Breaking Ground

Somehow, demolition seems to be everyone's favorite part of renovations. Who doesn't love a sledge hammer or sawzall making the sheetrock fly? For our newest project, we had some outside demolition to do, which can be tricky without planning and forethought.

The plans for this renovation were developed painstakingly through a process of refining needs and wants and balancing that with our homeowner's budget. Life didn't stand still while our clients thought carefully about this addition and remodel, but we kept talking and working through solutions. Great communication with our homeowner and willingness to be flexible brought this reno from blueprints to steel toe boots & sledgehammers. We know that this project is going to be just the RIGHT fit for our client and are so excited to break ground!

Boys and their toys! This skid steer worked on the site prep for a new foundation.

Boys and their toys! This skid steer worked on the site prep for a new foundation.

The old breakfast room wall was torn down after a new temporary wall was built to protect the house (and its occupants). 

The old breakfast room wall was torn down after a new temporary wall was built to protect the house (and its occupants). 

New temp wall in the breakfast room. 

New temp wall in the breakfast room. 

Rebar in place for the new footers. 

Rebar in place for the new footers. 

Our clients are expanding their kitchen, remodeling the master bath, and making a improving their outdoor entertainment space with a covered porch and open deck. This plan fits both their budget AND their needs. Sounds like a win-win!

Estimating the Cost

What exactly goes on behind the scenes of making a remodeling estimate or bid? Lots of careful measuring, planning, and number crunching. An experienced contractor still has to pay careful attention to the needs the homeowner has expressed, city or state regulations and code, architectural or engineering concerns, along with a finger on the pulse of current construction costs. 

INITIAL MEETING

So, what do you as homeowner need to be prepared when you call us for an estimate? We'll meet with you and want to hear your ideas about what you'd like. Pictures, a pinterest board, or a whole album on Houzz would be a great place to start. Communicate clearly and expect to listen as well as be heard.

Ben's son giving him a little "assistance" in the family business. 

Ben's son giving him a little "assistance" in the family business. 

BALLPARK BUDGET

At this point, we should have information to create a ballpark budget that we will present. Does the scope of the project and the budget fit your goals? The job we are starting this week spent a little time in this phase as the homeowners had to adjust the project scope a few times to fit their budget. 

DESIGN PHASE

Ready to move forward? Now's the time to meet with our team of architects and designer to establish the details of your project. This phase is a paid process, but there are no strings attached. 

FULL PRICING

And then? Be patient. Counting the cost well takes some time, experience, and problem solving that goes beyond many other service related fields. A custom remodeler is able to craft a customized plan for YOU. No cookie cutter pricing. You know those word problems that may have been  your worst nightmare in grammar school? It's a remodeler's stock and trade. We will present you with full pricing and get ready to start work if you are ready to say YES!

New Project -- before demo. We worked with these clients for a lengthy period of time to balance their budget with their needs. As a team, we perservered, and this week we are starting an addition. 8 foot bump out to the kitchen, a master bath redo, covered porch, & open deck. 

New Project -- before demo. We worked with these clients for a lengthy period of time to balance their budget with their needs. As a team, we perservered, and this week we are starting an addition. 8 foot bump out to the kitchen, a master bath redo, covered porch, & open deck. 

The skill (or perhaps the art) of creating a individualized package to meet our client's needs is a hallmark of company. We know that you want transparency, fidelity to what you as client want, and a well-thought out master plan. We are here to walk you through every step of the way! 

This Old House

If these walls could talk, right? Old homes have their own character and appeal. The very quality of having been lived in and enjoyed beyond our lifetime gives us a sense of connectedness to the past. With that connection and history, it's no wonder our homeowners wanted to preserve the history of their home and the stories the walls had to tell as they brought their 1930's Craftsman style home up to date.  Still rooted in the past, but open and inviting to the present. 

Whole Home Remodel, Part 2

Our 80's remodel is coming along -- this week we focused on finishing up flooring. It's amazing what an effect the change of one surface in a room can make. We finished laying hardwoods in the redesigned open concept kitchen and dining area, and replaced all of the carpet upstairs for a simple but total upgrade of the bedrooms. 

As we walk through the changes from this week, keep an eye out for another amazing 80's holdout that is getting a boost into this century. 

Whole Home Remodel

They say that the 80's are coming back -- hello high waisted jeans and bold floral prints. Well, this home never left behind its 80's roots and our homeowners are ready to say goodbye. Behold, a time capsule from 1988 -- beautifully finished at the time with all the accents of the period -- floral wall paper, exquisitely draped valances, long low rooms that made for intimate gathering spaces, and flourescent lighting in the kitchen, just where you need it most. 

Re:fresh Your Kitchen

Renovating kitchens, the hardest working room in a house, can be tough. Homeowners ask themselves if it is really worth the disruption to renovate command central. We eat (a lot it seems), do homework, chat, and even entertain in them. For our homeowners, the phrase "heart of the home" is apt -- several hallways, the sunroom room, back door, and family room all flow in and out of this one room. They took on the challenge and asked to help them re:fresh their kitchen by gutting it and installing all new cabinets, new counter-tops, and new appliances. 

One Year Anniversary

We're celebrating a bit of an anniversary at Benjamin Andrew Construction -- it's been one year since we launched our blog that goes behind the scenes, offers project updates, and design insights. Our goal is to show our readers amazing pictures of quality work,  ideas to inspire, and the stories and people behind our company and our motto "Making Dreams into Reality." That is our mission.