Project Updates

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. 

Cinema Themed Man-Cave

One of our 2016 projects began as a completely bare basement. We blogged about it here. A blank slate slowly being formed, framed, and filled in. In collaboration with Southern Cinema Design and our homeowner's collection of movie memorabilia, the project has gone from a blank slate to a space brimming with originality and style. In our homeowner Bill's own words, "this was my once in a lifetime project."

Georgia Tech Inspired Barn Door

Sometimes, our inspiration for a project comes from a client's own desires, and sometimes, the inspiration comes from the bones of the building or the material itself. In this case, a side project for our two story addition turned into a story of its very own, and it all began with a barn door. 

When Patrick and Allison met with us, they planned on having two barn doors opening from the master bedroom to the master bath and closet. The doors solved a space dilemma by eliminating door swings and maximizing the square footage inside the room.  The search for materials began, but took an abrupt turn when we came across these 150+year-old heart pine reclaimed floor joist from Tech Tower.  The Administration Building, also known as Tech Tower, was part of the original campus constructed 1888.

“Tech Tower is a historic landmark as well as a working building.”
— Linda Daniels, associate director, Capital Planning and Space Management

The heart pine wood and its history were such a draw, and a consultation with Allison made it apparent that this would be a perfect choice for their home. In fact, it would be a make the perfect surprise for her husband, ardent Tech fan and employee of the school as well.  Suddenly, this barn door became much more than a trend; it had a story, along with the perfect the perfect audience. 

As we worked with Allison to finalize the design details, our barn door craftsman came on board. He cut the lumber to spec, and then worked on preparing the wood without ruining it's century old character. A light sanding with 60 grit paper was sufficient to remove the raw edge, without taking away the original saw cuts or nails. 

Next step was deciding on hardware. To be true to period, a slotted screw from Blacksmith Bolt and Rivet in Oregon was chosen -- overnighted to be here on time. A coating of Danish Oil restored the wood to a beautiful natural lustre, and finally the doors were ready to hang with the horseshoe hardware from Delaney, Inc. 

 Bathroom & Closet doors covered by Georgia Tech Tower repurposed lumber. 

Bathroom & Closet doors covered by Georgia Tech Tower repurposed lumber. 

 Horseshoe hardware from Delaney, Inc. 

Horseshoe hardware from Delaney, Inc. 

While Patrick was at work, our team installed the pair of doors, a bit of Georgia Tech History preserved and repurposed, in time for a grand reveal! 

 ta-DA!

ta-DA!

This special project was a one of our favorites this year and perfectly showcases the Benjamin Andrew Construction touch - customized solutions with a craftsman's perspective, not just a bottom line, a spreadsheet or line item. 

Go Jackets!

Vendor Highlights:

Delaney Hardware, Inc. 

Blacksmith Bolt

Backyard Oasis

One of Benjamin Andrew Construction's core values is building relationships both with clients and across our industry with vendors, sub-contractors, and show rooms. This project was another collaborative effort with a forward thinking landscape design company, Ed Castro Landscape, to produce a backyard oasis in Buckhead -- one that bespeaks relaxation and peace, along with easy maintenance (no vast lawns for summer mowing!). 

Luxe Bathroom

This fall, Benjamin Andrew Construction was busy taking blueprints and making realities -- renovated bathrooms, kitchens, additions, and outdoor living space. These projects give a great showcase of what we're all about -- custom solutions to all sorts of renovation needs. We can take out, add on, take off, go up, and go out, and we do it all with a craftsman sense of preserving the good, refreshing the tired, and renewing with tried and true materials that will last. The next few weeks, we'll bring you tours of our finished projects. Can't wait to share them all!

Insulation: the Spray Foam Way

Our two story reno was ready for their insulation installation (try to say that 10 times fast!), and our homeowners decided to go with spray foam. This was a perfect solution for our remodel, with new exterior walls, and some old exterior walls. Plus, the efficiency is superior to fiberglass or cellulose insulation. Benefits for spray foam include better home energy conservation, lower energy bills, better moisture control, and increased sale value. Sounds like a win-win!

Our highlighted vendor, Enviro Foam, offers a variety of insulation products, but their spray foam is composed of Icynene. 

Applied as a liquid, Icynene® expands to 100 times its volume in seconds to fill every crack and crevice while remaining flexible so that the integrity of the building envelope seal remains intact over time.
— EnviroFoam
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Lovely hardiplank in all of its butter yellow glory! Don't worry, not the final house color. (The color is just the factory painted primer). 

Ready, set, foam!

Many thanks to our vendor, EnviroFoam for a great job!

Highlighted Vendors: EnviroFoam Tech

James Hardie Company

We have a complete list of trusted vendors here

Project Update: Pavilion Complete

Variety is the spice of life, so it's said. The variety of jobs coming through Benjamin Andrew Construction's doors keeps each project fresh. Nothing feels stale because nothing is repeated. #CustomConstructionSolutions, right? Occasionally, we have another company ask us to collaborate on a proposal. When Ed Castro Landscape approached us to work together on an exciting project for the City of Norcross, we jumped at the chance. They provide the landscape, and we provide the construction expertise! 

Great Teamwork

The finished product has both style & durability, and more personality than the typical utilitarian structures that dot our local parks. The fall themed raised garden beds, bird feeder, and backyard bbq make this public space feel like home. 

A good team is made of strong players  -- we loved working with the other half of our team on this design. Thanks Ed Castro Landscape. We hope the community enjoys this custom construction solution!

Want us on your team? Let us connect with you!

Vendor Highlight: Ed Castro Landscaping

Cheaper to Remodel

Our clients come to us motivated by so many reasons -- but one we hear a lot is, "We really love where we live, but we need more space!" For many, it would be more costly to move than to make an addition to their home. Neighbors, schools, and communities are hard to say goodbye to. Connections perhaps irreplaceable. But some smart planning, a little framing, roofing, windows & doors - and all of a sudden your "love where you live" home is just that -- a place that fits your family, your needs, a true home sweet home. 

This family decided to take their 1.5 story home and make the second story more substantial. As a bonus, they also got to totally redo their master bathroom (expanded shower, separate water closet, closet expansion) without adding to their footprint at all. They borrowed a bit of space (not much!) from the garage storage area and were able to organize the bathroom more efficiently so that it feels bigger! The second story addition will contain a 14 x 16 rec room, a laundry, a new bathroom, and generous closet. The upstairs laundry, closet & bath put this rec room in a perfect position to become an en suite bedroom in future. 

Get Ready, Get Set, Go!

 BEFORE

BEFORE

 BEFORE- This the side of the house and rear -- looking right at the master bedroom and bathroom window. 

BEFORE- This the side of the house and rear -- looking right at the master bedroom and bathroom window. 

 DEMOLITION - And now for the exciting stuff -- sledgehammers and careful demolition of existing walls. 

DEMOLITION - And now for the exciting stuff -- sledgehammers and careful demolition of existing walls. 

 DEMOLITION - Removing the roof materials in preparation for the second story addition

DEMOLITION - Removing the roof materials in preparation for the second story addition

 DEMOLITION - Materials delivery

DEMOLITION - Materials delivery

 DEMOLITION - Now that's a skylight!

DEMOLITION - Now that's a skylight!

After the Old Comes the New

The old stuff piled into the dumpster, materials for the new rooms are delivered, and our carpenters get to go to town. A new bedroom out of thin air, a whole new floor up in the air -- it's the magic of construction to see a plan fly off the page and become real. 

 UNDER CONSTRUCTION - Walls are beginning to take shape. 

UNDER CONSTRUCTION - Walls are beginning to take shape. 

 UNDER CONSTRUCTION -All dried in again. 

UNDER CONSTRUCTION -All dried in again. 

So, if you love where you live, but need a little more space, give your home a closer look. It's cheaper to remodel!

We'd love to get in touch with you!

Vendor Highlight - Our own team of talented carpenters!

The Door Doctor

If you've done any pricing lately (or even just some new home walkthroughs) you will know that doors and windows are not what they used to be. Basic models are hollow-core, light-weight things that you don't need to be Superman to punch a hole through. Real, solid, wood doors are luxuries, especially on the interior of your home. 

Our old Atlanta home remodel had a number of interior doors that had been painted over the years, but were too precious to trash. It's been our privilege on this project to work on a customized rebuilding of some of these doors for use in the renovated space. The doors came down, and our new project manager, Ian, worked to retool them for a new size and a new place. 

Is upcycling just a flea market buzz word, or is there a real craftsman's approach to refashioning and reusing things that have become unusable?

DOORWAY DOCTORING

TRASH OR TREASURE?

But perhaps the most creative, customized upcycling on this project is the next one. Does this look like treasure to you?

Door frames could have gone to the dumpster, but instead, a little extra time and skill turned them into a part of this.

A new cubby system for the entryway -- seat top courtesy of old door frames. It takes great teamwork to see this kind of possibility in door frames, and craftsman willing to take the time to turn something that could have found a home in a dumpster into something useful and beautiful.

Another quick peak at the painted exposed brick -- are you getting excited about this room? This remodeling project is just getting started -- more construction to come!

Time for Demolition

It's always exciting to get started on a new project. Out come the paint chips, plumbing fixture catalogues, Pinterest boards, and multiple trips to showrooms. More fun awaits, however, when the sledgehammers get going and drywall crumbles and tile shards fly into the air -- this is demolition! This step peels the layers off, one by one, until you hit the outline, the boundaries of your creativity. There's not really a great way to describe the feeling of standing in your stripped, empty space, with just ideas to go on. Exhilarating, perhaps (with a little bit of nerve-wracking thrown in there)? What does our team bring to the equation? Ben has stood there countless times and guided the transformation from the destruction phase to the completion, from homeowner ideas to realities. 

Going, Going, Gone!

This project is a master bath remodel and is a perfect example of a room that had been designed thoughtfully and with style in the past, but was completely ready for a new look. 

Bye, Bye, tile!

Spacious double vanity with a wraparound mirror -- say goodbye to all of that glass!

Good Neighbors

Although this photo doesn't showcase our bathroom remodel, it does show Benjamin Andrew Construction behind the scenes. To be good neighbors, we treat your house the way we would treat our own. We know that remodeling a bathroom can track all sorts of dust and debris in and out of the house if done sloppily, but our team goes the extra mile to keep it clean. 

Ready to pick up a sledgehammer and start over somewhere in your house? We'd love to hear from you today!

Old or New?

Ah, the age old question. In the word "renovation" is one opinion - new is better! Your old siding, windows, kitchen, bathroom--they have to go! "Out with the old and in with the new" is a time-worn slogan with reason. However, there is something comforting, familiar, and nostalgic about the old. This question creeps into every area of our modern existence. Do you prefer old books or new? Do you want old songs or new songs? Old-fashioned or new-fangled?

 

I think we can all agree that when old means falling apart, dangerous, deteriorated, and outdated, we should throw out the old! Rot or mold in your cladding? Rip it off! Hole in your roof? Get it fixed. However, sometimes old is a bit harder to define. An old kitchen might one that served your family faithfully years ago, but doesn't serve your current needs well. An old deck or patio could be one that served a smaller or less active family, but doesn't have enough space for you now. Now's a good time to evaluate, anything old around here that needs renewing? 

Another part of the old v. new conundrum is in the realm of style. Modern, industrial, avant garde and minimalism are all styles of the new. But in fashion, old does not have to be a bad word; it has been revitalized. Rustic, farmhouse, shabby chic, vintage, and country styles all pay homage to the way things used to be, sometimes using brand new products and sometimes, making use of the upcycled, recycled, or antique. 

Finding your balance is the key. In one of our favorite kitchen transformations, you'll find a perfect blend: a new space that uses and honors the old, while bringing in the new to craft a hard-working, efficient space right in the center of the home.

{new}

gas cooktop, granite countertops, custom cabinets

{old} a perfect blend of the old and the new made to feel vintage

farmhouse table, oriental rug, stained glass transom, farmhouse chandelier

{new}

minimalistic all-in-one faucet with pull down sprayer

{old}

blue & white plates, tin pendant with a pin-pricked shade

RENEWED

This project was just part of a larger remodeling project we did for our clients, which included a two-story addition that housed a kitchen & laundry room, along with a master bathroom. Our clients, together with the Benjamin Andrew Construction team created a cohesive project that combined elements of the old into this new addition on a log farmhouse for a perfectly balanced, livable, and beautiful space to enjoy. 

Want to get started on a renewing project at your house? Let's start a conversation--we'd love to help!

A Porch for All Seasons

As we enter the dog-days of summer, a few things remind us that the turn in seasons is coming. Yellow school buses, back-to-school shopping lists. It hardly seems possible that the cool fall breezes, crisp and sweet, are just around the corner. Fall is one of those seasons in Georgia that lures you back outside, no longer seeking refuge in the glorious a/c, but ready to entertain out of doors or just read a good book on the back deck. A great way to extend the use of your outdoor space throughout the seasons is by incorporating a screened porch into your outdoor area. Inspired by the Jones family remodel (PROJECT PHOTOS BELOW) - let's look at the top 5 reasons you should think about adding a screened porch to your outdoor living space. 

1. Versatility

Screen porches can be designed to enhance any style of home, from Craftsman to Farmhouse or even a Traditional home -- this porch features beautifully detailed columns and trim that echo the Greek Revivalist style of the home. This porch is low and connects beautiful to the backyard flagstone yardscaping. 

2. Protection

Screened (and covered porches) provide more protection and allow homeowners to create an outdoor living room with plush seating and space for dining. Furniture is protected from the elements, and homeowners are protected from bugs! A win-win situation. 

3. Extended Seasons

Ceiling fans help make summer evenings bearable, and a crackling fire in the outdoor fireplace can take your porch well into the fourth season. The fireplace is a beautiful centerpiece for your outdoor space and what can compare to making smores over your own backyard fire on a wintry evening? 

4. The View

If you have a room with a view, get a better look by extending your square footage with a view the easy way -- with a screened porch! Whether you have a home on the lake, or back up to a beautiful golf course, your own patch of woods, or even just the backyard pool, a screened porch is a great way to soak in the great outdoors from the comfort of your own home. 

5. Upgrades Aplenty

Already have a screen porch? There are so many ways to upgrade your porch. Use adjustable screens instead of fixed screens. Change up your flooring -- flagstone pavers perhaps? Already have a fireplace? Go the next step and add a television to your space for a the perfect tailgating space. In short, to infinity & beyond!

Our recent Jones Project included extending their deck & building a screen porch. Favorite detail? The skylights that still allow for plenty of natural light AND shade -- all in balance. 

Get inspired and give us a shout! We'd love to collaborate on "A Porch for All Seasons" at your house. 

 

Aging in Place: Redefined

Who says aging in place renovations have to be boring? Industrial looking fixtures, function over beauty. Our clients decided that although they were going to be forward thinking about their renovations, they would not abandon style. 

Aging in Place: the Facts

With approximately 10,000 people turning 65 everyday, 45% of all Homeowners will be over 55 by the year 2020.
— National Aging in Place Council

The National Association of Homebuilders estimates that over 70% of homeowners are making changes to their home to plan for their own future needs or the needs of their parents. What is the number one remodel? A barrier-free bathroom. Changes such as low threshold or no threshold showers, shower seats, single handle faucet controls, and single handle faucet controls are popular design solutions. Our homeowners decided to get rid of their bath, and create a large zero entry shower with handrails & a shower bar, but did not sacrifice any style to do so. 

Some before shots help paint the picture. The master bath was moderately sized with outdated wallpaper, shower stall and separate bath needed updating, reconfiguring, and some pizzazz. 

The stainless handrails do not detract from this zero-entry shower in the least. They are integrated into the design both by color and texture. 

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Tile selected from Traditions in Tile combines a warm brown with cool pewter accent tones. The accent tiles are on trend, and the shower bar  is both a practical and beautiful choice. It allows the typically unwieldy handshower cord to be controlled, and turns hand-shower into a hands-free experience with a lot of flexibility.  

Aging in Place: With Style

Here come the style points in spades, though. Our homeowners went with some bold and on trend choices that are also appropriate for an aging-in place remodel. The custom vanity creates more space for wheelchair access in the bathroom, and the single handle faucet control is easier to maneuver. 

Check out these beautiful vessel sinks that really add some glitz to this bathroom. The pebble vessel bathroom sink sparkles and reflects the granite vanity top. 

This single channel tall spout faucet from Ferguson doesn't scream "aging in place remodel," it says on trend & glamor. 

This remodel should forever redefine your idea of aging in place or handicap accessible remodeling. It's possible to do it by thinking about the future AND the enjoying the present. Provide for future possibilities AND stay on trend. Together with Benjamin Andrew Construction, these homeowners created a space that is both beautiful and functional!

We'd love to talk to you more about your custom remodeling needs. Let us contact you today!

Highlighted Vendors:

Tile: Traditions in Tile

Plumbing Fixtures: Ferguson

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