Craftsmanship, innovation, and excellence are the three areas that determine whether a project is fit for a Remodeling Award from the National Association of Home Builders.
Winners in the various categories represent triumph over myriad challenges: client needs, existing structures, historical restrictions, and more. They show successes within the often unexpected, constantly changing nature of residential remodeling.
These successes offer solutions and design inspiration for remodelers across the country. Here are four of those award-winning projects and the details behind them.
The original home and finished remodel.
Category: Entire Home Renovation
Company: Gabriel Home Builders
Project Location: Houston
Despite the building inspector describing the home as an “imminent total failure,” the buyers went all-in on their dreams of restoring the 1909-built residence to its original glory.
The goal would be a full gut and remodel to make the home functional, structurally sound, and revitalize the dilapidated carriage house. What started as 6,400 square feet in the main home and 800 square feet in the carriage house became 9,956 square feet total with five beds, six baths in the main home, and two beds, baths, and a kitchen in the carriage house.
The buyers, an architect and a realtor, designed what they envisioned and selected custom builder and remodeler Gabriel Home Builders.
First, the team tackled the crumbling basement by first reinforcing the home above, then removing and rebuilding the existing walls by tying new walls to existing structures via cold joint. The team also removed and repoured the home’s wraparound porches. During that time, Hurricane Harvey caused challenges for the project and the surrounding city.
Breezeway between main home and carriage house.
Cautious changes were made to maintain the authentic design, partly due to the home being on the National Register of Historic Places. Examples include casting molds of the porch baluster and newels to repour with a similar stone and painstakingly constructing new, code-compliant stairs that matched the aesthetics of the original ones.
It took two years to complete the project, and the remodeler said the highest win was little differentiation between the new and the old.
New basement walls (top) and deteriorating wrap around porch (bottom).
Beverly Hills Kitchen
Category: Home Kitchen Remodel
Company: KSI Kitchen & Bath
Project Location: Beverly Hills, Mich.
The husband-and-wife client handed KSI Kitchen & Bath a wish list specifying commercial-style appliances, a paneled refrigerator, bar sink, beverage center, and coffee station. All the modern-day luxuries the original 1964 kitchen was lacking.
Wants also included duo-tone kitchen cabinets—specifically taupe and warm white—and a seamlessly integrated paneled wall. But the most simple desires were more natural light and improved views of the surrounding nature.
Two of the most challenging aspects of the remodel were enlarging the kitchen window and creating an entry from the foyer that did not previously exist.
KSI Kitchen & Bath opted to take the existing 9-foot window and enlarge it to a 12-foot wide single-pane window. The entry from the foyer to the kitchen expertly creates a transition from area to area while the wall paneling further separates the kitchen from the entry.
Details and balance are what make this remodel stand out: Carefully selected backsplash tiles call back to the shaker style cabinet fronts, custom brass tile details tie back to hardware and lighting, and the quartz countertops bring both cabinet colors together.
Paneled wall and entry from foyer (top) and beverage center with bar sink (bottom).
Category: Outdoor Living Space
Company: Mosby Building Arts
Project Location: St. Louis
This outdoor space remodel added 1,000 square feet to the home and included a bathroom, kitchen, living room, pergola, outdoor shower, and hot tub.
Mosby Building Arts built a new structure attached to the rear of the original home that acts as a summer pool house but can be used throughout the year because of its design. The goal was to create a space that included all necessities to keep the outdoor activities, such as swimming, outside, but ensure the outdoor kitchen can be put to use during colder months.
During the summertime, homeowners can open the accordion glass doors to maximize the indoor-outdoor connection. When the weather gets chilly, the doors can close and the fireplace can be lit.
But design elements keep the pool house outdoor-focused with its stacked stone veneer, stainless steel cabinets, grill, and ceiling beams. Other reminders of its outdoor function are the detached bathroom and outdoor shower. But overall, the addition serves as an extension to the interior, albeit a bit more modern in design.
Perez Project Rehab Facility Home
Category: Entire Home Renovation - Aging in Place
Company: Camerio Builders Inc.
Project Location: Suwanee, Ga.
Remodeler Travis Camerio called the Perez Project the most custom and complex home renovations he had ever done. The project scope was creating a custom home within a home with a rehabilitation facility for a client with a traumatic brain injury.
The 2,500 square foot space needed to provide comfort around the client’s disabilities and abilities of his caretakers, along with features meant to assist with cognitive and sensory behaviors. The goal was to move the client from living in recovery facilities to living at home with his family.
It required three years and a team made of equipment and mobility specialist Garol Orr of 101 Mobility, occupational therapist Peggy Freedman with The Freedman Group, registered nurse case manager Jane Norman, remodeler Travis, and designer Heather Camerio of Camerio Builders. Each wishlist item wasn’t an option, but a necessity for the client.
Such features include an overhead track system, nurse's bathroom, sensory room with fiber-optic shower, vibrating platform, surround sound, LED lights, an infrared sauna, and a hoistway elevator, three-person zero threshold shower, accessible kitchen, backup generator, and two emergency exits. Smaller details made by the remodeler ensured mobility ease for the client, such as carefully designing wide turning radiuses in the hallways, touchless faucets, and lining the bathroom with plywood to allow the family to install more grab bars where and when needed.
Challenges arose that complicated the basement remodel, including labor and supply-chain hurdles, along with difficulties when constructing the accessible bathroom, elevator, and overhead track.
The three-person roll-in shower and elevator required cutting and digging under the slab to pour new footings. To prevent seepage, Camerio used a thermo-seal product and installed a sump pump. There were three load-bearing walls to pass through for the track system, so Camerio went with LVL installs raised as high as they could, then installed the track system plates and support beams underneath.
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