Remodelers Showcase Guidebook Tells the Remodeling Stories from Four Families

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Having your home remodeled is a great way to create the spaces that fit your family better. But it can seem daunting and confusing. It doesn’t have to be. Your bet bet is to hire a professional remodeler member of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, like those that participate in the Remodelers Showcase, to minimize stress and maximize satisfaction. The Spring 2015 Guidebook includes these stories describing the remodeling experiences of four families whose homes are viewable on the tour.

Remodelers Showcase Entry #R43
Revolution Design and Build
5356 Shoreview Avenue, Minneapolis
Whole House Remodel

A Forever Home


When Britt and Mike Guild decided to expand and remodel their 2,000 sq. ft. rambler in the Nokomis neighborhood, they wanted a home that would reflect their own shared history and family interests. They envisioned spaces to share with their daughters, aged six and ten, as well as distinct entertaining areas for adults and kids.

“We liked the original rambler when we bought it,” said Mike. “It had been expanded already to include a master bedroom above what had been a garage, and a two-car garage in the back was added.” This cozy rambler, though, was about to undergo a life-changing, whole-house remodel as a modern beauty with rustic highlights and an upper-level addition, including a cedar-sided “tower” element.

How many people can claim that the remodeling process was fun, especially those who have lived in the home during a major remodel? But Mike, Britt and the girls enjoyed watching their home take shape as they shifted sleeping areas, and produced many meals from the grill.

“From the time Revolution Design and Build gave us the start date in July to the finish date in November, everything was on schedule and on budget,” said Mike. “Rob Aldecocea and Sid Levin had such a fresh approach to start the design process, asking questions like, ‘At your first dinner in the remodeled home with your best friend, what three things would you first show him?’”


And so the spark was ignited, and the Guilds have what they call their “Forever Home.” It is for the long haul, and while it is electronically smart, personal details shine through. The result is a sunlit, modern, straight lined design that shows off sculptural, soaring heights, and is warmed with reclaimed barn wood that the couple salvaged themselves from a family-owned barn.

Other personal design “nuggets” have been subtly incorporated, like mementos in the barn wood, coins in the hardwood floor, and hand painted tiles by all four Guilds among the master bath shower tiles.

Mike’s home office has been relocated from the basement to a sunny upper story room, entered via a secret bookcase door. “I couldn’t resist,” said Mike.

Since this family likes to cook, a sparkling new kitchen is everything they wanted, with ample cooking, prep and storage space, and a peninsula island that extends into the living and dining area.

One well-loved element hasn’t changed: the Guild chicken coop, with gently clucking residents offering fresh eggs every morning.

Remodelers Showcase Entry #R37
w.b. builders, llc
4612 Arden Avenue, Edina
Whole House Remodel

Improving on a Classic

richryanfinal2-14320.jpgSeven years ago, Jeremy and Yvette Maniak and their toddler settled into the ’30s Colonial they’d purchased in Edina’s Country Club neighborhood. The classic symmetry (“staircase right in the middle”) mirrored their preference for balanced, timeless design.

But time did not stand still. By and by, there were two more children underfoot and the home’s original footprint screamed for more than a pedicure. Living within Edina’s Historical Preservation District meant a McMansion expansion was out of the question. But…what?


The couple came to w.b. builders with no defined redesign in mind. They’d chosen the company after admiring its work on a neighbor’s project and examining its Remodelers Showcase renovations. “We were impressed with their attention to detail, and the quality of the work was really high,” Jeremy explains. “They were just as concerned with what was behind a wall as its finish, and that was really important to us.”

“Let’s see what these guys come up with” was the open-ended mandate for the project, which, Jeremy says, “started big and ended up even bigger.” The main floor now sports a larger living room, new office and mudroom, and a completely gutted kitchen that also gained space. The former garage, attached at an awkward angle, was replaced by a new, freestanding structure. The basement, gutted down to dirt, now hosts a new family room and completely renovated mechanicals and infrastructure, all energy-efficient. On the second floor there’s a new master suite (consuming another existing bedroom) with master bath and walk-in closet, aside three additional bedrooms.

The beauty of it—well, the bonus beauty, says Jeremy–“They really improved the flow of the house without those changes screaming ‘Addition!’ We love how they seem part of the original house. We moved out for the eight-month process and, while we had conversations—it was fun to watch—we never felt we had to monitor them. They also had a good sense of design features, like the kitchen’s built-in buffet, we wanted to preserve. We set a budget and they took it seriously, not just numbers on a piece of paper. And we got pretty much everything we wanted.”

Remodelers Showcase Entry #R52
Mark D. Williams Custom Homes, Inc.
4435 Fairview Avenue, Minnetonka
Whole House Remodel

The Farmhouse She Dreamed Of


Joan and Andy Powell had seriously considered downsizing from their 1880 farmhouse home, but not immediately, since their youngest of three sons was still in high school. Then they spotted a quaint 1907-circa farmhouse, also in Minnetonka, complete with a small barn. Maybe this rundown Dutch Colonial was too ambitious a remodel. But then again—Joan Powell fell in love with the house and visualized just what she thought it could be: charming, but with more open, workable spaces, and not very large. Andy was yet to be convinced, but went for it.

The Powells put their home on the market and were stunned to sell within 24 hours. “We still had to remodel the farm house, so we camped out in a hotel and then lived with my mother,” said Joan.

The house was totally remodeled, with a result that captures the essence of the vintage home better than the tired and cramped house did when they bought it. The “bones” of the house were good, and except for a small back porch addition for a mudroom, the existing space was simply reimagined.


“Mark Williams and his team were amazing,” said Joan. “They really helped me realize the vision. Since Andy and I are teachers, we had time during the summer months and felt the team was really in sync with us.” Adding to a good relationship was the fact that Andy Powell had been Mark’s teacher and cross-country coach 20 years ago.

Joan credits the design details for bringing her dream alive. “I’m an HGTV junkie,” she said. “An addition to our old house was about space—this is all about details. The kitchen is the center of the house. I love the refinished birds eye maple floors that were beneath three layers of linoleum, the East Coast blue cabinetry (there were no cabinets), the great counter space and center island, and big pantry off the kitchen.” She adds that entertaining is easy with a kitchen that is open to the dining room and leads into the living room.

The lower level, formerly a small cellar, had stairs so steep that Joan says you had to sidestep. The basement now is warm, bright and livable.

A smaller home does not mean people have to be on top of each other. Andy has his office and Joan has a sitting room in the master bedroom. The home feels just right even when all five Powells are in residence, as they were over the holidays.

What’s next? Joan has plans for the barn as a fun gathering place that will be ready for her son’s high school graduation within a couple of years.

Remodelers Showcase Entry #R57
Crystal Kitchen Center
17325-6th Avenue North, Plymouth
Kitchen and Mud Room/Laundry Remodel

Keeping the Footprint, Transforming the Space


Carol and Dick Stahl’s last destination for his international banking job was Minneapolis,

and the couple decided to retire here. After raising their two children in several countries including Japan, Singapore and Australia, home became a comfortable five-bedroom Colonial in southwest Plymouth.

Fifteen years later, the Stahls still enjoy the home and neighborhood, and their adult kids and two grandchildren love to visit. But last year the Stahls decided it was time to give fresh life to the tired kitchen, mudroom and powder room.


“We were very impressed by several homes remodeled by Crystal Kitchen Center, right here in our neighborhood,” said Carol. What followed was a design by Mary Maney that kept the footprint, but transformed kitchen, mudroom, laundry and powder rooms into streamlined, warm and high functioning spaces. The style matched the traditional character of the house, and added signature touches of the Stahl’s time in Japan, including several wood block prints.

The kitchen, always a center of entertaining, had been a monotonous white with dated wallpaper and crowded counters. Today it boasts contrasting white and nutmeg-toned Alder wood cabinets, refinished hardwood floors, and generous granite counters in a deep peacock green that reflects the adjoining family room carpet.

An under-utilized range was located in the center island facing a wall. By moving the range, the island countertop freed up much-needed workspace and offered a relaxing view to the wooded backyard. And the new placement allowed for a built-in microwave/convection oven. A narrow pantry was removed and a docking station and drop area, plus specialized cabinetry and drawers were added. Stylish pendant lights and recessed lighting have replaced track lighting.

Seamless design renews the mudroom, laundry and powder room. There’s a bench with deep storage cabinets that secure boots and shoes from the couple’s loved but mischievous Schipperke dog. And the laundry “had one of those awful plastic tubs,” said Carol. With new appliances, storage, counter space, and a pocket door to reduce noise, this space really works.
This is a Colonial that just resonates with personality and style.


The 2015 Spring Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase is sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors.