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Bar-None participated as a General Contractor for Lewis County Extreme Build 2010. Other subcontractors also participated in offering their individual specialty area of expertise. The project: To build a 1,800 sq. ft. home complete with furnishings and then donate said home to a 2007 recovering flood victim and their family. Bar-None was given a 3 day window to build the floor system, the interior and exterior framing, trusses and all exterior wall and roof sheathing and then pass inspection. Well we were very pleased when after 19 hours (2 days) we had completed the whole project. The following is a reference from the new home owner: “Although I wasn’t allowed at the job site due to it being a surprise. I heard many great things about Bar-None and the work they did. Their work ethic and cleanliness were also projected. They did a wonderful job. The house is an absolute dream come true. I love it! Thank you so very much!” Sincerely, Raelenek McElvain


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Photo courtesy of Cabinets by Trivonna, photo by Ross Irwin



1211 STATE AVENUE NE OLYMPIA, WA 98506 360.754.0912 • FAX 360.754.7448 TOLL FREE 800.456.6473 OLYMPIA MASTER BUILDERS PRESIDENT Janine Smith REMODELERS COUNCIL CHAIR Ross Irwin EDITOR Sally Darrow


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Photo courtesty Cabinets by Trivonna, photo by Ross Irwin 4 | REMODEL NOW 2011-2012

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310 South Bay Rd. NE Ste. C Olympia, WA 98506 OFFICE: 360.705.2938 FAX: 360.705.2989

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or nearly two decades, John Erwin’s full service design/build contracting service has set the gold standard of excellence and service for the local business community. In addition to his service as past president of Olympia Master Builders Association and former chair of the Remodelers Council, Erwin has earned national recognition for quality craftsmanship and unparalleled customer service. A few of the many accolades earned by the company include: ■ Top 500 remodelers in the nation from Qualified Remodeler magazine 2010 ■

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In addition to his commitment to the satisfaction of both his customers and his employees, John Erwin is equally rigorous in his work to benefit the less fortunate throughout the community, as evidenced by his support of many organizations including the YMCA Boys and Girls Club, the Concern for Animals Foundation, the local food bank, The Little Red School Bus and the Brown Bag Lunch program. The company also adopts multiple families every year through the Salvation Army to ensure those less fortunate families have a wonderful Christmas. Having earned professional designations that include Certified Aging in Place Specialist, Certified Green Professional and Certified Graduate Remodeler, John Erwin has set the bar for professionalism in the industry and excellence of his craft, as 18 years of satisfied customers will attest.

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Welcome Readers Chair’s Message I truly hope you enjoy this edition of Remodel Now magazine, a publication of the Remodelers’ Council of olympia master Builders Association (omB). In this edition, we present articles on a range of subjects of interest to local homeowners. First, we examine the kitchen’s function as the “hub” of our homes, and examine ways to make this all-important room more functional, efficient and beautiful. we detail the vital past and present work conducted by volunteers in the Thurston County chapter of the national non-profit organization Rebuilding Together. And naturally, we present the results of omB’s Remodeling excellence (ReX) awards for 2011.

whether you’re thinking of a kitchen renovation, a second-story addition or a whole house remodel, using a remodeler who is a member of the omB Remodelers’ Council is that extra assurance that you are doing work with a qualified, quality remodeling professional who is committed to the industry. Now is a great time to research remodeling possibilities for your home. Throughout the pages of this magazine are contractors and suppliers who would be happy to assist you with your remodel project. In addition, the olympia master Builders offers a free Contractor Referral Service program. For more details please visit or call the omB office at 360.754.0912 or 800.456.6473. enjoy Remodel Now!

Ross Irwin, Chair, OMB Remodeler’s Council Cabinets By Trivonna

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Partner With a


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By Kate Verotsky

our home is likely your most valuable asset, and this is true in terms of far more than money. When you need a contractor to create that dream kitchen, to accommodate the needs of aging occupants or to simply install your new hot water heater, finding a true professional - one who can execute quality work on time and within budget - is essential. Especially now. Given the disastrous economy of recent years, there are an increasing number of homeowners being taken advantage of by unlicensed, un-bonded “contractors.” John Erwin, owner of John Erwin Remodeling, Inc. and past president of Olympia Master Builders (OMB), recalls a recent, all too common example of an unlicensed contractor simply walking away with $10,000 of a homeowner’s money. Without a bond, the victim will be virtually powerless to recover a loss. “What I want to stress the most is that there are so many unlicensed people out there,” says Erwin. “They are ripping people off, they are taking advantage of people, they are not doing good work and homeowners are paying the price.” Fortunately, homeowners need to look no further than the Olympia Master Builders Association, which is comprised of reputable building and remodeling professionals in Thurston, Lewis, Gray’s Harbor, Pacific and Mason County areas. Founded in 1959, the organization strives to improve the construction industry and the business climate of the region. Erwin admits that members of OMB face an uphill battle to change the common stereotype of grizzly guys working out of beat up old trucks that drop parts all over the driveway. OMB members welcome the challenge and work that much harder to exceed client expectations. “Being a member of a professional organization really raises the bar,” he says. “When you’re surrounded by true professionals, it rubs off.” James Peterson, owner of Lanza Construction, LLC and past chair of the Remodelers’ Council, agrees. “Contractors are members because they care about the industry and care about staying on top of education and issues that surround our industry,” he says. “Hiring an OMB member gives the consumer added confidence about the contractor they choose.” Membership in OMB is indicative of a steadfast commitment to craftsmanship, good business practice and the health of the

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community. OMB members are simply better informed and connected. “I feel the benefit most derived from OMB membership is the ability to keep educated on a formal or informal basis,” says Peterson, recalling recent OMB sponsored classes on new energy codes and lead abatement rules. “These are critical issues for a remodeling contractor. I have talked to contractors who are not members of the OMB and many of them have not had the proper training in these sorts of areas and can end up learning about issues the hard way.” Members take advantage of a variety of continuing education opportunities offered through the association, earning designations such as Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR), Graduate Master Builder (GMB) and Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). Through the associations’ healthcare program, remodelers are able to provide health insurance to employees, ensuring top quality team members. The Built Green® program encourages and rewards remodelers for employing the latest eco-friendly and sustainable methods and materials, resulting in homes that use fewer natural resources and are more efficient and cost-effective for homeowners. For Erwin, the business and bookkeeping classes have proved most beneficial. “Let’s face it, the strong point of most contractors is the technical, hands-on work,” he says. “It’s learning how to best run a business that can be a weak point.” From marketing to bookkeeping to software tutorials, Erwin says the association has done “a tremendous job” of ensuring that members are sound business managers in addition to being talented craftspeople. Just as valuable as the knowledge gained, the classes offer a chance for members to interact with other OMB members and professionals from outside the Olympia market. It is this access to a variety of professional contacts that has best served Erwin, and by extension, his clients. “The best thing for the member is that there is such a huge brain trust. There are so many good, smart, quality people in our organization and we share information with one another,” he says, recalling his early days in the business, when he gained valuable insight from older, more experienced remodelers. Rather than operating in a competitive atmosphere, OMB members are remarkable for their cooperative approach. “I know that if I run across a problem or have an issue, I’m probably not alone,” says Erwin. “I can bring that up in a Remodelers’ Council meeting or call on someone that I’ve met over the years and always get help and insight.” Peterson agrees. “Since I have been a member I have been able to associate with some of the best and brightest contractors and suppliers in the area,” he says. “When I need information or advice for just about any area of our business I look to people I know in OMB.” In addition to the wealth of resources available locally, members of OMB are automatically engaged with both the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW)

and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). As such, OMB members are privy to the latest code changes, industry technological advances and a wealth of resources and educational opportunities available through the local, state and national offices. Through the Government Affairs program, members are also fully engaged in legislative issues affecting the building and remodeling industry. “The NAHB is a collective voice for issues on a national level that affect the building and remodeling business,” says Peterson. “As contractors we are one small voice, but we are heard because of our association with the NAHB.” Without a doubt, there is strength in numbers, and the common purpose and commitment of OMB members means good things for the local community. Best of all, OMB’s Contractor Referral Service makes finding the perfect contractor a breeze. By matching consumer needs with member skills and services, the process is simple, efficient, reliable and free of charge. Simply call OMB at 360.754.0912 or visit www. and click on “Contractor Referral Service” to complete a simple form describing your project. Within two working days, two qualified contractors will arrange to bid on your project. Whatever the scope of your project, when you work with an OMB member, you can count on the peace of mind that comes with a job well done.

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Photos courtesy of Rebuilding Together Thurson County

By Kate Verotsky

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or nearly a decade, Rebuilding Together Thurston County (RTTC) has been revitalizing the homes of low income and disabled community members, ensuring their safety, comfort and affordability. Founded by the Olympia Master Builders Association (OMB) Remodelers’ Council in 2003, the group’s work is largely driven by the skill and resources of OMB members, who donate their professional expertise after-hours for the simple satisfaction of helping their neighbors. Particularly during these lean times, too many homeowners are faced with a difficult choice between a safe home and enough food on the table. Because many necessary home maintenance and

repair projects are prohibitively expensive, many homeowners — including the elderly, the disabled and those with young children — are left to risk falls, fires, illness and accessibility problems from worn or outdated structures, plumbing and HVAC problems, mold and deterioration. That’s where RTTC comes in. Last year, the group modified eight homes, three of which belonged to veterans. The group of 85 volunteers donated approximately $54,000 worth of time, money, materials and skill. They built a new porch and wheelchair ramp on one home, created a roll-in shower for a disabled veteran and stripped another home to the studs, installing new siding and energy efficient windows to protect the homeowner from mold and chill. RTTC is a local affiliate of the national non-profit organization, Rebuilding Together, which was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. There are 200 affiliates nationwide, all of which recognize “National Rebuilding Day” on the last Saturday of April, during which thousands of volunteers across the nation spend the day repairing and revitalizing selected homes. Volunteers of all skill levels may clean up yards, paint interiors and exteriors, repair plumbing, replace doors, windows and cabinets, install grab bars and wheelchair ramps or build new steps among countless other tasks. The mission is simple enough, though the process requires year-round dedication from a robust team of volunteers. After reviewing applications for assistance during the fall and winter months, an RTTC board member and skilled volunteer visit each applicant, then report back to a selection committee. The RTTC board of directors approves projects in mid-to late February. March and early April are spent assigning appropriately skilled and unskilled volunteers for each project, managing logistics and procuring PHOTOS: OMB members offer substantial time, skill and expertise to assist a worthy organization. REMODEL NOW 2011-2012 | 11

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OMB Members Give Back to Community In addition to acting as the driving force of skilled labor behind Rebuilding Together Thurston County, Olympia Master Builders (OMB) members are committed to a long tradition of improving the local community through the donation of time, money and professional expertise. The following are a few examples of projects completed thanks to the generosity of OMB members. • OMB members provided labor needed to build the Amtrak Depot in Olympia, in addition to the heavy equipment and materials. • The Association purchased the first ceremonial tree in a program implemented to beautify downtown Olympia by planting trees alongside major thoroughfares. Members also helped to plant trees throughout Olympia in 1992-93.

material donations. Though the last Saturday of April is the organization’s flagship day, there is much work to be done behind the scenes to prepare, according to RTTC Board President Paul Muldoon. In addition to skilled and semi-skilled tradespeople, RTTC needs volunteers to serve on the board, work on committees, help with web site design and facebook updates, fundraising and donations. “We need people to help on Rebuilding Day, but we especially need people who would be willing to help with the yearround process of preparing for Rebuilding Day, raising funds, and serving needs of our community more frequently than our one big day per year.” Rebuilding Day 2011 set an ambitious agenda with six home

projects. New roofs were installed on the homes of two disabled military veterans, thanks to the Sears “Heros at Home” grant program. Four other projects involved work ranging from weatherization projects funded by Lowes’ Charitable and Educational Foundation to a new and improved wheelchair ramp, to electrical and plumbing repairs. Volunteers also spruced up yards and gardens in the neighborhoods surrounding the six project homes. Not only did the homeowners benefit from the work, so did the planet. With sustainability set as a top priority from its inception, Rebuilding Together strives to incorporate eco-friendly methods and materials wherever possible. After all, by their very nature, home repairs typically do result in a healthier, more efficient

• Members donated all the labor and some of the materials for a Habitat for Humanity House. • OMB made a $10,000 donation to the construction of the YMCA at the corner of Yelm Highway and Henderson Boulevard.

Photos courtesy of OMB

• OMB members donated the labor to build the bandstand at Huntamer Park in Lacey with materials supplied by the City of Lacey. • OMB members coordinated the renovation of the Children’s Hands On Museum. • Members replaced a roof on one of the Tumwater Boys and Girls Club buildings. • Members renovated the Olympia Kiwanis Club garden barn, which is used as part of the club’s efforts to donate fresh vegetables to the Food Bank and firewood to local residents in need.

Pictured above and left is the Kiwanis Club Garden Barn recently renovated with the help of Olympia Master Builders members.

• Members donated the design work and plan to donate materials and labor to build a restroom facility for the Thurston County fairgrounds.

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Photos courtesy of OMB

environment. RTTC focuses on energy efficient measures such as insulation, caulking and weather-stripping. They prevent water waste by repairing leaks and installing aerators and low-flow toilets and showers. Indoor air quality is improved with the use of exhaust fans, low-VOC paints and pest control measures. Lead and mold abatement are also top priorities. A project’s scope may even include strategic landscaping, such as planting shade trees to improve the home’s efficiency. The work isn’t cheap or easy, but it does pay off for both the homeowner and the community at large. “Thanks to the donations of materials and volunteer labor, we typically deliver $4 of value to homeowners for each $1 donated to the cause,” reports Muldoon proudly. However, more donations are needed. To find out more about the work of Rebuilding Together Thurston County, visit or Amtrak Depot in Olympia. call 360-539-7830.

Continued on page 15

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Kitchen as The

Hub of the

Home Photo courtesy of Cabinets by Trivonna, photo by Ross Irwin

Celebrating the modern kitchen’s role as command-central

Trivonna stresses the importance of understanding clients, and how they function within their home. It is this knowledge that allows her to devise solutions that are as functional as they are beautiful.

Story by Kate Verotsky


t wasn’t so long ago that we’d greet our dinner guests at the door, usher them into the “living room,” put drinks in their hands, and run off to sweat behind the walls of the kitchen, eventually emerging with a meal, which would be carried into the “dining room” and eaten, before the cook once again disappeared into the kitchen with the remains. The good news was that the cooking mess was hidden from view. The bad news was that so were the cook and host. It was an awkward arrangement at best and one at which we arrived through a long series of evolutionary steps. After all, the kitchen typically wasn’t even in the house throughout most of the 19th century. When we finally did move it indoors, it only made sense to close it off visually from the rest of the home. Cooking every meal was such a labor-intensive process, that even those who didn’t have “help” in the kitchen certainly did not want the remnants of the process in full view. Around the middle of the 20th century, the technology changed again. Dishwashers began to appear, allowing a quick and efficient cleanup. Televisions become such a predominant force in our lives that we wanted access to them, even while we worked in the kitchen. As chronicled in an article on his blog (http://trivonna., Ross Irwin, office manager of Cabinets by Trivonna, details the kitchen’s evolution through the decades. He cites the partial-solution often seen through

A single-level island is a versatile space that can serve many functions, from breakfast bar to bill pay center, while still allowing the cook to interact with the rest of the home.

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Photo courtesy of Cabinets by Trivonna, photo by Ross Irwin

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Photo courtesy of Cabinets by Trivonna, photo by Ross Irwin

the 1980’s, that of a “pass through” design, in which a breakfast bar separated the kitchen and living areas, the visual boundary often being a row of overhead cabinets. The results, as Irwin points out, were less than ideal. “If the cook was a good conversationalist, people would gravitate to the passthrough, often bending over or sitting on stools to see beneath the upper cabinets. If the pass-through was full, or there were no stools to ease the guest’s back pain, they began to gravitate into the kitchen — sometimes getting in the way!” At last, we’ve begun to tear down the walls and see the light -- literally. We’re a casual, hospitable bunch in the great Northwest, and we Flooring that extends from the kitchen into the home’s main living areas is one of many want our homes to reflect attractive ways to embrace the kitchen as a central gathering place of the home. our lives, which have always been conducted largely in the kitchen. According to designer Trivonna, homeowners are stripping away nearly every boundary between the kitchen and living rooms by extending the same flooring throughout both, using the same cabinetry style in both areas and requesting single-level, utilitarian islands that can serve as a central gathering place. “Because the kitchen truly is the hub of the home, we do a lot of things there that are not related to cooking,” says Trivonna. “That island is a great reaL hardwOOd space for crafts, science fair projects or spreading out FLOOring papers.” • installation & refinishing Trivonna reflects on the most recent changes that • site Finished or Prefinished she’s noted, starting with the island’s function. “It • Low VOC/allergy Options used to be that we did a lot of dual-level islands,” Free estimate (360) 357-7919 she recalls. “A few years ago, everyone wanted the range or the cooktop in the island, because somehow we thought we were going to stand there and stir the sauce and talk with everyone.” This idea proved to be ill-conceived in most cases. As an increasing number of homes employ natural gas appliances with everhigher BTUs of power, an island cooktop simply isn’t practical as the downdraft ventilation developed for this purpose just isn’t up to the task. Powerful gas ranges are much better suited to an outside wall, where proper ventilation keeps the air clear. In keeping with our modern spirit of simplicity, Trivonna has also witnessed the demise of the kitchen desk. “Ten years ago, when laptops were really coming into play, every kitchen had to have




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Photo courtesy of Cabinets by Trivonna, photo by Ross Irwin

many homeowners opt for a “message center” in the kitchen, a mini-office space used to sort mail and store the laptop. However, Trivonna finds that this space can attract clutter, and finds that many homeowners prefer a smaller area, such as a cubby incorporated into the island.

a desk in it,” she says. “Now we are remodeling those same kitchens, and the owners are saying that it has turned out to be a junk collector.” which is hardly surprising when one considers the clutter of every day life – from mail, to school papers, to phone chargers, newspapers and keys.

The urge to let it all pile up on the kitchen desk was just too strong to resist. “Now it’s called a message center. we give it much less space and we don’t make it a place to sit,” explains Trivonna. After all, though we do need a place to stash the detritus of daily life, how

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many of us actually sit down in a chair to sort the mail? Trivonna’s designs are customized to suit the lifestyle and needs of the client, but one solution might be a discreet cubbyhole and an extra bar stool. “why have a desk size chair that can only be used at the desk? Instead we can create a message center with a chair at island height. So now you’ve got an extra chair for when you need to squeeze in another person at the island. It works double duty, and most people love that idea.” Trivonna stresses again the importance of understanding her clients, and how they function within their home. It is this knowledge that allows her to devise solutions that are as functional as they are beautiful. “A good kitchen designer is able to think outside the box and come up with new ideas so that it becomes a really fun process,” says Ross. “we can help the homeowner see space that they can use more effectively.”

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Trivonna cites a common example of this, in which she is often able to expand the kitchen by incorporating what was formerly a breakfast nook space.“ People think they need the breakfast nook, but they’ve got a formal dining room and seating for four at the bar – they just haven’t thought it through. Helping them to do that is the primary value of a good kitchen designer,” says Ross. As with most endeavors, creating the ideal “hub” for your home is about striking a balance between beauty, functionality and cost. Trivonna is pleased to see much more diversity in the way our kitchens look today. “What’s been fun in the last few years is that there are so many different kinds of wood that people are using,” she says, recalling the monotony of previous decades - the dark woods of the 70s, the relentless oak of the 80’s and the more recent trend toward cherry. “Every decade seems to have one dominant wood but in the last five years, though cherry is still predominant we have a number of woods that can give that same warmth but look a little more unique.” According to Trivonna, we are a minimalist culture in the Pacific Northwest. “We like clean and simple. Not a lot of detail, not a lot of fluff.” For us, form follows function. Northwesterners want a kitchen that looks beautiful and works easily, without a lot of fuss. Fortunately, cabinet quality has improved dramatically in recent years. Most modular cabinet companies are now using a catalyzed conversion varnish. The application of heat at a controlled temperature throughout the drying process results in a much harder finish, and a far more durable product. What’s more, modular cabinetry can now be sized within ¼” inch, whereas just a few years ago they had to be cut in 3-inch increments. These technological advances have led to a truly customized product. All the more reason that Trivonna asks a litany of questions. Are there young children in the home? How many cooks are there likely to be in the kitchen? Are there mobility concerns for empty nesters headed into the retirement years? Getting a complete picture of her clients allows Trivonna to forgo the classic “work triangle” if necessary — in which range,

sink and refrigerator are arranged to accommodate one cook — in favor of “work zones” that might work for the less rigid family roles of today. Work zones might include a prep area, a cooking zone and a cleanup station, allowing multiple family members to work together in the kitchen without tripping over one another. In today’s enlightened age, words like “sitting room” or even “parlor” have a bygone charm to them, but their function in our lives is all but extinct. Particularly here in the Northwest, where we are known for both grey days and spectacular views, our kitchens should be light, open places where we can comfortably interact with family and friends while conducting the business of everyday living. The kitchen is worth the extra attention, as both the hub and the heart of the home.


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REX AWARDS Olympia Master Builders Association presents the 2011 REMODELING EXCELLENCE AWARDS


ince the 1990s the Remodeling Excellence (REX) awards have honored innovative and exceptional projects completed by remodeler members of Olympia Master Builders (OMB). This year twelve entries representing ten categories were received by the Association. All entries must adhere to strict entry rules and impartial judges formed outside the OMB area judge the entries. REX award winners were recognized at the Association’s General Membership Meeting held on May 3, 2011. Blake Knoblauch of Greene Realty Group was the emcee of the program.

From Left: Emcee Blake Knoblauch of Greene Realty Group, Martin Bourne of Lanza Construction, LLC, Jim Asher of Asher Remodeling, Inc., OMB President Janine Smith of Solid Designs Project Solutions, Tim Dickey of Dickey’s Inc., and Brian Panush of Panush Construction and Remodel.

Residential Whole House Award - Category $150,000 to $500,000 Panush Construction and Remodeling – Winner PANUSCR031M2 The project required expansion of the kitchen, The main objective of the project was to take the addition of a new mudroom and pantry and the an outdated, plain 1970’s home and turn it into a modifi cation of the existing upstairs bathroom. functional, efficient, and attractive summer home for • Master bath, closet and laundry area were added the owners to enjoy. We worked with the customers to the upstairs. and their architect to create a beautiful modern home. • Moved washer and dryer out of the entry and into a new space on the second floor. After • Welcoming entry way with a new front door with two sidelights to open up the foyer. • On the exterior we added a pitched roof that covered the existing deck on the waterside of the home which included skylights for additional light. • A new garage Before was added to the home, as well as new siding and windows, to complete the package.

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Residential Whole House Award - Category Under $75,000 John Erwin Remodeling, Inc.– Winner JOHNEER928RA Our clients were quickly running out of room and time, especially in the mornings as their family of four was sharing the single bathroom in their farmhouse. For years the family only used the basement as a big storage area along with their laundry facilities. The existing stairs could not be changed due to code restrictions, so most of the building materials came into the basement through the enlarged opening of the new egress window. We built out the basement by adding a large ¾ bathroom, wet bar area open space for a large

After Before

sectional couch, and were still able to maintain a nice large storage area in the basement. The basement had one main undersized support beam running down the middle with several support posts that needed to be removed to open up and create the space. The beam was sagging and causing the above floor to not be level. Engineering called for the wood beam to be replaced with a steel beam allowing us to span the distance needed to effectively open up the space. A storage closet was added next to the wet bar that houses the sump pump that was required for this project. The closet was completely insulated along with a solid core door to vertically eliminate any noise that was emitted from the pump. Upstairs we replaced the outdated, non-conforming trim with updated conforming trim, paint and floor coverings.


Residential Universal Design Award Dickey’s Inc. / dba Dickey’s Remodel and Repair – Winner DICKE**952L4 Universal design is a developing approach to creating liveable, marketable environments for everyone as common practice in design. It is inclusionary design that applies to spaces, features, and products to maximize the number of people who can function independently in a particular environment. Universal design considers human needs and abilities throughout the lifespan, it attempts to meet the needs of people of all ages, sizes, and abilities. The goal of this remodel was to update the master bedroom and bathroom for accessibility. • Replaced the jetted tub with a ¾” beveled edge threshold shower of the same size. • Added two new beautiful 30” linen cupboards with full extension drawers on the bottom and doors on the top.

• The vanity layout now has wheelchair capability at the lavatory basin. • Easy-to-reach full extension drawer banks on either side complete the vanity ensemble. • Our project widened both doors to 36-inch, six-panel doors with easy open oil-rubbed bronze lever action nob sets. • To increase lighting, a can light was Before installed in front of the linen cupboard and another over the shower. Also a pan light in the center of the room and a three-lamp vanity fixture. • Grab bar installation at customer unique locations. • The shower valve has separate water temperature and pressure handles. • Hinged mirror in matching • Vinyl flooring allows easy hardware was mounted over the maintenance and no lavatory basin allowing a seated wheelchair or walker or standing user. restrictions.

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Residential Kitchen Award - Category $60,000 to $125,000 Dickey’s Inc. / dba Dickey’s Remodel and Repair – Winner DICKE**952L4 Our client’s overall goal of this remodel was to update the kitchen cabinets and appliances, improve traffic flow, and make the kitchen multi-functional by having a workstation for children’s homework while mom or dad worked in the kitchen. • More counter space and storage. • New gas range top and griddle.

• Combination wall convection oven/microwaveconvention ensemble. • Wide and deep drawers for pots and pans and storage for cooking utensils. • Laundry room reconfigured to create a desk area with storage above. • Track lighting replaced with can lighting. • New cherry wood cabinets and quartz countertops. • Refinished wood floors.

Photo courtesy of Cabinets by Trivonna, photo by Ross Irwin

After Before


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Residential Kitchen Award - Category $30,000 to $60,000 Lanza Construction, LLC - Winner LANZAPH965MB The main objective of this remodel was to modernize a severely outdated kitchen while also creating a better utilization of limited space. Poor and outdated lighting also needed dramatic improvement. • Expanded kitchen and removed island, which opened up the kitchen space.


• Removed a small number of cabinets and added a stainless range hood to make the area more spacious and open. • New cabinetry. • New eating area nook with butcher block table. • Custom granite countertops and backsplash. • Under cabinet and recessed lights replaced outdated fluorescent lighting. • Replaced traditional tile with vinyl tile.

Photo courtesy of Cabinets by Trivonna, photo by Ross Irwin


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Residential Bath Award - Category Under $25,000



Photo courtesy of Cabinets by Trivonna, photo by Ross Irwin

Asher Remodeling, Inc. - Winner ASHERRI915OQ The homeowners were unhappy with the lack of storage space available within the bathroom, the cramped area of the shower and the outdated jetted bathtub. After looking at numerous books, magazines and going to several kitchen and bath outlets, the homeowner asked for my assistance. Bringing in a cabinet designer helped solve the lack of storage issue, and by sitting down with the homeowners and determining what they wanted in a master bath, we were able to design a bathroom that was well organized, functional and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. • Drawers were added for organization, and cabinets added for storage of towels, toiletries and more.

• The shower/tub areas were completely redone. • The old molded fiberglass shower stall was removed, and the space was tiled from floor to ceiling. • Cubby spaces were added on either side of the shower control fixture, eliminating the need for a hanging rack. • The large jetted tub was replaced with a modern tub, which also increased the surrounding area to provide storage for bath items. • New floor tiles were installed. • New higher toilet and new sink basins and fixtures to complement the new cabinets completed the modernization of the bathroom.


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Residential Bath Award - Category $25,000 - $75,000 John Erwin Remodeling, Inc. – Winner JOHNEER928RA

Photo courtesy of John Erwin Remodeling, Inc.

The existing bathroom had all the features one would want in a luxury bathroom, but it was poorly designed. Our client wanted a shower big enough for two, along with eleven Kohler body sprays and shower heads with the ability to have them all on at once. To enlarge the shower and create the spa-like features, we simply captured the existing tub deck space along with less than one square foot of the very large walk in closet. Colors, textures and lighting, along with the flat screen TV above the spa was thoroughly thought out to


finish off the space. The bathroom was topped off in the corner with the Jacuzzi spa that features light and aroma therapy, countless jets and an inline heater to ensure the most pleasurable experience possible. • Shower big enough for two with eleven Kohler body sprays and showerheads. • Commercial grade on-demand Rinnai gas hot water heater. • Custom Wedi® shower pan with two drains to handle the potential volume of water. • New cherry cabinets with additional storage towers. • Tile floor and shower. • Electric in-floor heating coils added in bathroom area and inside the shower itself.


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Residential Addition Award - Category Under $75,000 John Erwin Remodeling, Inc.– Winner JOHNEER928RA

Photo courtesy of John Erwin Remodeling, Inc.

Our clients had been raising their kids in their “family farmhouse.” The mom’s grandfather had purchased the farm years ago and it had been passed down through the years and kept in the family. The most important aspect to this addition was to maintain the look and feel of the existing farmhouse both inside and out. The roof lines were a particular challenge along with the location of the septic tank. The old pump house was removed next to the house and the work began.


• The old siding was removed from the entire home, HardiePlank® lap siding was installed along with maintaining the original trim details, creating a seamless transition between old and new. • Moved the laundry room up out of the basement and provided a very inviting, covered second entry into the home. Maintained the look and feel of the existing farmhouse both inside and out. • Made the roof lines compatible; added four feet to the existing dining room while maintaining the distance required from the septic tank, and added a laundry room/mud room off to the side. • A large covered cedar porch with a cedar tongue and groove soffit created the inviting entrance into the home.


Residential Exterior Award - Category Under $25,000 Lanza Construction, LLC - Winner


LANZAPH965MB The main objective of this remodel was to add an outdoor living space to a second-floor master bedroom while also creating cover for the hot tub and patio area below it. Besides wanting to provide our clients with their desired outdoor space, we wanted to make the deck blend with the existing roof lines of the house. This achieved the effect of enhancing the entire house rather than making the deck look like an addition. The pergola helped to achieve this effect by balancing out the addition. Our clients are very happy with their beautiful new space! • Deck blends with existing roof lines while also covering the hot tub on the patio below.

• The design and materials tie into the rest of the house as well as enhance the look of it rather than making it look like an addition. • In order to add balance to the addition of the balcony and provide shade for the southern exposure, we added a simple yet beautiful pergola. • We took special care to ensure that the exterior envelope of the house was watertight in order to avoid the common problem of water intrusion and water damage that our clients had previously experienced.


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Outdoor Living Award John Erwin Remodeling, Inc. – Winner JOHNEER928RA

Photo courtesy of Market Response Media, photo by Mike Visser


• An outdoor gas fireplace was added to one end of the structure, which was wrapped with cultured stone that matched the column bases. • Ten Velux® skylights were also incorporated in the design so we could flood the space with natural light, and more importantly, not block the light coming into the home. • The concrete patio was extended outside the covered area and to top it all off, we added over five tons of granite boulders around the patio to act as natural benches.

Before Photo courtesy of John Erwin Remodeling, Inc.

Our clients wanted to create a year round outdoor living space. They really wanted that “wow factor” to be part of this project. They wanted the timber framed look with everything being vaulted. • The spa was recessed, then fitted with Trex® decking tying into the new exposed aggregate patio.

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Photo courtesy of John Erwin Remodeling, Inc



The bath becomes a place to unwind and pamper all the senses.

Story by Kate Verotsky


f the kitchen is the spotlighted stage upon which we perform for family and friends, then the bath is equally important as our backstage dressing room – the place we go to unwind, and to prepare for our starring roles. No longer a strictly utilitarian space, the bath is where we go to escape the constant pressures of running a busy home. A deeply personal place, this is the one room dedicated to winding down the action and pampering the tired body. It’s a role worthy of our attention and respect – and we owe it to ourselves to create a bath space that is beautiful, organized and as functional as a well-oiled machine. Jim Asher, president of Asher Remodeling, Inc. was recently recognized with a 2011 Remodeling Excellence Award (REX) for his revamp of a master bath for under $25,000. “Bathrooms are no longer limited to just going in, taking care of business and leaving. They are more of a retreat, spa-like space,” he says, recalling a client who uses her bathroom as a daily wind-down space for soaking in the tub while enjoying a glass of

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down the hall. “People don’t want to store what they are going to use in the bathroom out in the hallway they want to keep in the bathroom, but behind closed doors,” confirms Asher. In fact, his REX Award home was largely devoted to this issue. The homeowner was tired of the unsightly clutter of bottles and appliances littering the side of the tub and the bathroom counters. Still, it had seemed like a necessary evil – after all, it’s hard to wash your hair without the shampoo or dry it without the blow dryer. However, with the help of Cabinets by Trivonna, Asher built an impressive amount of storage space into a relatively small space. Now, everything the homeowner might need is within easy reach, but each has a place in a cabinet, tidily out of sight. Workable storage helps to retain the room’s beauty and serenity, allowing the homeowner to truly relax and unwind. “This is what the homeowner really loved,” recalls Asher. Perhaps the trend toward better accessibility will come as no surprise, given that a large part of the remodeling market is driven by aging baby boomers who may be experiencing a decline in agility. As such, bending over the sink for shaving or face washing can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. A vanity built to a “back saver” height of 36-inches, rather than the standard 29-32 inches, can make a big difference

Photo courtesy of John Erwin Remodeling, Inc

wine and soft music. According to the 2011 Design Competition hosted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, freestanding tubs are a leading trend in bathrooms. Oversized and often placed in the center of the room, these tubs may be rounded, angled or rectangular to lend a sculptured, artistic quality to the whole room. There’s just nothing like warm water to bring about that sigh of contentment at the end of the day – though a bathtub isn’t for everyone. Asher notes a surging interest in large, tiled showers that can accommodate multiple, specialty showerheads such as those with massage features. “More and more people are going with the better look of bigger showers,” he says. “Those standard fiberglass showers are rather confining. So people are switching over to big, tiled showers with built-in cubbyholes and seating benches.” These custom shower shelves are a tidy and convenient place to store items such as shampoos, soaps, razors and other bathing items, and thankfully eliminate the need for the unattractive and often poorly designed racks that hang over the showerhead. The built-ins are also indicative of a larger trend toward creating more storage space in the bathroom, as opposed to the traditional linen closet somewhere

LEFT: A jetted soaker tub with lights and aroma therapy is positioned to allow view of both garden and flat screen television, offering the perfect respite from a busy household. ABOVE: An atmosphere of serenity is achieved through ample storage, which eliminates stress caused by clutter. Remodel Now 2011-2012 | 29

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Photos courtesy of John Erwin Remodeling, Inc

TOP: Tiled, spacious showers with multiple shower heads and built-in shelves are a noted trend. This one features 11 shower heads and body sprays, which can be used simultaneously. LEFT: Soothing neutral tones and flattering pendant lighting contribute to the room’s relaxing ambiance.

in comfort for many people. Homeowners are also requesting higher toilets — moving from 15.5-inches to the “comfort height” of 16.5-17.5 inches from the floor. “It’s much easier to get on and off, especially for people 6-feet or taller, and people who have knee problems and trouble bending down,” explains Asher. John Erwin, president of John Erwin Remodeling, Inc. and another recipient of a 2011 REX Award for a bath remodel, agrees that accessibility is a top priority these days. In addition to the comfort height toilets, Erwin’s clients commonly request larger lever handles on plumbing fixtures, which are easier to see and grasp. Erwin reports that his clients’ most common requests are for better ventilation and more natural light. “We find that most people don’t use the noisy loud exhaust fans, so we put in the whisper quiet type for our projects and people will actually use them,” he says. “We also install a lot of tubular skylights into those hall bathrooms without windows, it’s a great economical way to bring in natural light.” Finally, the bathroom is getting an aesthetic makeover as well. Despite the economic downturn — or perhaps

because of it — homeowners are investing in beautiful, durable materials such as tile and other natural materials such as granite countertops. “I think now, homeowners are thinking ‘we’re not going to go and buy a new house, so let’s remodel what we have’, says Asher. “Typically bathrooms and kitchens are the most expensive remodels, but that’s also where you want to put your money in because you spend a lot of time in those places.” Investing in the kitchen or bath is also more likely to pay off when you do decide to sell. Still, a budget is a budget, and most don’t budge. Erwin takes pride in finding creative ways to stretch a client’s dollar. “If they have a tighter budget, we will encourage them to think about acrylic remodel tub/ showers instead of a custom tiled shower wall. We might also suggest some high definition laminate countertops with maybe a tile backsplash as an accent as opposed to granite or tile throughout,” explains Erwin. Whatever your budget, however, it’s nice to know that a little investment in luxury can go a long way in the bathroom, which is typically the smallest room in the home in terms of square footage. In terms of this humble room’s role in our serenity and peace of mind, however— it may be the biggest.

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