How to Have the Best Remodel Project on the Block


Traits of a Great Remodel

Every year, the Milwaukee chapter of NARI organizes and hosts the Wisconsin Remodeler Awards. For months beforehand, local remodelers are surveying their best projects for inclusion. Selected projects are judged on how well they met their client’s needs, and on our ability to demonstrate functionality, aesthetics, craftsmanship, and innovation.

Wisconsin Remodeler Awards Invitation, remodel project

We were excited to submit three projects this year, each (we hope) a good indication of our company and the spaces we create for our clients. The framework for the submissions follows closely what we focus on when creating spaces, different factors that all combine for a successful project and space.


remodel project

Improved functionality is one of the most common reasons people remodel. Families grow, but homes don’t grow without help. After a few decades it’s usually necessary to reevaluate how your home is being used and whether it’s still serving your needs. A regular three bedroom with living room, kitchen, a bathroom or two, and maybe a den is great for a family with young children. As the kids get older and start taking up space with projects and parties, you’ll swear your house is shrinking. One of our projects is the solution to this – desperate for a space meant for adults, this Tosa family tasked us with turning a cold and damp playroom into a warm and inviting basement bar. After lengthy discussions about their entertaining styles and how they use their down-time, plans were created for a space ready for large and boisterous parties or a small, intimate movie night. See the full project here.


remodel project

What really is the point of a remodel if you don’t end up with vastly improved aesthetics? One of the greatest thing about remodeling as opposed to building is that usually the base is already built and you just need to tailor the after to your particular wants and needs. In a new build there may not be money left over for the fun stuff like a really great tile or that granite you’ve been dreaming about since the tour last year. In a remodel, that’s the point. The home above was actually the childhood home of our client, recently purchased from her parents and in need of updating. They wanted their new home to reflect the urban chic feel of metro Milwaukee. A palette including dark hardwood floors, gray and white cabinetry, and Carrara marble combine with stainless steel accents to totally update this Williamsburg Colonial. See the full project here.


remodel projectGreat plans are a necessity, but they’re all for nothing if your builder can’t deliver. Good craftsmanship is a combination of experience, training, and a commitment to excellence and this combination is usually in high demand. This subheading supports all of the others, and good craftsmanship usually means the product looks almost effortless. The job above was a full house remodel with addition – torn down to studs, it was rebuilt to the family’s exacting specifications. Craftsmanship is a hard subject to illustrate – it’s in the feel of a space, in the clean lines, tight corners, and perfectly plumb walls. It’s timeless- a well-constructed space will look great for decades, while the fanciest flip will break and warp within a few years. See the full project here.


remodel project

It’s what makes a good remodel project a great remodel project. When presented with a problem, ingenuity is what forces a solution that doesn’t just meet the requirements, but blows them out of the water. Ingenuity in design and conception creates a project that looks and functions great, and ingenuity during construction will keep your project on time and under budget. The bathroom above is an add-on to the Tosa basement pub above. While creating the pub space, it became apparent that a basement bathroom was necessary but there was no option for an addition snd very little room left. A disused, DIY wine closet became the ingenious tiny bathroom. The sink is only ten inches deep, tiles niches provide storage without losing square footage, and the space is even graced with sunlight. Three and a half feet by nine feet, this full bathroom is a beautiful and functional addition to a great space. See the full project here.

The list of what’s required for a remodel can seem endless, but a firm strong in these traits will get you the space of your dreams. Stay tuned in January to find out if NARI thought we made the grade!