Home Remodeling with the Pros
It’s a new year, and that might mean it’s time for some major sprucing up around the house. Get help with planning, design, materials, and more from experienced contractors.
By JACKIE PERRONE
Capital Kitchen and Bath
Working Through the Unexpected
Builders and designers know all about textbook principles and the technical approach to planning. What’s not in the books are the challenges of a curve where there should be a straight line, or walls slightly out of kilter, or even top-story messes above the finished lower levels. Kristen Meetze is part of a team that has dealt with all this and more.
“We are a fully certified general contractor,” she says of Capital Kitchen and Bath. “We do new construction at any level, but our main interest is renovating old kitchens and baths. Old houses are usually full of surprises.”
Capital Kitchen and Bath has been remodeling in the Midlands since 2004 and found that word-of-mouth referrals are their best friend. Do a good job for your client and others will hear about it. It’s in everyone’s best interest to get it right the first time.
Kristen enjoys working with homeowners who understand the value of investing in their lifestyle, and enjoying the benefits of up-to-date equipment and amenities in more traditional homes. They work closely together to find the right expression of the homeowner’s preferences, designed to fit the space and décor.
“When a problem crops up – and it often does – we find a solution that is right for the space and the usage it will receive,” she says. “We have faced some surprising challenges, and we don’t stop till everything is done right.”
Here’s an example: On one job site, the remodeling was being done on the top level of a three-story house. Lower stories had already been modernized and were in beautiful condition. Upstairs, a messy rebuilding was required, removing tons of trash to be replaced with new materials. The Capital crew came up with an original approach: they built a chute on the outside from the top floor to the ground, and trashed materials went straight down to the dumpster. Presto! Minimal clean-up and disruption. It worked so well they have done it several more times since then.
Kristen knows remodeling can be hard, messy and expensive. But it’s also thrilling, exciting and worthwhile. She finds viewing a finished and perfect renovation to be extremely rewarding. “You have it all on paper, and you have visualized it from day one. When the lights are turned onto the finished product, it’s a rewarding moment. Literally, the lighting may reflect on the ceiling in a way you didn’t anticipate, giving a final touch to the original plan.”
Capital Kitchen and Bath
Edisto Kitchens and Baths
Hands On and First Class
For almost 40 years, Kathryn Clough and George Little have been honing their craft in Columbia. They’re the two-person team that earned Edisto Kitchens and Baths its reputation for high-quality, hands-on service since 2002, when they decided to pool their years of experience to establish their own company.
Both can wear many hats, but in general, Kathryn is considered the design principal while George is business principal. At Edisto, they can handle many jobs alone. But they also work with contractors, architects, builders and specialists to create first-class renovations or new construction.
“We worked in this field long enough to recognize the drawbacks of second-rate, cheaply made products,” says Kathryn Clough. “We knew that we could do a better job for homeowners who wanted it done right and to last, so we have chosen to focus on high-quality cabinets and other merchandise and reject the cheap products, which are never going to be satisfactory. After 16 years, we are more convinced than ever that we have the right approach.”
Edisto can and does handle new construction, but from the beginning they have focused on the remodeling homes with flair and efficiency. “We specialize in facing the problems that often come with renovations in an older house,” says Clough. “Measurements may be non-standard, walls may have a curve in them, foundations may need attention. We can adjust to all that and more. Kitchen remodeling is always a big deal, and we want it done right just as much as any client does.”
Columbia is a treasury of old homes just waiting to be upgraded without losing the integrity of their time-honored design. Younger generations are recognizing their value and charm, but they aren’t willing to live with tacky, inefficient kitchens and baths. It may require just a few expert touches, or could possibly call for tearing out the whole room and replacing or enlarging it.
“We do it all,” says George Little. “The challenge is part of the appeal, figuring out how to make something wonderful out of a basic plan with problems.”
They offer one item of advice to today’s homeowners: If your kitchen and/or baths need upgrading, do it now and enjoy the results. Those amenities will be expected if you put your house on the market in the future. You might as well enjoy them now.
Edisto Kitchens and Baths Inc.
Nation Custom Builders
Aging in Place, with Help.
“Aging in place” is a catch phrase that refers to senior citizens who want to remain in their homes rather than move to a retirement center. But Terry Nation likes to point out that a home is also aging in place, and it too needs help to keep functioning.
Terry is owner of Nation Custom Builders in the Midlands. His company is an all-purpose contractor, able to handle large or small jobs in new construction or remodeling. In recent years, the company’s emphasis has evolved into the renovation aspect of residential buildings. Nation Builders has developed expertise in upgrading and modifying existing houses to accommodate the needs of aging residents.
“There’s a multitude of changes that can transform a house from an obstacle course to a smooth path,” he says. “We have experience in identifying and improving those features for everyone, no matter what their abilities.”
Typically, a family has evolved into empty nesters, living in a home where the focus was on offspring for many years. Stairs, hallways, even doorways don’t fit the needs of the seniors living there as they did in earlier years. Typical remodeling goals are adding at long last a bath on the main floor, an accessible shower facility to replace the climb-in tub, widening doorways to accommodate wheel chairs, or door handles changed from knobs to levers. The renovation expert can spot and modify these trouble spots to accommodate the needs of aging homeowners.
Here’s what he says about repair work: “Whether it be an act of God, act of weather, or act of man, things happen. From walls, roofs, or flooring we can take care of your structural or cosmetic home repair needs. We can also work with you with any insurance claims that may need to be filed.” For those who face the often-dreaded prospect of extensive home renovation, these words can be a lifeline.
Terry Nation has found that contact with professionals such as home healthcare aides give him insight into locations that need his services. He recognizes that while people are growing older, they often don’t expect to encounter disabilities. No one knows for sure that he or she will never need a wheel chair or an unbroken passageway through rooms. If your house needs work, the contractor keeps this in mind so that the changes will improve aging in place for everyone.
If planning to modernize your house for either pleasure or comfort, let the experts advise you on long-range planning.
Nation Custom Builders
Glamour & Style
Design is king at Palmetto Tile Distributors, and service its handmaiden. Guided by president Henry Goldberg with a commitment to excellence, this 35-year-old homegrown business has steadily expanded through the years.
“We have always tried to achieve a high standard that sets us apart,” he says. “We offer American and imported tiles of the very best quality. We work with architects, builders, designers, and homeowners.” He says his staff of 33 includes 12 showroom designers amongst three locations, all of whom have experience and design degrees.
A tour through Palmetto Tile’s dazzling showroom can impress and inspire. Showroom designer Cathrine Reynolds calls it “A jewelry store in tile.” There’s plenty of glitter and glamour, large-scale or small, with patterns and art forms that are the diamonds of display. Palmetto stays current, on top of market trends here and abroad. “One of the newer trends is toward large format tiles,” says Goldberg. “They measure 30” x 60” - more than twice the usual size. It’s a streamlining of technique, faster to install, using less grout, and high style.”
Technology enables a new approach, also. Palmetto offers this technique from Spain and Italy, where a computer uses 3-D imaging to scan natural stones, then overlays the picture onto porcelain with a high resistance to absorption. Each piece is different with minimal repetitive patterns. This is an art form that is always evolving.
Palmetto Tile Distributors is one of the oldest of the Midlands’ locally-owned tile merchants. Henry Goldberg’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Germany as refugees from the Holocaust in 1949. Henry’s father worked in the tile industry and Henry earned his stripes working for him from an early age. Henry opened Palmetto Tile Distributors in 1982 and built the current location 1988.
Palmetto Tile cultivates relationships with builders, designers and customers, and enjoys a high level of loyalty from many who keep returning for the impeccable service and sophisticated design possibilities, which have kept Palmetto Tile Distributors at the forefront of construction.