Monthly Archives: April 2013

Bartelt’s Matt Retzak Quoted in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Metropolitan Builders Association (MBA) Spring Tour is this weekend, April 27 – 28, noon – 4 p.m.  Check out the article “Change your space, not your location” for remodeling insights and a preview of remodeling projects on the Tour.

Bartelt’s Matt Retzak discusses the importance of smarter space planning and provides tips for a successful remodel on page 6 (the second page of the article).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article.Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article

Quality over Quantity

Homeowners focus on the details rather than square footage.

As you look around your home, you may be thinking about the wish list you have for it – better storage, an updated kitchen, more usable space. Is the logical solution to make the move to a bigger home? Or should you consider an addition? Although these are both plausible answers, you don’t necessarily need more square footage to satisfy your list.

More and more homeowners are making the decision to update and upgrade their homes within the original footprint, focusing on better space planning and special details.

Smarter Space Planning

Unused Spaces

You need more space, but how can you find it without expanding? It’s important to evaluate how you live in your home. Are there areas you rarely or never use? Perhaps, it’s time to ditch those rooms and use the additional space in places, such as the kitchen, where you spend more time. For instance, many homeowners are getting rid of formal dining and living rooms to allow them to enlarge more functional areas of the home.

Open Concepts

People are also eliminating walls, doors, and other barriers to create open floor plans for a better flow between rooms. With proper space planning, an open floor plan can make the area feel larger and perform more efficiently.

Ample Storage

There are many creative storage opportunities to keep rooms organized and make them functional for you. Don’t waste any space. Make use of vertical space, incorporating cabinetry that extends to the ceiling. Consider systems, such as Rev-A-Shelf, that offer pullouts, racks, lazy susans, and other accessories to make use of dead corners. There are often pockets of space in areas – under the stairs, on empty walls, in an island – where you can seamlessly (and without taking up space) fit in storage.

Family FoyersWauwatosa Mudroom Remodel

Family foyers, or mudrooms, are a practical use of space and could possibly be the hardest working room in your home. It’s a great area to stash all the necessities for getting out the door in one convenient place. Many homeowners incorporate lockers into this area, assigning one to each family member to store coats, shoes, and backpacks. It can also include a “drop zone,” bench, additional storage, or laundry space. The possibilities to make the area efficient for your family’s needs are endless.

Personalization

Without the cost of extra square feet, homeowners have the opportunity to invest in quality products and finishes for their home. This allows you to not only personalize your spaces, so they aren’t “cookie cutter,” but also enjoy luxury items.

What are examples of products and materials people are investing in? Check out this brief list (the possibilities are endless).

In the Kitchen

High-End Appliances

If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, high-end or specialty appliances may be a great investment. Examples include stainless steel appliances, double ovens, warming drawers, large cooktops with griddles or grills, induction cooktops, steam ovens, and beverage refrigerators or drawers.

Beverage StationsHartland Wet Bar

We are seeing more people include beverage stations in their kitchen or family room. Wet bars are popular for entertaining, often featuring a sink, beverage refrigerator, and extra storage for glasses. Built-in coffee units are also becoming commonplace. The Miele Coffee System, for instance, is a built-in unit with a water reservoir or plumbed-in option. Now, homeowners can enjoy coffee, espresso, and cappuccino right at home.

Hot Water Dispensers

How often do you use hot water? Do you make hot beverages? Or enjoy oatmeal at breakfast? Do you cook pasta al dente? Or need to soak dirty pots and pans? Hot water dispensers allow you to do things like this instantly, saving time and offering convenience.

Custom, Furniture-Style Cabinetry

Sculpted toe kicks, corbels, faux finishes, crown molding – furniture-style cabinetry adds a personal, luxurious touch to your home. Custom cabinetmakers are also offering more “gadgets and gizmos” to make homeowners’ lives easier and more organized, including soft close hinges and drawer glides, tray dividers, roll outs, and spice racks.

Colgate Kitchen with custom cabinetry and granite countertopsCountertops

There are numerous kitchen countertop materials available. Soapstone, granite, marble, quartz, high-definition laminate, and concrete are just a few durable examples. Each has its own “personality.” For instance, granite and soapstone create a natural look while marble offers a classic feel. Your countertop is just another way to add character and introduce quality materials to your space.

In the Bathroom

Thermostatic Shower

A shower that features a series of shower heads and sprays, such as a rain head and hand spray, allows homeowners to feel pampered during shower time. A luxury shower can also include a thermostatic control valve, allowing the user to turn on all shower heads at the same or different times and regulate the temperature.

Around the House

Custom Millwork

Incorporating custom millwork – wainscoting, crown molding, arches, base boards, corbels – throughout your home creates an upscale look and adds architectural interest to an ordinary room.

Wauwatosa Foyer FloorQuality Flooring

It’s important to invest in quality, durable flooring. From custom hand-scraped floors to porcelain and ceramic tiles, there are many options for kitchens, family rooms, hallways, bathrooms, and other spaces. The floor is also a great place to have fun and display your personality. For instance, we used custom wood staining in a home to blend two hardwood floor colors in a foyer, creating a checkerboard pattern.

Home Automation

Many homeowners are turning to home automation for better efficiency and safety. Whole house automation is a central system that connects and communicates with appliances and systems in your home. It allows homeowners to instantly control their lighting, thermostat, entertainment unit, security system, and other objects. It’s just another opportunity to tailor your home to your lifestyle needs.

Bartelt Wins 2013 National CotY

2013 National Contractor of the Year

On Friday, we were named 2013 National Contractor of the Year (CotY) from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for the Residential Addition $100,000 – $250,000 category.

These awards are given each year by NARI Headquarters to NARI members who have demonstrated outstanding work through their remodeling projects.

Our winning project was a sunroom addition that connects the home’s indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces.  It features a bar area, fireplace, hydronic floor heating, wine storage, large windows to showcase the outside views, and a vaulted ceiling and cupola to add architectural interest.

We would like to thank our team, trade partners, and customers for helping us design and build this beautiful addition! This award is the result of the creativity, talent, and dedication of everyone involved.

Waukesha Sunroom AdditionWaukesha Sunroom AdditionWaukesha Sunroom Addition

Bring the Outdoors In

Yes, it’s something we hear often, “Bring the outdoors in,” but what does it really mean? Does it imply you should add house plants to your décor or introduce floral prints to your space? The answer – yes, but there are also many other options to help you merge the indoors with the outdoors.

Connect indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces.

Establishing a better flow between your interior and exterior entertaining spaces expands the living area and creates an open atmosphere when hosting guests. If your outdoor space is easily accessible and comfortable, you will be more likely to use and enjoy it.

We recently designed and built a sunroom addition to facilitate better indoor and outdoor entertaining. Our customers’ kitchen and entertaining space ended abruptly at the back of the house, and it was difficult to access the backyard from this area.

The addition has an open concept, which is conducive to entertaining a group of people. We also included a patio door to connect the addition to their new patio, offering more room for guests.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition Waukesha Sunroom Addition

Take advantage of the views.

Many homes are situated on a beautiful, wooded lot, have access to a crystal-clear lake, or are near a sprawling field. No matter your location, you may have impressive views that you aren’t enjoying while you’re in your home. Why not highlight and frame those scenes?

We remodeled a home on Fowler Lake that had virtually no views of the water from the kitchen. The kitchen is often the “center” of the home, so we understood the importance of a good view. We relocated the kitchen and connected it to the lake porch, offering more natural light and better sight lines to the lake.

Oconomowoc Kitchen and Lake Porch

Venturing back to the sunroom addition…

The home is near the neighborhood conservancy area, so we included large windows with unique arch tops in the addition to showcase the green views. The windows also provide natural ventilation.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition Waukesha Sunroom Addition

Let your surroundings inspire your design.

People often spend time outdoors to find a sense of peace and enjoy their homes’ or communities’ beautiful backdrops. These calming components can be included in your interior design and décor with natural textures, colors, and materials.

A few years ago, we remodeled a home on a wooded lot on Pine Lake. The design didn’t reflect its natural setting, something the homeowner desired, so we paid special attention to the details. Not only did we open the home’s view to the lake, but we also “brought the outdoors in” with a custom table base that features iron tree branches to mimic the scene outside.

Hartland Kitchen Remodel

The owners of a Hartland home wanted to introduce a rustic aesthetic to the first floor to complement their heavily-wooded backyard. We achieved this by including natural elements in the remodel – granite countertops with a leather texture, a slate backsplash, hickory floors, earth tones, cedar beams, and other nature-inspired details.

Hartland First Floor RemodelHartland First Floor Remodel