Tag Archives: Home Remodel

MKE Lifestyle Features Bartelt as Industry Leader

We were recently featured as the “Industry Leader of the Month” in MKE Lifestyle magazine’s May 2019 issue.  The spotlight is a great overview of our team and the work we do throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

Click the photo to read the profile!

Bartelt Wins 2019 National CotY Award

Bartelt was recently named the 2019 National Contractor of the Year (CotY) by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for the Entire House $500,001 – $750,000 category.

“We are honored to be named the 2019 National Contractor of the Year in this category,” said Rick Bartelt, owner. “We are incredibly thankful for our team, industry partners and clients. We would not be where we are today without their support and expertise.”

Contractors from seven regions nationwide vied for the National CotY awards. An impartial panel of judges, who are experts within the industry and associated fields, selected winners based on problem solving, functionality, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation, degree of difficulty and entry presentation.  Bartelt beat out over 350 entries in a competition that equates to over $97 million worth of remodeling projects.

The homeowners of the winning project contemplated moving to find a home better suited for their family of six, but after years of searching, they realized that they did not want to leave their neighborhood. They decided to remodel their home to accommodate daily living and showcase their vintage style. An addition was built to expand the home to include a large kitchen, family room, mudroom, master suite and additional bedrooms. The home features details that complement both the existing character of the home and the homeowners’ style – brass fixtures and hardware, cased openings, built-in bookshelves, v-groove walls and a neutral color scheme.

Click on the photo to see the project!

Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

Bartelt Named Best of Houzz 2019

We are excited to announce that we were recently named Best of Houzz 2019 in the Design category by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design.  Bartelt was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community.

“We are excited to be named Best of Houzz 2019, our sixth consecutive year we have received this honor,” said Rick Bartelt, owner. “We would not be where we are today without our team, industry partners and clients.”

Are you familiar with Houzz?  Whether you’re dreaming about a remodel or actively planning a project, it’s a great resource to find inspiration and learn about products and materials.  While you’re there, be sure to check out our profile!

Best of Houzz 2019

Roll Call: A Look at Wallpaper

When you think of wallpaper does your mind drift back to the patterns and materials of a bygone era?  “Sometimes when I suggest wallpaper in a space, I brace myself, wondering if my clients are going to toss a pen at me,” says Heather Scott, Interior Designer at Bartelt.  “They are still recovering from the removal of their 1990s wallpaper.”  But in recent years, we are seeing this design element make a major comeback.  With a wider selection and creative applications, wallpaper can be a fun detail, adding dimension and interest to a space that oftentimes paint cannot achieve.

Why Wallpaper?

Wallpaper isn’t tied to one particular style.  With so many options – fabric, grass cloth, metallic, cork, subtle patterns, graphic or geometric designs – wallpaper can complement a contemporary space as well as traditional homes and everything in between.

Beyond its versatility, wallpaper is an easy way to add texture or drama to a space.  Use it on an accent wall.  Highlight an architectural detail.  Put it in an unexpected spot such as on the ceiling or in a window nook.  Wallpaper allows you to enhance a space’s style without adding more stuff to a room.

Colgate Dining Room Remodel

How Do I Choose Wallpaper?

The first step in choosing wallpaper is evaluating its role in your space.  What is your design goal?  Are you adding depth and texture?  Do you need a pop of color?  Are you trying to soften a space?  Do you want to create that “wow factor?”  Answering this question will determine the type of wallpaper that will work in your home.  If you’re trying to make a statement, a subtle pattern probably isn’t the best way to achieve that.  If you’re looking for another layer of texture, perhaps a natural material will suit your space.

Another good practice is to start a collection of inspiration photos to determine what you’re naturally drawn to.  This will help you see if certain patterns or themes emerge.  It’s important to make sure the wallpaper matches your style rather than a fad, so you won’t grow tired of your choice.  Houzz, Pinterest, home blogs and magazines are great design sources, and a professional interior designer can help you pull it all together.

Our last piece of selection advice is to pick up large samples to bring home and put on your wall.  Then you can decide if the wallpaper complements the colors, patterns and furniture in the room.  Leave the samples up for at least 24 hours, so you can see how it transforms throughout the day as the light changes.

Where Should I Incorporate It?

There are really no rules when it comes to wallpaper placement, but we often see it in rooms where you don’t necessarily spend a majority of your time to avoid “wallpaper fatigue.”  Bedrooms, guest rooms, formal dining rooms, libraries, hallways and powder rooms are all common spots to spice things up with wallpaper.

Bartelt Kitchen Featured in “Kitchens That Shine”

Colgate Kitchen Highlighted in MKE Lifestyle Magazine

Not only did the July 2018 issue of MKE Lifestyle magazine feature our design team, but it also showcased one of our beautiful kitchen projects on pages 80-81.  We love the balanced mix of rustic and feminine details in the space!

Click on the photo to read the article!

Bartelt Designers Featured In MKE Lifestyle Magazine

The Faces of Exceptional Design and Remodeling

The July 2018 issue of MKE Lifestyle magazine features the Bartelt design team in its “Faces of Metro MKE” special section.  Our designers are hanging out in a recently completed farmhouse kitchen remodel!  We love the warmth and natural light in this shot!

Click on the photo to read the feature!

FACES of MKE 2018

Why is an Interior Designer an Important Part of Your Project?

Choosing products and materials can be an overwhelming process, sometimes extending the project’s timeline or overreaching the budget if not done properly.  An interior designer works with homeowners to choose items based on quality, function, price and style, helping you bring your design goals to life.

At Bartelt, our in-house interior designers serve many roles – creator, project coordinator, a friendly ear – to guide you each step of the way and make the remodeling process enjoyable.  Why is it important to look to a professional interior designer for direction?  Let’s examine!

They have a process.

Your interior designer has a proven process to guide you through your project and selections, keeping you organized and using tools to help you visualize and understand how everything fits together.  They’ll ask the right questions to hone in on your style, and they’ll help you make decisions at the proper time in the project’s progression.  The designer is there to coordinate all the moving parts and make sure details don’t get missed.  There are a lot of steps between preliminary design ideas and the final space.

Pewaukee Kitchen Remodel

They keep you on track.

Your interior designer can help keep your project on time and on budget (they may even end up saving you money).  Homeowners don’t always realize the incredible amount of decisions that need to be made.  That’s where your designer is a huge asset.  They help you sort through all the options – lighting, paint colors, tile, flooring, countertops (this list goes on!) – and ensure that your selections are cohesive and within your allowance, leaving less room for errors and unnecessary spending.

They’ll also hold you accountable to make decisions in a timely manner, so your project’s timeline doesn’t get derailed.

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

They bring a new perspective.

A fresh eye is important!  It can be hard to step back and look at your home from a different perspective.  You often get accustomed to the layout, color scheme and other details.  An interior designer has a trained eye and can see the potential in your space and offer creative solutions that you may have never considered.

Beyond offering ideas you may have not examined, they can also share options you may not have known even existed.  Continuing education is an important aspect of the designer’s job, and they have a great pulse on new materials, tools and methods.

Wauwatosa Master Bath Remodel

They can bring you back down to Earth (if needed).

We all have big plans for our homes, and let’s face it – sometimes, we need a reality check.  Your designer will help you set realistic goals and educate you on any design limitations.  They can also help you practice restraint, or in other words, learn how to “edit.”  What’s important to incorporate into the design?  What isn’t necessary?  Where can you take design risks?  Where should you keep it simple?  This will ensure your final space is practical while still showcasing your personality and unique style.

Wauwatosa Sunroom Remodel

Bartelt Cover Story in Qualified Remodeler

One of our farmhouse remodels is featured as the cover story in Qualified Remodeler Magazine’s May 2017 issue. Learn more about the project and hear from our very own Rick Bartelt, Matt Retzak, and Heather Scott.

Click on the cover to read the article!

Qualified Remodeler May 2017

Bartelt Named 2017 National Contractor of the Year

NARI National CotY Winner
Bartelt was named the 2017 National Contractor of the Year (CotY) by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for the Entire House $500,001 – $750,000 category.

Wauwatosa Butler's Pantry“We are honored to be named the 2017 National Contractor of the Year in this category,” said Rick Bartelt, owner. “We would not have achieved such a high honor without the expertise and dedication of the entire team, including our designers, carpenters, production staff, trade partners and customers.”

Contractors from seven regions nationwide vie for the awards on an annual basis. An impartial panel of judges, who are experts within the industry and associated fields, selected winners based on problem solving, functionality, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation, degree of difficulty and entry presentation.

Earlier this year, NARI named 172 Regional CotY winners with 27 team members who advanced as finalists to the national level. NARI announced a National winner in each of the 37 categories at its Evening of Excellence reception, held in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Wauwatosa Kitchen RemodelAfter previous remodels, the winning project was dated, and the spaces lacked unity. The homeowners wanted to enhance the home’s original charm, creating a cohesive design throughout the various rooms, while highlighting their eclectic style and accommodating their modern lifestyle. The remodel features a new mudroom, kitchen expansion, family room, butler’s pantry, first floor bathroom, dining room, and master bathroom. Throughout the project, it was important to increase the natural light in the home and make the spaces more conducive to entertaining. Now, the home is a balanced mix of the homeowners’ eclectic taste and more traditional details.  Bartelt worked with interior designer Jeff Wasserman to complete the project.

See the winning project on Houzz.

The Wrong House

Turn that Fixer Upper into Your Dream Home.

You’re ready to make the move. You’ve landed on a budget and researched what you could buy or build for that price point, but the available home inventory is low or lacking those turnkey, ready-to-move-in homes.

Where do you go from here? Do you decide to build? Building is definitely an option, but there can be some trade-offs.

It may be time to consider the “fixer upper.”  What do we mean by “fixer upper?”  It’s the wrong house in the right place at the right price. It’s in an established neighborhood, a desirable location with good schools and tree-lined streets, but it doesn’t quite fit the bill. Perhaps, the previous homeowners have lived there for years. They’re comfortable and think it works, but the home needs updating (sometimes major updating) and a more functional layout.

Maybe choosing that home that’s under your means***, that’s in the right place, but needs some love seems overwhelming. But it can be a fun challenge, and the perfect opportunity to have everything you ever wanted in a home.  Let’s look at the “perks” of choosing a fixer upper.

Location, Location, Location

We all know that location is often king! It’s important to be near parks, shopping, restaurants, and good schools. Beyond your must-have location list, the fixer upper is usually in an established neighborhood, which means mature trees, landscaping, and other amenities.

Not-So-Cookie-Cutter

It may seem appealing to purchase or build a new home (perhaps, it’s the easier option – the work has already been done for you), but customization and character are definitely limited. Think about driving into a new subdivision with freshly built homes.  They’re lovely, but you may notice something – they’re all essentially the same.  Sure, they may have varying color schemes or different window configurations, but they truly lack charm and a unique “personality.”

Remodeling the fixer upper will ensure you don’t end up in that cookie cutter home.  Older homes often have hard-to-replicate architectural details and other charming features.  Plus, once you begin the remodeling process, you’ll realize there is a lot of opportunity to be creative and tailor your home to your preferences (sometimes to an overwhelming extent, which is why hiring professionals to guide you is the best approach).

Quality Over Quantity

Renovating a fixer upper can often cost as much as a building a new home, but there’s an important difference.  In a new home, you’re putting your money towards quantity items – moldings, windows, doors, hardware, flooring, cabinetry, appliances, HVAC systems, plumbing fixtures, landscaping, a driveway.  A new home needs everything!  Remodeling gives homeowners more flexibility to put their money towards quality materials and high-end finishes because there are existing details that can be saved, repurposed, or remain completely untouched.

Now, let’s look at this idea in action. Here is an example of our clients’ fixer upper that was transformed into their dream home!

Check out more photos of this project on Houzz!

***For example, you may have a $450,000 budget for a home, and you decide to purchase a $300,000 home, leaving $150,000 for renovations and an opportunity to truly customize the home to your needs and preferences.