Tag Archives: National Home Improvement Month

A Look at Bartelt’s Award-Winning Projects

May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we have posted photos of some of Bartelt’s award-winning projects. Here is a compilation of those posts!

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This 1800s farmhouse remodel has a balanced mix of rustic and refined details – barn beams, painted cabinetry, fieldstone, coffered ceilings, distressed wood.

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This home is a blend of traditional elements and modern details. It features marble, painted cabinetry and gorgeous lighting. The spaces also boast unique materials like goldleaf tile and textured wallpaper!

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Our clients wanted a layout more conducive to entertaining and spaces that reflected their style and setting. The first floor features custom cabinetry, wrought iron light fixtures, slate tile, textured granite, and hand-scraped beams, creating a rustic aesthetic.

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This sunroom addition is the perfect spot to host family and friends. It features a bar, easy access to the kitchen, a Lannon stone fireplace, and a direct connection to outdoor entertaining spaces.

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Our clients’ 1800s Victorian lake home had been turned into a four family residence. It was their goal to restore it back to a single family home and reintroduce its original charm. This project features painted cabinetry, a tin ceiling, fireplace restorations, a bed nook for the grandchildren, and other details complementing the character of the home.

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This master bath features a custom vanity, a tub with a granite deck, and a frameless glass shower. The shower bench boasts porcelain- and marble-filled mosaic tile and mimics the curve of the vanity and tub.

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The homeowners wanted to update the home to accommodate their modern lifestyle while complementing the home’s original charm. This remodel features a new master suite, an exterior update, a new detached garage, a family room transformed from the old garage, and an expanded kitchen.

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This home was originally a 1850s barn and was converted to a home in 1938. Throughout the addition, it was important to create a rustic, yet refined aesthetic. This was achieved with beams, board and batten siding, shakes, layers of lighting, exposed wood, and other selections that acknowledge the home’s barn past.

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This kitchen is ideal for entertaining. It features a large island, efficient storage, double sinks, and a large arched opening into the family room (keeping the spaces open yet defined).

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This stunning lake home basement has it all – a bar with a copper top and a Lannon stone wall, a wine storage room, and a cozy family room for movie nights (not to mention a ton of space to entertain friends and family)!

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The homeowners wanted to enhance the home’s original charm while highlighting their eclectic style. 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.

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This remodeled lower level offers a comfortable and contemporary spot for the family. It features a bar with pepper gray cabinetry, a stacked stone backsplash, and textured granite. Neighboring the bar, a modern fireplace with a floating hearth serves as the focal point of the lower level. The lower level also includes a theater room with a “starry” ceiling – the perfect spot for the kids!

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We created a layout conducive to entertaining and updated this kitchen without straying too far from the feel of the home’s existing spaces. The space features custom, raised panel birch cabinetry, travertine subway tile, and granite countertops. It also has a two-level island, making it multi-purpose: one level for food prep and the other with seating for six.

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This finished lower level features a bar with leather-textured granite, character-grade cherry cabinetry, a stacked stone backsplash, and beverage refrigerators. Neighboring the bar, the family room includes a stacked stone fireplace. Arched openings, weathered beams, and travertine tile run throughout the basement, adding character to the space.

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The homeowners wanted to update the home to accommodate their modern lifestyle, showcase their eclectic style, and take advantage of their beautiful setting. The exterior of the house was transformed with a metal roof, fieldstone, low maintenance siding, a pergola, cedar columns and brackets, and a screen porch. Inside the home, each room tells a “story,” with reclaimed pieces throughout the first floor – barn doors, beams, and boards.

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The homeowners wanted to expand their home to accommodate their family of 7. This project doubled the size of their home and created functional spaces – a larger kitchen, a family room, a mudroom with custom lockers, a three and a half car garage, bathrooms, and other living spaces.

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The homeowners wanted to update the kitchen for their modern lifestyle while restoring and preserving the home’s original character. The space features a copper tin ceiling, custom furniture-style cabinetry, and soapstone.

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This beautiful lake home features a new kitchen with custom crackle-finish cabinetry, a custom cherry table, a wet bar, and toe kick lighting. The two fireplaces serve as focal points for the first floor.

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The fireplace, the lower level’s focal point, is a carved face of Prometheus, Greek god of fire. It features votive candles inset in his hair and beard. The basement also features a full kitchen with a hutch-like sink area, copper details, and reclaimed beams.

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The homeowners wanted their home to have an arts and crafts look. The remodeled exterior features low maintenance siding, a cedar pergola, a historically correct color scheme, and a custom quarter sawn oak door.

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This eye-catching kitchen features custom cabinetry and paneled appliances, a limestone hood, a crackle-finished island, and a copper farmhouse sink.

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This lower level is ideal for entertaining – bar, family room, game area. The space features granite tops, custom cherry cabinetry, a game table at the bar, custom storage for pool cues, and double crown molding at the ceiling.

A Place to Entertain

May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we have posted entertaining space photos every day (every weekday and non-holiday, that is). Here is a compilation of the posts!

Space for Libations

Fox Point Butler's Pantry

This butler’s pantry offers extra storage and features a wet bar with wine and beverage refrigerators, an ice maker, sink, and glass storage. It also has goldleaf tiles and a gold ceiling, tying into the home’s classic and modern aesthetics. The room serves as a connection between entertaining spaces.

Wauwatosa Family Room and Wet Bar

The wet bar is conveniently located between two entertaining spaces – the living room and the kitchen. It’s the perfect spot to mix drinks, store glasses, and serve as extra counter space.

Hartford Butler's Pantry

The butler’s pantry is a transition area, located between the dining room and the library. It serves as extra counter space for entertaining in the dining room and features custom cabinetry, glass storage, and a wine refrigerator.

Hartland Wet Bar

This remodeled wet bar features custom cabinetry, a hammered copper sink, and a Bronzo Quartzite top. The beverage refrigerator and glass storage are a great addition for their gatherings, and the deep drawer allows them to store spirits vertically.

Elm Grove Coffee Bar

This kitchen’s “beverage station” is the perfect spot for the homeowners’ coffee maker, mugs, and snacks.

Kitchen Entertaining

Waukesha Kitchen Remodel

This kitchen island offers ample space for food preparation and seating for guests – ideal for entertaining. The kitchen’s open design accommodates the natural flow between appliances and storage areas during meal prep.

Hartland Kitchen Remodel

The custom island table is the perfect spot to host a casual brunch or dinner. The kitchen is open to the family room, so guests can move freely about the space and interact with people in the other room.

Hartland Kitchen Island

If you entertain regularly, you’ve probably started quite the collection of platters, linens, glasses, vases, and beyond. Make sure you have a place for everything. The island is a great spot to insert extra storage.

Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

These custom barn doors serve as a focal point and allow the homeowners to close off the (sometimes) chaotic kitchen from the dining room when hosting guests. It’s the perfect way to keep the spaces open to one another yet separate!

Oconomowoc Kitchen Remodel

This large island is ideal for setting up a party buffet! The homeowner also wanted part of the island to be raised, so guests could lean against it during gatherings.

Room to Visit

Elm Grove Hearth Room Remodel

This hearth room is a cozy spot for guests to mingle and relax. Because it neighbors the kitchen, the homeowners can still engage their friends and family while prepping at the island.

Hartford Sunroom Addition

With direct access to the kitchen, this sunroom addition extends the homeowners’ entertaining space. It’s a great place for guests to socialize while you prep in the kitchen or a nice spot to enjoy libations after dinner.

Oconomowoc Screen Porch

The new three-season room allows the homeowners to entertain and enjoy their surroundings without having to worry about bugs or the elements. It is also located off the lower level bar and family room, offering a nice flow between entertaining spaces.

Wauwatosa Sunroom Remodel

This light and airy sunroom is the perfect spot to entertain guests with drinks and appetizers. It also has a direct connection to the patio!

Delafield Screen Porch

This screen porch is accessible from the family room/kitchen area, the patio, and the porch. It is a great spot to enjoy the home’s scenic backdrop, and it helps blur the line between indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces.

Lower Level Shindigs

Muskego Basement Remodel

This lower level wet bar and sitting area is the perfect spot for the whole family to enjoy. It features engineered hickory flooring, a bold chandelier, and room for a large table (perfect for games or meals). The wet bar includes marble subway tile, leather-textured granite, and custom cabinetry.

Oconomowoc Basement Remodel

A great place to entertain friends and family! This bar neighbors a game room and offers ample seating and counter space to prepare cocktails and serve snacks. It features character-grade cherry cabinetry, leather-textured granite, and a stacked stone backsplash.

Muskego Basement Playroom

You need a spot for those kiddos when you’re entertaining! This lower level playroom features two chalkboard doors and has lots of space to move around! It can also be closed off with barn-style doors to keep toys hidden during gatherings.

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

This lower level game area and billiards room offer plenty of space for entertaining and playing. It features heated travertine floors, soft arches, and a mix of lighting to accommodate all activities.

 

Oconomowoc Basement Remodel

This lower level bar is ideal for entertaining! It’s cozy, featuring a copper top, a Lannon stone wall and fireplace, stained beams, and a travertine floor.

Formal Entertaining

Oconomowoc Dining Room Remodel

This dining room is the perfect spot to entertain family and friends. It has views to the lake and is near the wet bar, family room, and new sunroom.

It’s All in the Details

May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we have posted detail photos every day (every weekday and non-holiday, that is). Here is a compilation of some Bartelt details!

Kitchens

  1. This range hood serves as a focal point, or anchor, of the kitchen.  It stands out, yet blends well with the cabinetry and style of the space.
  2. The base of this butcher block adds a pop of color to the kitchen, and the knife storage keeps tools within reach of where the homeowners need it.
  3. This kitchen niche not only adds interest to the backsplash, but it is also a great spot to store frequently used spices and oils.
  4. A furniture-style island leg is an important aspect of the kitchen.  The island is no longer just a work station, it’s a beautiful piece of furniture.
  5. Showcasing the homeowners’ style, this kitchen pendant offers ambient and task lighting over the island.
  6. The roll-out pantry allows the homeowners to take advantage of the entire depth of the cabinet without having to dig through boxes and canned goods.

Lower Levels

  1. This hammered copper countertop is the perfect addition to a lower level bar.
  2. A Tuscan-style lower level features textured plaster walls and arched brick openings.
  3. These chalkboard doors are a fun addition to a lower level playroom.
  4. A finished basement is a great opportunity to get creative with your lighting!
  5. Here is a close-up of that unique lower level fireplace, the face of Prometheus.

Bathrooms

  1. Check out this grand, double-door entrance into the master bath!  The arched doorway mimics the arch above the large soaking tub.
  2. Not only does a recessed niche add character to a bathroom, but it is also perfect for decor or storage needs.
  3. The tub’s handshower offers a classic and sophisticated look.
  4. This steam shower has frameless glass panels, a pivoting transom, and Pietra Calacatta, an innovative porcelain tile that looks like marble, but holds up to the steam.
  5. A wall-mounted faucet, slate tile, and boulder vessel sink help achieve a rustic aesthetic in this home’s powder room.

Other Spaces

  1. This custom, built-in bed takes advantage of an existing alcove and is the perfect spot for the homeowners’ grandchildren to snuggle in for a sleepover.
  2. In this library, a knotty alder coffered ceiling adds warmth and character.
  3. An arched opening between the sunroom and back hall keeps the spaces separate yet open to one another.
  4. The fieldstone and barn beams on this sunroom fireplace tie into the home’s exterior and create a nice balance of rustic and refined.

Remodeling Lookbook

May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we posted before and after photos (every weekday and non-holiday, that is). Here is a compilation of Bartelt transformations!

Exteriors

Kitchens

Lower Levels

Bathrooms

 Other Spaces

Remodeling Guide Part II

May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we posted remodeling tips everyday (every weekday and non-holiday, that is). Here is a compilation of “must-knows” from the experts here at Bartelt.

Be patient and understand that the design process is just that, a process. It can often take several iterations before you land on the perfect design solution for your home and lifestyle. Sometimes, on large remodels, the design time can take almost as long as the construction phase. In the end, you’ll have a design that fulfills your objectives.

Architectural Rendering

Our architectural renderings allow homeowners to visualize the possibilities for their remodel and work with designers to tweak elements.

Make sure the construction phase kicks off with an on-site meeting with all pertinent parties – you, the designer, the lead carpenter, and the production manager (or expeditor). At Bartelt, Rick Bartelt also attends this meeting as well as the ongoing weekly meetings. This gathering is the perfect opportunity to set ground rules, including start times; dumpster, lumber, and port-o-let placement; dust control; flooring coverings; and other expectations. Also, let the contractor know if you have any pets and what measures need to be taken to ensure their safety.

Be prepared for the ups and downs in your project’s progress.  The first part of any remodel takes off quickly, normally without major issues or challenges.  Once the rough work is completed, things can often slow down.  This is due to many factors – waiting on inspections, scheduling cabinet measuring and templating, choosing selections, and other elements.

If the process was on a graph, it would climb rapidly during the first phase then level off until the drywall was complete.  Once finish items started being installed, the graph line would continue on a steep incline.

Constant and meaningful communication from the contractor greatly helps during plateaus.

Remodeling Ups and Downs

Here’s a quick sketch (not to scale) of the ups, downs, and plateaus of the remodeling process.

It’s okay to make changes during the process.  We often have homeowners add something or a number of things to their remodel during the progression of the project.  Once they see the space coming together, many customers want to make updates to adjacent spaces or tweak some of the elements in that room.  Just know that this can add time to the project.

Be prepared for inconvenience.  Once the remodel begins, your home becomes a worksite.  Remodeling can turn your daily routines upside down (although we take the measures to ensure the experience is as comfortable as possible).  A kitchen remodel, for example, will definitely affect meal planning.  Many homeowners set up temporary cooking areas in this situation.  Make sure you have a place to unwind and escape the chaos.  In the end, it will all be worth it!

Remodel for you and your family, not for the next owners.  If you plan to stay in your home, think about your lifestyle and preferences.  It’s important that you enjoy your remodeled space.  Keep in mind, however, that the more your selections stray from the norm, the less likely you are to get maximum return on your improvement.

Take before and progress photos.  They will help you realize how far you’ve come, and they’re a fun opportunity to showcase your home’s transition to family and friends once the project is complete.

Shorewood Kitchen Remodel

Here’s a kitchen before and after (just for fun)!

Make sure you have adequate storage space for belongings that need to be removed from the construction area – furniture, décor, etc.  For larger projects, many homeowners rent PODS or take things to a storage facility.  Fragile items should also be removed from neighboring walls to eliminate potential accidents.

Now that a communication plan has been established, don’t hesitate to ask questions or express concerns during the process.  Things may come up, and it’s best to address them immediately to ensure satisfaction with the end product.

Enjoy the process!  Have fun with the design and selections stages.  Use your remodel as an excuse to get away for the weekend or go on vacation.  Treat yourself to a night out to recharge your batteries.

As the remodel nears completion, make sure the contractor walks through the project with you and forms a “punch list” of items that need to be addressed before they leave the site.  It’s also a great opportunity to ask questions.

Now, it’s time to enjoy your new space!

Remodeling Guide Part I

May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we posted remodeling tips everyday (every weekday and non-holiday, that is).  Here is a compilation of “must-knows” from the experts here at Bartelt.

Talk to friends and family who have been through the remodeling process.  Time spent listening to others’ experiences will give you a better understanding of the realities of remodeling.  They can offer advice, recommendations, and insight about what they wish they would have known going into their remodel.

Prioritize your needs, wants, and wishes for your project, so you can establish a realistic budget.

Meet with a couple of contractors, but no more than two to three.  Talking to too many people can lead to paralysis of analysis.  Choose the contractor you feel most comfortable with; you’re building a long-term relationship.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask for references.  Check out questions NARI recommends asking here.

Start gathering inspiration photos for your remodel.  These images help you introduce your style and wishes for your home to the designer.  Houzz is a great resource to search for and organize your ideas.  You can also ask questions about products or materials and share your ideabooks with others.

Bartelt Remodeling's Houzz

Visit Houzz to gather ideas and see photos of our work.

As much as we all enjoy a good before and after show, programs on stations, such as HGTV, can set unrealistic expectations when it comes to a project’s budget, timeline, and process.  Watch these shows for entertainment or inspiration, but be aware that they are far from reality.

The time is now!  There’s no better time than the present to get your 2013 remodeling plans and ideas on paper and priced out.  Lumber pricing is increasing substantially with no end in sight for the remainder of the year.  Once we sign a contract with our customers, we can lock in the pricing and hedge potential surprises in terms of a material price increase.

Hire an experienced designer and establish a strong relationship.  Our in-house designers guide the process, solve spatial problems creatively, and educate you on the vast material options available.  Meet our designers, Matt and Mary, here!

Work with an interior designer to make selections.  Choosing products and materials can be an overwhelming process, sometimes extending the project’s timeline if not done properly.  Our interior designer, Mary, works with you to choose items based on quality, function, price, and style.  She also helps homeowners stay on task and select products to create a cohesive design.

Hartland Kitchen Remodel

Here’s a photo just for fun! Don’t all of the selections go well together?

Remember: Form follows function.  Although it’s fun to envision the “look” of your remodel, it’s important to truly evaluate how you live in your spaces.  Where are the high traffic areas?  What works in each room and what doesn’t?  Once you’ve addressed the flow and layout of the room, you can focus on those fun details to showcase your personality.

Establish a communication plan.  Your remodeler should lay out the plan from the start.  If not, make sure to set expectations for communication methods, frequency, and availability.  Also, clarify who you should be talking to on a regular basis.  At Bartelt, our production team works diligently to keep the lines of communication open.  For most projects, Rick Bartelt, the designer, and the production manager meet with you on-site on a weekly basis to review progress and discuss the next steps.

Before you proceed and fall in love with a design, have a concrete budget and be honest with your contractor.  Once we know what you are able to comfortably invest in your project, we can analyze your needs, wants, and wishes list to see what will realistically fit into that number.  We don’t want to present plans that don’t work with your budget because it can lead to disappointment.