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Our Remodel Hit The Parade Of Homes


We Remodeled A Century-Old Duplex
With 1970’s Style And Rotten Studs

Once We Were Done, Our Hard Work
Made The Parade Of Homes


At Executive Remodeling, we are known for doing the impossible – and for doing things the right way. Our remarkable work thrills even the most discerning customers, and our results nearly always exceed expectations.

However, one of our proudest moments was transforming a tired duplex built in 1917 that had been remodeled once before during the 1970s. When we began, it was a Frankenstein’s monster of different styles

The ’70s were an unfortunate decade for kitchen remodeling and interior style. Homeowners often valued modern design ideas over classic stylings. During this period, the home was “updated” from its original, classic, Edwardian design to something that reflected the current, groovy era.

The previous homeowners had removed a built-in kitchen buffet and piano windows from the dining room to remodel the kitchen in gaudy colors and materials. They had also turned a bedroom into a BADLY designed bathroom.

The new owner heard we were dependable and could be trusted, so he asked us to both modernize that terrible ’70s kitchen and recapture the home’s original, Edwardian appearance.


Newly Installed Piano Windows

We Took On More Than Expected – But Triumphed!

It seemed like an interesting but not overly difficult project.

The home was a two-story, up-down duplex, and the owners rented the upstairs while occupying the main floor and basement. Our first step was to replace the original built-in buffet, and our next was to restore the piano window.

The Problem With 1970s Remodeling

The new owners’ primary reason for wanting a remodel was that the kitchen and dining room no longer matched the house’s style. The main room and exterior had an elegant, classic look that featured a lot of wood. But the kitchen was kitschy, cramped, and not very functional. Furthermore, the amenities were out-of-date.

They also wanted to restore the piano windows or transom windows that had been removed. These windows often featured stained or leaded glass and were popular in well-to-do, turn-of-the-century homes between 1890 and 1935.

The clients requested we add box beams to the ceiling of the kitchen and dining room. These tubular wooden girders are decorative supports for a ceiling or wall. We helped them choose the products they wanted, including new flooring.

We knew it would be challenging since box beams in the ceiling are not easy to create, and matching the millwork would be difficult.

Nevertheless, we were happy to tackle the project because this type of renovation demonstrates our abilities. It can also boost a home’s resale value and make it more functional.

“Uh-Oh! The Studs Are Rotten!”

Unfortunately, while addressing the piano window and kitchen update, we had to move the exterior dining room wall. While doing that, we discovered that the studs – or vertical frame of the house – were rotten. They were also located improperly and had to be replaced.

That was truly unexpected, but we strive to be a dependable contractor you can trust, so we were up to the challenge.

We had to build temporary walls to support the weight of the upper floors. While these were in place, we cut out the rotten and mislocated studs and replaced them with newer, sturdier framing.

This Happens With Old Houses

It is not uncommon for this type of thing to happen when we work on old houses. The issues vary, but the unexpected often arises because of the age of the home. For instance, the plumbing or electric systems may be old, outdated, and not up to code. The insulation may be bad or virtually nonexistent, or we may discover asbestos issues.

But we’re always prepared. Even if something unforeseen occurs, we have the experience and expertise to handle it.

Exquisite Results

A household can’t function for long without a kitchen, so we knew we faced a deadline. We worked efficiently and did our all to produce results quickly yet completely.

At the finish, the kitchen looked original but operated as if fully modernized. It featured nice lighting, plenty of outlets, and all the modern conveniences.

It was large enough for two cooks to work side-by-side and much more functional. The cabinets, buffet, and piano windows all looked period, and we added a kitchen island for easier food prep.

The owners loved their exquisite results, so they submitted the house to the Parade of Homes. It was accepted and earned a lot of praise.

So, if you want to breathe new life into your home, consider working with a contractor that has transformed a Frankenstein’s monster of a home into a Parade of Homes beauty. Contact us at Executive Remodeling in the Twin Cities area today and schedule a free consultation.


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