Distinctive Remodelers Earn Praise for Mokena Home Renovation

October 02, 2010

As pastor of Parkview Christian Church in Orland Park, Tim Harlow is proud of the large congregation he’s grown over the past 20 years. Growing extra room in his home to better accommodate parishioners and friends, on the other hand, would require a minor miracle a la a major renovation.

Tim and his wife, Denise, enjoy hosting church groups and meetings in their home throughout the year. But while they’re close to being empty nesters, having enough elbow room in their 15-year-old home to comfortably entertain select members of their faith flock has proved challenging—especially considering the tight confines of their kitchen.

Luckily for the Harlows, two of their churchgoers, longtime friend Bryan Nooner and his partner Mike Carroll, are experienced and reputable remodelers who offered to assess their square footage needs and suggest renovation options.

“We didn’t really know what was possible until Bryan and his business partner Mike Carroll came over to the house one day and took a closer look,” said Tim. “We yearned for a first floor with more usable space and an open flow, but I knew that knocking down exterior walls and building an addition was outside our budget.”

After taking stock of the couple’s current floor plan, “our goal was to get Tim and Denise to think outside of the box, literally, by visualizing potentialities within their home’s existing footprint,” said Bryan, chairman/CEO of Orland Park-based Distinctive Remodelers. And that meant asking what would appear to be very simple yet important questions, like ‘why do you need more room in this particular space,’ ‘what is your ultimate goal,’ and ‘what if we tried this alternative?’”

Bryan and Mike observed that the Harlows’ kitchen was adjacent to an ample laundry room. Knocking down the wall between and expanding the kitchen into the laundry area would increase the kitchen space by 33 percent, they suggested.

“That sounded like a creative and logical solution, but one that begged the obvious question, where were we going to move the laundry room to?” said Denise.

Exploring further, Mike and Bryan noticed that the homeowners had a two-story foyer as well as a small walk-in master bedroom closet upstairs that the Harlows had always wished was larger. After taking careful measurements, they recommended converting the existing closet into a laundry room and building a new, larger master bedroom closet in the foyer space above the home’s front door.

Distinctive Remodelers - Harlow kitchen

The Harlow's kitchen by Distinctive Remodelers.

“It made more sense to have their washer and dryer upstairs anyway, considering that all the bedrooms were on the second floor, where laundry accumulates,” said Mike, president of Distinctive Remodelers. “Plus, this strategy would provide the Harlows with a new 80-square-foot walk-in closet accessible from the master bedroom next door.”

Additionally, the Distinctive Remodelers duo proposed updating the master bathroom shower and tile floor, which would be more cost effective now versus later, considering that they had to remove that wall anyway to create the new second-floor laundry room.

“We were impressed by their creative suggestions, which would not only maximize spatial efficiency upstairs and downstairs but save us a lot of money compared to the cost of building an addition,” Denise said.

It didn’t take long for Tim and Denise to see the light. In early 2010 they decided to take that leap of faith and hire Distinctive Remodelers to implement Bryan and Mike’s suggestions.

Phase one involved building the new master closet and upstairs laundry room, which only took a week. The next step required removing the wall between the kitchen and family room and walling up a window in the soon-to-be converted first-floor laundry room.

“We thought that finding exterior bricks that matched the shade of their existing bricks around that window would be a challenge, but after shopping around at a few brick suppliers, we found a mason who provided a seamless match,” said Mike.

In the kitchen, Mike and crew installed new custom birch cabinetry topped with a handsome hand-rubbed stain; granite countertops sporting brown and black tones; a center island; several new appliances; pendant, recessed and under-cabinet LED lights; an eye-catching tile backsplash; a French provincial-inspired ceramic tile floor; and a new back door.

“Distinctive Remodelers even helped me move our old cabinets into the garage, so now I have extra storage space in there,” said Tim.

The end result, finished by late winter, continues to thrill the Harlows and their many house guests.

“The ideas Mike and Bryan came up with proved to be successful solutions that I wouldn’t have thought of in a million years, which says a lot about their ingenuity and years of experience,” Tim added. “They were so proud of the completed project, in fact, that they came by and took photos of our home to use in their marketing materials, which my wife said is about the best compliment you could give us.”

To make an appointment for a free estimate, contact Distinctive Remodelers at (708) 479-7700. For more information, visit www.DistinctiveRemodelers.com.

Categories: Remodeling

About The Author

Read All Stories By Walsh Communications

Lynn Walsh is the President at Walsh Communications, LLC. Walsh Communications is a full-service public relations, marketing and advertising agency for home builders and real estate-related industries.

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