Distinctive Remodelers Creates Double-Sized Kitchen for Oak Lawn Family

October 08, 2011

After 22 years, Sue Marcinkowski had reached the boiling point in the cramped galley kitchen of her 60-year-old Oak Lawn ranch home. In addition to cabinet doors that wouldn’t fully close any longer, she had endured loose and crumbling tile, formica countertops scarred with pot burns, no dishwasher, and a refrigerator door that, when opened, blocked access to the room’s back door.

She needed more space, new components, and greater functionality and efficiency in the most important room in her family’s home. She got all that and more, care of Distinctive Remodelers.

“Our kitchen was a disaster. Everything seemed to be falling apart,” said Sue, a teacher and mother of two boys, one serving in the military and the other grown son still living at home. “We were planning on remaining in our home, but we wanted more of an updated, convenient kitchen that we could enjoy, as well as a few improvements to other areas of the house. We didn’t have a particular vision or plan—we just wanted a more modernized home.”

After Sue and her husband Bob and became inspired watching remodeling shows on HGTV and reading about home makeover projects in magazines, they decided to finally do something about their kitchen dilemma. The couple began attending home design expos and hunting for the right remodeling firm last spring. While they met with a few contractors, they couldn’t find a company that appeared capable of handling both a major kitchen redo as well as upgrades to other spaces in their home. That is, until they learned about Distinctive Remodelers—the Orland Park-based renovation firm that had created a new kitchen in the home of Sue’s sister Kim in Worth and two new bathrooms in the Orland Park home of Kim’s sister-in-law. After talking with them and hearing their positive recommendations, Sue and Bob decided to contact Distinctive Remodelers in late May.

The Marcinkowskis in their new kitchen.

After carefully measuring and evaluating their living spaces, Distinctive chairman Bryan Nooner wowed the Marcinkowskis with a creative new vision for a fresh new kitchen that would be twice its current size.

“Bryan suggested knocking down the wall-and-a-half between our kitchen and the dining room next door, extending the cabinets and countertops into the new shared space, and inserting an island in the center of the room,” said Bob. “It would mean compromising the formal dining room space we had, but we wouldn’t miss it, especially with a breakfast bar island we could sit at. We never would have thought of this strategy, and it would involve a project of a larger scope than we had originally thought, but we loved the idea.”

Often, homeowners feel hesitant to remove walls, especially if they’re load-bearing walls, in a renovation project, Nooner said.

“But if you implement the right ceiling support, follow appropriate construction techniques, and carefully plan the re-routing of any electrical, plumbing, and ductwork within, you can definitely take out a wall and actually improve your home’s structural integrity. That was certainly the case with Bob and Sue’s kitchen,” said Nooner. “We still encountered a few unforeseen challenges, however, which can happen when you gut a room and remove walls in an older home, which wasn’t built to the same codes as today. We discovered that many of their walls had leaks and lacked insulation, for example—problems that we were careful to correct.”

Bryan and his crew began demolition in early June. They swapped the outdated cabinets with custom birch cabinetry topped with a handsome cherry finish and installed tan-toned granite countertops. They implemented all new Sears appliances, created a sparkling travertine tile backsplash, and put in ample can lights, pendants, and undercabinet lights. Additionally, the laminate and hardwood floors were replaced with attractive oak hardwoods, and the existing garden window was upgraded and moved to center directly above the new sink, creating an attractive focal point in the room.

But the Marcinkowski family’s project didn’t end there. They also had Bryan’s team enhance the attic insulation, install new attic pulldown stairs, improve the entry door to the crawlspace, paint the living room, and replace sections of the hardwood floor in the living room. The job was completed by late July, and Sue can’t stop smiling.

“I feel like at least half our house is brand new. I now have more elbow room to cook and serve, and that makes me want to cook and entertain more—which we’ve been doing plenty of the last couple months,” said Sue.

Bob noted that the Distinctive Remodelers team paid attention to the small details, including careful re-routing of gas and water lines and frostproof spigots implemented on the outside of the home. He was also impressed with how meticulously the crew tidied up their work space before they left each day.

Sue was also enamored with Distinctive Remodelers’ craftsmanship, as exemplified in a designated kitchen cabinet topped with a seeded glass panel that perfectly showcases her prized collection of antique ceramic roosters.

“I now have a kitchen that has exceeded my wildest dreams, thanks to Bryan’s creative concept and his crew’s quality workmanship,” said Sue, who was also grateful to Jullya Molburg, Distinctive’s vice president of sales and marketing, who collaborated closely with the Marcinkowskis throughout the entire process.

“The first thing I said when we visited their home and I saw the great potential they had to reinvent their kitchen was, ‘we’re gonna rock your world,’” said Jullya. “Nothing was more fulfilling than when Sue and Bob came up to me after the work was done and said we had lived up to that promise. We really had rocked their world.”

Bryan said that he founded Distinctive Remodelers based primarily on rising demand from past home buyer clients seeking to modernize or expand their existing residences.

“We have a large base of satisfied, loyal customers from over the years who often contact us for future projects,” said Bryan. “We would often get calls and requests from many of these past buyers who wanted to hire us for projects like finishing a basement, adding a room or reworking a kitchen. Instead of turning down these requests, we created Distinctive Remodelers, which offers partial or whole-house renovation services throughout the suburbs.”

Distinctive Remodelers provides a wide range of renovation projects, including room build-outs, second-level additions, home theater room installations, basement finishing and kitchen makeovers — with no residential job too large for Distinctive Remodelers to tackle. Plus, all work is backed by a full warranty.

Distinctive Remodelers draws on the built-in advantages of being a part of Distinctive Companies — a successful, established area business with 20-plus years of collective experience.

“We know these homeowners and what they’re looking for, and we’re familiar with the territory we cover,” said Bryan. “And we have a highly skilled crew in place that we’ve added to, as well as an unparalleled reputation for outstanding quality and value.”

Distinctive Remodelers can draw from the parent company’s skilled architectural design team and its computer-aided design (CAD) resources to ensure that the conceptualizing and planning of every home project goes smoothly and efficiently.

Additionally, Distinctive Companies already has a 3,000-square-foot, full-service design studio, making it simple and convenient for remodeling customers to choose their exterior and interior product, finish and material selections. From cabinet pulls and plumbing fixtures to flooring options, door handles, appliances and trim packages, everything is there under one roof. Homeowners can browse through plentiful wall and floor displays, samples and swatches.

“With Distinctive Remodelers, you can rely on courteous, knowledgeable professionals — all of whom have been carefully screened — who will treat you and your property with respect,” said Bryan. “You’ll get punctual responses to your questions and requests. And you can count on the highest level of customer service from a project manager specifically assigned to your home who will supervise your job from start to finish.”

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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