Complete Home Makeover
If you're wondering why this page took so long to load, it's because this project was a monster! This 10,000 square foot home in Grosse Pointe Shores, MI was a huge success. The owner bought it looking for a place to settle down with his family and really plant some roots, and at first he was unsure. But after several consultations with Joe, he realized that this house could truly become a beautiful home.
One of the key factors of this project was the removal of multiple walls at strategic locations throughout the home. Some of the before and afters don't even look right if you don't take that into consideration. But when you see, you'll immediately understand why they were removed, and how it really unlocked the true potential of this house.
One of the focal points of the home, the main staircase was an excellent transformation. The darkened wood on the treads and railings goes great with the new doors. Together they contrast beautifully with new mustard paint.
We got rid of that dated wallpaper, and made sure to update all of the casing, crown molding, and base trim throughout. The Italian tile flooring was the final touch. The old tile wasn't bad, but the new design and layout really finishes out the look.
Prepare For Your Mind To Be Blown
"Sometimes it's hard to look at an existing kitchen, and truly realize what it could be. You really need to imagine what you want, and it can even help to look at other finished kitchens for inspiration.
I spent some time planning out this kitchen with our client. We met several times regarding just this kitchen, both at the home and in our Design Center, until we really came up with a solid vision. Then, we made that vision a reality."
Joseph P. Cipriano Jr.
The Dining Room
When we talk about removing walls, this has to be one of the best examples we can provide. The above tacky yellow room was gutted entirely, allowing us to create this beautiful view of the kitchen.
There's just no comparison. This is one of the key changes of this renovation. It allowed us to bring the island out the little bit we needed to get it just right. We were able to create a custom curved floor transition that turned out beautifully. And it opened up the center of the home, creating the open space and atmosphere that truly makes it unique.
Moving On To The Rest Of The Home
"This bathroom didn't really need too much in the way of remodeling. However, there were two issues. We definitely needed some cabinet space, and we wanted to stick with the wood theme throughout the home. In the end, it turned out great."
Joseph P. Cipriano Jr.
The Client's Testimonial
“Dear Joe and Angela (and the rest of the ConstrucTeam family):
It is hard to believe that it was nearly 3 years ago that we first met. At that time, what has affectionately become known as “511” was nothing but a distant fantasy and our family was simply looking for another place to live. We’d bought several houses in the past, remodeled a few of them, made memories in all of them, bought right and sold right (or so we thought) and yet we knew in our heart of hearts that none of those houses was yet our home. We had no idea that day we came upon 511 [Street censored by Constructeam] that this would eventually be the one.
It was a large house, for sure, but size alone doesn’t make a property impressive. If anything, size usually relates to more problems and more headaches, thereby making it more intimidating for the average buyer. I’m sure that is one of the reasons the property remained vacant for so long. We were neither impressed nor intimidated. In fact, we were curious. So like most buyers, we looked around, walked the property and had several of those “most people would have to be crazy” moments as we saw everything that needed to be done just to make it livable, let alone make it our home. Still, we were neither impressed nor intimidated by what we saw. We’ve always had vision when it came to remodeling and we learned long ago that houses are nothing but bricks and wood, plaster and pipes. Everything can be cleaned, fixed, moved and remodeled. But we also new that our visions only went so far and this was a project that was well beyond our expertise, time and connections.
Then after our second or third visit we came out of the house and for the first time, looked out across the street. It wasn’t one of those looks to make certain that the houses in the neighborhood are nice and kept; it was one of those looks to say “Wow, is this neighborhood for real? Is this is what we could give our family each and every day?” We saw beautiful houses for sure but we also saw kids playing in the yards and the street, we saw happiness and togetherness, but most importantly we saw the beginnings of what could become our family’s true home. But then reality set in and we still had this project house behind us that we were considering for our next house. We thought long and hard about what would it take to make this really happen, whether there was enough hidden potential in this house to become a home that would be fitting of the neighborhood we already fell in love with and most importantly, could we find the right company to work with to make it all happen for us?
After much thought, reflection and prayer we decided to buy the house. In the process of doing so, we met you. I still remember one of the first things you told me. Do you, Joe? You said that you had stared across the street at this house for years and you had so many ideas of what it could be and how perfect it could become for just the right family. You said that you believed we were that family and you assured me that you’d do whatever it took to make that happen. At that time I didn’t know if you were just a concerned neighbor or a contractor or who you were but it all started with a friendly face, a handshake and a smile.
Once we were committed to buying the house we still didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do with the property and we didn’t know for sure who was going to be involved in getting us where we wanted to be, but we knew that it had to be there. Thus, we had the beginnings of an incredible story.
Of course the glossy-eyed, nervous but excited new homeowner in me quickly disappeared and the lawyer in me kicked into high gear. You said all the right things and we liked what we were hearing about why we should let you help us figure out what to do with this house but that wasn’t enough for me. It didn’t quite matter what you had envisioned and I wasn’t about to be sucked in by what you were saying because in my world, in the legal world, actions speak louder than words and words didn’t mean much until you put them in writing, signing on the dotted line. Oh, I let you talk and I listened but the defenses were up and I wasn’t about to be wooed into anything. I was sizing you up with every word out of your mouth and this wasn’t going to be just another sales job for you and your company. Then the funniest thing happened: you just kept talking and listening and sharing ideas. You offered advice and help and didn’t care much about “signing me up” as a customer. It wasn’t about another “job” for you. In fact, I soon learned that none of your jobs where just “another job” for you. For you, this was like taking care of family. We could figure it all out slowly, take it at our own pace or jump right into the whole thing. You were ready to do whatever we wanted, not whatever you wanted. You even had Stan the Handyman over there helping to stop a leaking pipe and to replace a door before you were ever hired (and technically before we even closed on the purchase) just to make sure that a small problem didn’t get any bigger. You were just that committed. That’s when I knew we were ready to proceed…with you.
Unfortunately, the property was still just a house with a lot of problems. We weren’t sure how much we wanted to tackle at first and again you listened, counseled and assured us that we were making the right decision every step of the way. You never pressured us and you made us comfortable that there was no problem that you couldn’t handle. That was soon put to the test as the surprises and problems just kept coming and coming and coming. From structural to electrical and from water to mold, we encountered it all. But day in, day out it was as if you saw everything unfolding just as you envisioned. You knew what to expect at every turn and if you didn’t, you knew how to deal with it. Your team of laborers could handle anything and every one of them did it with the same passion and care and respect that you showed to them. I never met someone with more resources and connections to get things done than you and I certainly never saw more people wanting to work for you and please your customers the ways yours do.
After the demolition came the design. Your design team with Andy at the helm was superb. We would start with just a wish of an idea and before we knew it there it was on paper. We’d make a comment or voice a concern and changes were made in an instant. You gave your input and we gave ours. It was truly a collaborative effort like no other we had ever experienced. No detail or issue was too small or insignificant to get your full attention. You listened and looked at every crazy concept or idea I pulled off the Internet or out of a magazine. You allowed me the freedom to change things on the fly and you never once complained or took offense to any actions I took on my own, only to realize after the fact that I truly caused you many headaches and pains as a result. I took many things to the extreme and you were right there with me, assuring me that it was all being done with perfection as the standard or it would be ripped out and redone.
In the end, we were amazed. There simply is no other word to describe what you did to transform this otherwise unassuming and intimidating problem of a chopped up, somewhat “cold” house before our very eyes, let alone in just 9 months. You took every detail off our wish list and brought them to life in the most inviting and warm setting that it is only fitting to say that you built us a home. Our very first real home and we couldn’t be more pleased or grateful. But the story doesn’t end there.
Along the way we became great friends. We were like family. We are like family. So when it came time the following year to plan an 80th Birthday extravaganza for the matriarch of my family, my mother, I knew that we had to host it at our house. The only problem was that this would be a summer party and the outside was so institutional looking and cold compared to the inside. I knew exactly what we had to do and there was no question where to turn. I called you and told you what I wanted but time was running out as the party was already planned and there was no turning back once we got started. In order to match the inside of our home, the outside now needed character. It needed to make a statement yet carry that same, warm feeling for our guests to be welcomed and for our family to feel at home. The time frame was shorter and the budget was smaller, but none of that mattered to you. You told me to leave it in your hands and that you would make it happen. You knew what I wanted and again, the goal was perfection.
While not quite the undertaking that we had on the inside, this project was no small feat yet you didn’t waiver and when I failed to see it all coming together, you continued to assure me that it was all under control. I put my complete faith in you and before long I could see that it was impossible for you to fail. Just as you were hands on with the inside, your commitment with perfection on the outside project was unmatched. The day I came home and watched you climb a two-story scaffold in your dress pants and dress shoes to then walk across my roof and fix a plastic sheet on our unfinished chimney because the weather was calling for rain and all the workers had already left for the day and you were concerned about water getting to the inside. That left me speechless. But then again a few weeks later I came home on a Sunday to find you painting the bricks on the back of my house. You weren’t just telling the painters what to do and how to do it: you were actually painting – waiting for the painters to arrive. It was like Michelangelo completing his masterpiece. In your mind you always needed to finish the exterior of this house to make it a complete home and it was just a matter of time. You were on a mission to make sure it all came together and boy oh boy, did it ever.
I’ve struggled for months now trying to write this letter. Not because of any problems or issues along the way or that we were somehow unhappy, but because for the first time in my life the words just wouldn’t come together. Volumes have been written on ways to express thanks and gratitude to those that bring you happiness and joy. Hallmark has made a great business out of doing just that, yet I struggled to find just the right words and no drug store greeting card was going to suffice. But in the end, I’ve concluded that there is simply no better way to capture and express how we truly feel about the permanent place you hold in our family’s hearts other than to just say…….thank you, friend. Thank you to all of you for not just building but for forever being a part of our family’s home here at “511.”
George & Carolyn C.
Grosse Pointe Shores, MI