Real Families Remodeling Stories

See full article at paradeofhomes.org

From One Generation to the Next

Jen and Todd were already looking for a house to buy in the popular Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul when Todd’s parents approached them. Todd’s paternal grandparents had recently passed away, and the house that they had built new for the family in 1946 would soon be up for sale. “When we were given the opportunity to buy the house, we decided we wanted to keep it in the family,” says Todd. He and Jen, who were living in Brooklyn Park at the time, loved the idea of taking over the family house with its memories and ideal location. The house was on a scenic block, close to parks and shops and centrally located for their daughter’s schooling.

While the home provided a perfect location for Todd and Jen, it offered little else to meet their modern family needs. The 960-square-foot rambler with its green carpeting, dark paneled walls, and 1950’s finishes was long overdue for an update. Except for one room in the basement that housed memorabilia and an impressive toy train set, everything else was available to be changed. Remodeling a house was a new experience for Todd and Jen, who first needed to find the best remodeler to suit their needs and one who could completely transform the home.

Chad and Andy, owners of Bluejack Builders, stood out with their skill and ability, as well as their willingness to work with Todd and Jen from the beginning. Bluejack Builders was able to take control and guide the busy parents and career professionals through every part of the design process, from the ideas stage to making the final selections. “We started with a basic design, but the plan changed several times,” says Jen. “The amount of time Bluejack Builders put into the project blows us away. Due to our busy work schedule, Bluejack Builders helped us with every design element selection to create the home of our dreams.”

Bluejack completely gutted the existing main level and raised the roof to add a second level, enlarging the house to about 2,200 square feet of living space, which does not include the unfinished basement. Bluejack also designed the home’s exterior to blend beautifully with existing homes in the neighborhood, offering a timeless yet modern appearance with traditional materials and craftsmanship.

The main level now has an open floor plan that includes a grand two-story entryway, an office with two custom-built workstations, a dining room with beautifully enameled paneling, and a large kitchen with a granite-topped island and oil-bronzed appliances. “We wanted something different than stainless steel,” says Jen. The powder room is also a standout with its wall-mounted faucet and clear-glass sink bowl that sits on top of a distinctive marble countertop. The new second-level addition has three bedrooms, one custom painted for three-year-old Taylor, a laundry, a full bathroom, plus a fabulous owners’ suite with a large bath.

Throughout the transformation, Bluejack took extra care to protect and preserve the train set that had great sentimental value for Todd and Jen. “The train was part of the house, and we wanted to keep some mementos of the grandparents,” says Jen. “It makes us feel as if they are still with us and that they are okay with our decision to redo the house.”

The remodeled house gives the family plenty of room to grow in comfort and style, preserving Todd and Jen's wish to transform and maintain their family treasure for long into the future, while still retaining some of the fun family history.

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