A home that has lost its spark is never a lost cause. Sometimes a simple one-room update can make a home feel like new to its longtime owners. Sometimes it takes a comprehensive overhaul.
There are 24 examples on the NARI Remodeled Homes Tour, happening April 29-30.
“We’re finding that more people want to stay in their homes, and they’re spending a lot of money to live the lifestyle they want,” says Jan Burchett, chapter director of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
The annual tour allows visitors into private residences from the Northland to south Johnson County and showcases work by local NARI members, who pledge to observe a code of conduct.
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Projects include single-room and whole-house remodels, additions, basement finishes and outdoor living improvements. Each stop gives tour-goers an opportunity to talk with contractors and homeowners to understand the possibilities and challenges of remodeling.
Tickets, valid both days, are $18 online in advance or $20 at any home on the tour.
It will be nearly impossible to visit every address, so map your route beforehand by previewing the full list of homes at remodelingkc.com.
To celebrate the tour’s 20th anniversary this year, tour-goers can visit a special home in the urban core remodeled for a single mother in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City. More than 90 Kansas City NARI members donated time or resources to this community service project.
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s on the tour.
Luxury for less
Designer Billie Deatherage, a “Habitat ReStore junkie,” used Habitat for Humanity’s sister organization to upgrade her living quarters in a Kansas City guest house. This stop exemplifies how small tweaks can increase efficiency and how finishing touches like molding can enhance a small space.
Deatherage, a certified kitchen designer, refinished and reorganized the home’s existing kitchen cabinets, adding plenty of lighting and even a dining table to the space.
Experienced in high-end home design, Deatherage bought perfect-condition items — appliances, paint, trim, furnishings and accessories — at secondhand retailers.
She patched in hardwood floor from another room to unify the main living spaces. In the bedroom and laundry room, Deatherage made creative storage solutions with old dresser drawers and Ikea closet systems. “I don’t like to waste anything,” she says.
The bathroom features trim and molding at $1 per stick that emulates much more expensive wainscoting. (Of course, Deatherage admits, the low price means a lot of extra work caulking nail holes.)
This is no ordinary DIY project; it’s the sweat equity of a true professional.
“It was out of necessity, but it was fun to breathe new life into an old place like this,” Deatherage says.
Kitchen remodels remain at the top of most homeowners’ wish lists. Schloegel Design Remodel’s Prairie Village project tackled a common complaint of homeowners in that neighborhood: The kitchen felt crowded and separated from the rest of the main level.
During the design phase, designer Megan Bringman planned to remove two walls and a coat closet to augment the kitchen’s size without adding square footage. She also incorporated a column in the space to support the home’s finished attic, but in a stroke of good luck, a structural inspection determined it wasn’t necessary, giving her the freedom to open up the main-level living spaces.
In addition to providing eat-in space for six at a large island, the client’s objective was to aesthetically alter the “log cabin look” of the kitchen to a more appropriate midcentury modern style.
The hardest part was finding brushed gold knobs for the cabinets. The easiest was changing direction from an all-white kitchen after the client fell in love with the blue “Cookie Monster” subway tile for the backsplash. With color now a part of the design, Bringman painted the island base gray and hung orange pendants above it.
Additionally, Bringman made adjustments to the adjoining living room and updated a powder bath with a fun wallpaper.
“This house is a great example for Prairie Village,” Bringman says. “It shows what you get for the space. A lot is packed in here.”
A holistic approach
The industry term “scope creep” often applies to whole-house projects, where the original objective expands to include other spaces. That’s the case for CHC Design-Build’s Olathe project, which transformed a late 1990s ranch into a space with an early 1900s Craftsman feel.
The homeowners didn’t think anything dramatic could be done to the house, but they were wrong, say company owners Kevin and Judy Transue.
The major component of the project was a kitchen redo, which received rift-sawn oak cabinets, quartz countertops that look like marble, dual sinks, paneled appliances, hidden storage gems and a lighting control system. The kitchen was so dramatically altered that the rest of the house looked out of place, so CHC installed new doors and trim in the adjacent spaces to make everything look cohesive.
Kevin had an even bigger aha moment for his clients, however. Because they wanted an open feel with a vaulted ceiling, Kevin suggested clearing all the way through from the back to the front of the house and grabbing the attic space for a reading loft.
Visually, it brought more light into the new living space, and the loft became the homeowners’ favorite place to watch storms roll in and play games with the grandkids.
This project also included a small addition to the back of the house, with access to an outdoor side patio so the homeowners have a landscape-only view.
CHC is a longtime participant in the NARI tour and lauds it for connecting the company with clients.
“These homeowners found us on a previous homes tour, and maybe someone we meet this year will have their project on the tour next year,” he says.
If you go
The NARI Remodeled Homes Tour runs April 29-30. Tickets are $18 in advance or $20 at the houses on days of tour. Tickets are valid both days. Go to remodelingkc.com for more information.