Breaking down this weekend’s 2018 Remodelers Home Tour


The 2018 Remodelers Home Tour, organized by the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Ann Arbor, is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Tickets are $10 per adult, and children 16 and younger can attend for free. Tickets are for sale at each home on the tour, and they’re valid for both days of the tour.


Pete Nowakowski, marketing & communications director, recently broke down this year’s tour and what visitors can expect. “Visitors will be able to ask specific questions about materials, the design process, and make appointments with professionals which they can screen during the event,” Nowakowski said. “Keeping in mind the homes can become pretty busy and the Remodelers need to keep an eye on everything of course. It is invaluable to Tour a completed project done recently by skilled craftspeople and talented designers.”

Nowakowski points out how visitors will get an idea of how they handle matching old/existing materials with new.

“You may get a feel for a particular style of design,” he said. “You see the quality of installation, finishing, etc. You also get some sense of the professionalism and intangibles that a company offers. We hope people leave feeling inspired to improve and enjoy their homes, and are more comfortable and better informed moving forward with their projects.”

How has the tour changed over the years?

When the Remodelers Home Tour started in 1990, design trends were quite different. However, in looking back to some of our archived homes, some hold up to through the decades quite well. Others display the trends of the day, (looking like something out of Mrs. Doubtfire) with layered hanging curtains and prominent green, pink and gold color palette. We are also seeing more homes that embrace the “No-So-Big” and simplified or modern design principals, which have become more popular since decades ago when higher ceilings and more ornate finishes were more common. After many years of the white kitchen, open concept, we are seeing more natural materials gain popularity, like reclaimed barnwood. Floating or open staircases are a specific feature I’ve noticed consistently in the last 10 years.

In the 90s economic boom, we often had over 20 projects on the Tour. There was greater variance in the scale of the projects, which in the past included more manufactured sunrooms, for example. Those projects are still popular, but our remodelers tend to enter their bigger projects in recent years. We have 9 projects this year, with half of those featuring a large addition and multiple room renovations.

It is impressive to look back and see some of the same names in this Tour that helped launch the event back then. Acheson Builders, Custom Design/Build, Rochman Design Build, were all around in those early days, and continue to do extraordinary work in the greater Ann Arbor area. It is satisfying for BRAG as an organization to know that the considerable extra effort they put in to prepare these homes for Tour-goers is worthwhile for them.


As to why the number of homes has trended downward could be that the Remodelers are more selective with entries, only feeling their higher budget projects are “Tour-worthy”. The Tour does still feature a more modest kitchen remodel, basement remodel, etc. fairly regularly from some of the regular participants. Secondly, a contributing factor could be the labor shortage in the construction field makes for perhaps fewer companies offering these services, and a busier staff that has to move quickly to the next project, rather than putting in the extra time to participate in events like this. Third, there are many new marketing avenues that Remodelers are spending time and money on, connecting with clients through social media like Houzz can be done on a daily basis, not just on one weekend.

What are a few of the highlights this year?

The highlights depend somewhat on what your like, and what you might be looking to do in your own home. For people looking for a stunning remodel they will be pleased with every home on this year’s Tour!

Based on the photos and descriptions and conversations with the remodelers I have had about each project, I recommend Home #8 – a sleek home that will show a second story addition to a ranch. Gorgeous finishes from bamboo to walnut and glass, with a master suite boasting a walk-in closet with very nice built in storage areas, a large window and even an island.

8. Rochman Design Build (right photo)
1065 Chestnut St, Ann Arbor  [map]
2nd Story Addition and Master Suite Remodel    [more details]

For those looking to re-do their basement, I recommend:
5. Giraffe Design Build
211 W. Summit St, Ann Arbor  [map]
Welcoming Lower Living Level Refresh    [more details]

To see the Not-So-Big home ideas made into reality, I recommend
6. Custom Design/Build, Inc. (left photo)
1052 Olivia Ave, Ann Arbor  [map]
1st Floor Restoration: Kitchen, Dining, Mud and Laundry Rooms    [more details]

For a remarkable transformation, I recommend:
2. Meadowlark Design+Build (below photo)
244 Mason Ave, Ann Arbor  [map]
Whole-Home Remodel and Addition    [more details]




Tags from the story
Written By
More from Terry Jacoby

Profile: Skyline swimmer Emma Rose Carpenter is putting together an impressive highlight reel

 There is a highlight reel in everyone. It features events that bring...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *