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A Seamless Addition
By Tracy Dickinson| Photography by Tim Abramowitz
FEATURED HOME JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
home :: home & garden :: featured homes

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David & Melanie Cowman built the perfect house about 10 years ago: three bedrooms, a two-story entry, and a great-room with a fireplace. A few years later, they’d added two children and two pets and had become the all-American family, living happily ever after.

Then life surprised them with a third bundle of joy. And before long, their dream home in Ankeny was beginning to feel a bit cramped.

“We talked about moving,” Melanie says, “and we’d looked around a little bit. But we love this house and our neighborhood. We just didn’t want to leave.”

So instead, they began shopping around for a remodeler. After visiting the Tour of Remodeled Homes and meeting with several local companies, the Cowmans chose Construction Professionals.

Melanie explains, “I knew after the first meeting. They understood what we needed and gave us a plan that was even better than what we asked for.”

The Cowmans knew they needed another bedroom upstairs, and they thought they might add a three-season room to the main level. But Marilyn Struecker of Construction Professionals had another idea.

“David and Melanie felt their great-room was too small, and it was crowded when they had guests over. So we suggested adding a family room with the new bedroom above it,” Struecker says. In doing this, the family also got a bonus exercise room and storage area in the basement, as well as a larger closet in the existing bedroom beside the addition.

As with most remodeling projects, the Cowmans dealt with some surprises during the four-month process—rotten siding, rotted windows, and other existing problems that they hadn’t been aware of. But Construction Professionals handled every issue that arose, often surpassing the Cowmans’ expectations.

Struecker explains, “When we started removing the siding for the addition, we discovered that a lot of it was rotting, so we had to re-side the entire house. And it had been nearly 10 years since the original brick was installed, so we had to be very careful about matching that.”

The subcontractor, United Brick, not only searched to find a brick batch that matched almost exactly but also went the extra mile and treated the bricks after installation to give the entire brick facade the same weathered appearance.

Melanie says, “The Strueckers were great—they saw ways to improve on things all the way through, and they really focused on the details so that the addition looks like it was always here.”

Besides the exterior treatment, the remodelers also focused on making the interior addition appear seamless as well. For example, rather than straight, horizontal openings, Construction Professionals recommended echoing the arched lines from the home’s original great-room. And to accommodate new ductwork in the addition, the firm designed a bumpout area surrounding the front window that adds architectural interest while allowing room for cold air returns and vents.

It was those little details that have made the Cowmans loyal Construction Professionals customers—elements such as the custom stonework around the fireplace and the crown molding that matches the rest of the home. In fact, the Cowmans were so pleased during the remodel, they hired the company to install a backsplash in the kitchen and to create custom lockers for the garage entry.

“We absolutely love it,” Melanie says. “There really isn’t a space we don’t use every day. I can’t imagine ever moving. But if we do, we’re hiring Marilyn’s team to build the next one. They are just so talented and do so much of the work themselves. We recommend them to everyone.”

The finished home looks as if it were designed this way from the beginning. In fact, the addition is so seamless that when the Cowmans refinanced recently, the appraiser couldn’t even tell where the addition was.

Now, that’s living happily ever after.

 

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