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A House to Fall in Love With
By Tracy Dickinson | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
FEATURED REMODEL AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011
home :: home & garden :: featured remodels

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You know that feeling? The one when you fall in love with a house the minute you pull in the driveway and you’re absolutely smitten by the time you gaze at the final, beautifully designed rooms inside? Sometimes you find that perfect house.

This wasn’t one of those times.

When Jason and Katie Belding purchased their home a year and a half ago, “we loved the light-filled sunroom,” says Jason, “but the rest of the house was a bit cramped and not our style. We knew we were never going to find another site like this though.”

The original decor of the 1970s cottage had separate kitchen, dining room, living room, and entry squeezed into about 400 square feet on the main floor. But the Beldings knew the house nestled at the end of a dead end blacktop road, surrounded by trees, and with plenty of room for their two boys to run was the perfect spot for their family.

So the couple invested in the location and decided to work with the house. “We moved in November of 2009,” Katie says, “ and started the remodeling the following July. We wanted to live here for a little while and get a feel for the space. And that gave us time to interview remodelers and come up with a plan.”

The Beldings were introduced to Greg and Cheryl Arganbright through a friend. Greg, owner of Arganbrights Construction, impressed the Beldings with the quality of his work, and after the first meeting, they knew they’d found their contractor.

“We knew we wanted Greg to do the work because he listened and gave us some good suggestions,” Katie explains. “And when he left, he said ‘I really want to do your house.’ He was excited about it.”
That original plan the Beldings had spent six months contemplating quickly went out the window when Cheryl Arganbright, owner of Woodharbor Kitchen and Bath Cabinetry, walked through the house. She saw more potential than simply adding a master suite to the main level and maybe updating the kitchen a little.

Greg says, “She looked at the chopped-up rooms, listened to what Jason and Katie really wanted from their house, and she said, ‘What if we just knocked down all of these walls?’” After about 30 seconds of silence, and a lot of questions and rethinking the design, the Beldings realized Cheryl understood exactly what they needed.

“We ended up saving the master suite addition for a future project,” Jason says, “but Greg and Cheryl knew what they were doing. This open layout suits our family so well.”

Katie agrees. “We absolutely love it. Everything is gorgeous and the custom work is fantastic.” The kitchen’s contemporary casual look with soft earth tones and natural materials reflects the couple’s personal style. Birch flooring throughout most of the main level complements the birch cabinetry in the kitchen, the handmade custom columns dividing the kitchen from the living area, and the wainscot paneling on the island. A furniture-style vanity in the half bath is topped with a quartz-look counter and recessed sink similar to that in the kitchen.

In addition to the interior renovation, Arganbright also replaced the roof, windows, and siding and created new columns that better suited the house. The bumpout living room window overlooking the front is now a roomy bay window that balances the front facade.

The project took just over three months, and the Beldings were impressed that Arganbright stayed on schedule.

“Even with the little surprises you always have in remodeling, Greg really stuck to the schedule he gave us in the beginning,” Katie says. “And the crew did a wonderful job of cleaning up and keeping the house as livable as possible—well, as livable as it can be without a kitchen,” she jokes.

The Arganbrights obviously know that the best building and remodeling projects are the result of a good relationship between the builder and homeowner. They developed that with the Beldings, and Jason and Katie plan to build on it further when it comes time for that master suite.

They may not have been infatuated with the house when they bought it, but with the Arganbrights’ help, they’re creating a home they will love for a very long time.

 

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