Remodelers Corner: September/October 2013


The decision to embark on a top-to-bottom home remodel isn’t made overnight. For Charlie and Pam Bollig, it was a dream they discussed for nearly 20 years.

Their 1970s four-bedroom colonial—quietly situated on almost three acres of land they love—no longer met their needs. “Our two children are grown. We have grandkids, and when they came to visit, along with their puppies, the house was just too small,” Pam explains. “So we made the decision to invest in our house and make it beautiful, up-to-date, more modern and to stay here in our retirement. This is home for us.”

So the Bolligs put together a list of goals for the remodel in a kind of mission statement, which included widening hallways, rearranging the floor plan, adding a main floor laundry (to eliminate climbing up and down stairs as they aged), updating cabinetry, flooring and appliances and relocating and expanding their garage.

After visiting with Master Builders at a home show, they knew they had found the right contractor: “They were very good listeners and seemed to understand what we wanted,” recalls Pam.

The end result? Master Builders reconstructed the entire main floor of their home—moving and updating the bathroom and kitchen for increased size and flow, adding a great room with a cathedral ceiling, and relocating the garage and expanding it to accommodate three cars and a workshop.

“It’s important to keep the big picture in mind as you’re doing a remodel of this size,” explains Tom Gommels, president and owner of Master Builders. “Like considering how you plan to use the space and also how it will function as you age. It also helps the project go more smoothly if the contractor is part of the design project, working with the designer or architect.”

To accomplish this massive remodel, the Bolligs had to move out of their house for about five months and didn’t recognize it when they returned: “We felt like we were renting a house in Rochester and that we had to take really good care of it for the owners,” recalls Pam.

The Bolligs appreciate the added space and open feeling the house has now. Pam cites the enlarged kitchen as her favorite change (with the added great room ranking a close second). Charlie appreciates the enlarged dining room, which accommodates seating for the entire family, but he beams with joy in sharing the view of his sizeable new workshop.