How Do J. Carsten Remodeling and Interior Designer Partners Create Amazing Spaces?

remodeled bathroom with interior design

Have you ever wanted to know more about the J. Carsten Remodeling process? Today we’re sharing some of the specifics of how Jason and his interior design partners collaborate to create stunning spaces!

When it comes to spatial planning, everything is done in-house by Jason. As a Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler, he’s studied the art of designing a kitchen or bathroom space, which means knowing the correct feature locations.

In a kitchen:

  • Consider the work triangle – the relationship between the sink, range, and fridge
  • Ensuring major appliances do not interfere with one another
  • Carefully planning cabinet, drawer, and pantry designs
  • Lighting strategy – do you need recessed cans or undercabinet lighting?

In a bathroom:

  • Vanity design – creating ample countertop space for both husband and wife to co-exist peacefully
  • Shower features – maximize your shower through additional heads, a bench, or a recessed niche
  • Bathtub placement – finding the ideal spot in the bathroom for your tub to live

Any design would also need to incorporate code requirements, such as the location of outlets in a kitchen or distance in front of a toilet.

After the spatial design is complete, Jason turns over his plans to a team of interior design professionals. J. Carsten’s clients work with a lead interior designer to put together a big picture plan, which might include cabinet color, tile or flooring, wall colors, and how other finishes coordinate together. In most cases, that means matching new materials to existing home features (i.e., nearly all of our clients have oak in their homes).

After the overall plan is assembled, most of our clients visit showrooms to make selections with the assistance of interior designers. This typically includes cabinets, countertops, appliances, plumbing fixtures, tile, or flooring.

Some of our clients prefer to make all of their remodeling selections in one location. In this case, the lead designer, in addition to creating a big picture plan, pulls together most of the selections instead of clients visiting each showroom themselves.

Once final selections are made, all the information is sent to the J. Carsten office. We then go over the details to make sure everything is in place and ensure materials are ordered in an efficient manner.

75% of the work for a great space happens before the remodel ever starts. The remaining 25% of the work is the actual construction.

As you may have guessed, not all jobs go precisely as planned. We might find a pipe in a wall that’s getting removed. Water damage could crop up in an area where it wasn’t previously visible. Or we could even discover a rodent problem in the walls (yes, this really happened).

This is when experience and training are essential. The ability to change on the fly and adjust the plan is critical to keep on schedule and on budget. In these scenarios, we know excellent client communication is essential for solving problems and ensuring a fantastic customer experience.

Once your project is complete, J. Carsten Remodeling follows up to make sure everything is working as it should and to check if anything needs attention. Our goal is to be your contractor for life, not just one remodel.

Want to talk to Jason or learn more about our process? Get in touch with him anytime!


Q&A: Questions to Ask a Kitchen Remodeling Contractor

Are you navigating the remodeling process in 2019? If so, then the most important choice you’ll make surrounding your project is who you hire. The contractor, remodeler, or design-builder you work with sets the tone for the entire process. But how do you know how to find the right person for you?

After all, each client’s home has a specific style, needs, and challenges. You need the person who can rise to the occasion, someone whose expertise, skills, and experience match your project. Ready for some pointers? Read on below for our list of questions for any potential remodeler during the interview process!

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. What is your educational & experience background?
  3. Do you have a professional designer to help with space planning and selection? If yes, does your designer stay involved during the construction process?
  4. What insurance do you carry?
  5. What professional associations do you belong to?
  6. Where do you bank and who is your contact person?
  7. Do you use the same trade subcontractors consistently or receive bids for the lowest price?
  8. Will you provide a written timetable for project construction?
  9. Do you provide lien waivers (a document that shows each trade has been paid so they cannot file a lien against your home)?
  10. Who will be my daily contact? How will they contact me?
  11. How often will my home be cleaned during the construction process?
  12. How many projects have you built that are similar to mine?
  13. On average, how much do your customers deviate from your allowances?
  14. What is your change order policy?
  15. What happens if you miss the agreed-upon completion date?

Interested in learning more about J. Carsten Remodeling, our process, or our award-winning contractor and owner, Jason? Please, feel free to get in touch with us anytime!


Big News: Two 2018 CotY Award Wins!

It’s been a big week for our team at J. Carsten Remodeling. We attended NARI Minnesota’s annual CotY Award ceremony, and we won two awards! Jason and our team are so proud of this great honor, especially when it comes from our local remodeling community.

The two awards we took home were…

Residential Interior Element under $30K Silver Award

Residential Bath over $75,000 Silver Award

Jason and his lovely wife Gina had a fantastic evening mingling with industry friends and celebrating the recognition of a year’s worth of hard work! Jason would also like to thank all of the subcontractors and industry partners who support our team and helped make these projects a reality. Scroll below for a few more fun highlights from the evening!


Project Feature: Luxurious Golden Valley Bathroom Retreat

After buying their Golden Valley home in 2017, this couple knew their dark and dated master bathroom was in need of remodeling help. Jason loved taking on the challenge of completely transforming this space without altering the overall footprint.

From top to bottom, this project was all about precision and creating a luxurious, elegant retreat. Some of our favorite upgraded design details include:

  • Brighter, dimmable lighting to increase safety and overall atmosphere
  • A water closet pocket door for extra privacy and functionality
  • An oversized shower with a rain showerhead and an additional hand-held head
  • The spacious stepped double vanity to keep his and her areas separate
  • An easy to clean countertop with undermounted Kohler sinks
  • A distinctive herringbone glass shower tile pattern

When it comes to sophisticated style, this room has it in spades! The gorgeous soaking tub is the centerpiece with its glowing chandelier above to draw your eye even more and add a touch of glamour.

Next to the tub is the equally beautiful, but slightly more practical, glass and tile spa shower. The shower’s large size and rain head feel indulgent. However, the subtle herringbone tile, calm neutral tones, and glass sides all blend well with the rest of the room, It’s luxurious but tasteful, bold without being overpowering.

Overall, we couldn’t be happier with this breathtaking master bathroom. In fact, we wouldn’t mind calling this lovely space our own! (We’re pretty sure these clients don’t plan on parting with it anytime soon, though!) Scroll below to see more photos from this stunning project, and get in touch if you’re ready to begin your next bathroom transformation.


Twin Cities Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase Recap

The Twin Cities Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase may be over, but we’re still reflecting on a weekend filled with design, friends, and fun. We couldn’t resist getting our owner Jason’s take on the event and asking about his favorite questions and conversations. Read below for his answers and observations – and a sincere thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit!

What were your favorite visitor comments?
Many visitors commented that the home was one of the better ones they visited; they said it had high-quality design, a great layout, and beautiful decorating. (All wonderful things to hear!)

What’s the most common question you received?
People asked a lot about the backyard shed, what kind of shed is that – is that a she-shed or a man cave? Someone said it doesn’t look like just a storage shed, and one person referred to the shed as a “deluxe shed.”

Did anything surprise you about people’s comments/reactions?
A few folks were very taken back that the ceiling wood (wall planks) are only glued in place.

What elements of the home did visitors like the best?
The ceiling with LED lights that change color and the backyard shed were both mentioned a lot.

Favorite beer from the tasting?
Mango Chinook PA

Did anyone you know stop in to say hello?
Our partner Stephanie from Front Step Marketing came by, and a potential customer stopped in for a third consecutive tour event in a row!

What was your favorite part of the event?
Sunday’s weather was much nicer, numerous couples explored the backyard and shed before coming into the house. I liked providing a little nature walk for people to enjoy.

Anything else you want to add?
Thanks again to everyone who came to visit – it was great meeting you all!

Want to know more about Jason or the J. Carsten Remodeling? Please, reach out anytime with a call or email! Jason would love to talk design or walk you through the process.


Fall Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase Q&A

The Fall Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase begins in less than a week, and we can’t wait to share this lovely home. To tide us over until next weekend, we quizzed our fearless leader, Jason, on his favorite features of this home and his typical home tour day. Read his answers below!

What do you enjoy most about home tour weekends?
I love meeting people who have never thought of remodeling or doing what we did for that project (for example, removing the wall in this kitchen).

Do tour days have a typical flow?
Tour Fridays are usually a little slow, which is why it’s a good time to come for our HomeBrew tastings! Less traffic = more beer to enjoy!

What kind of homebrew’s can people look forward to?
We are thinking of offering a Mango Chinook IPA, Ginger La Petite Orange (Belgian Dubbel), Oatmeal Stout, and a Cream Ale. However, the beer list will vary based on what’s available.

Any favorite features from your showcase home?
My favorite things are the backyard shed and the wood living room ceiling with LED uplighting that changes color.

What was the most challenging aspect of this remodel?
Determining the layout of the kitchen was the biggest challenge. When we decided to remove the wall, there was a load bearing post that needed to stay. So, we had to design around keeping that structure. It was also tricky to decide what to do under the kitchen windows. We ended up creating a beautiful custom bench with storage; it utilizes what could have been an awkward space perfectly!

What inspired the fun ceiling accent lighting?
The original living room lighting was halogen lights that were not efficient or effective. When we decided to change the ceiling, we wanted to do something fun. I saw an idea in a Cambria Magazine (see photo below) for a home in Kohler, WI. We aimed for a similar look but adding uplighting using a color changing LED strip for an even more bold effect. The lights actually make a great night light too!

What style is this home?
I’d call it a four-level split with modern looks 😉

Anything else you want to say about this home?
The main goal was to remove the Honey Oak color from the home. So far, we’ve remodeled most of the home and just have a few more rooms to go!


Fall Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase

Fall Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase
September 28-30, noon to 6 pm
2150 – 67th Street E, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077

September has arrived, people are settling back into their fall routines, and it’s almost time for the Fall Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase! Whether you’re planning an upcoming remodel or just enjoy design-gazing, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found in this Inver Grove Heights home.

Originally finished with builder grade honey oak wood throughout, this multi-level split home was due for an update. Jason and our team got to work removing a wall separating the kitchen and dining room, which allowed more space for the stunning custom painted cabinets and window bench.

The ceilings on the main floor also received a dramatic makeover! A barn wood-covered dropped soffit was added, along with a fun recessed lighting trim accent. We also replaced all of the main level millwork with painted moulding and modern dark stained doors.

Upstairs, the master and guest baths were both completely remodeled. Each bathroom now has a tiled, glass door shower and design personality to spare! It’s hard to decide which details we like more, but it’s probably tied between the guest bath’s bold vanity or that master bath’s rustic wood floor.

Moving outside, the backyard is party-ready with its spacious patio and bonfire pit. But the highlight of the yard might have to be the charming garden shed; it’s perfectly pretty and practical. Other notable home features include the new siding and roof, Marvin Integrity Windows, and a custom home brewery area!

Want to see more of this unique family home? Don’t forget to visit us September 28-30th, and stop by between 4-6 pm each afternoon for a free HomeBrew beer tasting! To hold you over until then, explore the images below.


Project Feature: Mahtomedi MN Kitchen Remodel

Jason and our team partnered with these homeowners to open up and update the kitchen in their 117-year-old Mahtomedi, MN home. Over five weeks, our team worked to transform this cramped kitchen into a modern, functional, and beautiful space. One of the biggest changes we made was taking down a wall separating the kitchen and dining room. See before and after photos for reference below:

Tearing down the wall and adding sufficient support was our greatest challenge during this renovation. What was unique about this project was blending the old with the new. For example, the fresh kitchen flooring needed to transition seamlessly into the existing wood dining room floor. We also preserved part of the original cabinetry, which meant finding a cabinet maker to create and install new matching doors.

Jason mentioned that his favorite finishes from this project were the stunning sink and countertops. He also loved getting to know these wonderful (and funny – see the surprise they left for him and the crew one morning further below!) homeowners and their two friendly dogs! Check out a few more photos of this classic modern farmhouse-inspired space below.

Lastly, here’s the clients’ gag for Jason and our crew… They knew how to make things fun 🙂