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 🙂


Q&A: How Long Does the Typical Remodel Take?

When it comes to remodeling, one of the first questions many of our clients have is, “how long will this process take?” We get it; your routine will be in flux, and strangers will be in your house. It’s only natural to wonder how long it will last.

If our general remodeling process is what you’re after, we’ve devoted an entire page of our website to it. Don’t want to follow a page link trail? We’ve also included an infographic that summarizes our process from start to finish below:

Outside of our construction methods, maybe you just want an estimate of typical project length? No problem – we’ve got you covered there too! In general, you can expect:

  • Bathroom remodels typically take between 3-5 weeks, depending mostly on your layout and finishes
  • Kitchen remodels are usually between 5-8 weeks in length, timelines fluctuate based on how much work is needed (i.e., tearing down walls, relocating plumbing, or drastically altering your layout)

Essentially, the details of your home, lifestyle, and remodeling choices will dictate our timeline. However, our organized systems and hard-working team are all about getting you back to normal ASAP!

Have more questions or simply want to pick Jason’s brain? Give him a call or send him an email whenever – he’d love to help you get things rolling!


Client Design Trends: Modern Farmhouse Style

Design trends come and go. Each era has its signature style and a few fads that fall by the wayside (we’re looking at you shag carpet and sponge-painted walls). So, what trend is on the rise currently?

You may have guessed it from the title, but farmhouse style has been a design force to be reckoned with for a while now. Equal parts timeless and trendy, modern farmhouse style is so attractive to people because it feels fresh but familiar.

Some of the hallmarks of this trend are bright white paint, subway tile, large farmhouse sinks, vintage or vintage-inspired light fixtures, open spaces, exposed shelving, and classic metallic hardware.

While the elements of farmhouse style are typically simple and relaxed, they lend themselves easily to mixing and matching with other trends. Whether it’s industrial, traditional, minimal, or transitional, farmhouse style plays well with others.

Want to see some of our client’s stunning farmhouse style inspired remodels? Scroll below to take a look or explore our kitchen gallery to browse even more of our past projects!


Meaningful Client Reviews from Houzz

Did you know that J. Carsten Remodeling is celebrating 15 years of business this summer? We are so grateful to pass such a significant milestone. Our team put in a lot of hard work to get this far, but there’s another group of people we absolutely couldn’t do this without – our outstanding clients.

There would be no J. Carsten Remodeling without the loyalty and support of our dear clients. Simple as that. All of you hold us up, keep us busy, and graciously welcome us into your homes each year. Thank you for trusting us with your greatest asset, your homes.

In an effort to trace back our project history, we thought it would be fun to share some of our most meaningful client reviews on Houzz. Thanks again to anyone who left a review, hired us, referred us to a friend, visited during a home tour, or supported us over the past 15 years. It means the world to us!

We were very happy with the work Jason did on our kitchen and bath remodels — so much so that we hired him for another project a few months later. After hearing so many awful contractor stories from friends, my main goal was to find someone who would always be responsive to questions and concerns, and Jason delivered. He kept us informed, cleaned up every day, kept the project on schedule, and was great to work with. I trusted that if anything went wrong, he would fix it. I felt like the subs he worked with were people with whom he had long relationships, so I trusted them as well. He made the process easy for us. I would definitely hire him again.

We had our kitchen remodel done in the middle of winter. This in itself created some unique issues, but the one thing that never wavered was Jason’s firm commitment to keep us more than satisfied. That he did! We are very pleased with the results which are a combination of his overall designs and our own personal tastes. The project was on time (for the Remodelers Showcase this year) and within budget. We would highly recommend Jason and his whole crew!

Kim and Brian:
Jason and his team made an intimidating process fun from start to finish! Jason offered innovative and practical solutions, he demonstrated excellent workmanship, stayed on schedule and budget, and was great at the details. We love our new bathroom! We have recommended him to our friends and definitely plan to use him on our next remodeling project.

Listen to all the horror stories from your friends about home remodeling …then call Jason. We put off a kitchen reno for years. Had some different companies out but never went forward. We got Jason’s company as a recommendation and went with him. He was always on time always available totally approachable with even the dumb questions I had or if I was in panic mode about something. He sticks to the timeline which I hear is not always the case. I’m glad we did it I’m glad it’s done. He wants 100pc satisfaction and that is what you will get. Would highly advise contacting him… (our dog still misses him)

Jason at J. Carsten Remodeling recently finished our kitchen remodel, and we couldn’t be more satisfied with his services. I’ve heard of many horror stories from friends and family who have worked with contractors, but we had a stellar experience and our kitchen is beautiful! We would work with him again in a heartbeat and would recommend him to friends and family. Why? Because Jason got the job done in a timely manner, he is the ULTIMATE perfectionist (this coming from someone with very high expectations), he and his crew respected our home, and communication was never an issue.

I can give a very concrete example of an instance where Jason exceeded our expectations. We have an older home and had several people look at a wall that we wanted to take out. We were told it was probably load-bearing. The house had been remodeled before so it was hard to say definitively. We planned to take only a portion out which was not our preference. When we hired Jason, he consulted with several experts and reassured us that it was not. This allowed us to completely open up our kitchen, which is what we wanted to do. We are so happy we did! We have a breakfast bar that can fit six stools and there is no longer a wall between the kitchen and family room. Our children can now do their homework while we cook – so much fun to talk to them about their day. We also love to entertain, and we now have the space to do that!

There are many contractors out there and some are very good. We’ve found a “sure thing” and there is no need to search in the future. Thank you J. Carsten Remodeling!


Remodeling Trends: Our Favorite Client Selections

Remodeling trends are always changing, what our clients liked five years ago is different than preferences today. While some may find that frustrating, we think it’s a fascinating aspect of what we do. It’s endlessly fun to see what styles, trends, and features our clients pick for their homes!

For our fellow building and design nerds, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some of our favorite client remodeling selections. Scroll below to explore the recent design features and trends that we love!

Built-in Storage Displays
Open storage is a massive trend on the rise! It’s appealing because not only do you keep things organized and accessible, but it also provides a display for showpieces and family heirlooms.

Centerpiece Kitchen Islands
Beautiful islands have been popular for decades, however lately, they’ve become the real heart of the kitchen. We love a sprawling, customized island for day-to-day family life and hosting occasions of all sorts!

Luxurious Bathroom Features
Modern bathroom design is all about practical sophistication. From soaking tubs to oversized showers to his and hers vanities, our clients are increasingly choosing elegant everyday bathroom upgrades.

Eat-in Kitchens
Everything old becomes new again, right? This evergreen trend is ideal because it adds functional seating for families in the busiest part of their home. Kids can do homework while parents prep dinner in the same space.

Organized Laundry/Mudrooms
Laundry and mudrooms receive a lot more design love these days! Instead of being an afterthought, many homeowners want a laundry and mudrooms that are structured and integrated into their regular layouts.

Ready to embark on your next remodeling project? Big or small, we’re here to help you create a plan and transform your home for the better. Just give us a call to get started!


Top 5 Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

Planning for a remodel is all about doing your research, finding reliable help, and setting realistic expectations. Embarking on a home improvement project can be daunting, especially if building and construction are foreign to you.

Yes, a remodel is a major investment. However, we don’t want you to get too worried or stressed! Armed with an awareness of these common remodeling mistakes, you’ll be ready to tackle your project successfully! Read on below for our top 5 remodeling pitfalls to avoid.

1. Your Budget is too Constrictive.
We get it; you’re a practical person who isn’t looking to break the bank. Our team works with a lot of budget-conscious clients, but there’s a difference between being responsible and realistic. Unexpected things come up when you start tearing down walls and gutting kitchens; it’s just the nature of the game. We recommend setting a budget that takes surprises or a few changes into account.

2. Settling for the Wrong (Cheapest) Contractor.
When it comes to finding the right contractor, you’re going to want to do some thorough research and vetting. This is one area where it pays to be picky! Your contractor is the point person on your project; you should feel comfortable and confident in their skills and judgment. While it may be tempting to go with the person who offers the cheapest price tag, we advise focusing more on hiring a professional you trust.

3. Embracing too Many Trends.
Refreshing a dated home is a common remodeling motivation. It’s normal to get sick of the same old style or to want your space looking modern and new again. One word of warning about trends, though: approach with care. A few smartly-chosen trends feel tasteful, an entire room decked out in every last fad becomes overwhelming. Hone in on the trends that compliment your style and will stand the test of time.

4. Skipping Over the Details.
In the thick of renovation decision fatigue, making even one more design choice can be exhausting. Remember though; this is your chance to get the home you’ve always wanted! Storage details, add-ons, and small modifications may seem insignificant now, but you might regret skipping them later. Our solution? Research as much as you can upfront and make lists of what you want. That way, you’ll be prepared if decision fatigue sets in!

5. Not Addressing Problem Areas.
Above making your home look amazing, remodeling should improve the way it functions. Addressing problem areas, bad layouts, and building quirks is our job, after all. A contractor should leave your home better than they found it, not merely cover up your issues with a band-aid of beautiful finishes. Please, never settle for a remodeler who promises you bells and whistles, but doesn’t actually fix your home!

Are you ready to take the next steps on your remodel? Get in touch with Jason, today. He’d love to help make your plans a reality!