Home Sweet Home

Every year, members of the Master Builders Association of Pierce County Remodelors Council submit their best projects of the year in hopes of receiving a Remodeling Excellence Award. And every year, we highlight the winners. We love to showcase their work and see how homeowners are sprucing up their South Sound homes and making their spaces more functional and beautiful. Here are the winners!


Capturing the View

Exterior under $25,000 

Photo by Open Productions/Matt Francis

This home has a view of the Narrows, and now it works to capture that beauty while being a showstopper, too. “The original porch cover looked like a temporary, inexpensive addition,” the builder said. “We built a new porch roof, which doubles as a deck off the master.” The builder replaced the windows; poured a new, extended concrete porch; installed new cable railings that matched existing ones; and added brick to match the existing. The homeowners can enjoy the view from the deck or the patio. York Enterprises/Duke York

A Place to Party

Addition $75,000-$150,000

courtesy of the builder

A couple that throws a lot of dinner parties, pool parties, and occasionally hosts a wedding wanted their Pan Abode home expanded. “Pan Abode homes, created by a Danish cabinet maker in the 1940s, feature solid, air-dried Western Red cedar and utilize the classic notch timber system,” according to the builders. And it is a challenge to add on to. They focused on the connectivity to the outdoors with this two-story addition. In the space are an expanded dining area on the first floor and a room addition above. A deck was added, and a special tree became part of the design as they built around it! American Dream Design Build/Jim Burbridge and Scott Overby

The Big Picture

Exterior over $25,000

Photo courtesy of the builder

Talk about a transformation. The homeowner had a picture-perfect home in mind — she wanted a home with character and charm and a place to relax on sunny afternoons. The builders took her goals and cut it into phases to fit her budget. First they added new windows and French doors. A basement access door was closed, and stairs were redirected to allow access to the deck off the kitchen. An additional upper deck was also added, along with paint, cedar shingles, and lap siding. The custom colors are on point. R4 Construction/Steven Rork and Dawn Fast

Making it Modern

Entire house $300,000-$500,000

courtesy of respective builder

This existing Tudor-style home was transformed into an open floor plan with modern style. During the remodel, a lot changed — including walls being knocked down, relocation of the front door, and even the stairs. This kitchen is now open and inviting. A powder bath got expanded and now has a shower. The laundry room has a custom barn door and cubby storages, a folding station, and an oversized sink to wash the dog! Everything upstairs changed as well — and this home is now exactly what the homeowners wanted. (They even have an arcade room.) American Dream Design Build/ Jim Burbridge and Scott Overby

Built for Family and Friends

Entire House Under $150K

courtesy of respective builder

The owners wanted to open the kitchen and dining room of this 1962 Five Views mid-century home. A large wall was removed to open up the space as well as a monolith wall. The new open concept brought both spaces together. The builders brought in bright new white cabinets on top, darker mahogany cabinets on bottom, a chimney style range hood and gas top, and subway tile running up to the ceiling. And enclosed porch was transformed and integrated into the space as well. A lot of thought was put into making the kitchen function well for entertaining and family meals. MRF Construction/Carolin and Michael Fast

Smart Design Saves the Day

 Entire house under $150,000 

courtesy of respective builders

The homeowners were working with another company when they parted ways in the middle of the project. American Dream Design Build stepped in and helped them complete the remodel they were hoping for. The team added new stair treads, millwork, painting throughout, two fireplace surrounds, stained the existing floors, and accomplished a full kitchen and laundry room revamp. Wood floors mingle with white and gray counters and a new custom gray stained kitchen floor. The elaborate millwork in the formal spaces and the faux marble columns are stunning. American Dream Design Build/ Jim Burbridge and Scott Overby

Complete Renovation

 Entire house $150,000-$300,000 

Photo by Linda Jewell

The homeowners had visited the builder’s booth at the Tacoma Remodeler Expo in Tacoma. They had recently purchased a 3000-square-foot home in University Place and were looking to do a complete renovation. The outdated home received new floors, fixtures, and paint. New plumbing and electrical were also tackled. The floor plan was opened up and reworked. This whole home was upgraded. The master area got this stunning expanded bathroom, complete with a claw-foot soaking tub and sparkling chandelier. Kingdom Builders Construction/Ryan and Ken Jewell

Small and Mighty

 Residential Interior Design 

Photo by Jeff Hobson

The homeowners had a small home in North Tacoma and a big wish list. Leslie Jensen helped them work with a tight budget to make their space functional and beautiful. She maximized wasted space, rearranged some things, and was able to make this kitchen work. Warm gray cabinets, quartz counters, live-edge floating shelves, a tabletop, and a bench top all add ambiance to the room. Signature Design & Cabinetry/Leslie Jensen

Luxury Tiny House

Residential Specialty/Open

courtesy of respective builder

R4 Construction took a 40-foot shipping container and transformed it into an eco-friendly and awesome 320-square-foot tiny home that feels like a high-end home. There were a lot of challenges to accomplish this — including not a lot of space for the crew to work — only two people could do work inside at a time. This cool transformation includes ductless heating and air conditioning, a stackable washer and dryer, and drop-down/pull-out working surfaces and a Murphy bed.
R4 Construction/Steven Rork

Surprise! A New Outdoor Living Room

 Outdoor Living 

courtesy of respective builder

This was just an average 1990s home in an average neighborhood. But when the homeowners sent their last child off to college, years of dreaming of creating an outdoor space became reality. The wife secretly approached the builders because she wanted to complete the project before her husband’s surprise birthday party that was just a couple of months away. The team created the ultimate outdoor living space, utilizing the backyard to its fullest potential. The project included an outdoor kitchen with sink, under-counter fridge, barbecue, kegerator, and room for additional seating. Other highlights include a flamed-edge basalt counter and a circular area for a fire pit. Needless to say, the surprise party was a huge success. American Dream Design Build/Jim Burbridge and Scott Overby

American Lake Stunner

Getaway Room

Photo by J. Boyle images

Before this space was remodeled, it was dark, small, and dated, the builder said. They added 210 square feet to the space, and the old flat ceiling was replaced with a 14-foot-high vaulted ceiling. Not only did this create more space; it allowed more light into the room. And it helped the homeowners take advantage of the lake view. Now the updated space has a sitting room, his and her bathrooms, closet space, a washer and dryer, and office area. Fatboy Construction/Mike Boyle

Basement Turned Master ‘Sweet’


courtesy of respective builder

A young couple bought a two-story home to share with their parents. They decided to transform the basement into a master suite and relinquish the main level to their folks. Walls were created to make a proper master bedroom, bathroom, and storage — including a spacious walk-in closet under the stairs. A little coffee bar was also added just off the bathroom area. In the bathroom, Cambria quartz counters and tile were added. Outside the basement, a slab patio was extended to create a space outside to be enjoyed year-round. American Dream Design Build/Jim Burbridge and Scott Overby

Restoring a Legacy Home

Historic Renovation 

Photo by Aaron Pedersen

This historic home has been a part of the neighborhood since 1901, and through the decades has endured changes. The goal with this most recent project was to bring it back to its “original grandeur,” the builders said. With a passion for preservation, the new owner used an old photo and the original blueprints (found in a wall during a past renovation) for their inspiration. It took a year of planning and research before the project began. The main fireplace was rebuilt, and other issues were addressed. The cedar shingles were painted to match the original color of the home. Now the home is ready for another 100 years or more. Phase II/General Contractor Rick Hjelm

Renewed Beauty

 Kitchen $30,000-$60,000

courtesy of builders

The homeowners called on Hyland Cabinetworks to remodel their 30-year-old kitchen. The empty nesters were ready for their dream kitchen. Custom cabinets helped maximize their storage space and were painted white to match millwork. They were topped with a dark quartz counter to create contrast. A marble full-height backsplash, under-counter LED lights, and high-quality appliances complete the space, while a built-in banquet space and more touches make this an award-winning remodel. Hyland Cabinetworks/Billie Jo Hyland

From Drab to Fab

 Kitchen over $125,000 

Open Door Productions/Matt Francis

The homeowner was propping her kitchen sink up with a broom — it was time for a total remodel. The builders took the whole room down to the studs and started over. They updated plumbing and electrical, and made repairs in the framing, walls, and subfloors. In the kitchen, they installed tile flooring, custom pantry double doors, custom cabinetry throughout, oversized crown molding and trim, high-gloss paint on a bead board ceiling, a wavy glass backsplash, and so many more sweet touches. York Enterprises/Duke York

Splashy and Bright

 Kitchen $60,000-$125,000 

courtesy of builder

This home has a view of the Narrows, and the homeowners wanted to open up the kitchen and dining room to capture the most of it. The builders moved things around, including the kitchen to the former unused dining room area, which helped with flow (and capturing the view). Once they rearranged things to make it all work, they created a dream kitchen by removing outdated, dark cabinets and replacing those with bright white uppers and high gloss dual tone lowers. The tangerine subway tile backsplash complements the modern touches that were added to the space, like a coffee bar, induction cooktop, and pull-out knife block. R4 Construction/Steven Rork and Dawn Fast

Simple Updates, Big Impacts

Bath Under $25,000 

courtesy of builder

This bathroom is fun with a touch of whimsy, thanks to a glass bubble backsplash, and accent column in the shower and round mirrors. The layout stayed the same to keep costs to a minimum. The biggest change was switching out the tub/shower combo for a walk-in shower with glass door. New lighting, a quartz countertop, and smooth vanity knobs complete the new updated space. American Dream Design Build/Jim Burbridge and Scott Overby

Luxury Meets Function

 Bath Over $75,000 

courtesy of builder

This master bath not only needed updating, but it needed more storage. In order to accomplish both goals, the space needed to be opened up, so a neo-angle closet and corner tub were removed. A curbless shower with a fixed showerhead, handheld one, and body sprays all digitally controlled were added. Cabinet hardware is mixed and matched for more visual interest. Long pendants over the sinks create drama. And a lot of storage was created, including the addition of a custom closet system. American Dream Design Build/Jim Burbridge and Scott Overby

Be Our Guest

Bath $40,000-$75,000 

photo by Northlight Photography/Roger Turk

Who wouldn’t love a guest master suite so luxurious that your guests never want to leave? These clients have many weekend guests who come and enjoy the lake and summer fun. Before the remodel the layout was awkward, and had too many doors which made it confusing and unfunctional. The bathroom needed to maintain the dual access to the other bedrooms on the floor but, keep a private entrance to the guest master bedroom. More space was created, a large custom shower was installed, two vanities, and the traffic pattern and function of the bathroom was improved. Now guest can enjoy the lake and clean up in their own spa-like space! Phase II General Contractors, Inc. Rick Hjelm

His, Hers, and Theirs

 Bath $25,000-$40,000

Photo by Linda Jewell

During this remodel, the homeowners wanted their own spaces, and they got it with beautiful style. His and hers vanities, a frameless glass shower door, custom cabinetry, and new fixtures refreshed this once-outdated bathroom. The quartz counters and custom-baked Sonoma ceramic tiles and glass tiles show attention to detail. Kingdom Builders Construction/Ryan and Ken Jewell

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