Client Spotlight: Al and Becky Farha’s Deephaven Home Renovation

Every project we complete is unique, and working with Al and Becky Farha on their extensive Deephaven home renovation was a delight. While beginning a home renovation in November may sound like a lapse in planning, it’s a process we tend to prefer. Even during a Minneapolis-Saint Paul winter.

As Tim, our founder, says, “It’s easier to shovel snow than stop>the rain.” As long as the proper precautions are in place to protect the rest of the home, it’s an ideal time to remodel your home.

Planning an Extensive Home Renovation

This Deephaven home was originally a 1920’s summer cabin, but when it was converted to a full-time home, the remodeler did not follow modern building codes. This meant that the house didn’t age well. The roof needed to be replaced, and a section of the front exterior wall was bowing out. Fixing this type of problem shouldn’t wait, which meant the renovation would need to happen during the winter. This could be a daunting prospect, but our team has extensive winter construction experience, making the process as smooth as possible.

When the Farha’s were looking for contractors, they had some specific needs they wanted met: someone they could trust to do the right thing, offered creative ideas, and was responsive to inquiries. “We chose Tim based on recommendations from others. He was transparent and open when we met with him, he conducted a thorough inspection of our home to develop the construction plan, and we trusted him,” says Al Farha.

Making a Complex Winter Renovation Possible

The Farha’s home renovation began the week of Thanksgiving. With a complex plan, communication was paramount. “The process and plan was clearly communicated and Tim and his team were always open to any questions we had,” Al explains. One of these questions was protecting the pipes throughout the house. Without a portion of the roof and wall, there would be less insulation to keep pipes from freezing. If they froze, it could result in extensive water damage throughout the home. We began from the top down by removing a portion of the roof. The front exterior wall that was bowing out by six inches was also removed. Once we tore down the dilapidated sections of the home, we installed a roof truss system. This helped create a sound building structure and a foundation for the new kitchen, dining, and living room. Fortunately, we were able to finish the project without any problems relating to the weather, and the Farha’s appreciated that they knew their home was in the right hands.

What it’s Like to Live in a Home During a Renovation

This 1920s home renovation was definitely complicated, but we wanted to make the process simple for the Farha’s. They also stayed in their home during the renovation, which meant we needed an efficient timeline. We want a renovation to be as non-disruptive as possible, so in these situations we will set up temporary kitchen, bathroom, and laundry areas. They were limited to their bedroom and living room, which doubled as their kitchen, for the duration of the project. It’s good to keep a home renovation site clean, but it’s critical when the clients still need a functional home. Throughout the project, we maintained a high level of cleanliness to ensure the Farha’s could still use the rest of their home. We want to focus on making a disruptive event like a renovation as easy as possible, so we worked with Al and Becky to get them the most amenities possible. Al and Becky will admit it wasn’t the easiest situation, but they appreciated how we accommodated their needs and were responsive questions.

The Right Interior Designer is Important

The Farha’s originally began working with an interior designer that didn’t quite fit their needs. While discussing the project with us, we recommended Colleen Fox Slack, who truly helped bring the project together. By asking specific questions about how the Farha’s use their home, Colleen was able to help create a kitchen (and home) that will serve their needs. Some important questions before a home renovation include:

  • How do you use your kitchen?
  • Do you entertain guests often, and do you need a large space?
  • How often do you use your dining and living room, and in what way?
  • What are your priorities in your home?

Because the Farha’s enjoy entertaining guests and cooking, it was important to Colleen that their kitchen served this purpose. The changes Colleen suggested helped maximize their space:

  • A vaulted ceiling to maximize cabinet space.
  • A larger footprint to accommodate a larger work area.
  • <Maximizing all cabinet space with pull-out “magic” corner cabinets, tray dividers, and optimizing storage for their smaller appliances.

They enjoyed working with Colleen, and appreciated her guidance on the numerous choices a kitchen renovation requires. Asking the right questions is key to a successful home renovation. When a client walks into their finished home and loves what they see, both functionally and aesthetically, we have done our job well.

Forming a Courteous, Customer-Centric Team

As with many renovations on older homes, complications were expected. When these complications arise, we always focus on prompt communication in order to resolve the issue. The Farha’s knew that for a project of this scope, there were specific qualities the renovator would need for a successful project.

  • Thorough planning
  • Responsive to feedback
  • Respectful of time constraints during planning and production
  • Address issues promptly when they arise
  • Focused on quality above all else

These qualities are what Al and Becky were looking for in a contractor, and we’re honored they chose us for this project. Currently, we’re working with them to design Phase II of their home renovation, and we’re excited to see their home come together. When we hire at Purcell Quality, we want to ensure that every member of our team is respectful of our clients. With a team like this, every interaction the Farha’s had with our team is personable, respectful, and shows our commitment to the work.

Complex home renovations can be daunting, but we were able to minimize the disturbance during Al and Becky Farha’s Deephaven project. Through careful planning, creative thinking, and thorough communication, we completed a successful, extensive project during the winter. We want the renovation process to be equal parts your ideas and our experience. When we work as a team, we can create a truly unique and beautiful home. To learn more about how we can reinvent your home, give us a call at (651) 748-1304 or email us.