When Mark Druy and Johanna Rothman decided their two-story colonial didn’t fit their lifestyle anymore, they came up with an unconventional solution. Custom Contracting helped the couple make it work.
Mark and Johanna had called Arlington home for 26 years and didn’t want to live anywhere else. What they wanted was a house that had most of the living space on one floor. After searching around town for a while, Mark and Johanna found just what they were looking for: a 1950s ranch that needed a little TLC, but could be renovated to fit their needs. They completed the purchase in November 2013.
No Architect Required
During their home search, Mark and Johanna occasionally consulted with Custom general manager Scott Blain. We had done some work for them in the past, and they wanted Scott’s opinion on various properties they saw. Once they bought the new home, they worked with Scott for a couple months to draw up a plan for the renovation.
“We were able to get through that process without even hiring an architect,” says Mark. “Scott has a great ability to walk through the house, discuss ideas and translate all of that into drawings. That’s one thing I like about working with Custom – they listen, and then take what you talk about and make it a reality.”
Johanna adds, “One of Custom’s key strengths is their ability to quickly iterate on design changes during the planning process, and they got it right for everything we wanted.”
The scope of work for this project was enormous. The new addition includes a roughly 18′ x 34′ kitchen (with walk-in pantry) and family room attached to the back of the home and garage. A new mudroom connects the garage to the house. A new elevator (we installed the shaft) goes from the living room to the basement.
Renovating the main floor involved transforming a bedroom into a master suite; gutting the two bathrooms; adding a laundry room and more closet space; HVAC, electrical and plumbing work; and much more. Downstairs, we renovated and reconfigured the basement to create space for an exercise room, den study and full bathroom.
“We were looking to have about 2,200 square feet on a single floor, which is about the amount of living space we had on two floors in our old house,” says Mark. “That’s what we’ve managed to do here, with help from Custom.”
Very Satisfied with the Final Result
Mark loved working with the Custom team, starting with Scott early on and then with designer Nikki DeFelice and lead carpenter Dave Surrette. Nikki played a major role in designing the new kitchen.
“We worked with Nikki through several iterations of the kitchen, and she had really great ideas,” says Mark. “If we didn’t like something she suggested, she’d adapt. She wasn’t stuck on designing the kitchen she wanted to design. She listened to us to design the kitchen we wanted.”
As for Dave, he was onsite every working day for about five months – so Mark and Johanna got to know him well. “He was fantastic,” says Mark. “Nothing was ever a problem, and he never showed any signs of stress. If anything came up, he took care of it right away. And he has an excellent crew around him, too.”
Having moved in to the home in June, Mark and Johanna are settling in and enjoying their life in a different part of Arlington.
“We couldn’t be more pleased not only with the outcome, but also the process of working with Custom,” says Mark. “Everyone within that organization is just first-rate.”