We purchased a 1250sf 60s split-level home in Park Ridge more or less original condition and hired Rosseland Remodeling to build a 200+ sf addition on the back of the house and remodel the kitchen. We interviewed several contractors, and we hired Chris for a couple reasons: 1) he seemed genuinely excited for us about our ideas for the house, 2) he was the only one who made a point during the interview to talk about how he would get the construction equipment to the back of the house (which was a practical detail we appreciated), 3) he sent us a handwritten thank you note after meeting us, and when his estimate was ready, he offered to meet with us personally to discuss it in further detail and provided references and list of subs (none of the other contractors we met with followed up on their estimates), and 4) we were taking out a renovation loan and explained to Chris that bank would have requirements for approvals, payments, etc and he agreed he would be able to work within the bank’s guidelines.
Overall, Chris clearly wanted the job the most and had given the logistics some practical thought and told us that what we wanted to do was feasible, so we hired him. The drawing and permit phase took about 2 months from closing, and the construction took about 3 months. The original home had a 15×19 living room and a 12 x 15 eat-in L-shaped kitchen, separated by a non load bearing wall. It felt small, stunted, and dark. We wanted to open up and enlarge the space by removing the wall between those rooms, and reconfiguring the kitchen to have a long island, and add the dining area on the other side. Next to the dining room we wanted a roughly 10×10 mudroom/laundry room that can be entered from the outside or from the garage. We also wanted to extend the crawlspace underneath, as opposed to building the addition on a slab. Chris’ architect, Mark Kollias, thoughtfully designed the addition and new kitchen with our plans in mind in such a way as to integrate it into the existing home; it does NOT look or feel like a box tacked on to the back of the house. He was very meticulous and thorough in his drawings, which made the permit
application process pretty painless. The finished result looks almost exactly how I imagined it in my mind.
Due to bank requirements, Chris, Marc, and Nancy Mueller of CR Cabinetry, the kitchen designer, had to do a fair amount of work before we even closed on our loan. We of course assured them we would pay for their time if we were not able to close, but it still took a leap of faith on their part and I know there are some contractors out there that would not have (or do not have the financial stability to have) dealt with the additional bank requirements and paperwork. Or, they would have required an upfront payment. We’re grateful that Chris and his colleagues hung in there with us while we got everything squared away with the bank. Chris’ kitchen designer, Nancy Muller of CR Cabinetry, helped bring our vision for the new kitchen to reality by helping us design a modern, streamlined kitchen that is still warm and inviting. Her expertise helped us select cabinets and appliances, decide on a layout, choose a cabinet color (which looks great!), and maximize our available cabinet space, but still achieve the open floor plan look without any clutter. We have had several parties of 20+ people, and folks tend to gather around the island, but it does not feel cramped. The kitchen reminds me the modern kitchens I see in magazines!
I still can’t believe it’s mine sometimes. We did have an issue with the appearance of the cabinets which was more of a manufacturer issue. It was easily resolved and our cabinets look great. Other than the kitchen and addition, Chris’ subs did extensive work including relocating the laundry to the first floor (which frees up the old laundry room for us to use as an office), plumbing in the kitchen for the island sink and a new line for the refrigerator, upgrading nearly all the electrical service in the house, adding exhaust fans in both bathrooms, hvac updates and relocating the a/c condenser, vacuuming the air ducts, drywalling the addition and 1 bedroom, painting the entire house inside and out, installing new hardwood floor and tile in the addition, refinishing the existing hardwood floors, and replacing baseboards throughout.
This was our first home purchase and first renovation project of any kind, so we didn’t know exactly hat to expect.
Chris repeatedly said it would go smoothly, and it did. Chris usually did not contact us unless he had a specific question for us, but he returned our calls promptly and would give us updates when asked. We did not live in the home during the construction, but we went to check things out all the time. We could talk to any of the subs that were there and see daily progress. There were a few things that were stressful, but most of the time those things were related to us choosing tile, appliances, paint, etc. I was also concerned at the beginning about having all the trades people chosen for us (as opposed to vetting them
ourselves), but they all did a good job. There were a couple surprises along the way, but no major ones given the scope of the project. I never worried about the quality of the workmanship, or that the work
would not be done on time. I remember being at a 4th of July party talking about the work to another guest that worked in construction, and he said something like, ?Your contractor gave you a move-in date
already? Good luck with that! Well, aside from a handful of minor punch list items, our house ready and clean on our move-in date as promised, and we love our home.
Designed and constructed 200+ sf addition (with extended crawl space underneath) to existing home, complete kitchen remodel, electrical upgrade, paint, refinish floors, replace baseboards, install exhaust fans in 2 baths.