Feb. 1, 2018 – APEX Construction Management was named 2018 Regional Contractor of the Year (CotY) today for residential additions $100,000 to $250,000 for a unique Laurel Ave., St. Paul, project it completed last fall.
Regional judges from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) chose the APEX entry in the three-tier competition. APEX first won at the state level last November. As winner of the North Central Region title this week, it is a finalist for the 2018 National Contractor of the Year title. That winner will be announced at the association’s Evening of Excellence event in Charlotte, NC, on April 20. This is APEX’s third Contractor of the Year recognition.
The project appears in the current issue of the Pioneer Press’s glossy SPACES magazine and is featured on Houzz. You also can see the remodeling and speak with APEX owner John Biancini and project designer Carmin Meyer during the Spring Remodelers Showcase Tour, March 23-25, in conjunction with the Parade of Homes. Carmin worked with Modern Design for the custom cabinetry.
APEX designed and built the rear addition at the 1912 home of Richard and Shirley Erstad. APEX annexed a small corner porch to square off the new kitchen and bumped out the foudation and main level for a new entry area, three-quarter bath, porch and basement laundry. Outside, APEX used narrow lap siding with mitered corners, salvaged turned porch railings and mirrored roof lines for a seamless transition between new and existing spaces. But the real drama unfolded inside.
Homeowners had clear vision and APEX delivered
The Erstads view homes as “durable goods” that should be enhanced over time without erasing their past. While they wanted all the conveniences of a modern kitchen, it had to look and feel like something out of the 1920s. A fully restored eight burner, three-oven 1920s Reliable gas stove and a vintage Monitor refrigerator anchor the design. Complementing them are freezer drawers and a microwave oven hidden in the custom cabinetry.
The new kitchen features green, white and natural cabinets and both marble and granite countertops to suggest that storage was added over time. A center island would have looked out of place. So Modern Design built a large table with drawers, which Richard finished himself.
“We certainly didn’t expect all of the awards, but we knew our project was unique,” Richard said. “What’s most interesting is that it is a very convenient and comfortable,” he continued. “We spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It turned out just the way we hoped. And, after nearly six months, there isn’t much of anything we would change.”
“This was a challenging project and very much a team effort,” John recalled. He credits Project Manager Matt Grudzielanek for overseeing trade partners and Carmin for ensuring that the nostalgic elements would come together visually and provide needed functionality. He also acknowledged the homeowners themselves for their research and skillful DIY contributions.
“Some contractors steer clear of remodeling hundred-year-old homes in St. Paul because of the challenges they pose, but we love it,” John said. “I guarantee you won’t see another project like this on the Spring Remodelers Showcase tour. And you won’t soon forget it.”
The CotY Award judges apparently agreed. The 26 NARI judges evaluated more than 400 projects from eight regions with a value that exceeded $123 million. NARI officials said CotY Award winners “demonstrated remodeling excellence.” Judges considered functionality, problem-solving, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation, degree of difficulty, and entry presentation.