Link for INFORMATION on Remodelers Home Tour

September 23rd, 2013

I hope many of you will come visit us at 487 Dunnington, Ann Arbor (48103) where we will be showing a Kitchen we remodeled (discussed in a post yesterday.) Here is a link to the Builders Association where you can find a map and more information.

COMING RIGHT UP! Remodelers Home Tour 2013

September 22nd, 2013

Another year has flown by and we are preparing for the Remodelers Home Tour in Ann Arbor again, to be held next weekend, September 28 and 29.  We are showing a wonderful kitchen remodel project, which involved not only the kitchen, but reconfiguring the living room and dining room spaces as well.  Some design challenges involved where to run the ducts and the wires, when moving walls.  Jim Acheson, problem solver par excellence, came up with a solution that also added a wonderful design dimension – hiding some of these wires and heat ducts within a tray ceiling in the dining room.  Adding color to the tray ceiling sparked up the space even more, for a dramatic and dynamic effect.

Come visit the show – we would love to see you there.  For more information, go to

Bright color in Tray Ceiling adds pizazz to this dining space

Jim Acheson – Interviewed on Lucy Ann Lance show

September 21st, 2013

Jim Acheson was featured on The Lucy Ann Lance Show, “Around the Home” program, on September 20, 2013.

Here is a quote from her website:

“September 20, 2013:  Around the Home: Changing the Configuration of Your Home – Pete Nowakowski, Marketing & Communications Director, BRAG Ann Arbor; Jim Acheson, President, Acheson Builders, Inc. – If you like your neighborhood and the overall structure of your home but you would like to shift around your living spaces, a remodel might be the answer for you.  Project #4 on the Remodelers Home Tour is the creation of Acheson Builders.  It’s an example of how a too tight kitchen and underused spaces can be transformed into a great living space that addresses how a family actually lives.”

If you go to the following link, you can click and listen to the interview recording.

TUNE IN to 1600 AM: Speaking of Art

December 2nd, 2012

Jim Acheson is honored to be invited to discuss Architectural Design: this is one of his favorite subjects! Jim is known for his great design work, in remodeling and new homes.
Right now, on WAAM Radio 1600 AM, you can tune in and listen to Ed Hoffman interviewing Jim, from 6 to 7 today!

Two for One Price Tickets – Remodeler’s Home Tour

October 15th, 2011

We’re excited to be showing a wonderful remodel project that we completed, at 1081 Arlington in Ann Arbor, in the Remodeler’s Home Tour, coming up in just one week!  We are especially proud of this project, because it took some careful planning and creative problem solving to be able make the changes that were needed.   You will be amazed when you  see the before and after pictures!  In person, it looks even more wonderful.

If you would like to see the show for half price, you can buy tickets online this coming Monday Oct. 17th.  You can buy two tickets for the price of one, with a REAL DEAL through!   The 2-for-1 tickets will be available on Monday, Oct. 17th ONLY, and there will also be a link on the site that day as well. Please share this with our friends! Here is a link, below. (This link location will only allow tickets to be purchased on the 17th).  After that date, you may purchase regular price tickets ($10 each) online at or at any of the Show locations, including ours on 1081 Arlington.

We are looking forward to a great show!  See you there!

A look at Acheson Builders’ legacy

March 28th, 2010

You’ll enjoy viewing  our new Slide Show, prepared for the Home, Garden and Lifestyle exhibit. Click here: Acheson Builders

View more presentations from timn.

Home, Garden and Lifestyle – GREAT Show!

March 22nd, 2010
Acheson Builders display 3-2010

Acheson Builders display 3-2010

Acheson Builders displayed a booth for the first time this past weekend, in the Home Garden and Lifestyle trade show at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, sponsored by the Builders & Remodelers Association of Greater Ann Arbor .  Over 5000 people attended, and Jim Acheson and I (Marilyn Acheson) thoroughly enjoyed meeting many new friends, as well as greeting some of our loyal past clients and associates who came to visit our booth.  It really was fun and exciting – and I loved showing off Jim’s handiwork and design ability.

IMG_0816cropJim Acheson designed and created (with the help of our fine craftsmen) a beautiful maple and walnut paneled wall to display photo enlargements from some of our projects.  In addition, we designed and built a custom desk with granite top, attaching to a short paneled wall to match the tall one.  We also built some beautiful triangular matching wood flower stands.  All of this was custom designed by Jim Acheson, with special curved molding, both concave and convex, and unique accents of walnut wood, finished with a clear water-based acrylic to allow the light and dark colors of the wood to shine through.

We also displayed a kiosk with 4 panels, pictorially telling the stories of two before and after case studies, one passive solar home, as well as our unique design-build process. Many people were impressed by our process laid out so clearly in this format.

We’re looking forward to working with some new clients and showing how we  are  a great choice for their remodeling projects: our owner, Jim Acheson, with 37 years of experience, personally oversees and is involved from start to finish in making sure our clients have a remarkable experience in working with us, and we promise to stay on schedule and on budget to the very best of our ability.  Just listen to audio testimonials of prior clients – and you will see!

Jim Acheson, Owner, at the Home & Garden show, March 2010

Jim Acheson, Owner, at the Home & Garden show, March 2010

Read the rest of this entry »

Two Pieces Out of Place

March 1st, 2010

I love puzzles.Van Gogh Puzzle 2010

They always teach me good life lessons.

Like this one, a Van Gogh Starry Night painting, that I got from my son for Christmas. (That I am still working on!!!)

I am learning all kinds of things with this one.

Like perseverance, diligence, self control. (I have to limit myself to a couple of pieces a day. That means I’ll be done with all 1000 pieces by the end of 2010.)  (Well – the self control isn’t working that well.  Occasionally I get 4 or 5 pieces in a day.)

But I am learning.  One thing I have learned is that there can easily be a piece or two out of place, and it can look like it works just fine.  I’m an artist – I could have painted it that way.  However, I am not Van Gogh, Van Gogh was thinking differently than me.  So many times, I find I have put two or more pieces in the wrong place.  In this puzzle, there are very few variations in shape, so many can “fit” in the wrong place.  You find out down the road that the rest of pieces aren’t going together that well.  Two pieces out of place can make a big difference.

It’s like life:  if there are a few pieces out of place, you don’t always find out until down the road a bit.  Like eating and exercise:  if you don’t have those pieces in the right place in your life, you may find yourself getting unhealthy and overweight.  Or like buying and charging things on credit cards:  you may find down the road that you really can’t afford to pay for all those things you purchased.    Scripture reading and prayer are two very important pieces in life – if you don’t have those in place, you will find your strength waning and your heart unfulfilled.  You may even find yourself in the WRONG place at the end of this life.

It’s true for construction too.  You want everything built on a solid foundation.  You want every piece to fit together properly – not only to fit tightly and look good now, but also to be done totally correctly so they the pieces look good together and last longer and hold up  beautifully over the long run.  That’s why hiring a really good and really experienced builder is so important.  For Acheson Builder experience is one of our great fortes. We specialize in  putting it all together in the right way, to provide the best looking and best possible outcome for your home.

Like pieces of a beautiful puzzle masterpiece.


February 14th, 2010

Peonies crop2007_2

We build relationships!  At Acheson Builders,  it’s not just about quality of construction or great design, although those are certainly of high priority. It’s about building a relationship with you – earning your trust – getting to know you and your needs, so that we can meet them with the best possible service and performance. Our clients become part of our “family” and we treat them with respect and genuine personal concern. We build long term relationships with our clients, so we can take care of their needs, as they come up. It’s not surprising then, that many of our clients call us for subsequent home improvement projects over the years. We love our clients!

Thinking about Valentine’s Day, besides thinking about all the family that I love, I think about how much we love and appreciate our clients.  I’d love to give each of you flowers!

Marilyn Acheson

Vice President

Remodeling Cost Vs. Value 2009-2010

January 12th, 2010

Below I have posted the information for our region of the country (East-North-Central) for typical costs of various projects, and the potential recoup of your investment dollars when you sell – as well as the comparison of these with National Averages from 2008-2009.

I have posted both midrange prices as well as some upscale pricing.  These give you a good idea of some of the investment required for various types of remodeling projects.  Obviously, there can be a very wide variation in costs and investment, depending on many many factors.

The following excerpts are from Remodeling Magazine.  For the full article and more information go to Cost vs.Value Report online.  Also, with each type of project below, you’ll find a link to a description within the magazine article, that describes approximately the size and major assumptions for each.

REMODELING Magazine COST VS VALUE Report 2009 – 2010

East North Central Area…………………….2008-09 National Averages

Job Cost   Resale $   % Recouped      PROJECT  TYPE……. .Job Cost    Resale$     % Recouped

$51,226   $32,943   64.3%_Attic Bedroom (midrange)_ $48,398   $35,694   73.8%

$14,906   $  7,158   48.0%_Backup Power Generator __$14,040  _$ 8,026    57.2%

$64,008  $37,851_59.1%_Basement Remodel (midrange) $61,011  _$44,467   72.9%

$40,178   $22,322  55.6%_Bathroom Addition (midrange) $38,078   $24,187   63.5%

$77,667  $44,865  57.8%_Bathroom Addition (upscale)  _$74,325     $49,100_66.1%

$16,568   $10,656   64.3%_Bathroom Remodel (midrange) $15,899   _$11,857  74.6%

$53,345   $32,875   61.6%_Bathroom Remodel (upscale) _$51,455    $36,400  70.7%

$15,440   $ 9,910   64.2%_Deck (composite) (midrange) _$15,277    $11,857   74.6%

$37,893   $20,747  54.8%_Deck (composite) (upscale) __$37,498  _ $23,706   63.2%

$10,534   $ 7,263    68.9%_Deck (wood) (midrange) _____$10,601    $8,676   81.8%

$85,752   $49,641   57.9%_Family RoomAddition (midrange)$81,315     $53,608   65.9%

$60,018   $33,559   55.9%_Garage Addition (midrange) __$57,272  _ $38,161    66.6%

$89,732   $47,908   53.4%_Garage Addition (upscale) ____$85,844    $53,908    62.8%

$28,979   $13,224   45.6% _Home Office Remodel (midrange) $28,094   $15,329    54.6%

$21,758    $15,038   69.1%_Minor Kitchen Remodel (midrange)$21,246    $16,881    79.5%

$58,253   $38,726   66.5%_Major Kitchen Remodel (midrange)$56,611    $43,030   76.0%

$113,056  $70,703   62.5%_Major Kitchen Remodel (upscale)_$110,964  $78,398 _70.7%

$107,036  $62,377   58.3%_Master Suite Addition (midrange)$101,571  $67,037  66.0%

$231,714  $124,730  53.8%_Master Suite Addition (upscale) _$223,876  $136,764  61.1%

$20,227   $11,056  54.7%_Roofing Replacement (midrange) $18,825    $12,336   65.5%

$39,144   $20,594  52.6%_Roofing Replacement (upscale)_ $36,296     $22,861    63.0%

$12,965  $10,279  79.3%_Siding Replc (fiber-cement) (upscale) $13,177  $11,424  86.7%

$10,398  $ 7,591  73.0%_Siding Replcmnt(vinyl) (midrange) $10,256   $ 8,274  80.7%

$12,184   $ 9,061  74.4%_Siding Replcmnt (foam-backed vinyl)$12,528 $10,074  80.4%

$71,591   $36,740   51.3%_Sunroom Addition (midrange) __ $71,745   $70,715     56.7%

$152,236  $93,575   61.5%_Two-Story Addition (midrange) _$146,538  $103,553   70.7%

$11,076   $ 7,429  67.1%_Window Replcmnt (vinyl) (midrange)$10,537 $  8,132   77.2%

$14,322   $ 9,806  68.5%_Window Replcmnt (vinyl) (upscale) $13,608   $10,781   79.2%

$12,117   $ 8,156   67.3%_Window Replcmnt (wood) (midrange)$11,512  $ 8,946   77.7%

$18,276  $12,127  66.4%_Window Replcmnt (wood) (upscale) $17,580   $13,455   76.5%