CASE STUDY: Addition with Kitchen and Bath Remodeling and Exterior Improvements

October 13th, 2020

exterior of house after remodeling

SPECIAL NOTE: Take the (Virtual) Tour:

Team Acheson will Zoom you through this property in a live virtual tour, where you will be able to ask questions and participate — as part of the BRAG Ann Arbor Builders Association “Showcase of Homes 2020”. Check this space for details.


Smart Remodeling

See what a difference a small addition can make for a modest ranch home that was just too cramped for a growing family – especially in the public spaces such as the front entrance, the kitchen, and the dining area. A four-foot-wide addition along one side of the home made a world of difference! exterior of house before remodeling

More Room, Please

Now there’s room for larger family gatherings in the dining room, multiple cooks in the expanded kitchen, and via a small bump-out at the front doorway along with the side addition, the foyer has room for receiving (or sending off) a whole family-full of excited children and grandchildren, instead of the one-at- a-time space by the front door as in the past.



What About That Porch?

exterior of house after remodeling

After remodeling: slender columns, sidelights, stonework, rails, and four-foot home extension on right side.

We dressed up the front porch with columns, sidelights at the front door, and beautiful stonework for the stoop and front steps. We also made it safer for coming and going with gentler steps, and an added custom hand rail all around. The new sidelights by the front door add interest as well as more light in the foyer.




Acheson Builders can remodel any home

AFTER: Kitchen remodeled, open to dining area.


Remodeling can transform your home, even on a modest budget

AFTER: Dining area leading to kitchen.


What About the Cost?

The entire project was done on a carefully controlled budget. We encouraged the client to carefully focus on keeping her selections for cabinets, counters, tile work etc. within budget, while still maintaining an upgraded style. She did that very successfully!

In Sum:

We maintained the original lines and architectural features such that the addition is indistinguishable from the original home. The changes look like there have been no changes — as if the house was always as it is now!

Acheson Builders in the News

September 29th, 2015

Michigan House Envy: Ann Arbor-area homes transformed

Judy Rose, Special to the Detroit Free Press
10:19 p.m. EDT September 26, 2015

(excerpt – click here to read entire Detroit Free Press article)

Download this: Case Study of the Parkridge Residence described in this article (PDF, 2.4MB), and see Case Study: Update Kitchen – Maintain Simple Elegance for more photos and description of the project.

Mid-Century Modern

This single-story, glass-walled house in Ann Arbor is a celebration of Mid-Century Modern architecture, so when the worn-out kitchen had to be restored, the pressure was on to not mess it up.

The original kitchen had been built on-site with fine cabinet-making details. Now, 50 years later, “The cabinets were basically falling apart and delaminating,” said owner Bonnie Greenspoon.

Greenspoon and her husband, Martin Schwartz, are architects, each with connections to the esteemed late architect David Osler, who designed this house in 1962. The couple has owned the home for 17 years.

Standard cabinets could not re-create Osler’s work. So Greenspan designed new cabinets and counters almost exactly like the originals, and a fine-furniture cabinet maker built them.

Their kitchen is one of 12 stops on the Ann Arbor Remodelers’ Home Tour.

What visitors will see is the classic Modernist kitchen, with clean lines and fine details. Pull-closed doors or drawers and the edges display a dense 13-ply plywood — furniture grade — faced with alder veneer.

They’ll see a wall of cabinets where the grain in the alder lines up from floor to ceiling, making the doors nearly undetectable.

The counter tops remain white, their beat-up laminate replaced with white quartz. As Osler specified, the counters do not jut out in typical fashion, but line up straight with the cabinets’ face. Between each counter top and the cabinet below, there’s a slight indent or “reveal” — all picky details, but important to the architects.

Acheson Builders, which put the project together, used its custom resources to create the special materials. For example, that 13-ply wood with its alder veneer did not exist, Jim Acheson said. “It was custom laid up for us on the West Coast.”

The context is a beautifully closed house where glass doors let you walk outside from almost every room.

“The house is wonderful because it’s so simple,” Greenspoon said. “You’re not bogged down with frivolous details. You just appreciate the space.”

Ann Arbor Remodelers’ Home Tour

The 2015 tour runs two days next weekend. On the schedule are 11 remodeled houses in Ann Arbor and South Lyon, including these two. They include a whole-house remodel with a finished walkout lower level, two first-floor remodels, several kitchen projects, several master suite projects, a basement renovation and a second-story addition.

The annual tour is sponsored by the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Ann Arbor.

When: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 3 and noon-6 p.m. Oct. 4.

Where: Start and pick up a map at any of the houses. For addresses, a photo and a thumbnail description of each project, go to

Cost: $10; free for children 16 and younger

Full article:

Remodelers Home Tour 2014

October 3rd, 2014

Here is the 1910 home that we are displaying in the 2014 Remodelers Home Tour, starting tomorrow October 4 for just two days. The homeowners, along with Acheson Builders, have worked hard to present the home, which was beautifully renovated to maintain it’s original style, while updating the spaces, layout and livability for a growing young family.
Read the rest of this entry »

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

Kitchen Products: Rotisserie

December 1st, 2009

I just saw this on e-build, an online resource for building products.
Wouldn’t it be fun to have a rotisserie in your own kitchen! What a healthful, fun way to cook!

Check out this link: Rotisserie pic



September 21st, 2009

Another year has flown by, and here we are preparing for the 2013 Remodelers Home Tour in Ann Arbor next weekend, September 28 and 29th. We are showing an exciting and beautiful kitchen that we remodeled – which involved moving walls and reconfiguring the dining room, kitchen and living room. There were some major challenges with moving of the walls, relating to where to run ducts and wires… but Jim Acheson, with his problem solving skills “did it again”, coming up with a creative solution that also became a design asset: a tray ceiling in the dining area was used to hide some of the necessary utilities.

Tray ceiling

Color adds pizazz to this tray ceiling design feature!


August 21st, 2009

One thing that is really exciting is to be able to RETURN to a client’s home for a NEW project. Recently, Mr. & Mrs. Burgett of Ann Arbor called us to look into remodeling their three bathrooms and also their laundry room. A couple of years ago we had done a complete kitchen remodel for them. They were so happy with our work that they called us again, to beautify these other rooms.

We are always so honored when we are called back, and entrusted with a new project for a client. It helps us know we are doing things right – satisfying our clients. That is our main goal!

Since we have been in business quite some time, we have MANY clients who have done not just one or two but multiple projects with our company – from additions, to kitchens, to bathroom remodels, to basement finishing, and everything in between. The great thing to note is that if you are frustrated with certain areas of your home, we can make those spaces better – and we can do it incrementally so that it spreads out the costs over the years.

I just sent off a note of thanks to the Burgetts. We are thankful to ALL of you, our clients, who have called us again and again, and have also referred us to many of your friends!