Posts in Bespoke Remodeling
Lights, Camera, Action!

Tackling a major remodel requires a fair amount of juggling, especially one like we managed for the HGTV Urban Oasis in Cincinnati, Ohio.. There’s a linear nature to a project like this, one foot in front of the other. There’s an order in which projects have to be completed. It can be a challenge, even for the best of us. And that’s the beauty of being a custom builder. We understand the order, how to manage it, and, more importantly, how to juggle it when things don’t go quite as planned. But add a television camera and a celebrity’s schedule to the mix and you have one heck of a project. It was a balancing act, to say the least, but we couldn’t be prouder of the outcome.

 

We’re proud to say that we completed the remodel, including the two-story addition, in 6 months and three days. For a house that was stripped down to the studs, this is quite an accomplishment. But for a house that was stripped down to the studs, rebuilt, and given a two store addition, along with a complicated TV production schedule. . . our timeframe is nothing short of a miracle. 

 
 

For as many exciting parts of a total home renovation that you may witness on your favorite HGTV or DIY Network show—like demo days and big reveals—there are a lot of little details that aren’t so exciting. Like watching paint dry. It’s all part of the process, it has to be accounted for in the timeline, but drying paint does not make for good television. It was sometimes a bit of a balancing act in getting work completed and making sure we hit certain milestones at specific times in order to align with camera crews and celebrity schedules. 

 

A construction zone is a noisy place. And the noise is often, ahem, colorful. But when filming a family show, we had to hammer quietly. And speak politely. 


 

Since our goal was to remodel a home AND have it done as part of an hour-long television show, we had to do our job perfectly and in a way that was entertaining. Usually, on the job site, The English Contractor founder and namesake, Craig Russell is our fearless leader. However, for the HGTV Urban Oasis 2018 home in Cincinnati, the producer was in charge. That meant redoing a project or two, once or twice (or maybe it was 10 times! We’ll never tell!) just to make sure that the camera got the best shot possible. And we still got it all done in 6 months and 3 days!

All in all, we’re thrilled with the final HGTV Urban Oasis project—the house itself and the episode. We loved working hand in hand with our HGTV friends Egypt Sherrod, Brian Patrick Flynn and Dan Faires, watching them do what they do best while we did what we do best. We couldn’t imagine a better partnership. We’d watch paint dry with that crew any day!

 
Small Space, Big Impact

This hall bathroom has been totally transformed. Take a look at these pictures and you’ll be sure to agree that neutrals and subtle details can really pack a punch.  Talk about the art of subtlety! 

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We love how all of the neutral colors combine to create a relaxing and stunning space. This hallway bathroom contains a free-standing tub, a glass-enclosed stall shower and a one bowl sink with vanity. The shape of the floor tile, texture of the wood vanity and richness of the bronze fixtures really have a big impact.

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This vanity, sink bowl, countertop and mirror, all purchased from Signature Hardware, lend a spa-like feel to this space. 

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The soaking tub really makes this bathroom special. This tub, which is already something special, is taken to the next level with fixtures from the Trinsic Collection from Delta, all in Venetian Bronze.

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Venetian Bronze plumbing fixtures make another appearance in this stall shower. Our partners at GlassWerkes provided the shower glass. 

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Although it is so simple, the floor tile really makes a statement. Hamilton Parker provided the Rewind Peltro 8” x 8” hexagon tile in grey.

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Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two neutrals really make an impact. We love the contrast of the grey hexagon floor tile with the white ice bright subway tile, both purchased from Hamilton Parker. 

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The dark shower floor tile adds more drama to this space. You can find this tile, the Landmark Ceramics Shape Ancient Dark Mosiac, at Hamilton Parker. This smaller hexagon shape perfectly complements the larger floor tile. 


Interested in learning how we can transform the bathroom in your home? Contact us today to meet with one of our project managers. We’ll walk you through the steps to take your space from drab to dramatic.

The English Contractor Awarded NARI Contractor of the Year

We are proud to announce that The English Contractor team is the recipient of several awards of distinction from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Association of Remodeling Industry, NARI. NARI is the remodeling industry’s trade association, a not-for-profit group that certifies professional remodeling contractors and sets standards for the remodeling industry, as well as serves as an resource and ally to homeowners in our area, making sure that contractors are meeting the highest of industry standards. An award from NARI shows expertise, problem solving, craftsmanship and innovation in renovating, recognizing contractors who are the best that the region has to offer.

 

We were named Contractor Of The Year in four different categories and we’re proud to share more about these projects with you.

Entire House

Budget of $250,000-$500,000

This Hyde Park home underwent an amazing transformation this year, both inside and out, with an addition that included a stunning new kitchen, family room, mudroom, and master suit, including bedroom, bathroom and closets, making this home a showstopper on the street. (And we should know. We’re currently working on the neighbor’s home as well!)

This Hyde Park home underwent an amazing transformation this year, both inside and out, with an addition that included a stunning new kitchen, family room, mudroom, and master suit, including bedroom, bathroom and closets, making this home a showstopper on the street. (And we should know. We’re currently working on the neighbor’s home as well!)

Entire House

Budget of $500,001-$750,000

This home in Oakley is one of our proudest achievements to date. We loved working with the HGTV design team to bring this Dutch Colonial Revival back to life.

This home in Oakley is one of our proudest achievements to date. We loved working with the HGTV design team to bring this Dutch Colonial Revival back to life.

Residential Bathroom

Budget of $75,001-$100,000

We worked with the homeowner to overhaul this space from dated master bath into a true masterpiece. Although designed in basic black and white, this room is anything but basic. Luxurious and classic, this bathroom is filled with style and storage, with no detail left unturned.

We worked with the homeowner to overhaul this space from dated master bath into a true masterpiece. Although designed in basic black and white, this room is anything but basic. Luxurious and classic, this bathroom is filled with style and storage, with no detail left unturned.

Residential Interior Element

Budget of $30,000 or Over

This staircase is a true melding of craftsmanship and artistry. So beautifully designed, these steps are now a stunning focal point for the home.

This staircase is a true melding of craftsmanship and artistry. So beautifully designed, these steps are now a stunning focal point for the home.

Interested in learning more? We approach each and every project with the same critical eye and exacting standards. Give us a call and let's discuss how we can work together in your home.

Home Renovation Partnership
 

A major home renovation project is often the result of an amazing partnership, a combination of craftsmanship and art, a shared vision, and a well-honed relationship between contractor, architect and designer. Although there are many types of projects of different scope and scale that The English Contractor can act as your full-service provider, there are certain projects that depend on this beautiful partnership. But how do you know what professionals to call in for your home renovation project? First, it is important to understand which role that each professional will play in the process. It’s so much more than a business transaction—it’s an ongoing partnership!

 
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Architect

For large scale home renovations, additions or completely new builds, we recommend that you start with an architect. They’ll listen to you for an understanding of what you hope to accomplish for your new space, as well as your budget, so they can help put together a plan to make it all happen. Additionally, you can hire an architect to manage your project from start to finish, making sure that your initial vision remains in the forefront throughout the process.

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Designer

A designer can take your architectural plans to the next level by adding beauty and style to form and function. A designer can help you finalize and customize your floor plan with the addition of details like built-ins or cupboards. What’s more, a designer can often help with color and material ideas—including furnishing the finished product.

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Contractor

The job of the contractor is to bring all of these plans to life. Once they have the architectural and designer plans in hand, they can help you nail down the final cost of the project, including labor and materials. They will manage the nuts and bolts of the project, bringing in the right people at the right time, like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. A contractor will oversee the project from beginning to end, at times working with the architect and designer to tweak final designs. Your contractor is on the front lines of the project, bringing it to completion and tackling hurdles along the way. That’s why we think it’s important for a contractor to have an eye for detail and a bit of creativity, in addition to skilled craftsmanship.


Of course, there are plenty of home projects that don’t require a complete team. Are you wondering what types of projects are best for the architect/designer/contractor triumvirate and which ones a builder like The English Contractor can handle on our own? If you’re ready to start planning your Cincinnati-area home renovation or new build, give us a call!

A Star is Born!
 

Hollywood’s got nothing on Cincinnati! And while building a new home or undertaking a huge renovation is not all fun and games, we sure had a great time working with the team at HGTV on this year’s Urban Oasis.

In many ways, the HGTV Urban Oasis home began like any other project: with a phone call. And that’s how it usually begins for us. With a phone call, an email or a message on Facebook. Because as we all know, there is a huge vetting process with hiring a contractor. You want to know if they have handled similar projects before. You want to know what problems they have encountered and how they’ve addressed them. Do they stick to their budget? Do they reasonably mange timelines? But of course, in this case, our mysterious client wanted to know if we could manage all of the above, while completing the project in complete secrecy.

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The HGTV Urban Oasis home is a show stopper and its Cincinnati red curb appeal makes it a traffic stopper too.

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Working in secrecy has its challenges.

When we manage a large project, the project is given a name—usually the client’s name—to help us manage our queue. We need the last name to help with our deliveries—things like building materials, or, ahem, an outdoor loo. As a nod to our English heritage, this project was nicknamed Windsor. Could be a common last name, could be royalty? Who knew? Although we know that some of our vendors, suppliers and neighbors were suspicious, we tried to explain everything away. You saw a camera? We’re filming a commercial. An HGTV celebrity sighting? Surely it must be a Cincinnati doppelganger. You must be seeing things! Although we typically take before and after photos, our crew was under strict orders not to breathe a word of it or take one picture. We stuck to the letter of the law. We know it can be difficult to keep a big secret under wraps, especially in a small city like Cincinnati. But if the secret got out early, we can guarantee, it wasn’t from one of our crew.

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Of course, now the word is out. The show has aired! We’ve given televised tours of the home. And the home is frequently in the background of many an Instagram selfie. Have you been following the star of Cincinnati’s latest reality show? The HGTV Urban Oasis home is a show stopper and its Cincinnati red curb appeal makes it a traffic stopper too.  Post your picture and tag us on Instagram @theenglishcontractor.