’80s house made new again

From Beaverton Valley Times, By Elena Boryczka

When Steve Stolze of SLS Custom Homes stepped in to make over the Visse family’s living quarters in Tualatin, he saw it as a chance to modernize a 1980-style building.

Big changes were made: The former back wall of the home was moved 7 feet into the back yard, making room in the kitchen for an island, a nook and all new distressed alder cabinets, appliances, lighting and countertops. A family recreation room large enough for a pool table was also added onto the new kitchen and existing dining room.

And now that the home is included in the 2009 Tour of Remodeled Homes on March 14 and 15, the president of SLS hopes other consumers will start to envision similar projects in their own homes.

“Being part of the tour for the eighth year gives SLS the ability to show the general public many types and aspects of remodel work, as well as giving a hands-on opportunity to see the before pictures and the changes that have occurred,” Stolze said. “And (it) allows the public to interact with the remodel contractor onsite with specific thoughts and questions.”

This is the 10th anniversary of the Remodeled Homes Tour, which encompasses 18 different residences around the Portland area and gives homeowners the chance to see the work done by companies in the homes of actual people. Stolze is also chairman of the tour, and as such, he knows what a great opportunity this is for both businesses and consumers. He said being able to show what he did to the Visse home is something he is thankful for.

“(I’m) proud enough to show it off,” Stolze said. “I love it, and I love them!”

Denise Visse and the rest of the family have not been afraid to put their new addition to good use, hosting gatherings which include a New Year’s Eve party with about 90 guests.

“It’s just a great space,” Visse said. “We wanted to have a room where the kids could be, where we could be. We really wanted to be the house that all the kids want to come to.”

She said with Stolze’s help, they achieved that.

“Love is a better word!” Visse said of the finished project. “It is one of the greatest decisions my husband and I have made in our married life. We’ve made a lot of good decisions, but this is definitely one of the best – for us and for our kids.”

“Our project for this year was selected because I wanted to show folks that homes as new as the early 1980s can be updated and changed to reflect the owners’ current needs, because of family growth or because needs change,” Stolze said.

“This kitchen update added some needed space for a growing family and social events, added foot-traffic flow and created a very usable workspace for cooking, eating and social gathering. The added bonus room created space for family entertainment, and for the growing family to socialize with friends.”

Visse said she had an idea for what she wanted out of the kitchen before the remodel began, and her husband Dave knew he wanted a recreation room, but it all really came together when they met with Stolze and the designer.

“I had in my mind how I wanted the kitchen, for sure,” she said. “Yeah, we had ideas, and it was great having input from Steve and the designer.”

Tickets for the 2009 Tour of Remodeled Homes are $17.50 and are available either at www.RemodelTourPortland.com or at Safeway/TicketsWest outlets. Once an online ticket is purchased, an e-mail with directions to all homes on the tour will be sent out, along with a printable ticket and map.

Tickets purchased in-store will list three different starter homes, and after visiting one of the selected starter homes, an additional ticket with the rest of the home addresses will be made available. This is all done to ensure the privacy of homeowners.

Homes are available for viewing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15. For more information, call 503-684-1880.

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