Story of a Remodel

Buying a home is a very exciting process, but it can also be an emotional and sometimes stressful one as well.  Adding a substantial renovation to the mix just adds another level of complexity and anxiety to the scope.  At Hawthorn Real Estate, we recognize that our customers are putting a tremendous amount of faith in us, and our goal is to deliver a home buying and/or design-build experience that is well organized, creatively designed and executed with precision.  Nothing is more rewarding for us than when a customer takes the time to send us thoughts and feedback.  Below is a testimonial from a recent home purchase and renovation project in Needham along with some interesting before and after pictures that illustrate the home’s transformation.

“When we set out to buy a new home, we had an idea of finding an older home and doing some renovations to make it our own.  At the same time, we were also facing an extremely competitive market where updated, move-in ready homes were subject to bidding wars.  We reached out to Ryan McDonnell at Hawthorn Builders because we felt they offered a one-stop shop for everything we were looking for: 1) Construction knowledge to help us identify the right house to renovate; 2) Market knowledge to help us find the right location and negotiate a fair price; 3) Design and build services to create a vision and make it a reality.

When we bought the home, our vision was mostly centered around updating the kitchen, opening up the kitchen to the living area, and adding a master bedroom suite addition on the 2nd floor.  As we got into the planning process, Hawthorn filled in the rest of the vision including creating a hallway on the first floor to enhance the open concept feel and improve the flow.  What struck us most during the planning process was the importance of real-time collaboration between the homeowner, construction expert, architect, and designer.  We don’t know how anyone undertakes a home renovation/addition project without all four at the table at the same time.  We were able to effectively work out major issues like creating a hallway to minor ones such as which wall the headboard of the bed would go against. 

Overall, the entire process was both straightforward and exciting.  Ryan and Chris Palenscar did a great job of setting expectations early on in terms of timing and cost, so there were never any unpleasant surprises.  Jessica Chabot, Design Director, was very adept at balancing the different style preferences between us (one of us likes modern, the other more traditional), and she made what can be a very overwhelming process (selecting lighting, hardware, fixtures, etc.) as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.  In particular, we were completely overwhelmed with paint color selection, but after a few probing questions, Jess laid out a color palette for the entire house that we were excited about.

As the project neared its end, we were working against a tight move-in date as we were closing on our prior home.  Chris went above and beyond to make sure our home was ready so that we could move in on time.  What impressed us most is the level of service we have received from Hawthorn after the move-in.  From minor punch list items to larger new projects, they consistently show a commitment to their clients.

What we love most about the transformation is the reaction of our young children — they love being home and they associate it with fun, comfort, and security.  It’s easy to get caught up in which light fixture or knob to purchase, but at the end of the day, family happiness and memories are most important.  We feel fortunate to have gone through this process and to have Hawthorn as our partner along the way.”