Making the Best Decisions for Your Remodel

For many new homeowners a home remodel can be an exciting adventure. There are essentially three types of decisions a homeowner makes during the course of a project: The Big Picture, Budget & Finishes. We'll go through the three key decisions in order to make your exciting adventure a win!

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Endless Possibilities for Condominium Remodeling

When you think of home remodeling, your mind likely wanders to a suburban home needing an aesthetic boost out of the 1980s. However, it’s more than suburban homes that need updating.

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Award Credibility for the Home Remodeling Industry

Not too long ago, around 11.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the Emmys to see who would walk away with the best series or best actor award. Throughout countless industries there are plenty of awards, but if you look past the pomp and circumstance of these events: What is the purpose of an award?

All awards recognize individuals or organizations as the best in their industry or field of competition according to a panel of industry experts– in essence, their credibility.  Below we highlight the key home design, build and remodel awards and why it’s important to you as a homeowner.

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Chrysalis Awards

Since 1993, The Chrysalis Awards for Remodeling Excellence recognizes residential and commercial remodeling in 28 different categories, in four different geographical regions across the country.

The competition is open to all remodel or design professionals from across the country regardless of any association exclusivity.

The regional winners are picked in each of the categories by a panel of judges. After winning in their specific region, they are placed into the group of candidates eligible for the national awards in their categories.

MA Peterson’s Project in Plymouth, winner of the Chrysalis 2017, Residential Specialty Item (National)

MA Peterson’s Project in Plymouth, winner of the Chrysalis 2017, Residential Specialty Item (National)


BATC (Builders Association of Twin Cities) ROMA Awards

Organized by BATC, this award is the closest any of these other remodeling awards will get to being like the Emmys. 

The Remodeler of Merit Awards (ROMA) are member-only distinctions that judge its applicants on client goals, challenges, solutions & overall impression of the project.Judged in seven different categories and this is always highly sought after in our area market.

This month was a 'Big Night' for us as we received the Builder's Association of the Twin Cities' 2017 ROMA Award for great quality and value of our Lower Level remodel in Plymouth, MN. 


ProRemodeler Design Awards

This national design award judges its entries based on construction quality, creativity, design/aesthetic appeal & problem solving challenges faced in designing a home. A Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze or “Project of the Year” winner is chosen every year.

Finding a builder who won these design awards truly proves their skill and creativity at designing a beautiful and functional home for their clients.


MA Peterson's Lower Level won 2017 Qualified Remodeler Master Design Awards a National Gold for Interior Space and National Bronze for Lower Level, a 2017 National ProRemodeler and 2017 ROMA for Lower Level



Qualified Remodeler Master Design Awards

From the Qualified Remodeler Magazine, their Master Design Awards choose Gold, Silver & Bronze projects from each of the 22 award categories.

Each project is judged on the Aesthetic Appeal, Construction Techniques, Handling of Unusual Situations, Attention to Detail, Functionality of Space, Financial Success & Overall Impression a project exuded to Qualified Remodeler’s panel of judges.

This MA Peterson Edina Kitchen won a 2016 CotY (local) and a Gold 2017 Qualified Remodeler Master Design Awards


NARI National CotY Awards

These awards are more particular than most of the awards on this list. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Contractor of the Year (CotY) awards are nationally ranked and their participation is exclusive to NARI members only.

A panel of industry experts will determine the winner of the award based on the functionality, problem-solving, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation & the degree of difficulty it took to complete the project that was entered (or submitted.)

Just like the Chrysalis Awards, the NARI regional winners will be re-judged on the national level and a winner is chosen from other regional winners from around the country.


Award Winning Quality

After reviewing what it takes to win these five awards, the big question is: “What does this mean to me as a homeowner?” The purpose of these awards is to bolster the recipient’s credibility. These awards denote that this particular builder/remodeler has accredited design and building expertise that surpassed other applicants in their industry. Winning several of these awards year after year shows consistency in their quality.

MA Peterson Design Build is proud to be a winner of the following awards:

29 ROMA Awards, Chrysalis Award, ProRemodeler Design Award, BATC Builder of the Year Award, Qualified Remodeler Master Design Award, Multitude of CotY MN Awards, National CotY Awards, Best of the Midwest Design Award, Edina Heritage Award

The MA Peterson team is always proud of their work on each and every project, no matter of the scope.  Our clear, creative and process-driven collaboration with our homeowners, interior designers and build team is by far what sets us apart from the others in the industry. Our various awards are wonderful to have and yes, do support our great work and creativity, but it’s the happiness of the homeowner at the end of a project that means the most to us.

If you would like the award-winning team of designers and craftsmen at MA Peterson to assist you in your project, contact us at MA Peterson Design Build.

MA Peterson's RefreshRepair

RefreshRepair added new carpet, paint and lighting to refresh this master suite.

Giving smaller refreshing updates to our homeowner’s homes has always been a part of what MA Peterson does, but after noting that our current client base were the only ones taking advantage of this streamlined remodeling process, MA Peterson decided to introduce it the Twin Cities market in 2015, thus our RefreshRepair brand was created.  RefreshRepair focuses specifically on smaller home projects, with the experience of utilizing our 4 decades of experience coupled with a well-oiled RefreshRepair team that is designed to work efficiently and creatively for our homeowners to get this smaller job done with the craftsmanship and expert direction that MA Peterson is known for. You don’t always need a complete overhaul; sometimes something as simple and effective as a RefreshRepair from MA Peterson is exactly what you need. Since the launch, our team has been hard at work giving homeowners refreshing updates needed to update and utilize their everyday spaces.

RefreshRepair refinished hardwood floors, painted, and installed a sleek custom media wall.

RefreshRepair refinished hardwood floors, added fresh paint to the walls and cabinets, and added a coffer ceiling.

Small differences can bring significant changes not only to how your home is viewed, but how good you feel being able to call it your own. Maybe it’s a new kitchen counter, replacing windows, or updating a bathtub. MA Peterson offers RefreshRepair services as a simple and more timely solution to improving your home.

RefreshRepair replaced the floors and added a fresh coat of paint.

So how do our home RefreshRepair services differ from our Designbuild or Remodeling services? Here’s the scoop: RefreshRepair is more than just a simple, quick way to accomplish immediate fixes on your home. It’s a full-service offering that goes beyond addressing the effects of general wear-and-tear to bring you the dedicated customer service and experience-backed interior and exterior work MA Peterson is known for.

Sometimes, your home just needs a little refresh. Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint, refinished hardwood flooring, new siding, or just about any other project on your home to do list— small updates have the potential to completely transform a space.

Recent updates have been homeowners preparing their home for the market, while others have been making minor changes to their long-term homes or simply looking to add their mark on a newly purchased home. No matter the reason, MA Peterson’s RefreshRepair division has got you, the homeowner, covered.

Our team’s extensive knowledge and understanding of what can and should be done to effectively give you the refresh or the repair needed, is second to none. Should you need updates, roofing, or insurance work completed, you can be at peace with knowing your work will be efficiently completed with MA Peterson's years of experience to back it.

Whatever your vision may be, the experts at MA Peterson are ready and excited to bring your remodeling dream to life. If you would like to learn more about MA Peterson’s RefreshRepair, contact us regarding your future project and check out our website at

2017 Professional Remodeler Design Award   

We are thrilled to announce that MA Peterson Designbuild, Inc. was named a winner of the 2017 Design Award in the annual national competition presented by Professional Remodeler magazine. MA Peterson Designbuild won the award in the Bronze category. The winners are profiled in the September issue and also online at

Professional Remodeler’s Design Awards recognize outstanding remodeling projects in 23 categories. Entries submitted by U.S. residential remodeling companies are judged on quality, design expertise, material choices, problem solving and creativity.

Award winners are determined by a panel of five expert judges from the remodeling industry. This year’s panel consisted of Sara Jorgenson, senior design/design coordinator, Harrell Remodeling; Jason Dorfman, design consultant, Marrokal Design & Remodeling; Scott Mosby, chief executive officer, Mosby Building Arts; Doug Walter, owner, Doug Walter Architects; and Carol Longacre, sales, Expressions Home Gallery.    

Click on the image to read about our award-winning lower level. 

Click on the image to read about our award-winning lower level. 

Interior design by Lynn Peterson. Photography by Susan Gilmore.

For more information on Professional Remodeler’s Design Awards, visit

ABOUT PROFESSIONAL REMODELER Professional Remodeler is a 100% requested magazine serving the top remodeling firms in the country. Professional Remodeler, its newsletters, and its website, deliver award-winning business management articles, design solutions and product information to residential, commercial and specialty remodeling contractors. Published by SGC Horizon, a division of Scranton Gillette Communications, Professional Remodeler serves an audited audience of 96,915 remodeling professionals.

Luxuries You Should Have in Your Home

The phrase “you can’t always get what you want” doesn’t apply here. In fact, when it comes to your home – the place you come home to relax after a long day – you should have exactly what you want. Whether you’re building a home, remodeling, or dreaming of your future home, here are the luxuries you should have in your home.



Game Time

Invite your friends over for a friendly game of basketball on your sport court, without waiting for your time at the gym. It doesn’t stop with basketball – volleyball, roller hockey, and pickle ball are sports the whole family can participate. Whether you choose to build indoor or outdoor, there’s never a dull moment on the court.

Spa Bathrooms

Gone are the days where you have to leave the house in order to have a spa experience. Many homeowners are wanting to create a top-notch luxury bathroom with head-to-toe jets, steam, and built-in speakers. Let’s not forget the touch screen mirror that doubles as a TV. There are many products that you can incorporate into your next remodel to allow the ultimate spa experience at home.


Outdoor Living

There’s nothing like outdoor living in Minnesota, especially during the summer months. Creating an outdoor space for lounging and entertaining is a must. When it’s beautiful out, it can be difficult to move indoors, so it’s no surprise how well outdoor kitchens have taken off. Including prep space with a sink, grill, or a refrigerator makes entertaining friends and family much easier – except for when the bugs come out. You can still enjoy the outdoors with Phantom Screens, which allow you to roll the screen up or down as you choose. Additionally, having a covered patio with a fireplace to cozy up to really sets a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for all.

Custom Closets

Closet space can be an issue in many homes, and can be a deal breaker for home buying. Finding enough room to store your clothes, shoes and other accessories can be frustrating in older homes with limited closets. Having a large walk in closet, or a his and hers, with plenty of space for shoes is vital for luxury living. Step it up one by customizing closet shelving to fit your needs.

Upscale Kitchens

Kitchens are where we prep family meals, entertain friends, eat and more. Whether the kitchen space you own is spacious or small, it’s important to make sure the space is used as smart as possible with custom cabinets and clever built-ins. Adding the space for a built-in coffee system and other pantry items leaves your countertops clean and open. Adding top-notch stainless steel appliances along with your custom cabinets not only eases your life, but also make a huge luxurious statement. Bet you've never seen this before.

Our Minnesota summer months go by so soon and we find ourselves back into the cold of fall and winter. Many homeowners opt out of having carpet in the home, but hardwood and tile flooring can really give you the chills. Installing in-floor heating is perfect for keeping your guests happy and warm.


Entertaining at Home

Forget the hassle of going to the movie theater with friends and invite them to your home theater. Comfort, lighting and sound control are all under your watch. You can install a projector and drop-down screen in a casual open room that you can hide when not in use or create a full-on experience in a dedicated cinema space. 

Nothing says luxury more than having a dedicated entertaining space such as a wine cellar and home bar. Game day already? Turn on the TV and have your friends over to watch the game at your home bar. Whether collecting wine is a hobby, investment or storage for dinner parties, guests will enjoy the conversation and fun brought on by friends. Cheers!

Your Smart Home

Technology is amazing, and to see the endless possibilities for which one can incorporate it into our home can be mind-blowing. While smart home capabilities are still at the beginning of their existence, adding smart products gives a sense of luxury and modern chicness to any homeowner. You may want to auto-program your lights to turn on while on vacation to give the presence that someone is home. Or you can save on your energy bills by programming your smart thermostat to ease up on the energy use when no one is around. Needing to check on your home? Use your smart home security system that you can monitor through an app. The best part is all of this can be done through your smartphone. PC Magazine has products laid out to find what you need.


You can create luxury in your home in any way you seem fit for your family and your lifestyle. However, adding these luxurious features can positively impact your home value as well as the way you live. 

Pro Remodeler Design Awards 2016

MA Peterson has double the reasons to be blissful and we’re now able to share the excitement! Earlier this summer, we were awarded not one but TWO Pro Remodeler Design Awards for 2016.


The Pro Remodeler Design Awards are evaluated in 23 categories and are based on quality, design expertise, materials choices, problem solving, and creativity. Five awards are achievable within each category; Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze or "Project of the Year" Award. 

The first award was given to MA Peterson in the ‘Exterior’ category and received a bronze award. MA Peterson was given the highest judge ratings for construction quality, creativity, problem solving and design/aesthetic appeal for this remodel and addition. This home was given a large modern facelift, both inside and out, while keeping its midcentury character.

"What a great transformation! The glass and concrete elements in front are interesting and functional. That outdoor living area in the rear is warm, modern and inviting, and the cantilevered hearth room was a great addition!" - Awarding Judge

The second award MA Peterson received was given the silver award under the ‘Kitchen’ category. This project was given a full main floor remodel, with the kitchen receiving an entertaining and family-focused makeover.

"Elegant, classy, white with pops of blue... the space feels large and functional and connects well with adjacent areas." - Awarding Judge

Click the links to read up in detail on our winning projects:

2016 Bronze Exterior Award

2016 Silver Kitchen Award

Fall Maintenance Checklist for Your Home

The outdoor pools have closed, school is in session, and pumpkin spice lattes are back again. While we don’t want to think about the bitter cold that’s ahead of us, now is the right time to prepare for it by getting some important and preventative tasks done around your home. To get you ready, we’ve compiled our top projects to get done now so you can feel assured when the brisk air comes rolling in.

1. Clean your gutters once the leaves have fallen. Leaves and other debris can clog gutters once the snow moves in. Ice dams, which occur when melting water backs up and freezes, can cause damage to your roof and eventually leak into your house. While you’re clearing out the gutters, also check and tighten gutter hangers and brackets. Make sure the downspouts are extended at least five feet from your foundation, and replace any worn sections.

2. Walk around the exterior of your home and carefully look for cracks to caulk. Cracks can be the source of air and energy loss. Caulk can help prevent heat loss and also help prevent moisture from getting inside the walls of your home. You’ll also want to caulk and seal where any wiring comes through walls or floors.

3. Inspect your roof. Look for buckled, cracked or missing shingles. Replace any damaged shingles right away, and be sure to examine the flashing and look for any rust spots. Rust spots are a sign that there may be damaging leaks. If you find any large areas of moss, your roof may be rotting the shingles. Contact MA Peterson for all of your roof as well as your drafty window replacement needs.

4. Examine your driveway for cracks. Winter is the season that your driveway is damaged the most so sealing prior to winter is best. Clean out and repair any cracks or holes with driveway filler, then use a commercial sealer.

5. Once you’ve turned off you’re air conditioner, cover your AC unit. Covering your unit helps prevent water from lying directly on its coils and freezing, which could potentially could damage the unit. Make sure to cover the unit after enough time to dry any rain that may have fallen in it. Covering the unit too early could trap moisture and also cause damage.

6. You may want to think about adding insulation in your attic or inside your walls. This can also help save on your energy bills. More insulation can make a big difference in how well your home holds heat in winter and stays cool on those hot summer days.

7. Check your fireplace and furnace. There is no worse feeling than what you feel after realizing your fireplace, or worse, that you’re heat isn’t working. You’ll want to ensure your fireplace, chimney and vents are clean. An expert cleaning can help prevent buildup of carbon monoxide or chimney fires.

8. Get your deck and patio ready for winter. Your deck has taken a lot this summer – rain, hail, sun. Give your deck a good cleaning followed by a protective finish. Once the snow comes around, make sure to shovel on a regular basis to avoid any damage.


Although the homeowner can easily do many of these items, other larger items like roofs, windows and or the idea of remodeling to make way for a useful mudroom will need a professional. With 37 years of experience, MA Peterson has been around to see what a Minnesota winters can do to one’s biggest investment— your house.

Contact us if you feel any of these items need a professional involved. We’re here to help.

Understanding Remodeling Costs

The moment you spot the cost estimate on your project contract you begin hearing voices in your head. “Are you sure about this remodel?” That worried voice is understandable; it can be a big investment for any homeowner, regardless of size and scope of your project. Nevertheless, what many homeowners fail to account for are the unforeseen changes that may occur during your remodeling project.

What we at MA Peterson want to do is provide you with the background of what goes into a project estimate and what you as a homeowner can do to keep your costs from dramatically fluctuating.

Here’s what you should consider when looking at the estimate for your next remodeling project:

Cost Estimates

Well-established remodeling contractors will help limit the number of unexpected circumstances based off their experiences of past projects. From there, the remodeling estimates are shaped by the estimating team’s previous project experiences. Many times homeowners just want to hear the final price rather than understand the full process we take to ensure our clients are receiving the best price possible for your project.

Let’s take shopping for a new camera as an example. You want the best product that has all the features you’re looking for to shoot pictures of life’s memories. But as more equipment upgrades and camera accessories are offered, when it comes to faster decision-making, it’s easiest just to ask: “What’s the bottom line?” or “How much is it going to cost?” Unlike buying a new camera, the cost of a remodeling project is not a simple upfront purchase. Your end result is unlike any other - Your home should be a place that uniquely and distinctly caters to your needs by way of your design.

The Cost of Labor - The Experience of your Contractor

Keep in mind that no matter how you slice it, if you hire a contractor, you have to pay the people who work on your house for their time. Those people may include skilled craftsmen, designers and project managers who have worked on many homes and know what needs to be done to create the space you desire. In home renovations, there is no “one size fits all” project, especially when it comes to the quality of your contractor.

If you want your home to be built right, you have to be certain that the people you are hiring are the best at what they do. Finding skilled craftsmen that have the reputation and the experience to back up their assertion that they know what to do and how they will do it is key.

The Cost of Materials – The Quality in Building Components

If your home addition is built out of popsicle sticks, chances are the slightest nudge will break your new space, and you’ll find yourself asking, “Is this what we paid for?” The materials that are used for your home are just as important as the workmanship that goes into the material.

A good contractor will never sacrifice the quality of materials installed into your project. That is why they will give you proper allowance sizes. These are budgeted amounts for the future purchase of materials for various aspects of your particular project.

If changes need to be made to the size of these budgeted figures, these allowances will have the flexibility to adjust their sizes without compromising on the quality of the materials used in your project. If these allowances cannot support these changes there will be a good chance that the price of your project might increase. Of course, this would depend on the severity of the change to the estimated allowances.

The Cost of a Subcontractor – The Right Communication on the Job

It’s fairly common practice to use subcontractors, usually chosen through a bid process to make sure a particular tradesman or company is a good fit for your project.A subcontractor is a tradesman from another company, hired for your project by the general contractor to bring a specific area of expertise to the particular project.

Since a subcontractor is a different and separate entity from your general contractor, they typically have their other projects and deadlines separate from your contractor. Ensuring proper scheduling and excellent communication between these two companies is critical to the success of your project.

Before the start of a renovation project, the general contractor generally performs a subcontractor site visit before any work is done to the home. A subcontractor site visit is when the general contractor and all of the subcontractors connected to the project meet to go over the proposed scope and statement of work. This allows them to determine the amount of materials they will need and what needs to be replaced, fixed, upgraded or altered in any way so that the estimate can be adjusted accordingly. This step is crucial to the success of your project and serves the purpose of showing the homeowner that all of those who are connected with your project are taking the proper steps to ensure your renovation will run smoothly.

The Cost of Goods – The Best Products at the Best Price

Costs of goods, such as appliances and hardware that are installed into your home’s mechanical systems (not to get confused with structural components), are products you’ll generally find within your allowance. A good contractor will never find interior products of lower quality or value to stay under costs.

A good contractor will find the best products from their vendors to negotiate the best price for your project, as well as offer warranty programs for any broken or malfunctioning appliances or hardware installed in your house.

If the contractor gave you enough room to expand and contract the allowance sizes in the certain areas of your project, then adding a little more shouldn’t be a problem. However, you have to keep in mind that when you expand one area, you have to take it out of another area. This is when allowance sizes come in to play a major role in whether a project goes over or under budget.

It doesn’t mean you’re locked in to buying through your general contractor. If you find the same (or less expensive) product online, you will most likely pay for it yourself and go outside of the contractor’s warranty process. If the product you found online breaks, you will not get your money back or get a replacement of that product through the contractor because it was purchased outside of the contract.

Be aware of the bottom line. If a contractor only gives you a number, it’s possible they did not give their due diligence in accurately measuring costs tailored specifically to your project.

The best advice you can get involving the cost of your home renovation is to do your research. Not every contractor will fit every project or client, so it’s important to do your homework to figure out which contractor will fit your project needs and design.

For your home remodeling estimates on your next project, contact our team of contractors at MA Peterson Design build.

Specialty Rooms: Uniquely Inspired & Entirely Yours

If you were asked what your dream home looks like, how would you answer? Our guess is that no matter where you live, you would have plenty of ideas of how you envision your dream house to look like.

There would be a sport court so you can play a game of basketball with your family, an outdoor hearth room where you can escape with a mug of hot cocoa, or a wine cellar where you fantasize of being in Europe while experiencing a glass of wine from a local vineyard. 

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Regardless of your personal tastes or imagination, everyone has a vision of their perfect house. However, translating your vision into a remodeling project is a completely different matter. This is the challenge for any project, regardless of scope, to not only design and build a space that serves a function for you and your family, but to showcase your passions and creativity as homeowners. committed to a finished project that speaks to your heart and helps your dream project become a reality.

Specialty rooms, such as the ones listed above, can be amazing beginning thoughts for inspiring creative designs with the practicality you are looking for in your home remodeling project. When you’re beginning to look for a contractor, there are several things you should keep in mind:


Can your contractor actually complete the work? Not every contractor is either equipped or staffed with people who can handle specialty work such as sports courts and other large specialty rooms, so it’s important that you do your homework on your contractor’s capability as well as their workload.

In-House Creativity

Does your contractor’s eye for design match the vision for your project? Many homeowners can provide a list what they want to achieve with their remodel, but don’t necessarily have the same ideas when it comes to how they want the room to look. It’s important to have a group of talented and creative builders who are known for “thinking outside the box” and are


Does your contractor’s previous projects reflect the craftsmanship and creativity you want for your project? A contractor’s past projects are a physical resume that reflect the type of quality you can expect if you hire their services. Just as an employer examines a resume before hiring a potential candidate for a job, you as the homeowner should examine a contractor’s past work to see if their style, credibility & craftsmanship meets to your standards.


Does your contractor have the right people for your unique project? Not all specialty requests are the same. Therefore, your contractor should be well connected to cater to your unique project. Their ability to connect with various resources is important. A strong network helps a creative and experienced builder run your unique project smoothly and within budget, and knowing that it’s built with only the highest quality products.

Whether you want an impressive place to exercise or a peaceful retreat to relax and unwind, a specialty room can be an investment in both the personality of your house and for those who live in it.

If you aren’t sure where to start with making your dream space your reality, contact us to help you. MA Peterson Designbuild has been creating unique and beautiful spaces and home for over 37 years.

We are no strangers to thinking outside the box with unique, specialty projects. For more photos on our own “out of the box” designs, visit our Specialty Galleries.

Kitchen Trends for 2017

As we welcome in the New Year, its time to look at the brand new trends that will transform your kitchen. With each New Year come new products and styles and today we want to tell you about the five biggest trends this year. So if you’ve been putting off renovating your kitchen in 2016, we are a few trends that could dramatically change your home in 2017:


Open Shelving

Take your coffee cups and plates out of their hibernation in your cabinets and use open shelving to easily find everything you need to serve a tasty meal. So many people these days enjoy cooking as a family or with friends; open shelving makes it much easier to find your way around a shared kitchen.


Seamless Flooring

Since the kitchen is the main intersection for the traffic in your home, don't break it up by using a different material or finish for your floors. Keep your flooring consistent in adjoining rooms to keep the look and feel of the most important part of your home. The more open your kitchen feels, the more likely you will find feet skidding to a halt in your kitchen eager to see what you are preparing for dinner.


Stainless, Simple

What's not to love about stainless steel fixtures? It's simple, easy to clean, reflects light in pleasing ways and will transform your kitchen into a 5-star restaurant. If you are planning to give your kitchen a refreshed look, try incorporating stainless steel for a simple but elegant feel.

   Control your Lighting

Click on the image to check out LIFX, a powerful LED bulb that gives you the power to change the settings to match your mood all from your smartphone.

Click on the image to check out LIFX, a powerful LED bulb that gives you the power to change the settings to match your mood all from your smartphone.

Whether you're making breakfast or staring out the window at the stars, nothing control the mood of a room more than the light that fills it. With all the amazing technology that fills our lives, it can be difficult to choose one option that can give you control over the mood in your home. However, when it comes to kitchen space, make sure you have lighting that you can choose to dim the lights to enjoy a romantic dinner for two, or set the mood for entertaining a large crowd.



Turn your Kitchen into a Living Room

By nature, both the living room and the kitchen are intended to be communal. So it makes sense to make your kitchen just as comfortable, warm and inviting as your living room feels. Treat the decor of your kitchen as you would your living room by using interesting rugs and light fixtures to bring conversation and light into your main spaces.

Whatever your ambitions are for your home in the New Year, your kitchen is an important part of your home. A meaningful chance to the look and feel of your kitchen is a meaningful change to the rest of your home and the people who live there.


If you are considering or already planning to redesign and improve your kitchen, or to simply at some updated trends for 2017, contact MA Peterson Design Build to talk to our creative and talented team.


MA Peterson's Design Here, Build Anywhere Program

You have gone through a very successful and enjoyable remodeling experience here in town, and now your attention turns to your second home. You would love to have this home (cabin, condominium, vacation property home) remodeled as well; but where do you start to find the right people in that particular area/town to do the work? Well look no further than MA Peterson’s Design Here, Build Anywhere program. Although currently and historically taken advantage by our MA Peterson past clients, anyone can experience the same great level of creative design, comprehensive process, unmatched craftsmanship and end result for their out-of-town home.

brainerd lakes cabin


Regardless of the location, we can take the talents and abilities of our hard working & passionate team and apply them to all of our projects. We have successfully worked with a number of homeowners to remodel their second home providing the same high level of service and creativity and craftsmanship that are hallmarks of working with MA Peterson.

We have worked with clients in remodeling their second homes from as close as the Brainerd Lakes area, to as far as the Grand Caymans. “This process was born out of people wanting our expertise beyond the Minneapolis area” says Dave Peterson, head of the Remodel division at MA Peterson. “Because their lives are here and their second homes are not, we take special care to treat our out-of-state projects with the same level of craftsmanship & talent that you would expect from any of our project here in Minnesota.”



A successful project doesn’t matter where your site is located, it simple needs to incorporate the same elements. All MA Peterson remodeling and new build sites include the same strong and efficient formula:

  • Great creative design
  • Detailed planning and scheduling 
  • Open communication – with the client as well as the entire team
  • Selection of all your finishes is timely and managed proficiently 
  • Attention to detail at all levels of the project
  • Quality craftsmanship
  • Follow-up and warranty services



At MA Peterson, we provide the convenience of providing all of these services seamlessly from your local home so you can spend your time dreaming of your getaway property.

No matter the size of the project, the scope, or whether its in-state or out-of-state, MA can transform any living space into a home.

Visit our galleries to see more of our work. Call us for your home remodeling and new build project – whether it’s here or afar. (952) 925-9455.

Understanding the Creative Potential and the Importance of CAD

In any home remodeling project, the balance between beauty and practicality can be tricky. In order to arrive at the final layout for a project, a homeowner may not be aware of the various creative and necessary steps it takes to get to that point.


At MA Peterson, an integral part of this process hinges on the creativity and construction knowledge of the lead designer, the collaboration with the homeowner and interior designer, and the detailed plans drafted by the CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) designer. Our collaborative process ensures that the creative potential of your space or whole home is not limited to the existing structure, and that all possibilities for the scope of your project have been considered.

Often, it is viewed that the only people who are allowed any creative license on a project are the homeowners, contractor and interior designer; however, the CAD designers are an important part of the process as well.

antique mexican doors

The CAD designer specializes in taking the technical information of the house along with the design input from the homeowner, lead designer and interior designer to craft a detailed and creative set of plans for the project. This design process, the plans used, and how our CAD department is involved, is what makes MA Peterson a thorough and creative choice for your project – large or small. This is your space and your dream. Whether you have a specific idea of what you want or just have pictures from Houzz or Pinterest, MA Peterson will collaboratively help guide you and your project with a very creative and practical approach.

“The most enjoyable part in a project is being involved in the design from the beginning,” says our Lead CAD Designer, Brandon Merrill. “The most unique piece I ever designed into a home was a 100 year old Spanish hickory door that was bought in Cabo San Lucas for a recessed sliding door between a mudroom & kitchen space.” The plans, all created in CAD, including the existing and proposed plans, interior and exterior elevations, electrical, structural and any other drawings necessary for the project, will be used on-site for precise direction on where the project should go and what it should look like in the end.


This design process, the plans used, and how our CAD department is involved, is what makes MA Peterson a thorough and creative choice for your project – large or small.

This is your space and your dream. Whether you have a specific idea of what you want or just have pictures from Houzz or Pinterest, MA Peterson will collaboratively help guide you and your project with a very creative and practical approach.

For assistance on your home renovation project, please contact our team of experienced contractors at MA Peterson Design Build. 

Five Easy Ways to Best Prepare for a Remodel

“In the industry as a whole, most clients start their projects before they’re ready,” says Dave Peterson, Head of Remodeling at MA Peterson Designbuild, Inc. “Problems such as multiple change orders, major or minor delays in the project and poorly executed design elements are all symptoms of a larger problem within the preplanning phase of a project.”

Preparation is the best way to avoid these pitfalls and many more when remodeling your home. However, a project has so many moving parts, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly where to start.

Here are five simple ways to make sure you are ready when your renovation begins:


Prepare for Routine Disruptions

In the course of your project, there may be times that some of the comforts of home might be temporarily unavailable. In the course of your remodel, planning for these outages will be absolutely essential if your daily routine relies on these items remaining functional.

Depending on the remodeling project, such outages or inconveniences could include water, power, phone and/or cable disconnection, dumpsters in your driveway, walking spaces unavailable to use, loud or distracting noises, or even necessary conveniences for those who are working on your projects, such as portable restrooms on site.

Plan around your utility outages so your life isn’t dictated by them during your project, and if you have any concerns, talk to your contractor and they will find a way to make sure these outages happen at more convenient times for you.


Living Space vs. Construction Space

Before a contractor steps into your house on the first day of construction, it’s crucial that you define what areas of the house are off limits to workers and what areas are acceptable.

This is especially necessary if you are still living in your home while its under construction, you need to have a place in your house that isn’t covered by hardboard and plastic walls. Even while your house is under construction, it still is YOUR house.

Establishing a safe haven is incredibly important if you have pets and small kids in your home. In the presence of dust, noise, heavy machinery & construction workers; these elements can alarm small children and pets. So whether your dog has free reign of the house or your child takes their naps near the construction, it’s important to bring these things up to your contractor so every precaution is taken.

Defining these zones will help relieve the stress your project throws on your shoulders, provides a safe haven for you and your family & give direction to the people working in your house.


Choose Your Selections as Soon as Possible

Making a definitive decision on the pieces that will shape the look and feel of your home for years can be difficult. However, the benefits of making these decisions as soon as possible can greatly impact the speed of your project and the look of your home.

Interior design is entirely subjective and with millions of selections from which to choose, this part of the process for your home renovation can seem overwhelming.

However, the more time you spend making your selections upfront, the easier it will be to make consistent and unique designs for your home. Selections include everything from the light fixtures to furniture pieces to the knobs on your cabinets, and a skilled designer will lead you in the right direction.

Providing an “idea book” of furnishings, paint colors & finishes that really catch your attention, from sources such as Houzz, Instagram or Pinterest can be helpful. This proactive style direction will help the designer understand your desires and will ultimately make the selection process much easier.

Whether you have specific design ideas or just a collection of pictures from the Internet, a skilled designer will help you avoid second guessing your design and keep your project running smoothly by cutting down the number of change orders and the number of creative interruptions.


Weekly Meetings with Your Contractor

If there is a point that can’t be stressed enough in this article, its communicating with your contractor. Every piece of advice given thus far revolves around staying in consistent contact with the person who will be making your remodel into a dream home reality.

Your contractor is in charge of sourcing the materials and selections for your project, scheduling qualified workers on your project and most importantly staying in contact with the designer & YOU, the homeowner. The Contractor’s job is to make sure everything is to your liking and is going along with your original plans. But sometimes plans can change and it’s up to the contractor to keep you in the loop.

The best way to make sure you and the people who are working on your house are on the same page is if you do something as simple as schedule a weekly meeting. These meetings should accomplish the following:

  • Give you updates on the project
  • Inform you of potential delays or changes to the original project
  • Warn you of upcoming outages of particular utilities or areas of your home
  • Provide you with a schedule of work that week (start & end times, type of work, etc.)
  • Allow you a chance to express your comments and concerns.

If this type of communication exists between you and your contractor, you can easily manage the number of surprises that will appear in the course of your project. In the words of Dave Peterson, “People respond to information well and surprises poorly.”


Hire the Right Company

In the end, if you hire the right people to do your remodeling work, they will take care of these concerns before your project begins. They will get the best craftsmen to work on your house, determine the construction zone, work with a skilled designer and source your selections reasonably, stay in consistent contact with you throughout the project.

It’s important to do your research upfront and find the contractor that matches your style, level of quality and experience that matches your needs. Remember to keep these five tips in mind when you prepare for your next project and you will have a successful home remodel.


If you’re looking for assistance on your next project, contact our team of experienced team at MA Peterson .

Trending: Pocket & Sliding Doors

You see them all over: sliding and pocket doors used to separate spaces. The trend of pocket doors was commonly seen as early as the mid 1800’s, using V-rollers along the bottom of the door. The issue with this system is that when floors shifted or sagged, the doors became noisy and challenging to use. A new system was created in the 1880s by moving the track and hardware system to the top of the door, which proved to be a better solution.

Pocket doors were commonly used in Victorian homes to close off sitting rooms, parlors, and even in Thomas Jefferson’s 1780’s home to separate the dining room from the tea room.

Even though pocket doors have been around longer than you think, there’s nothing old-fashioned about their functionality. Mark Peterson agrees that while there’s a timeworn negative reputation of pocket doors jumping off the track and having jittery operation, the space-saving abilities of pocket and sliding doors are unmatched. A minor downside to using pocket doors for private spaces (such as bathrooms) is due to the way they sit on their tracks causes them to not seal as securely as a conventional door. However, more homeowners are choosing to use pocket and sliding doors for rooms to close off by choice.

All things aside, let’s get down to the reason why pocket and sliding doors are trending. Pocket doors are a perfect solution for a snug bathroom where the wall space simply isn't there to accommodate a full swinging door, or a laundry room in the hallway. The space-saving feature can save you an average of ten square feet by reducing the obstruction of a swinging door.

In a recent blog, our Lead CAD Designer, Brandon Merrill, shared his excitement of incorporating a historic wooden door for a sliding door in his newly custom-built home by MA Peterson. Using sliding doors, adding charm is simple by using hardware accents and finishes.

Whether modern or traditional craftsman, pocket and sliding doors are a sneaky detail to enjoy daily and show off on your own parade of home tour. One thing we know is that this trend isn’t going away.

Exploring Your Options - Custom Build vs. Remodeling


The phrase “custom home building” can be difficult to define.  For many it’s just another way of describing remodeling and, in some respects, they are correct. 

In this blog, we will explore what custom home building is, and more importantly, what value this provides you as the homeowner over simple remodeling, and the advantages of custom building.


1.      Uniqueness


A huge advantage to custom home building is how it showcases your tastes and preferences. Custom building gives a homeowner the flexibility to mold their project to fit their family’s needs and desires. 

If a homeowner desires a budget-friendly project, a custom home builder can modify the scope of a project to include only the critical elements without compromising the design.  If watching their carbon footprint or becoming more energy efficient is a concern for a homeowner, a custom home builder can determine specifics such as:

  • What items are going in landfills & what materials can be reused?
  • What materials can be used to lessen costs and save energy?

No matter the scope or budget, a homeowner with a custom built home will have something that is unique to their desires and needs.


2.      Design

A unique home always starts with the design.  Even though interior designers assist with the furnishings and colors inside the home, a great design will properly utilize the structural aspects of the home.

Many design elements can be applied to everything from an interior remodel to a custom home build. Those design elements include:

  • Uniqueness of Lot (size, shape, angle, position of home on lot and position of sun during the day, etc.)
  • Surrounding Homes (tying your home into the style of your neighborhood)
  • Architectural Style of the Home ( i.e. Tudor vs. Contemporary)
  • Adjacent Rooms (wine cellar next to a mechanical room; music room next to an infant’s bedroom)
  • Specialty Rooms (rooms that have a specific purpose in your home; i.e. Indoor Sport Court)
  • Walls (adding or removing), Ceilings & Light Fixtures
  • Custom Cabinetry & Millwork (same style and wood finishes match throughout the home)
  • Soft Wood vs. Hard Wood Flooring (the ability for flooring to resist higher than usual wear-and-tear)

Taking all the listed elements into consideration will not only speed up the design portion of your project but bring together all the pieces seamlessly. 

3.      Longevity

For many of us, the most important question when facing a home remodel is “What does it cost to buy into this project?”  This could be anything from money spent in construction to the time of the project and how it affects the homeowner.

When choosing custom home building, some of the advantages a homeowner can earn are;

  • Fine detail of custom cabinets
  • Matching finishes and cabinetry in rest of the home
  • How the remodeling changes fit with existing mechanicals (electrical, plumbing, etc.)
  • Spend less on fixing errors and enjoy your new home more
  • Adding lasting value that’s attractive to the housing market

Installing custom-made products into your home doesn’t only tie your home together, it allows you to invest in the longevity of the features of your home remodel.  You’ll be adding the right features that will foster lasting enjoyment in your home for years to come.   


4.      Lifestyle

Custom means different things for different people, but the purpose of building a custom home is to form a living space that’s unique to YOU.  How well your designer translates your lifestyle into a unique & functional design depends on your level of involvement in the design process.

Home remodels, regardless of scope or size, require tight communication between builder & homeowners.  However, in custom home building, there’s a level of collaboration that needs to be present to make something truly special.

A project’s success all starts in choosing the right contractor.

Finding a custom home builder who asks the right questions & fosters an atmosphere of collaboration; will make the custom home building far easier & the end result will be         everything you want & more.