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Warming floors are worth it

How one Kirkwood homeowner went from being reluctant to remodel to a raving fan.

Mike Lawson does not like change. And when it comes to fancy things, he describes himself as frugal. And yet, this hardcore, yet humorous, homeowner transformed from being "reluctant to remodel" to "raving fan."

The house on Par Lane in Kirkwood was perfect for Mike and his then-wife when they bought it in 1982. But the one-bathroom home with a tiny galley kitchen began to feel constricted as their toddler son became more active. "We talked about moving because the house sits on a cinder box foundation and had leakage problems," said Mike. A friend suggested that Mike reach out to Joe Roeser, who was just starting his remodeling construction business. "I asked Joe if the basement could withstand a remodel, and Joe said, 'Absolutely.'" With that vote of confidence, the first remodel of Mike's home was underway. "My favorite part of the remodel was when the waterproofing guys showed up," laughed Mike.

Years later, Mike needed some work done in the family room. "The family room had a drop ceiling and ugly paneling," said Mike. "That was around the time of the downturn in the construction industry, and someone told me about a non-union carpenter who could fix the family room for half the price of anyone else." Recall that Mike is self-described as being frugal. "You get what you pay for," said Mike. "The guy installed a storm door, and a little while later, it came off the hinges. When I called him to come and fix it, he never showed up. Never called me back." Thinking the door needed to be replaced, Mike called Joe Roser to come and install a new door. Joe came right over, looked at the door, and immediately knew it was still under warranty. He called the manufacturer and took care of it. "Joe's a keeper," noted Mike.

With that lesson learned, Mike and his wife Donna tapped Joe and his team at Roeser Home Remodeling for large-scale remodel of the house. Still frugal regarding a budget and slow to accept change, Mike watched as Donna worked with Roeser Home Remodeling designer Brandi Ward. "I would make suggestions and tell Donna that we don't need fancy upgrades like heated bathroom floors," said Mike. "But at no point did I think I had any authority," he lovingly laughed. Donna assured Mike that it would all be worth it. "My worst nightmare is that Donna was right," smiled Mike as he proudly showed off the covered front porch, the back screened-in-porch, the deck overlooking Donna's garden, and, of course, the bright and sunny kitchen showcasing Donna's impeccable taste in design.

"Without a doubt, I can say that this was worth every penny. Joe, Brandi, and Donna transformed this from a tear-down house to a forever home," said Mike. Now an avid remodeling advocate, Mike said, "I tell everyone that if this is going to be your forever home, make it a home you want to live in." He added, "Donna was right; we should have gone with the warming floor in both bathrooms." 

"This was worth every penny. Joe, Brandi, and Donna transformed this from a tear-down house to a forever home."

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