House Improvements Beat Out New Cabin Purchase

A couple called us asking for all sorts of different estimates for home additions, renovations, and basement finishing options. It seems they had been agonizing over buying a cabin for the last year, but decided it may be better to invest in improving their own home. We met with the couple and we helped them decide on a nice home addition in White Bear Lake that could support further recreation. After discussing everything from basement remodeling to updating their kitchens and bathrooms, they settled on one home remodeling project that made them really excited. We gave them some design options, and they settled on something rustic while still matching the rest of their existing home.

The Home Addition Build Begins

After they accepted our estimate for the whole project, we came out to their home again to begin the home addition. Our crew arrived the day the project was scheduled to begin. The crew started pouring a concrete slab where the new room would be located. The peripheral base was poured, and as soon as the concrete was cured the crew started building the exterior walls and framing the addition. The wall panels were installed and the crew then applied a house wrap on the outside of the wall panels. The crew then returned to start installing a roof on the addition. The electricity was installed, then the crew installed new windows. 

We did a home addition in white bear lake at this house - gnb

Each day the crew had a list of things that had to be done on that day, so the project would be completed on time for the homeowners. The crew added insulation between the studs in each of the walls, then they began to hang the drywall. The mudding was applied to the seams of the drywall, then the crew sanded down the seams, so the walls could be painted. Once all the painting was done, the crew installed new hardwood flooring. The final steps to the addition were adding the trim and the crown molding along with lights. It seems like the crew had the addition done in a couple of days, but it took the crew approximately two weeks to complete the project. Still, the whole thing was completed a week ahead of schedule.

The final step was the reveal to the homeowners. The crew had packed up all the tools and supplies and had the new addition spic and span. The homeowners arrived home at 4:30 pm and the crew walked them to the new room. The couple walked in and they said the room was absolutely beautiful. The couple said they couldn’t believe that their vision came to life in the room and they were very happy and pleased with the work that we had provided for them. The customers told us that our work was excellent, and gave many thanks to the crew. We tried out best to go above and beyond for our customer, and were very happy to be able to deliver a brand new space for them to enjoy.

Building on Quality Past Work!

Recently, we got a call from a former customer that we had helped with a home addition. We had planned on working with them as a bathroom remodeler when we were installing piping for the add-on to their home, but it became clear that it was not within their budget at the time. Now, the customers had gotten some extra income that they wanted to reinvest it in their home for added enjoyment and an increase in the overall value of their property. We were glad that they called us back for their North Oaks bathroom remodeling. We gave them a quote to change the look of the showers, bath, sinks, and the floors without much trouble, and they were very happy with our initial estimate.

The Bathroom Remodeling Estimate Process

We met with the homeowners to look over the bathroom spaces and to provide them with showers, bathtubs, and sink options. Once the homeowners selected the products that they wanted for their bathrooms, we gave them the estimate. It seemed that they were comfortable with the price, so then they scheduled the home remodeling project to begin on Monday morning. 

Our professional home remodeling crew arrived first thing Monday morning to start the bathroom demolition. The team removed the current bath and shower combo, sinks, and cabinets. The crew then removed all the floor tiles. The first step was to install the new shower and bathtub combo that the homeowners selected, then install the new vanity and cabinets for the bathrooms. The team returned each day and worked throughout the entire day.

The team installed the new floor tiles, then began to hang new drywall to start painting the walls. Once the painting was completed, the team installed the new sink and faucet, then added the mirror and all the trim in the bathroom. The team did this process with each bathroom until all the bathrooms in the home were remodeled. Once the last bathroom was finished and the team had the dumpster picked up, the crew let the homeowners know that all the remodeling was completed at their home and if they ran into any problems to just give us a call and we would be right out.

A few days later the customer called the office just to let us know that they were 100% thrilled with the bathroom remodeling that was performed by our courteous crew. The couple said that they couldn’t get over the added space and beauty that had been created, and the attention to detail that was provided made the couple very happy. They were glad that they had called our company to do further remodeling at their home. Our team went above and beyond to make sure the bathrooms were exactly like what they had requested in our first initial consultation, which is something we always strive to do.

We Finished this Project Ahead of Schedule!

We got a call from a schoolteacher who taught consumer science and some cooking classes in a nearby high school. She was experimenting with some new recipes and realized she wanted more space in her kitchen and an island installed. She decided to call us to be her kitchen remodeler in Mahtomedi, and we were able to work within her budget to have her kitchen updated just as she wanted.

Our professional design team met with the homeowner at her home, so we could get her home remodeling vision along with seeing the space. Our team gave her different options along with some advice to go along with her budget. She had a specific budget and we also make sure to provide the best products and services to match our customers budget.

The Kitchen Remodeling Estimate was Accepted

The customer wanted to have new cabinets and hardwood floors installed in the space, then a center island. Her current appliances were fairly new and would match perfectly with the new décor. We gave the customer an estimate and she was pleased with it, so we scheduled a date for us to start the project. She also asked about bathroom remodeling, and we told her all that we could. In the end, she just went with working on the kitchen for now.

The crew arrived on time for the job and started the remodeling process by first removing the old cabinets, flooring, and appliances. The crew started doing the framing for the new cabinets and adding the electrical and plumbing, then they started taping the walls for painting. The new cabinets were hung, then the base cabinets were installed along with the new island. The crew then installed the new marble countertops and sink that the customer had requested, then the lighting was installed. The crew then brought back in the appliances, then wiped everything down as the kitchen was remodeled to the customer’s preferences. 

We did a kitchen remodeling project at this home - GNBMN

The customer came in from work later that week just as the crew was leaving for the day, and the crew let her know that her kitchen was done. She went into the kitchen and couldn’t get over the transformation. She said the kitchen looked better than she could have ever imagined. She said it looked absolutely beautiful. The customer opened each cabinet door and told us how much she loved the new island. The customer kept saying that she couldn’t believe this was her actual kitchen.

She thanked the crew for doing an outstanding job, staying within her budget, and having the project completed two days ahead of schedule. She said she was going to have a dinner party, so she could showcase her new kitchen, and she would be sure to let everyone know that Great Northern Builders was the Mahtomedi kitchen remodeler that did such a great job for her at her home.

Home Addition Leads to Renovation Project

We recently received a call from a woman looking to hire a home remodeling contractor in Eagan. Her husband had recently built a new sun porch for their house and the wife absolutely loved it. However, she now felt the need to update the surrounding rooms as well, namely their kitchen. The woman felt very strongly that the style of her kitchen must accommodate the style of her sunroom, which it currently did not. It was for this reason that she sought out our company’s services as a kitchen remodeler.

The next day, we sent someone out for a consultation. Her kitchen had already been remodeled since they bought the house, so while she did like the current style, it was really more about matching the sun porch. We discussed the design and threw some ideas around, until we finally settled on a plan. The customer couldn’t contain her excitement and asked us to get started as soon as possible.

A complete home remodeling in Eagan for this couple - Great Northern Builders

Our design was largely inspired by the “sun” aspect of their sun porch. We decided to keep everything in light tones and focus on making the room seem spacious, as well as drawing attention to the kitchen windows. The first thing we did was install new, larger windows to let in as much natural light as possible. We chose a cream-colored roman shade that would let in light while still maintaining privacy.

For the floors, we chose a light oak wood that brought warmth to the space. The cabinets were recycled from the previous kitchen, but were painted white and had molding details added to the tops and bottoms for an extra touch. We decided on a charcoal granite with flecks of white and silver throughout. We were also able to recycle all their old appliances, which in reality were fairly new. Both the sink and faucet were a bright, shiny, silver, while the light fixtures and knobs were a dark iron.

By the end of the project, the woman was thrilled. Not only because she loved the new design, but also because we were able to save so much time and money by reusing the old cabinets. We gave her some information on maintaining her new kitchen and she gave us a promise to give us a call next time she needed a remodeling contractor in Eagan. She’d been meaning to hire a bathroom remodeler for the en suite in their master bedroom, and someone to take care of the basement remodeling she’d been hoping for, and now she knew exactly who to call.

Kitchen Damage is Repaired Professionally

A few weeks ago, we were contacted by a young man in need of a kitchen remodeler in Afton. He’d run into some trouble recently, as his kitchen had been damaged during a bad storm. A branch broke his window, letting in water and debris that damaged the cabinets and floors. He decided instead of simply replacing the damaged bits, he would hire a kitchen remodeler and renovate the whole room. We sent someone out for a free consultation to determine the scope of the project.

It turned out that most of the damage would be taken care of by removing the damaged pieces. The customer gave us some ideas on the design he was interested and we whipped up a plan for the project, including a cost estimate and timeline. The man hadn’t found another home remodeling contractor in his area that could compare, so he decided to go forward with our plan.

We began by removing the water-damaged floors and cabinets, and replacing the broken window. The man wanted the space to have a cabin-esque vibe, so we decided to go with wood floors, cabinets, and even countertops! We used wood that mimicked a crosscut of a tree trunk for the center island, which the customer loved. For the fixtures, we chose everything in a copper tone and found a deep, copper, basin sink to match.

this home needed us for Afton bathroom remodeling

Halfway through the project, the young man came to us with a question: would we be able to renovate his bathroom as well? We told him that we also have extensive experience as a bathroom remodeler, and got to work on a plan for the bathroom as well. We chose a dark tile for the floors, but otherwise kept with the wood theme, installing a wooden vanity with a dark copper sink built into the top.

With multiple projects going on, things could have gotten hectic and muddled, but it was easy for us to keep track of the entire process, as we coordinate all the work that is done for the remodel. It’s important for the success of our company and the satisfaction of our customers that we are aware of every detail to ensure the project stays on budget and on schedule.

When the work was finally done, we gave the customer a runthrough of any maintenance the remodel would need, so he knew how to take care of his new space. The young man was overjoyed with how the kitchen and bathroom turned out, and couldn’t wait to invite his mom over for dinner to show it all off.


First Time Homeowner Spruces Up Interior

We were recently contacted by a young teacher who had just purchased her first home. Though she loved the outside of the home, the inside left something to be desired. Everything was extremely outdated and definitely not her style, so she decided to hire a kitchen and bathroom remodeler in Lake Elmo to change all that. We sent someone out for a free consultation right away.

As a new teacher, she didn’t have a huge budget for a renovation project, so she knew going in she was only interested in doing a room or two at a time. We toured the house with her and discussed what she wanted and what was realistic given her budget and time frame. We decided to go with a plan that would utilize our company’s talents as a kitchen remodeler and bathroom remodeler. The plan would involve remodeling, you guessed it, her kitchen and main floor bathroom.

We were the kitchen remodeler in Lake Elmo for this home- GNB

The customer was very firm on her design ideas for each space. The current decorating was very kitschy and colorful; the customer wanted something minimalist, ideally solely in black and white. For the kitchen, we began by demoing everything. We decided to go with a shiny, jet-black tile for the floor. The faucet, light fixtures and knobs were also a shiny black. The countertops were a polished, pure white stone that fit seamlessly into the pure white cabinets. The walls were also white to give the room any airy, spacious feel.

The plan for the bathroom followed a similar design. This time however, the floors were white, made with a matte, white tile. The cabinets and countertops were also white, matching those of the kitchen. The sink we chose was a vessel sink made from a transparent black glass that popped against the cabinets. Finally, we decided on a toilet made from black porcelain and black fixtures for the rest of the space to match.

The final project was drastic change from the original vibrant decorating, but it was exactly what the young teacher wanted. We gave her information on the renovations to ensure everything was maintained properly. The customer loved what we’d done so far and promised to contact us in the future once she’d saved up more money. She was already dreaming of her basement remodeling and all the other projects for which she could hire us as a home remodeling contractor.

Renovation for Leasing Purposes

We were recently contacted by a young couple looking for a basement remodeler in Woodbury able to take on a large project to convert some under-utilized space in their home. The couple wanted to renovate their currently-unfinished basement and turn it into an apartment they could rent out for some extra cash. We felt our company would be perfect for this basement remodeling job, so we sent someone out to do a consultation right away.

The couple was looking for two key elements in their remodel: a stylish, modern kitchen with hardwood floors and a bathroom with a relaxing, spa-like feel. Beyond that, they were open to any ideas we had. With our lengthy experience as both a kitchen remodeler and a bathroom remodeler, we felt our company was up to the challenge of completing their key requests, as well as the rest of the project.

We provided the couple with a detailed plan for how we would renovate the space and actualize their vision for the apartment, should they hire us as their home remodeling contractor. The plan discussed the specifics for each aspect of the work and stated the estimated cost and timeline for the project. Once the couple reviewed the plan, they agreed to hire us and we got started.

We began by ensuring the basement was properly insulated, plumbed and wired, so everything behind-the-scenes was working correctly before we put up the drywall and installed the flooring. For the floors, we decided to go with hardwood floors in a medium walnut throughout the entire space, to provide a cohesive flow. For the walls, we chose paint in light, neutral colors to make each room appear brighter and larger.

We did a home remodeling job at this Woodbury home

In the kitchen, we installed dark cherry cabinets to contrast with the lighter floors and stainless steel appliances to provide a cool, sleek look. The countertops we chose were granite with flecks of brown, black and grey, and the backsplash was a dark grey tile installed in a diamond pattern. We decided to put in a center island to provide more cabinet and counter space.

The bathroom was the last aspect of the project. The couple selected a tan adobe stone for the floors and a smaller, blue and green tile for the shower. The countertops and cabinets matched the kitchen, using the same flecked granite and cherry wood.

When all the work was complete, we made sure to instruct the couple on how to maintain each aspect of the remodel to ensure their basement had a long and prosperous life. The couple was thrilled with the results and couldn’t wait to find tenants for their updated space. They promised to contact us with any future projects in their home.

A Labor of Love: Welcome Baby Biljan to the Great Northern Builders Nursery!

Great Northern Builders Biljan Baby Nursery

Photos courtesy of Heidi Torgerson Photography













A very special nursery remodel for a very special little one to the Great Northern Builders’ team. The Biljan Baby Nursery! Excited to share our latest special project. This renovation was very special to myself and everyone at Great Northern Builders. This was just a basic 13 ft x 13 ft room that was transformed into a Nursery. It was special because it was for my son, Camden Cole Biljan.

Thanks to all!!! 

– Chris Biljan, CEO of Great Northern Builders

Determine If You Need Home Repairs

How do you determine if it’s time to put on a new roof, install new windows or add new siding?

Consider these tips below:

Age of roof: The quality of your roofing system can determine when it’s the right time is to add a new roof. Some roof systems will not last more than 10 years before repairs are needed. Others can wear out much sooner. Others may have more wear and tear than normal based on past storms or previous damage that’s gone unnoticed. A field supervisor can inspect your roof and provide a free analysis.

“It always good to have a specialist walk your roof to make sure you do not have any missing shingles or damage to the shingles caused by wind or hail,” says Chris Biljan, owner of Great Northern Builders.

Draft coming through windows: If you feel air coming through your windows, it’s time to consider installing new windows. Especially when it comes to the cold Minnesota and Wisconsin winters – and even in the summer when the air conditioning is on. Drafty windows can drive up energy bills, costing you more money over time.

“Installing energy efficient windows lowers your energy bills because your heat is not leaking out in the winter and your cool air is not leaking out in the hot summer months,” says Biljan.

Benefits of new siding: Curb appeal. An old house can turn into the nicest in the neighborhood with new siding. A newer house can stay updated and looking sharp with new siding. But the benefits go beyond appearance. New siding can help secure your house and provide added water protection. Insulated siding can also reduce energy costs providing extra protection. There are a wide variety of siding options available, including vinyl, LP, cedar and hardie. A GNB field supervisor can discuss best options and prices during your free estimate.

Home improvement loans available: Remember, there are home improvement loans available through various counties throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Dakota County, for example, offer no interest home improvement loans to assist in these repairs. Every county is different and has different rules/qualifications so check with your local county office or on the county web site for more information.

Tax credits: There may be tax credits available for new roofing, siding and windows. Also, if you own a home office, these repairs may also help reduce taxes. Credits also change from year-to-year pending on new tax laws. This is not tax advice, just a suggestion to check with your accountant to see what is available.

Investment in property: By investing in your property it can raise the property value of your home. And it can save money over time by maintaining your homes.

When choosing a roofing, siding or window contractor be sure to get references and be sure they are registered with the Better Business Bureau and have a good reputation. Most of all, be sure they do what’s best for your situation.

“We’ll take the time to really listen to what you want and need to help make sure your project is done right and completed the way you expect,” says Biljan.

Call Great Northern Builders today for a free estimate.


Great Northern Builders: Biljan Baby Nursery Provides Woodland Feel with Nautical Elements

As the owner of a construction company, when I found out we were having our first child, I immediately began envisioning what type of nursery we would create. Read More→