Saving Grace — Wayzata Whole House Renovation

Optimism prevailed when this expectant Wayzata couple bought the previously “remuddled” house and set out to save it from a tear down.

Project Summary 

A dramatic mid-winter remodel rescued this home from the bulldozer.

Despite harsh weather, and the eleventh-hour discovery of a faulty land survey, which killed the planned two-car garage, Murphy Bros. pulled off a remarkable mid-winter rescue. With curb appeal restored, a closer look reveals a new wide-open main level floor plan, a breathtaking kitchen in white, and a truly functional second level that’s worthy of the priceless wooded lot in the state’s premium zip code. It’s everything the couple imagined.

2015 Winner Silver CotY (Contractor of the Year) award, Entire House $250,001 to $500,000 category.

Front elevation. Photo—John Wiese

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Conditions before whole house remodel

Previous, outsized master bedroom addition had destroyed the home’s architectural scale by dwarfing the original structure and overpowering the main entry. The new gable addition and portico restore a pleasing scale. Natural stone, white trim and rich gray siding add color and texture that draw attention to the new entry.

Previous, outsized master bedroom addition had destroyed the home’s architectural scale—Proof that remodeling without adequate design can hurt your homes resale value.
Before floor plan


Primary Obstacles To Overcome

  • After the initial design was completed, the clients decided they could not accept a structural column off the new island. So the contractor re-engineered the space with a triple LVL beam and a steel I-beam to span the long open area.
  • While the switch to a high-efficiency furnace enabled them to remove the chimney that obstructed the main and second levels, the long steel and triple LVL beams banished the entire load bearing wall.
  • When the new land survey blocked the planned garage expansion, the contractor developed a future, phase-two project to provide additional garage space from the other side of the property.
After floor plan—Main
After floor plan—2nd floor

By installing a high-efficiency furnace and a 21-foot steel I-beam, we were able to remove the central fireplace, chimney and load-bearing wall, add a functional center island and open the narrow kitchen to the livingroom. With the main entry repositioned conveniently near the garage, the former attic stairway could be turned and lengthened for safety and comfort. Meanwhile, converging the old breezeway into a proper entry foyer also facilitated a proper formal dining area alongside the kitchen.

New entry way with coat closet. Photo—John Wiese.
New dining room off of kitchen island. Photo—Alyssa Lee

The open floor plan’s uniform dark stained flooring, neutral gray walls and furniture quality enameled trim beautifully integrates the old and new spaces making the environment look large and updated. White cabinets, Cambria counters, premium fixtures and Marvin Windows turn a dark, divided main level into an open showcase that exudes quality.

New kitchen featured white enameled cabinets and cambria countertops. Photo—Alyssa Lee.
Newly remodeled kitchen open to both dining and living rooms. Photo—Alyssa Lee.
Relocated stairway replaces old entryway. Photo—Alyssa Lee.
Master bedroom closet dramatically increases storage. Photo—John Wiese
Mid-hallway overflow closet with pocket door provides additional storage never before considered. Photo—John Wiese
Boys new bedroom with bonus play space. Photo—John Wiese

Featured Materials


  • Poplar Prefinihsed Enamel Solid Color


  • Cambria “Bellingham” 3cm thick with Z+S bevel edge


  • Faucet — Cascada Collection Pullout Spray Kitchen Faucet -Stainless Steel
  • Sink — Ruvati RVM4300 Undermount 16 Gauge-33 Inch Kitchen Double Bowl


  • Glass 3x6" subway


  • Marvin clad stone white, LowE/Argon glass


  • CHI Carriage Stamp 5216 short pane


  • Caterham Collection Outdoor Wall 1Lt OZ


  • Install LP Smartside Lap siding w/ 6 7/8" exposureon all new and existing sided walls on rear; Left & right sidewalls w/ Prefinished 25yr Diamond Kate Finish


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