Planning, and building, for the homeowner’s future

Driving through any suburb, you’ll find ranch after ranch that all look the same. Their post-WWII construction a little aged, and layouts slightly cramped and dated. A quick glimpse at Sandy Pifer’s Arlington Height’s ranch wouldn’t look too different. You wouldn’t see her ADA qualified plans, her newly planned master suite or the two years of back and forth that almost sidetracked the entire project.

Sandy, a retired teacher, now 70, has been planning for quite some time for this build. “My father was a builder in central Illinois. As a kid, I followed him around all the time. When my mother and father passed away, they left me some money and I bought this ranch.” Although she currently lives in a two-story condo, she knew that the stairs wouldn’t always work. She wanted to craft her ranch into the perfect home so that she could age in place.

After renting the home through Faith Community Homes for two years, she was ready to move in and put her plans in to motion.

She got in touch with an architect who drafted a great design, and said it could all be done for $260,000. Designs in hand, Sandy then found a builder who said it could be done on that budget. That, however, wasn’t the case.

After lots of back and forth, and nearly $100,000 added to the project budget, Sandy knew something needed to change – and it wasn’t her retirement plans.

That’s when she sought out Airoom.

Work is ready to begin on Sandy's Arlington Heights post-war ranch. A new master suite, ADA accessible bathroom, and two car attached garage will be added, among other updates.

Work is ready to begin on Sandy’s Arlington Heights post-war ranch. A new master suite, ADA accessible bathroom, and two car attached garage will be added, among other updates.


The Airoom Process

Walt Bruckner Jr., Sandy’s Project Development Manager, met with Sandy and ran through her ideas. After looking at the original designs, it was clear that the project couldn’t have been done for $260,000 – in fact, it would have actually called for a budget closer to $500,000. “I heard from a friend, who’s in construction, and he looked at the plans and said that $260,000 was impossible, but I didn’t listen,” Sandy said. “It wasn’t until Walt pointed it out, too, that it really clicked.”

“What Sandy wanted to do was secure her future – in terms of planning for homecare, as well as planning her finances,” Walt said. “Once I knew everything she needed from her home, I was able to draft up a plan that met both her physical and financial constraints.”

The design team at Airoom was able to put together an approach that met Sandy’s needs, and her budget. Originally quoted at $320,000, the project ended up being only $309,000 after all selections were finalized.


Sandy’s New Plans

With retirement and live-in care in mind, Sandy wanted to make sure that her home would have everything she’d need down the line. In order to avoid having to worry about finding parking and clearing off her car, our plans add an attached two-car garage to her ranch.

The three bedroom ranch was turned into four with the addition of a master-suite and attached ADA accessible bathroom. One bedroom will be turned into an office with attached laundry, the other will be a guest room, and the third will be setup for live-in help should the need arise.

Walls will be knocked down, turning the choppy post-war ranch into an open floor plan space, with the family room and kitchen attached. There will be new, hardwood floors and a fireplace. To top it all off, a wood-working room is going to be added so Sandy can more thoroughly pursue her longtime hobby.

“Working with Sandy has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve had the pleasure to work on,” says Walt. “She’s an amazingly sharp woman and she knows what she wants. I’m just happy that she found us and that we’re able to make her dreams a reality.”

Having brought the project to Airoom, where we cover everything from the initial design through to the final build, she was able to see the benefit of bringing everything under one team and one Project Development Manager.

Instead of chasing down contractors and having to continually renegotiate her budget and plans, she’s now able to sit back and enjoy the transformation.

“I’ve been extremely pleased with everyone I’ve met at Airoom,” notes Sandy. “They’ve been attentive, courteous, and great listeners.”

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