Community Engagement: Wayside Recovery Center

Castle Building and Remodeling has been supporting Wayside Recovery Center for years. Wayside Recovery Center began in 1954 as the vision of community leader Sarah Mary “Sally” DeVay. Wayside initially focused on providing shelter and support for women who were homeless.


In 1963, Wayside shifted its focus and began to provide substance abuse treatment for women. In the 1970s, their mission further expanded to treat mental health care needs for the many women who had co-occurring (substance abuse and mental health) problems. Since opening their doors, they have helped more than 30,000 women and their 6,000 children have benefited from our services.


We’ve recently made a $5,000 donation in effort to support their services through the pandemic and are ready to do more. Many organizations are facing a severe lack of donations, whether it be funds or materials, due to the pandemic. While the hardships are not lost on anyone, we find it important to continuously support these small organizations within our community.


Castle is going to collect donated items for Wayside Recover Center at our Headquarters and Warehouse. We will have a box set up in the doorway where you can drop items off. If you prefer to mail the items to us, you can place the attention to our Warehouse Manager, Chad Hanson. You can drop off your items on weekdays from April 26 – May 7 between the hours of 8 am – 3pm.

Items Wayside Recover Center is currently in need of:

  • Women’s Bra’s (specifically larger sizes and sports bras)
  • Underwear (especially bigger sizes)
  • Watercolor paper for art projects
  • Fabric for tie blankets
  • Graphic Art Paper
  • Crafting kits
  • Art supplies (including but not limited to: popsicle sticks, glue sticks, hot glue guns, canning jars, new paint brushes, friendship string for bracelets, hemp string for macrame, stuff for dream catchers, and paint)


If you feel compelled to donate, please bring your donations to 2710 E 33rd Street, Minneapolis 55406.

You can drop off your items on weekdays from April 26 – May 7 between the hours of 9 am – 3pm. 

Questions about making a donation? Contact Hannah Husemann, Marketing Manager
Questions about dropping off a donation? Contact Chad Hanson, Warehouse Manager

Should You Buy a Fixer-Upper in 2021?

Buying a house is a very personal decision, no matter the year. If you and your family are looking for the next place that feels like home, you likely have several options, which can feel overwhelming. Especially this year, not only do you have to make common decisions about homeownership, but you also need to think about the implications of buying a house during a pandemic.


Purchasing a fixer-upper is a dream to many, but it isn’t ideal for some. Many buyers would prefer to move into a home they don’t have to change before they get to living. However, you could be one of those people on the fence. You might like the idea of a fixer-upper but aren’t sure if it would be right for you currently. In 2021, every person has their priorities, and you can find what works for you, whether that happens to be a fixer-upper or a move-in-ready renovation.


Here are a few things to consider if you’re asking yourself about buying a fixer-upper in 2021.

1. The Market

ext_front_web-1One of the most significant factors to consider when buying a home is the market. Right now, many cities are experiencing a seller’s market, which means that the market is better for those selling their homes and looking for more return on their investment. Because people are looking to buy houses right now, the competition is driving prices up. With more competition for new houses, you may find yourself leaning more towards a fixer-upper, which might leave a bit more room in your budget.


2. Your Budget


Speaking of your budget, taking a look at what money you have saved and where you stand with your finances in relation to the current market could help you make your choice. While some years can encourage you to go a bit bigger, the competition in the market could mean that your precious savings could make more use of themselves in a renovation, not in the buy itself.


3. Your Time












Money isn’t the only thing you need to include in a budget. For some people, the most precious resource they need to consider is time. If you don’t have time to make big changes to a house and conduct renovations, finding a move-in-ready home might be the best direction for you.


Instead of finding a brand new place to live, you can even find a middle ground. For example, you can find renovated fixer-uppers with the work already finished before you walk through the door. The before and after photos of these homes prove that the work doesn’t have to fall on you.



4. Thinking Long Term


Another aspect to think about when buying any new house is the long-term investments you’re making as a part of your next move. While putting your money towards cheap fixes and renovations might seem like a good idea at the time, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your home is to invest in quality fixtures that will last and pay off in the long run.


5. Creativity






How much creative freedom and liberty do you want to take with your new home? While getting a fixer-upper is a great way to save money, it can also be a fantastic way to build the dream home you’ve always wanted if you have a specific vision. Working with those around you and having a plan can make it all worthwhile, especially if you have ideas that only you can execute.


6. Your Skills


Always consider the skills in your wheelhouse when deciding whether to buy a fixer-upper. When you look into each home, taking your skills into account is vital to determine what small projects you can reasonably do yourself. While DIY is a great way to save money, you should also be cautious. Taking on large projects that require a professional’s expertise can end up costing you more money and time than you bargained for, and could even be dangerous.


7. Finding Trusted Professionals








To avoid any risky situations, consider the team you’ll work with to renovate. Especially if you happen to fall in love with a home with structural damage, safety hazards or large projects in need of rebuilding, finding a contractor or builder you trust will be integral to the process. Unless you happen to be a professional yourself, you probably don’t want to take on a whole remodel alone. Finding someone who can do the job right is almost as important as finding a house with the bones to make it happen.




8. A Spectrum of Remodeling


Whether you have a “move-in-ready” home or a “fixer-upper” isn’t a binary black and white system. It’s more of a spectrum. The term “fixer-upper” can describe anything from a home with a few projects here and there and a fresh coat of paint to put up, all the way to a crumbling foundation and a mold issue. Each home is different, and you can find a fixer-upper that feels appropriate for your situation, no matter where that sits on the spectrum.


Should You Buy a Fixer-Upper in 2021?

The kind of house you buy is all about what your family needs and how you see yourself living. Whether that means you find a fixer-upper with a few projects to complete, a move-in-ready beauty or a place with some serious work to do, the most crucial part is that it’ll be yours. That’s something to celebrate.


Rose writes on home improvement and renovation projects. She is also the managing editor for Renovated. To read more of her work, check out her site.

2019: A Year in Review

2019: A Year in Review

In an effort to let you know more about Castle Building & Remodeling, we have taken the time to create an infographic. With the data presented in a visual and easy to understand format we hope it is both easy and enjoyable to learn more about our business.

At a glance you can see that in total we completed a total of 174 projects. These projects scaled across both range of project size and project type.

We continue the trend of focusing on smaller projects, kitchens, bathrooms, and exterior work. Since these are common rooms to remodel, it’s not surprise they continue to top the charts in popularity. However, let’s take a moment to admire that last year we were able to complete 8 projects for our very own employees. Our staff is comprised of extremely talented individuals and when we have the opportunity to turn a part of their home into their dream castle, it holds a special place in our hearts.

Getting back to the details of last year, you can see that when it comes to numbers, our small projects continue to take up a large portion of our data. Last year we completed 76 projects that valued no more than $5,000. Remodeling your home may seem expensive, but when you consider the type of work you need done it can in fact not be as lofty as you thought. It’s important to note though, the second highest value range was a total of 34 projects costing between $25,000-$50,000. These will include many bathrooms and other small projects we completed for homeowners last year.

Lastly, let’s take a look just where in the Twin Cities you will find homes being turned into castles.

If you’re familiar with our showrooms, you can see that the epicenters of the most popular zones are within the same areas of our brick and mortars. With three locations in Minneapolis, one in St. Paul, and our warehouse in the Longfellow neighborhood, it doesn’t take much effort to notice that most of our projects stay close to the heart of the cities.

To see the complete infographic, as well as previous year’s reports, click here.

Full Home Remodels vs. Partial Renovations

Full Home Remodels vs. Partial Renovations

“Remodel” and “renovation” are often used interchangeably. While the terms are similar in meaning, they aren’t exactly synonyms. What’s the difference?

The short answer is that renovations generally consist of cosmetic changes, whereas remodels are structural changes. A full-home remodel consists of completely changing up the structure and layout of your entire home. On the other hand, a partial renovation is simply sprucing up the appearance of portions of the house.

Now, things get confusing when you compare a full-home remodel to a partial remodel. In both cases, structural changes occur, it’s merely the amount of the home being remodeled that’s affected. It’s the same with full-home renovations and partial renovations.

Are you still confused? Keep reading. Let’s break down the differences in definition, cost, contractors, and more.

Restoration Versus Creation

Another way to think about these two terms is to think of them as restoration and creation. In renovations, you’re simply restoring portions of the home. In remodels, you’re creating something new entirely.

Let’s look at a kitchen renovation versus a kitchen remodel.

  • In a kitchen renovation, you might repaint the walls, change the quartz counter colors, pull up and replace the floor, and add in new cabinets.
  • In a kitchen remodel, you might knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to add more space. You might change up the layout to move the cabinets onto a different wall and change where the refrigerator goes.

Things can get a little dicey because the line between creating something new and giving something a facelift can be quite thin. For instance, changing your home office into a guest bedroom would be a remodel. While many of the changes are cosmetic, you’re still creating an entirely new space.

Sometimes the most straightforward way to compare the two is with the cost.

Cost Analysis: Which is Cheaper?

Generally speaking, renovations are much cheaper. This is particularly true if you compare a partial renovation to a full-house remodel. Remodels change the structure of the house, so there can be electrical rewiring, ductwork, and plumbing involved. All those additional expenses can add up quickly.

In terms of ROI, renovations tend to win out. Because renovations are cheaper, the return is usually better. For instance, if you replace your garage door, you can expect to recoup 97.5% of your investment, adding roughly $3,520 to the resale value of your home.

However, dollar-per-dollar remodels increase value by much more. For instance, a full kitchen remodel provides an average ROI of 62.1% and adds around $41,133 to the resale value of your home.

When it comes to weighing ROI versus resale value, you’ll recoup more of your investment in renovations. However, you’ll add more value to the ticket price with remodels.

Another cost to consider is the contractors. Many renovations are DIY-friendly, and if they aren’t, you can usually hire a home repair expert or handyman. However, with remodels, you’ll need to hire experts. Remodel jobs are generally more complex, so they require a certain level of expertise.

Think about roofing, for example. If you wanted to renovate your roof and you simply wanted to replace the old asphalt shingles with new synthetic shingles, that would be a renovation. You aren’t changing anything structurally, and you could likely hire any number of skilled contractors to do the job.

Alternatively, if you chose to have solar panels added to your roof and your roof faced north instead of south, you’d likely need a remodel. Solar panels are heavy, and often homeowners need their roof reinforced before getting them attached, so there are structural changes that have to happen, and specialized experts are required.

Other Distinctions

There are a few other distinctions between the two terms and practices:

  • Remodeling almost always requires a permit.
  • Some historic homes only allow renovations.
  • Remodels are the best solutions to a poor home layout.
  • Renovations can be DIY-friendly.

It’s easy to see how the two terms can be confused. They’re incredibly similar until you dig a little deeper. A renovation would be adding a home handrail to your walls. A remodel would be adding the handrails, a ramp, and widening the door frames to accommodate a wheelchair.

Determining which is right for you often comes down to budget and goals. Decide what changes you want, and then see whether a full-home remodel or a partial renovation is the route for you. Below you’ll see an excerpt from our Info Brochure, showing the various levels of pricing when it comes to renovation vs remodeling your kitchen.

Thankfully, we have an amazing team of designers who can help you navigate those difficult selections and come to the best decision for both your home and wallet.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

NARI Welcomes New Certified Remodeling Project Manager

NARI Welcomes New Certified Remodeling Project Manager

Castle Building & Remodeling is pleased to announce that Steve Carr has recently achieved the prestigious Certified Remodeling Project Manager status.

Before becoming a carpenter, Steve had a boring desk job that was sucking life out of him and turning his hair grey. After a year in the field of showing off his smarts and carpentry skills Steve was promoted to Project Manager. He has been with Castle BRI now for six years.

NARI’s CRPM program measures skill and expertise valued not only by other professional remodelers, but by consumers as well. Highly respected by those who have achieved the designation, the CRPM program identifies professional remodelers who have undergone comprehensive review and testing in areas of business management, ethical conduct, and technical skills.  In addition, they must also adhere to NARI’s strict Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

We sat down with Steve to learn a little more about what went into his new certification and what that means for his future.

Hannah Husemann, Marketing Manager: Tell us Steve, what lead you to take the exam to become a Certified Remodeling Project Manager (CRPM)?

Steve Carr, CRPM: I love learning and hoped to gain some new knowledge. We were having a slow period and this helped fill some of the void.

HH: And what exactly is a CRPM?

SC: The title of a CRPM professionalizes the role of managing a remodeling project. A CRPM has oversight of every aspect of the remodeling project—project planning, communications, project cost management, quality assurance, risk management and recordkeeping. Those with this designation will be taught to work toward mastering these project components in order to drive end-customer satisfaction and profitability of remodeling projects.

HH: Is there a significant difference between Project Manager and CRPM?

SC: There really is no difference.  I continue to do the same work in pretty much the same way.  The review class put an official name to some of the things I do everyday and on every project.

HH: How do you go about obtaining a CRPM certification?

SC: The first step to attaining the Certified Remodeling Project Manager certification is to complete a qualification form, which outlines an individual’s background of experience and education in remodeling. Eligibility requirements include working full time in the remodeling field for at least two years and passing a comprehensive assessment exam.

HH: How long did you prepare for the exam?

SC: I had a 2 hour class once a week for 6 weeks with assigned reading.  It was very helpful and informative.

HH: How will this newly earned certification benefit you in your career? How does it benefit your place of employment?

SC: I am uncertain how this will benefit me or Castle. During the review class I realized Castle does just about everything right. There are a couple areas to do with scheduling, risk assessment and project audits that I hope to add.


About NARI: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the only trade association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry.  The Association, which represents member companies nationwide—comprised of 63,000 remodeling contractors— is “The Voice of the Remodeling Industry.”™ To learn more about membership, visit or contact national headquarters, based in Des Plaines, Ill., at (847) 298-9200.