Archive for April, 2012

Meet Chris Sass – Vice President of Sass Construction

Thursday, April 26th, 2012


Name: Chris Sass

Job Title: Vice President

How long have you been with Sass?
From the very beginning, 30+ years. Mark and I started Sass Construction in 1980. We did business out of our house for 10 years, then moved into an office building in Excelsior for 13 years and 8 1/2 years ago moved to Chanhassen.

What do you like best about your job?
I went from doing all the clerical and bookkeeping and payroll for 9 years, to Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Payroll for 7 years, to Payroll and Human Resources for the last 16 years. What I like the most about my job is the flexibility I have in the hours that I work and that everyone likes it when I show up for work on payroll day.

Name one thing you miss about being a kid?
Sitting on my Mom and Dad’s lap and playing on my tree swing in the backyard.

What kind of activities do you like to do for fun?
I have been on a bowling league for 25 years. I like to bowl but the enjoyment is visiting with these ladies every week in my league. I like to read and take my dog for walks too.

What do you like best about living in Minnesota?
The four seasons we have of weather and my favorite is Fall. I have to admit, we Minnesotan’s are Minnesota nice!

If you could plan a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I don’t really care about travelling abroad anymore but if I did I would choose Ireland. My daughter has been there twice and she say’s “you gotta go Mom”. I have a little Irish in me and would love to see the beautiful scenery and learn more about the history of Ireland.

Video: Lighting Ideas for Home Remodeling

Friday, April 20th, 2012

In the third and final video of our series, Sass Construction will introduce you to a few lighting trends and ideas over at the Ferguson showroom in Golden Valley, Minnesota.

Edina Home Remodeling Project

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

We recently had the opportunity to remodel a 1956 two-story, walkout home in Edina. The homeowners, whom we have had the pleasure of working with many times in the past, asked us to make their home more accommodating for their now multigenerational family. Their goal was to create a bright and relaxing entertainment space appropriate for the adults, with a nearby play structure for the grandchildren.

We started on the home’s main floor. The family’s existing living room had an outdated fireplace mantel and surround, dated carpeting and white paint on the walls. Their floor plan also left something to be desired – the family’s office wasn’t adequately separated from the living room, making it difficult to use both spaces simultaneously. To punch up their space and make the lower level more multi-use, we removed the pass-through that separated the office and living room and framed a new wall in its place, eliminating the noise that had previously passed through to the office. We also installed a new fireplace face complete with a glass subway tile surround, replaced the existing carpet with natural maple hardwood floors, and repainted the walls with a bright and updated color.

On the lower level we reworked the family’s exercise space to better accommodate their equipment. We began by removing a wall and expanding the space. We also replaced the carpet with wood floors, repainted, and installed a wall-hanging widescreen television to enjoy while working out.

We also rearranged the basement to better serve the family’s multiple needs. Before the renovation, the basement had a hallway to the old exercise room and two closets for storage with a play area to the right of the existing fireplace. To better accommodate new needs, we removed one closet completely to give the basement more living area, remodeled the single existing closet to have a more functional storage area and converted the play area into a bar, complete with a wine cooler, microwave, sink, granite countertops, and maple cabinets. We installed new recess can lighting in the family room and pendant lights above the new bar area. But don’t worry – we didn’t leave the kids hanging. We also made a new and improved play area for the grandchildren!

We were so pleased with the overall outcome and, happily, our clients were as well!The family has since reported that their remodel resulted in a home the whole family loves! In their newly reorganized basement they are able to entertain the adults while at the same time provide a place for the grandchildren to play. A happy homeowner makes for a happy home remodeler!

What Is CAPS?

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

As the average life expectancy of Americans continues to increase, more and more older adults are interested in planning for growing old and aging in their current home, as opposed to moving into senior housing. This trend, known as “aging-in-place,” is one committed to allowing individuals to remain in their homes safely, independently, and comfortably regardless of age or ability level.

In fact, aging-in-place, also sometimes referred to as universal design or barrier free design – has become such an important part of today’s construction industry that that National Association of Home Builders has recognized it as a sub-specialty. CAPS – or the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist designation program – teaches the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential to competing in the fastest growing segment of the residential remodeling industry: home modifications for the aging-in-place.

Sass is proud to employ aging-in-place specialists, including our Production Manager, Jeff Wuensch. Jeff enjoys creating home solutions and offering comprehensive and practical home accessibility resolutions. It is his belief that home modifications can be both beautiful and functional, while still allowing access to individuals of all age and ability levels. Common aging-in-place modifications that Jeff recommends include the installation of bath and shower grab bars, the adjustment of countertop heights to increase access and maneuverability, and the creation of multifunctional first floor master suites.

If you are hoping to stay in your existing home as you age or if you are just interested in learning what modifications you may need as you get older, contact us for a consultation.