Left: This outdated shower/tub unit was rarely used and presented a fall hazard. Right: Bruce Graf updated the bathroom with trendy tile and frameless glass, which is now wheelchair accessible. (Photo: Graf Developments)

Left: This outdated shower/tub unit was rarely used and presented a fall hazard. Right: Bruce Graf updated the bathroom with trendy tile and frameless glass, which is now wheelchair accessible. (Photo: Graf Developments)

“For most folks, their home is the biggest investment they own,” said Bruce Graf, a home remodeler with more than 30 years of experience in working with multiple generations of families.

Graf has helped families remodel a house to accommodate growth, and then returned years later to adapt their home to special health needs so they can continue aging-in-place within that same residence filled with lots of memories.

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Get your buns in the oven ... a steam oven, that is! Join Bruce Graf at PIRCH to see a demonstration.

A burst of steam makes all the difference in getting the crust on buns from good to golden.

By Diane Feffer
Special Contributor

Steam Ovens have been used as an essential tool in the restaurant industry for over a decade. We took a recent stroll through PIRCH at NorthPark and realized that consumers now have access to steam ovens for home use by Miele, Gaggenau, Wolf, Thermador, and other manufacturers.

If you’ve only equated steam cooking with vegetables; well, think again. According to home remodeler Bruce Graf, a steam oven can do anything a conventional or microwave oven can do with the exception of making popcorn and heating water.

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This bland kitchen didn’t fit the homeowners personalities at all, but because of great timing and flawless execution, Bruce Graf was able to transform it into a stylish space perfect for holiday entertaining.

By Diane Feffer
Special Contributor

It’s time to start thinking about the holiday season, and whether your kitchen and living areas are ready to play host. We met up with Bruce Graf, a home remodeler with 30-plus years of experience. He explains why July is the perfect month to start planning your home remodel project, so that you can gather family in your newly renovated kitchen by the holidays.

CandysDirt.com: Why is July a great month for planning a remodel?
Bruce Graf: Quite simply because the quality design process takes several weeks. By starting in July, it’s probable that your actual remodel could begin in September and be finished by November.

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Stephan SardoneParting is such sweet sorrow. At least it is for us at CandysDirt when one of our favorite homebuilders puts his sensational reno on the market.

Stephan Sardone, owner of Sardone Construction, took the L-Streets house at 10229 Linkwood Dr. in Lake Highlands to the studs and reimagined the space entirely. What emerged is extraordinary—we’ve written about it twice, here and here.

“We essentially demolished its entire insides and redesigned it into an open concept that maximized every inch of the home,” he said. “We were able to fit three full bedrooms and two full bathrooms—and the master bath is really large—as well as an incredible open living space and nice-sized kitchen.”

Stephan SardoneTo make this house happen, Sardone partnered with Larry Paschall of HPD Architecture in Oak Lawn. Together, they totally overhauled the 1,320-square-foot interior. They moved all interior walls, changed the layout of the space, and created a vaulted ceiling with wood beams by pushing out a gable on the roof.

Sardone’s abode served both as a home for him and his wife, and as a contractor showcase to show potential clients just how to create a smart, efficient design. It was a no-brainer to choose it as today’s Thursday Three Hundred. It was listed Friday by Michael Cassell at Gilchrist & Company Real Estate for $379,900.

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All photos: Sardone Construction

All photos: Sardone Construction

Stephan Sardone did not arrive at his career in home renovation by direct route.

The Flower Mound native headed to graduate school with the intention of earning his masters, then traveling to Papua, New Guinea, to work with indigenous tribes and translate their native languages, as well as aid with microfinance projects and community development.

Now, with two masters degrees in hand, he performs a different kind of community work: helping Dallas homeowners translate their vision for a home remodel into reality.

The transition started with a side business during his undergrad days. Sardone was an eager student with an entrepreneurial spirit and a knack for laying tile. It lasted into his graduate school days, and he drove around in a minivan, filled to the brim with tiles, and took on clients under the name Tile Fast.

“Tile Fast was never supposed to go anywhere, it was just supposed to teach me business and such, but then it turned into kitchen remodeling, then into full-scale remodeling,” he said. “It took about six months after I graduated to realize I was going to stay in the business because I really liked it.”

Stephan Sardone portrait

He changed the name of his company to Sardone Construction in 2010 and has earned accolades as his reputation has grown for creating smart and efficient designs that maximize space in a truly beautiful way.

The most important thing is to do really high quality work, have high standards, and give our clients a good experience,” he said.

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1531 San Saba Front

Dan Koller, the absolutely incredible publications manager over at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, sent this listing my way on Monday. “Something tells me this house will tickle your fancy,” Koller said. Holy cannoli, was he right! Not only that, but I drive by this home all the time, but I had no idea what kind of wonder was set across the cute red bridge from the street.

That’s what’s perfect about this home: It’s so secluded and private that the only thing you can see from the street is the little bridge. But what sits across that lovely little bridge is what makes this house at 1531 San Saba worthy of our “High Caliber Home of the Week” title. Truly, this house is a sight to be seen, and won’t be around for long. Why worry about hitting snags with financing when you could have a lender that takes pains to make sure your pre-approval and mortgage paperwork goes as smoothly as possible. That’s what Lisa Peters does at Caliber Home Loans. Find out more about her high-caliber service by calling her today.

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608 Hambrick

Have you seen a house with plenty of potential, but less-than-stellar looks? These are the ugly ducklings of the housing market. According to architect Wilson Fuqua, perhaps all these crooked, flawed homes need are some figurative braces. These will help re-align the good things about the home.

Jump for Fuqua’s unique perspective on turning a home from awkward to elegant!

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Investing in a home’s curb appeal is a worthwhile investment according to data from the Texas Association of Realtors

Stager Karen Eubank said it best when she told me why some homes were flying off the market and others weren’t: If you’ve upgraded and invested in your home before listing, you’re almost certain to sell. If you haven’t, good luck.

Apparently that’s the advice a lot of Texas homeowners are getting from their Realtors and stagers, because remodeling projects are growing not only more profitable for sellers this year, but more and more Texans are sprucing up their homes and taking on more projects. (more…)