It’s all about the details…

Choosing a Contractor

I love finally detailed architecture.  I get inspired when I  see the love, care and craftsmanship that went into the details of a fine old home.  I recently visited  Minnesota for a remodeling conference.  I had always wanted to see Lake Superior and ventured 3 hours north from Minneapolis to Duluth at the west end of Lake Superior. At the turn of the 19th century Duluth had more millionaires per capita than any other American city and millionaires were in a contest to see who could build the biggest, finest mansion on the North Shore.  Glensheen Mansion was completed in 1908 and is now managed as a museum by the University of Minnesota, tours are $15 and well worth the time.


The style is not one of my favorites but the view to Lake Superior is killer! The details of the mansion are outstanding works of craftsmanship and imagination.  Cutting edge technology (1908) is incorporated in every room.  Times may change but peoples needs are still basic.  Give me a comfortable place to live, eat and bathe, add in a heaping dose of luxury and you have Glensheen. The mansion was occupied by the Congdon Family until the 70’s. What amazed me most was that little had changed since the day it was built.  When you build it right in the beginning you don’t remodel.


The house is built on the details, hundreds of craftsmen toiled for 3 years producing most of the fixtures and carvings specifically for this project.



The Master Bath shower (men only) was over the top, even by today’s standards.  Body sprays in each corner, from top to bottom and a full rain head.  They had to call down to the boiler room to turn it on and start making hot water. Users have described the experience as painful, the intent was to remove dead skin cells by blasting them off and that’s what it felt like. Still in service today!


Every room was connected by intercom to the kitchen by intercom, technology that had just been invented and mostly still working today.

Mike feature photo

Building a home and remodeling haven’t changed much since 1908. A well designed and detailed project that respects the needs and wishes of the customer will always be a success.  When you have millions to spend it makes it even nicer. As you plan your remodeling project no detail is too small to ignore, and if you do there will be regrets. Today we have thousands more choices than the Congdon family had in 1908. At Merrick details are important to us, we understand your needs by listening and asking questions. Everything gets documented to make sure your dream project is what you have been dreaming about.  If you’d like to see what a well documented project looks like we would be happy to show you examples of well designed and executed projects.


David Merrick