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Case Study: Rob and Betina

How We Turned The“Diamond In The Rough” Into One Of The Most Charming Homes In The Neighborhood.


Even the dreariest, uninspired, most haggard home has the potential to be FANTASTIC.

Rob and Bettina saw a house for sale along the East shore of Cayuga Lake. The simple boxy house would never, in any stretch of the imagination, be called much more than “livable.” But our clients? Ah, they saw a diamond in the rough.

The ranch-style house had no renovations for 40 years – it dripped with 1970s style; mustard yellow bath fixtures and shag carpets with deep worn paths. The cabinets were dark and unhappy. The outdated kitchen wallpaper had busy faded flowers. “We loved the IDEA of the house, but we just weren’t sure what we were going to do to make it work,” said Bettina.

And the cosmetic issues were the least of the their worries. There were serious water problems in the basement. There was mold and mildew, and -- if you could get past the terrible stench – you discovered that the basement was a dark, damp, creepy space.

“But we saw the potential!” said Bettina. So she and Rob bought the house. They were optimistically ready to turn the small, three-bedroom, one-bathroom house, into a beautiful retreat to spend time with family and friends.

Our clients chose to work with Upscale Remodeling because trusted friends had used the Upscale team and were so pleased. “We saw that Steve was a man who strives for excellence,” said Bettina. “We knew he was the right man for this job.”

Steve first allayed many of Rob and Bettina’s fears about the basement. Steve explained that he thought that he could change the grade of the house, apply a waterproof membrane to the walls and add new drainage to prevent further water infiltration, thus preserving the extensive work his team was going to do to the house.

Once it was determined that the house could be a) saved from future water issues and b) renovated beautifully despite past water issues, Steve set out to make the dream house happen. “Rob Morache, the designer that works with Upscale, had great plans,” said Bettina. “Using the existing footprint, he made plans to enlarge the house and he came up with an excellent work plan that was functional, space saving and lovely, listening to all of our needs and wants.”

The transformation was remarkable. “It’s one of the most remarkable transformations we have done thus far, in the 22 years that I have been in business,” said Steve.

The home is now a two story modern beauty -- light and bright and spectacular.

Before and After Before and After Before and After Before and After Before and After Before and After Before and After Before and After Before and After Before and After Before and After Before and After

The basement is no longer a basement. It is a wide expanse of bright rooms and simple elegance. The tiny windows are gone and, instead, huge glass windows look out onto a rolling lawn and terrific views of the lake.

The back deck – which was previously small and uninviting – was enlarged and stairs were added so that guests can enjoy coffee on the deck and then easily walk down to the lake.

The front porch is one of Rob’s favorite spots. The morning sun hits it perfectly and it is a great place to start the day.

Bettina most enjoys the living room. She looks across the room through the big windows and marvels at the view. “It is a sunny, gorgeous spot and I love it.”

But the whole house is remarkable. Strangers – many of whom knew what the house looked like before – come up to the owners and comment on how beautiful the house is now.

“Upscale Remodeling was reliable, understanding and trustworthy. Their team is wonderful and any subcontractors they used were respectful and professional. We liked everyone that was brought in. It was a wonderful experience.”

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