| The Columbus Dispatch
After a season in which the most popular home and garden tours have been cancelled or moved online, Columbus-area remodelers have decided it is finally time to welcome the public back to see, in person, some of their best work.
The Columbus chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) will host the region’s first major home tour of the year on Saturday and next Sunday.
The tour will feature remodeling projects at seven homes, and one remodeler’s showroom showcase.
“The decision to move forward with the tour has been really hard, but we are very excited,” said Pam Patter, executive director of NARI of Central Ohio.
Special pandemic precautions will be taken for the tour, Patter said.
The number of people allowed at one time in each home will be limited, and social distancing and face masks will be required, she said. And, unlike at previous NARI tours, guests will not be able to look on their own, but will be accompanied by tour representatives at each site.
Otherwise, as in previous tours, guests will see a variety of projects that the individual homeowners and remodeling companies are eager to show off. The projects include a kitchen, outdoor living space, a wine room and whole-house remodels in homes ranging from a historic Bexley mansion to a Grandview cottage.
Dan Gauthier’s Hilliard house on the Scioto River had been scheduled to appear on NARI’s spring tour, which was cancelled. Gautier said he and his wife, Natasha Bowen, were a bit hesitant to have their home included in the upcoming tour.
“We have been incredibly careful since the pandemic started,” he said.
But Gauthier said he is confident in the precautions that tour officials are taking, including wiping down and disinfecting surfaces in the house during the tour.
The project on the house included a complete first-floor remodel that removed walls to create a more open — and very modern — look.
Gauthier said he was very happy with the work done by Nicholson Builders and the lead representative on the project, Jeremy Little.
Little, Gauthier said, was excited to have the project included on the tour.
“His excitement was infectious,” Gauthier said. “And it’s fun for us, having people come over to see it and appreciate it. It’s fun to have other people ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ about it, too.”
Mike Fought, president of Nicholson Builders, said he was happy that the Gauthiers decided to proceed with the tour.
“I’m really grateful, in this environment, that they’re willing to open their home to strangers,” he said.
Fought said guests at the Hilliard tour house will see “a really unique design, different from the traditional designs that we often deal with.”
The project includes artful, almost sculptural, walls, Fought said, and a home office enclosed with floor-to-ceiling glass.
“There are features you won’t see every day in a home, especially in central Ohio,” Fought said. “We don’t often have the opportunity to flex our contemporary or minimalist muscle. It required us to dial up our carpentry skills and craftsmanship. It’s really a showpiece.”
The NARI tour always attracts guests who are interested in seeing the latest design trends and walking through beautiful houses. But it also allows homeowners who are thinking of remodeling to meet company representatives and closely examine some of their best work, Patter said.
A major remodeling project can be very involved — and very personal, Patter said.
“You want to find someone you like,” she said. “You’ll be spending a lot of time with them.”
Tour sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. next Sunday. Tickets for the tour are $3 per person for a single site or $10 per person for the entire eight-site tour.
For safety and convenience, guests are encouraged to purchase tickets online at trustnari.org, but tickets will be available at each tour site for purchase with cash only and exact change.
Fall NARI tour
2814 Exmoor Road, Upper Arlington
A mid-century ranch home rebuilt into a California-style ranch. Project by: The Cleary Company.
6368 Oisin Court, Dublin
A complete kitchen replacement and more. Project by Danzig Construction.
193 Stanbery Ave., Bexley
Period-appropriate renovations to a 100-year-old Bexley mansion, including a family room addition, wine room, and kitchen remodel. Project by Griffey Remodeling.
1355 W. 2nd Ave., Grandview
A charming cottage in Grandview transformed into a jewel box of a home. Project by Haus Studio Designs.
5566 Dublin Road, Columbus
An outdoor pool house with an open-air bar and changing room and connected interior bar. Project by J.S. Brown & Company.
4740 Shire Ridge Road E., Hilliard
A complete renovation of the first floor creating a contemporary, open, active, and dynamic space with natural light flowing throughout. Project by Nicholson Builders.
4747 Bridle Path Court, Dublin
Complete renovation and update of kitchen, laundry and mudroom. Project by Organized Home Remodeling.
3505 W. Dublin Granville Road, Columbus
The design studio of Dave Fox Design Build Remodelers, with 25 displays and installations.