From bathroom and basement renovations to whole home remodels, The English Contractor & Remodeling Services team has made its mark on some of Cincinnati’s hottest neighborhoods. Remember the Urban Oasis transformation in Oakley, which premiered on HGTV in October 2018? The English Contractor team oversaw the entire project. This time, the Fairfax-based group is transforming Broadview Drive in Hyde Park and is currently completing its fourth home project on the street. We talked with CEO Craig Russell about the team’s Hyde Park projects and tips for starting home renovations.
What kind of projects doesThe English Contractor team tackle?
We dig holes and build castles. We will do anything from a bathroom remodel to [constructing] a whole new home. I use the word home instead of house, because I am trying to build a home for someone, not a house. On Broadview—[we are] petitioning to change the name of it to call it English Contractor Way—we started the first home about two years ago. [Another home we did] around the corner, [included a] very large garage with car lifts in it. We also demoed a house on Broadview, and we are building a new two-story home from the ground up.
What are your favorite projects to oversee?
Every single project has its own special quirkiness. Every home we work on is unique in its own way. The HGTV house, that was pretty cool.
How do homeowners know which contractor is right for them?
Best form of advertising is word of mouth. Ask around. Depending on the scale of the project, do you need to bring in an architect? Also, when you sit down with a contractor, ask them about their experience. It’s basically a job interview, but be aware the contractor is also interviewing you.
Which elements of home transformations are often overlooked or not realized?
Sometimes, homeowners’ expectations, because of TV, can be set in an extremely high manner. They don’t really tell people the true cost involved. You’re paying for the experience they have. Like doctors who go to med school, you aren’t paying for the visit that one day; you’re paying for their experience.
What’s next for The English Contractor team?
[We’re producing] our own show. Six episodes [will air] on the Destination America channel this spring. It will show some of the homes on Broadview.
Click through our gallery to view photos of one of The English Contractor’s Broadview Drive projects:
This home renovation included an addition, complete with a new kitchen, sunroom, and outdoor space. This project also involved transforming the former kitchen into a laundry room and adding a free-standing garage with car lifts.