Aspen Building Contractors Rejuvenates Plymouth Home on Budget

Plymouth’s burgeoning remodeling scene.
The Cryotakis kitchen post-renovation.

Homeowner Carla Caryotakis will be the first to tell you: “Doug Tapio is one of the most straightforward people I’ve worked with in the industry.” And since the construction and remodeling industry can be known for projects that are over budget and behind schedule, Caryotakis’ words are high praise indeed.   Plymouth-based Aspen Building Contractors (ABC) was founded by the congenial Doug Tapio more 20 years ago. The full-service design, building and remodeling contractor dubs itself a “small company with large-company capabilities” and has many enthusiastic clients in Plymouth to prove it. The Caryotakis Kitchen Two of ABC’s recent kitchen remodels represent a tellingly compelling illustration of the company’s high standards. The Caryotakises first met Doug Tapio at a home show at the Metrodome; after an engaging conversation, they hired him to do a bathroom and bedroom remodel on their 1964 Green Tree Forest home. “We liked him so much that we called him again when we were ready to do the kitchen,” Caryotakis says. The Caryotakis kitchen project required a full gutting and installation of new appliances. They installed a gas stove and appliance garages to minimize clutter. Classic, old-fashioned subway tile made up the flooring, and the Caryotakises requested a kitchen window bump-out to create a ledge and a view. And the end result? The four-member family is ecstatic. “There is no dead space in the kitchen now,” Caryotakis says. “I can pretty much get to anything.” The adjacent new mudroom can only be called state-of-the-art, if one can apply that term to a mud room. It has two shelves, three cubbies, three coat hooks, purse and backpack hooks, plus a mail station—not to mention a charming antique chest, cute hardware details and a sweet vintage peg board.   The Huber Home Tom and Lori Huber are also local ABC fans. Their 1969 split four-level Plymouth house was bursting at the seams; the 11’ x 11’ dining room could barely contain the growing family. They found ABC online and liked the fact that the company was local. “It was an easy relationship from the get-go,” Lori Huber says. “Doug really listened to us and was willing to do whatever we thought we wanted. He also had lots of experience and would bring ideas in if we asked him.” The Hubers changed their minds several times mid-project. Remarkably, ABC rolled with the changes without protest. Tapio spent a lot of time on-site and took pains to explain various building codes to the Hubers. “He always went above and beyond,” Huber recalls, citing a 100-degree summer afternoon that Tapio worked through without air conditioning. “He went through about four shirts that day.” A 10’ x 10’ deck now graces the side of the Huber home. “We needed a way to go outside for a few minutes and just enjoy the day,” Huber says. The outdoor space is accessible by a pair of charming French doors. Not only did ABC figure out how to stay within strict city guidelines, but they managed to find an extra two feet to extend the deck The neighbors’ approval is important to the Hubers, and they got it. “It looks as if the house was designed that way in the first place. They even found siding that matched ours exactly,” Huber says. The Hubers plan to hire ABC for all future home projects and will recommend them to others. It’s a testament to the beautiful mutual support between the small businesses and residents of Plymouth. “We were thrilled,” Huber says. “They were on schedule and on budget, and our last-minute changes were no problem. We couldn’t ask for more than that!”