Plymouth Contractors Update a 1970s House

Repurposing a 1970s Plymouth home adds more room for a local couple to entertain in.
AFTER: The Wrights' renovated kitchen features an open concept and plenty of work space.

When Plymouth resident Mark Wright became engaged to his future wife, Barbara, they decided to keep Wright’s 1970s-style house and transform it into their new home together. Working with local contractors Ecklund & Swedlund Construction, Inc., they had an idea to move the laundry room from the basement to the main floor. “Like many homes built in the 70s, the kitchen was cramped and the house needed an update,” Wright says. “We decided to make it a slightly bigger renovation and add some additional space to the house as well.”

The original layout of the house was segmented and lacked entertaining space. As contractor Mark Swedlund describes, “Working with almost any 1970s-style home and trying to update it to people’s living style now is always a challenge.” In order to envision the remodeling project, Swedlund and Wright worked with designer Denny Rydell to come up with creative solutions that would create more space and light in the home. The resulting plan reorganized most of the main floor, added a new screened-in porch and created flow from one area to the next.

Rather than tier the updates over time, the final renovation consisted of five major projects, constructed simultaneously over a matter of months. The original kitchen, dining room and living room were combined into one large area with a new gourmet kitchen, bar and dining space. A 15-foot by 15-foot three-season porch was added off of the kitchen and dining section, with a large, double sliding glass door connecting the indoor and outdoor areas. Part of the garage was converted into a new main floor laundry/mud room, bringing the laundry area up from the basement. As the fourth project, the team created a new front entrance and added new roof sections in order to update the exterior appearance. The final project consisted of an upstairs bathroom renovation.

Wright and Swedlund agree that the renovation created a much warmer and more inviting atmosphere in the home. “We really enjoy using our new space for entertaining,” Wright says. “The new main floor is so open and it’s the perfect space when guests come over.” The glass doors connecting the kitchen to the porch add sunlight to the main floor in the winter and create an extended entertaining area during the warmer months. Swedlund notes that the “new diagonal and larger front entry completely transformed the space.”

In the time since the remodeling project, Wright feels that life inside the home has gotten much easier and more comfortable. The large kitchen and dining room areas are flexible and usable spaces that accommodate small meals sitting at the island or larger events in the dining room. The main floor laundry room is conveniently located approximately 10 steps from the kitchen. The laundry room relocation opened up a space in the basement where Wright plans to add a fourth bedroom in the future.

The key to a successful large renovation is “having a good contractor,” notes Wright, who appreciated the efficiency and transparency of the process. “Working with Ecklund & Swedlund was really a great experience for me. The sub-contractors and supplier partners were all top-notch professionals who showed up on time and explained to me what they were doing when I had questions. They respected my home and always listened to my concerns. I felt like it was a partnership project.”


Ecklund & Swedlund Construction, Inc.

3235 Fernbrook Ln. N.