52 SHAKERONLINE.COM | SUMMER 2017
When Teri and Ben moved into their new home last year, it had had just two previous
resident families – and the most recent had lived there since 1960. The house was a
well-maintained time capsule of mid-century design – including peach cabinets and
1950s counters in the kitchen, mint green bathroom fixtures, and plenty of wallpaper.
None of these dated design touches mattered to the Chmielewskis, because
they planned on much bigger changes. Their contractor, David Aronovich of Homes
on Demand, started by gutting the house from basement to roof, followed by the
installation of waterproofing and a new roof, windows, and HVAC to ensure a
comfortable, up-to-date starting point for Chmielewski’s custom renovation.
What followed was a somewhat unusual but effective partnership between
contractor and homeowner. Aronovich did not have experience with accessibility
construction, but he had the building expertise to do whatever was required. On the
other hand, Ben and Teri are not particularly handy, but they knew exactly what their
home would need to make it friendly to Sarah. Everyone agreed that they wanted a
more elegant solution than a clunky steel wheelchair ramp up the front steps,