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exterior contractor A little extra attention to detail transformed this once aging exterior into the talk of the town. From Aging Diva to Neighborhood Star Elite Remodeling Group makes the most of a seemingly straightforward facelift by adding efficiency features and signature products By Chuck Ross Grayslake, Ill., is a typical ex-urban community, located about 40 miles north of Chicago's bustling downtown. With its easy commuter-rail connections to the city, it's the kind of town that grew quickly in the early-to-mid 1990s, when cul-de-sacs were replacing cornfields in the outskirts of major metropolitan areas across the United States. Almost 20 years on, now, many of those homes are starting to show their age — but, as the owners of this remodeled residence (and any number of Hollywood stars) have learned, the right facelift often can make even the most dated dowager look fresh again. 52 August 2013 QR For these owners, a simple nip-and-tuck job wouldn't be enough. In fact, the remodeled exterior retains only the massing of the previous faÇade — otherwise, the updated home is nearly unrecognizable from its former self. While "before" photos document a home with pretensions of grandeur, complete with decorative (and non functional) shutters and a Georgian-style doorway, the renovated residence is comfortably approachable, drawing on some of the Prairie-style elements for which the Chicago area is known. Mike Macek, co-owner of Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based Elite Remodeling Group — the plastic surgeons behind this two- ForResidentialPros.com Old-school tools such as masking tape helped the homeowners envision what their new windows — unlike any on the block — would look like. story makeover — says the clients were seeking an updated design that would stand out among the surrounding homes in the subdivision-style development. "The community the house is in is a 1990s cookie-cutter neighborhood, and these people wanted a little more of a custom look, and we wanted cleaner lines — even for 1995, it was dated," he says, noting the opportunity his firm saw for bringing the exterior up to today's aesthetic expectations, and the company's own high standards. "We turn a typical house into a 'wow' house." While the $80,000 price tag to update a home that might only bring $400,000 in today's still-recovering real estate market might have been steep for some customers to swallow, Macek says selling the proposed improvements was an easy process. He made the call himself, bringing along an iPad loaded Before