From Fixer-Upper to Fabulous: How Team Portico Overhauled a Ballantyne Home

Todd Croy had a vision for his new property, but he needed Team Portico to make it a reality.   

Three-car garages are hard to come by in the Queen City, as are level lots and downstairs master baths. So, when a home like this hit the market, Todd Croy jumped. “I offered $5,000 over asking,” says Todd, who moved to the Charlotte area with his wife, Deanna Valeo, in 1996.

Todd and Deanna’s new home in the Ballantyne community of Thornhill wasn’t perfect. It had some issues, cupped hardwood flooring being one. But Todd knew he could transform the fixer-upper into a beautiful and functional space. He just needed the expertise of Team Portico. 

Purchasing a Slice of Prime Real Estate

Todd is not a newcomer to Thornhill. He and Deanna moved to the subdivision several years ago, loving its proximity to the Stonecrest Shopping center, I-485, and TPC Piper Glen, where Todd plays golf. 

But the first home they purchased in Thornhill needed some upgrades. Todd and Deanna wanted a place to store Todd’s Porsche and a flat driveway in case of winter weather. 

These considerations motivated the couple to purchase their second home in Thornhill: a neglected dwelling in need of major TLC. The house felt “antiquated” and “dodgy,” says Todd. Also, thanks to a two-story wall that divided the main living spaces, it felt claustrophobic.

“After the home inspection, we saw that it had a lot of deferred maintenance,” says Todd. “But the decision to buy wasn’t based on what the home was. It was about what the home could be.”

Thinking Outside the Boxy Floor Plan

From the very beginning, Todd and Deanna knew they were going to pursue a full remodel. Since they were close friends with Corey Shemtov, co-founder of Portico, they also knew exactly who they would hire to complete the renovation. 

The overhaul began with an initial consultation. During this meeting, Portico general contractor, Farhad Aframian, walked through Todd and Deanna’s home, listening as they described their expectations for the space. Farhad concluded that the wall dividing the dining room and kitchen wasn’t load-bearing and could easily be removed. 

Farhad offered other insights as well. Part of Todd’s original plan was to add a 280-square-foot screened-in porch off the kitchen. Though this addition wouldn’t be heated square footage, it would extend the couple’s living area nonetheless. But after evaluating the space, Farhad suggested that it wouldn’t cost much more to add a heating and air conditioning controller. 

“Farhad tells you the reality,” says Todd. “Though he may tell you something that you might not want to hear, you want an expert to let you know what realistically can be accomplished.”

“People walk into our house and are just blown away.”
Todd C. - Testimonial
Todd Croy
Portico Client

Making The Impossible Happen

Team Portico is realistic. However, they also fight tooth and nail to make the impossible happen for clients. 

For example, Todd had purchased a vanity set, mirror, and some faucets from Wayfair for his upstairs bathroom. He wanted a coastal vibe for the space and department store fixtures weren’t going to cut it. But when it came time to install the pieces, they didn’t match up with the existing plumbing. Portico had to bring in a subcontractor, Todd says, “but I got what I wanted.”

There are countless examples of times that Portico went above and beyond during Todd and Deanna’s remodel. Farhad met Todd at Lowe’s to look at decking materials, for instance. Team Portico also replaced all the original hardwood flooring, which was too warped to sand and stain. 

Throughout this process, Todd was very impressed by Portico’s transparency. If a material or service cost more than anticipated, the team took the time to explain why. They also took the time to help Todd “strike a balance between budget and vision.”

Living In A Dream

By the end of Todd and Deanna’s remodel, almost every inch of their house had been revamped. The kitchen was expanded, the master bedroom was renovated on the first floor, a new deck was built, and lap siding was added to the outside. Even the garage received a facelift with new cabinetry and epoxied flooring

“It’s just a dream,” says Todd. “Every time I’m sitting in my house, I look around and go, ‘Wow. It’s perfect.’”

Though the remodel had its ups and downs – namely logistical issues caused by nasty winter weather – Todd can’t say enough about how easy Portico made the process. “You have to be prepared for the unknowns,” says Todd, “and that’s where these guys will help you.”

A Word of Advice: Don't Leave That Perfect Neighborhood

The primary driver behind Todd and Deanna’s remodel was location. They loved Thornhill and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. So, rather than purchase a move-in-ready home elsewhere, they decided to invest in a fixer-upper in the right neighborhood. 

If you have locked eyes with a less-than-perfect property in a perfect spot, Todd recommends you call 704-742-2720 to speak with Team Portico.

The building experts with Portico can reimagine your dark and dingy bungalow into a bright and airy space. What’s even better? You get to live five minutes from work or within walking distance from your child’s school. 

“By renovating our home, it allowed us to pick where we wanted to live,” says Todd. “One of the best perks of a home remodel is location.”