License No. CBC1255512 Call 727-596-9006 CLIENT LOGIN

“Can You Actually DO That?” Tales of Wonder in Construction

From the Great Pyramids of Giza to the cathedrals of Europe, construction over the ages has been a source of wonder and amazement.  Whether dealing with plumb-bobs and rugged stone or lasers and steel, builders and tradespeople are viewed with a sort of awe, as they carry a wisdom and courage about the material universe that seems several notches above the average person.  

Although we are not building cathedrals or pyramids, today’s builder or remodeler is still accomplishing feats that often go un-acknowledged, because all people see is the finished product.  Until one experiences or hears the tale of the barriers one had to overcome (and there are many), it seems that building or remodeling is routine and mundane, as if one need only stack up some lumber and slop on some mortar to build a house.  The truth is, no one construction project is the same, especially when it comes to custom home building and remodeling, and we’re here to share some stories (and Before and After photos) of construction projects we’ve done that were, each one, an adventure in itself.

Historic Home Restoration Clearwater

2017 © Nickolas Sargent Photography

The Steel Beam Escapade

This stunning kitchen (above) was part of a historic home restoration and remodel we did in the Harbor Oaks district of Clearwater.  While the finishes and fixtures are jaw-dropping in themselves, there was some serious structural work that had to be done to prepare the space.

Residential Construction in Clearwater

The “Before” consisted of two rooms, with one of the walls being load-bearing – meaning it was holding up the two stories above.  The homeowner wanted the room to be an open floor plan, without that unsightly beam in the middle of her kitchen.  The architect, however, was requiring that the load-bearing beam stay.

Putting our heads together with our engineer, we came up with the idea to install a long, steel beam across the width of the room, strong enough to hold the weight of the house but narrow enough to fit within the ceiling.  It would require proper shoring, new concrete footings strong enough to hold the weight of the new steel beam, and on-site welding, but it would give the client that smooth, open look that she really needed to feature the centerpiece of her kitchen.



Pouring new concrete footings while the house was shored up.



Steel Beam     Nelson Construction and Renovations welding     Contractor in Clearwater

Installing the steel beam (it was over 1100 pounds!)


Load bearing steel beam

This is the view from the kitchen into the ceiling.  The crew on the second floor used a wench to help pull the beam up.  The posts were welded to the beam on site, with a fire safety crew watching. 


Load-bearing steel beam and posts

A view of the room after the steel beam and posts were installed and the temp wall had been removed.


Clearwater renovation

After framing, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, drywall, flooring and cabinet boxes.


Officine Gullo Italian Kitchen

After carefully installing the oven from Officine Gullo (imported from Italy)



And a few more final photos, after job completion:

Blue and gold kitchen

2017 © Nickolas Sargent Photography

Blue and white kitchen

2017 © Nickolas Sargent Photography





The House Without a Foundation

Florida home remodel

Completed guest house and exterior renovation

While remodeling this backyard guest house in Clearwater, we pulled up the floorboards to discover… nothing but dirt! 

Clearwater guest house before

Guest house “Before”


This 100-year-old home had been built without a foundation.  A way to save money during the Great Depression, perhaps?  


Clearwater pool house before



Needless to say, we had to shore up the structure, pour a new foundation, and continue the renovation once the structure was on firm footings.  We built a covered walkway from the guest house to the main home, maintaining the same historic look but giving the homeowners a considerable upgrade.  We created a climate-controlled garage for the man of the house, a car lover, and a beautiful herb garden for the lady of the home, along with a number of personalized features.  Here is the final result. 


Clearwater pool house



Guest house Clearwater



Clearwater remodel

Interior: After

Cute kitchen Clearwater







Another Foundation-less Structure With Settling Issues

Clearwater historic home

While remodeling this charming house in Clearwater, we discovered that the detached garage in the back was also missing a foundation!  This structure had major settling issues and was seriously out of level.  

Garage with settling issues

Again, we had to lift the house, shore it up, pour a foundation, and make a number of careful adjustments to get the house back to level before setting it back down. 

Preparing for a new foundation

New foundation

Once the structure was sound, we were then able to proceed with remodeling the interior.





More Before and Afters


Here are a few more Before and Afters from various projects we’ve done throughout the years.  While the story of each project is enough to fill a book, we’ll let the photos speak for themselves. 

Before and After Oldsmar Remodel

Oldsmar home addition and whole home remodel


Before and After Dining Room

Oldsmar home addition and whole home remodel


Craftsman Home Renovation Tampa

Tampa second story addition and whole home remodel


Island Estates Bathroom Before and After

Island Estates whole home luxury remodel


Clearwater outdoor kitchen

Clearwater historic home remodel interior and exterior


Clearwater kitchen before and after

Clearwater historic home remodel



Kitchen Before and After

Clearwater whole home remodel


Brandon home renovation

Brandon whole home remodel


Clearwater home before and after

Clearwater waterfront home tear-down and new build


Treasure Island home construction

Crystal Beach custom new-build


Condo remodel before and after

Treasure Island Condo Gut and Remodel


New Home Construction Clearwater

Clearwater New Home Build



Nelson Construction and Renovations, a family business founded in 2006, is a design-build company that specializes in high-end remodels, home additions, and custom homes. With our headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, we serve homeowners all over Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. We are an award-winning member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.  

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to re-post this article in its entirety with credit to Nelson Construction and a clickable link back to this page


"Reliable, Licensed & Insured Building Contractor"

For A NO Obligation Design Consultation

Contact Us

Leave a Comment

  • loading Loading

      • I would hire Nelson CR again in a heartbeat. No construction new project and/or renovation is without issues. However, if you want a company and a team that will resolve those issues to your satisfaction then NCR is that company. The thoughtfulness, professionalism, quality of work, communication and a resolution oriented team are the best... Read More »

        J.I., homeowner – whole home remodel

      • We would hire Nelson construction again without hesitation. The entire team, from the unseen to the seen, were dedicated, responsive, respectful, and patient while we lived through a beautiful renovation.

        V.I., homeowner – whole home remodel

      • Nelson Construction out of Clearwater/Tampa fully remodeled our 7,900 sq ft home in Clearwater, Florida. To say they did a great job is an understatement. The qualities of this company extend beyond just a nice finish. Road blocks: Near the beginning of the remodel we ran into our first hidden challenge. To modify and create... Read More »

        BZ, homeowner – historic home restoration/remodel

      • The staff at Nelson Construction do a fantastic job of caring for their customers. They care about their work, their products, and the customer’s satisfaction in the final result. I also greatly admire their attention to legal rudiments, which some contractors try to skirt or dodge. Nelson Construction operates within all ethical codes and boundaries,... Read More »

        A.O. - American Power and Gas

      • We were satisfied with the level of service we were given by Nelson Construction and Renovations. The project manager was very communicative. Any time I needed an answer, the Nelson Team was there. Everyone was very professional and courteous, and the end result is beautiful.


      • “We highly recommend Nelson Construction and Renovation, Inc. We are totally satisfied customers. Nelson Construction will always be our first recommendation to friends who want to build. “Our project was the 2014 renovation and expansion of a 600 square foot 1950’s bungalow in Safety Harbor’s historic district. Our goal was to create a space suitable... Read More »

        Ann Morgan & Margo Pfleger, homeowners – home addition and whole home remodel

      • On behalf of the whole CCHR Clearwater team, we would like to thank you and your company for the stellar work on our new building – which did open on time! Even though we were very pressed for time and things were very hectic, your supervisor remained stable and your work areas somehow remained organized.... Read More »

        Jamie Blackstone - Renovations Supervisor – Citizens Commission on Human Rights

      • Nelson Construction and Renovations exceeded our expectations on our fairly good-sized job (new addition and complete living room and kitchen remodel). I have never worked with a company before that was this intent on making our project a total success AND was so fast and efficient. In addition to that, they routinely went above and... Read More »

        Scott and Holly - Clearwater, FL

      • This letter is to commend Nelson Construction for the excellent job done on our kitchen renovation. When we returned from vacation we were surprised to see the difference and how great it all looked. We expected to see a mess, but everything was cleaned up perfectly; and your company did even more than we expected... Read More »

        The Baldwins

      • Thank you for the job well done! I have renovated several houses and know the hassles that often come with these endeavors – dirt, delays, redo’s, cost, contract issues, etc. I was planning to renovate my kitchen for many months, but kept putting it off, simply trying to avoid the expected hassles. Once I finally... Read More »

        W. Nero

      • Mr. Nelson was my contractor for a major house renovation in March 2006 and also my office renovation in June 2006. He is a rare commodity in the construction industry. He is honest, efficient, on time, on schedule and overall a pleasure to deal with. In my area, where real estate values are climbing and... Read More »

        Michael Haldane - Managing Partner/Executive Producer – The Radke Film Group

      • Our school was in great need of a new roof. Sorting through the various types of roofing and installations was very overwhelming, and for such a large project, we needed to be certain we were making the most cost-effect decision we could. So we hired Nelson Construction to be an Owner’s Representative to help navigate... Read More »

        T. Campana

      • Nelson Construction is a valued company, steadfast to a strict, honest and drug-free work environment. The most notable point of Nelson Construction’s service was the quality work and professional integrity. My project met all of my expectations and more. Project Images (*Click image to enlarge)

        S.K. - Clearwater, FL

      • The most notable part of Nelson Construction and Renovations’ service was their attention to detail. Great all around service and finished product!


      • Thank you for giving us a new home that we love. Every time we look around we are reminded that we made the right decision to go with Nelson. We shall recommend you to anyone who asks and would be happy to serve as references for potential clients.

        Margo & Ann

      • Your Concrete Design Website is very impressive. Beautifully put together and inviting to the design community.


      • In short, we love our home. It is gorgeous. The counter tops are amazing, the cabinetry is perfect. Overall we are so happy! Project Images (*Click image to enlarge)


      • We couldn’t be happier and we plan to use your company on any upcoming project that we have. The employees and subcontractors were very professional; it was something we noticed right away. The job site was cleaned every day, and my cleaning lady even noticed and told our friend about it. The level of communication... Read More »


      • You and your guys are the BEST!!! It is such a pleasure to be able to open my home and leave for the day and know there will not be a problem. Your staff is like family! Project Images (*Click image to enlarge)


      • Nelson Construction has been the best construction company that I have ever hired. I am sure that they are not the cheapest but they offer an excellent product and are very professional. They stayed in daily communication to let me know the status of the project. Their crew was friendly, courteous and conscientious. They showed... Read More »


      • Working with Nelson was like no other experience I’ve ever had–and I’ve done a ton of work on my very old house. They’re so professional and stayed in close communication with us. I will NEVER use any other contractor again! I can’t say enough good things!

        Joy Gendusa - CEO - PostcardMania

      • Nelson Construction delivers every time: quality product, on time and in budget, no surprises, no rip-offs, stellar service and product, communication and genuine interest in finishing the product 100% to my satisfaction (and theirs)!

        Stacey Tiveron - CEO - Trade Only Design Library (TODL)

      • I wanted to tell you how pleased I am with the work done by Nelson Construction & Renovations. The external deck and 2 stairways your company recently built at my North Clearwater Beach apartments exceeded my expectations. I was very impressed with every aspect of the operation in the work and the interaction with me... Read More »