Meinders completes renovation while rural Worthington homeowners head south for the winter – The Globe

Meinders completes renovation while rural Worthington homeowners head south for the winter – The Globe

WORTHINGTON — A home renovation can be stressful with so many decisions to make about flooring, cabinetry, paint colors and fixtures, and if you’re trying to live in the space while it’s under construction, the stress may be even more prevalent.

For Casey and Mary Ingenthron of rural Worthington, the stress was — for the most part — removed when they timed a three-room remodeling project to take place while they were traversing the deep south with their camper earlier this year.

The Ingenthrons hired Jeff Meinders, whom Casey had worked with on occasion during his stint in construction. Casey knew the quality of the workmanship and felt comfortable having Meinders and his crew come in and do the work while he and Mary spent three months traveling.

“I’ve known Jeff for quite a while so I could trust him,” Casey said.

The home renovation focused on the kitchen, laundry room and bathroom. Originally constructed in 1978, and with a variety of homeowners since then, the house had gone through some updates. When the Ingenthrons purchased the property, a variety of different flooring made up the main level of the home.

“It originally started as two things,” Casey said of what became a major remodel. “My wife wanted a new bathroom.”

Step-in shower

A new onyx step-in shower was installed in the bathroom of the Ingenthron home.

Julie Buntjer/The Globe

That project was identified when they bought the home in 2018, he said. Then, last fall, Casey pointed to a doorless cabinet in the kitchen that a former homeowner had used for a microwave after the built-in died.

“I said, ‘I guess we need to get a new kitchen’ … and then we have to do the hallways and the floors so it all ties together,” Casey shared.

Their plans grew to include replacing the kitchen countertop and removing the peninsula in favor of a kitchen island.

“Most people that come over sit or stand at the island,” Casey said, adding that the counter space is larger than the peninsula, and they had drawers installed on one side and cabinets on the other, offering plenty of storage space.

The Ingenthrons met with Meinders last fall about the project, and faced a lot of decisions before they left for Texas in early January.

“It was a little stressful because we had to try to plan everything out before we left,” Casey shared. Not only that, but they also had to pack their camper, clear the three rooms, hallways and affected closets, empty the kitchen cabinets and move the appliances into their garage.

“We got everything picked out — the paint color, tile floor and countertops — before they left,” said Meinders, noting that the Ingenthrons worked with Colonial Cabinets of Worthington to make their new kitchen cupboards, laminate countertops and island.

Laundry room

The laundry room was updated with a new tile floor, while the beautiful hickory cabinets stayed in place.

Julie Buntjer/The Globe

While cabinetry work began in January, Meinders and his crew started on the Ingenthron home in early February. Their first task was to remove the existing flooring — 830 square feet of it, including 5,100 pounds of tile.

“That was all replaced and some of the carpeted hallway went to tile,” Casey said.

Varying heights in the flooring required Meinders to remove material down to the original flooring, which was built with half-inch plywood and half-inch particle board. Damaged flooring in the laundry room and kitchen required replacement which, of course, added to the cost.

When those issues were discovered, Meinders took photos of what he found, texted them to Casey and then followed up with a phone call.

“I didn’t often tell her (Mary) what you called about,” Casey shared with a grin, knowing it likely would have added to his wife’s stress about the construction project while they were away.

Meinders also sent pictures of projects as they were completed, though, and Mary and Casey were quite pleased with what they saw.

Their newly renovated bathroom features an onyx step-in shower, and Mary was quite excited about the photos of the kitchen that were shared.

“When she came in, she liked it,” Casey said of their return home on March 31.

As of last week, they hadn’t yet filled the kitchen cabinets and hadn’t begun their search for new appliances. They planned to move their existing appliances back in from the garage until they get new, likely stainless steel appliances, Casey said.


The Ingenthrons wanted their tile flooring to be consistent from the kitchen, through the hallway and into the laundry and bathroom on the main floor of their rural Worthington home.

Julie Buntjer/The Globe

Meinders, who began working in construction right out of high school and started his own business in 1984, said this was the first time he’s completed a renovation while the homeowners were being snowbirds. He said it worked well because his crew could come and go as needed.

“Casey and Mary were great to work with,” Meinders said.

Casey said the same about Meinders. While the construction was going on, the Ingenthrons enjoyed their three-month trip that went from Frisco, Texas (their first destination was to attend the NDSU-SDSU football game), through the Gulf Coast states and into the panhandle of Florida before working their way down Florida’s Gulf Coast and back up the Atlantic Coast, into Georgia and then northwest through the Great Smoky Mountains and back toward Worthington.

As for Meinders, he’s moved on to his next project. His business can take care of everything from the very little to the large construction projects, including renovations and new construction. He also does light commercial work.

He does have time to add projects into his schedule this year, and said his biggest struggle is finding subcontractors. On the Ingenthron project, he did all of the painting and laid the tile flooring.

Meinders credits the industrial arts and shop classes he had at Worthington High School in the 1970s for giving him a solid education in the trades. That education, and getting hands-on training alongside Eldred Kingery when Meinders first started in construction, has led to a longstanding career.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.