Parrot Head Remodelers specializes in using Universal Design to ensure safe, convenient, comfortable, and beautiful living spaces. Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible.

For over 30 years we have provided custom remodeling of Twin Cities houses, apartments and condos. We work with customers to adapt their homes to their changing needs. People may be experiencing temporary or permanent physical challenges, or just anticipating normal changes in abilities with maturity. Either way, they can benefit from the CAPS contractor’s knowledge of new technology and products now available as solutions to help them maintain their independence and comfort with style.

Common examples of home accessibility modifications are: attractive lever-style doorknobs, better lighting, handrails and grab bars that are decorative as well as useful, comfort height toilets, halls and doorways wide enough to use a walker or wheelchair, stylish showers with seats and walk-in baths, ramps to replace stairs, more accessible kitchen and bathroom cabinets, one-level living, zero-clearance entrances, bench seat and 'to go' shelf by an outside door, seated kitchen work space, and light switches at a height all can reach.


  • Home assessment - evaluation of potential barriers to independent, comfortable living
  • Design of personalized solutions for individual needs - remodeling of your home to make it more comfortable, safer and convenient
  • Other home modifications using Universal Design
  • And all other home remodeling projects - inside and outside the home

Serving the greater Twin Cities metro area

When a remodeling contractor finally gets around to remodeling his own kitchen it can seem like a miracle. But when Brad Meinhold of Parrot Head Remodelers, Inc. finally got around to gutting and rebuilding his kitchen it turned out to be perfect timing. His savvy solutions incorporated Universal Design elements so he and his wife can be comfortable in the house for years to come. And by adding a mere 20 square feet of space he transformed a cramped and dangerous galley kitchen and attached sun room into the welcoming heart of the home and of entertaining family and friends. As final touches he turned the former rear entrance's concrete steps into an outdoor kitchen, and created a whimsical light display over the kitchen sink that delights all who visit.

Brad - a general contractor specializing in remodeling - was one of the first Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) in Minnesota. His passion about Universal Design and accessibility for all came from years of experience modifying home environments for clients and family members living with physical challenges ranging from blindness, to paraplegia, to age-related infirmities, to progressing Parkinson's disease and more. With synchronicity, when it became time to do a major renovation of their own kitchen and adjoining sun room, Brad and his wife Sue were both well into their 50's so they had a vested interest in applying the principles of Universal Design he had used on others' homes to their own project.

Applying Universal Design principles resulted in lighting redundancy; prevention of hazards such as tripping, stove mishaps, and microwave spillage; storage and electrical outlets at different heights; doors and cabinetry that don't require strength or dexterity; and adjustability of multiple features to suit individuals with different physical abilities.

Some of the accessibility products Brad installed in the new kitchen and sun room to accommodate them currently (Sue has chronic fatigue syndrome and arthritic hands) and for the future are: a drawer microwave under the counter; full-extension pantry shelves and oven racks; self-closing cabinets and drawers; a sound system speaker that carries tv, radio or music to the sun room and kitchen for the hard of hearing; pocket doors with accessible hardware; stove with controls and easy-read display at the front; lever door handles and roomy cabinet handles; a smooth, comfortable cork floor; a pot filler faucet above the stove; an appliance lift with electrical outlet for a heavy mixer; a pull-out recycling center; ambient and task lighting in the form of cans, pendants, and under cabinet lights with two intensity levels; high and low bars in the coat closet; a matte-finish on the counters to prevent glare from the lighting required by aging eyes; a French door refrigerator with bottom freezer; electrical outlets in strips under all upper cabinets and at 30" height on the peninsula; a range hood with adjustable LED light and fan levels; and a bookcase at the peninsula's finished end that will be removed when needed to create space for a stool to perch on while working there.

Although the house's footprint was expanded by only 2' x 10', clever design added more than six linear feet of counters and cupboards, added three large work areas, and created a seamlessly flowing space of kitchen and sun room that seems much larger and is perfect for entertaining. In the previous configuration the rear entrance was on the side of the house - forcing the stove to be dangerously and directly up against the sink, causing visitors to enter nearly in the kitchen's middle, and preventing expansion of the kitchen toward the house's back along with an adjacent 2 foot deep partition wall and ceiling beam marking where the house's original back wall had been. Counter space was further limited by the furnace chimney coming through the kitchen and the additional challenge of five different generations of cabinets going back to 1932. In remodeling, Brad gutted the kitchen and sun room to the studs, squared the house up with the 20 square foot addition, installed a microlam to substitute for the beam and partial wall, removed the chimney after installing a high efficiency furnace, lowered the kitchen ceiling to match the sun room's height, moved the rear entrance to the back of the house, and reconfigured the kitchen's layout to become supremely functional. And rather than busting up the old concrete stoop on the side of the house, Brad found a use for it. It became the perfect platform for a built-in barbecue, prep area, and storage for his smoker at the deck right outside the new back door.

The new kitchen and sun room are full of charming, warm touches in keeping with the house being a cottage: quarter sawn oak cabinets, gray Corian stone-style counters, oiled bronze finishes, honey onyx tile backsplashes, and art glass pendants. But what draws visitors' eyes first and what they return to is a one-of-a-kind feature above the kitchen sink. Lowering the kitchen ceiling by 3" had made displaying their favorite platter on the shelf above the sink impossible so Sue and Brad looked for an antique stained glass transom window for that space with the idea of somehow lighting it from behind. That turned out to be impractical. While vacationing on Minnesota's Lake Superior North Shore, Brad found agate slices in a shop. He held them up to see how light came through them and thought of substituting agates for the stained glass feature. Brad built a glass-fronted frame from extra cabinet trim and encased the agate slices in clear epoxy in the frame, they painted the spaces between the agates, found and installed retail LED light panels above the shelf, hung the framed agates above the shelf and added a rheostat to be able to adjust the brightness from cozy to sparkling. The result is both whimsical and fascinating, and it evokes Minnesota's natural beauty.