Behind the Business

Jkath Behind the Business: How technology is changing the home remodeler industry (Part 1 of 5)

Katie Kath of Jkath Design Build + Reinvent shows home buyers a communication tool like Buildertrend on her phone

Behind the Business series: This week, we bring you the first in a series that highlights Jkath Design Build + Reinvent, a top-rated residential design and remodeling business based in the Twin Cities. In this five-part series, you’ll learn what the future of home remodeling holds, the rise of women in the construction business, scheduling dos and don’ts, how to attract the best clients and get an exclusive home tour with co-owners, Katie and Jesse Kath.

Rain shower walls adorned with blue herringbone tile, original parquet flooring all glossed up, expansive windows overlooking a family vegetable garden and all the custom cabinetry your heart desires. 

Each Jkath home project starts in the ideas stage and is meticulously managed until the very last finish is applied and fixture is attached. The end results? Truly spectacular.

The finished homes boast a distinct personality and each tells a story of its owner. The keen attention to detail and commitment to excellence is their secret to success.

Jkath’s process starts with the conceptual design, which includes everything from floor plans to finishes. Once all design and architectural plans are approved, the team begins renovation. When the sledge hammers start flying, Jkath takes the driver seat on every step in the remodel: finalizing permits, construction details, engineering plans and custom cabinetry … to name a few.

What does the future of remodeling look like? This team is so innovative they could be the face of what remodeling looks like in the future. Check out more.

Teams like Jkath are leading the way when it comes to modernizing the remodeling industry. But remodeling tech isn’t the only way contractors are improving their craft.

The top tech-inspired home remodeling and renovation trends revolve around custom craftsmanship, functionality, sustainability and the infusion of technology itself with smart homes.

Custom craftsmanship

The future of renovation is harking back to old-style craftsmanship of the past. This building trend delivers a high-level of quality and less of a cookie-cutter approach to the design process.

Jkath has fully embraced this old-world meets new-world approach to designing and remodeling. Their business goals are centered around honoring the past while making homes more conducive to modern life. Blending the history of the home with the client’s current needs creates a timeless space that’s truly unique.

Katie and Jesse are at the forefront of this trend. Their business model focuses on reinventing homes in the historic neighborhoods around Minneapolis and St. Paul while keeping their charm and history intact.


Functionality is top-of-mind for home renovators. For many people, COVID has changed the way we work, socialize and exercise. Because of this, our homes must now be more efficient if they are also our office, entertaining space and gym.

With more people working from home, a home office is now a must have on many homeowners’ lists. Coupled with rising interest rates and home prices, we’re going to see 2023 home renovations that focus on making our existing homes function better for our individual lifestyles.

For some, this functionality will include renovating to add a rentable space to help bring down those mortgage payments. For others, this may be a finished basement or home gym project.

Don’t know where to start with home renos and functionality? Check out Buildertrend’s tips on how to create an effective home renovation project plan.


As we’ve heard, the outlook for 2023 involves economic headwinds. Remodelers and homeowners will be seeking opportunities to save on building materials and retrofitting homes to maximize energy-efficiency.

The use of recycled materials has become a popular trend. Reclaimed wood flooring will be a common option for flooring but also for wall and ceiling paneling. Refurbished materials are a quick and simple way for builders and homeowners to cut down on renovation costs.

While homeowners are focused on making their home more functional for their needs, making it environmentally friendly and cutting energy costs will also remain important. Energy-efficient windows, light fixtures and appliances are just some ways they’ll be looking to cut costs.

“Energy-efficiency retrofits incentivized by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, as well as disaster repairs and mitigation projects following Hurricane Ian will further support expansion of the home remodeling market to almost $450 billion in 2023,” said Abbe Will, associate project director of the Remodeling Futures Program.

While remodelers and contractors may feel that the work is slowing, Abbe projects the energy-efficient retrofits in the home remodeling market will do quite well.

The remodeling industry as a whole is moving towards renovating homes to be more sustainable.

Smart homes

Smart homes are not a new trend by any means. However, building smart homes without sacrificing design has become top-of-mind for designers. Homeowners crave both sleek design and technology.

Items such as thermostats and appliances that used to be an eyesore are now blending into the walls and surfaces to provide a streamlined look. Why sacrifice design for convenience? This trend is as smart as they come.

These sleek designs are being infused into entertainment, security and HVAC systems, which allows homeowners to interact with many functions in their home from their phone.

Sound familiar? An app that simplifies your day-to-day life and keeps you connected? Check out our podcast that goes into detail on the perks of having control over your home’s functions with the touch of a button.

A changing industry

These tech trends will boost business even as work in other areas may slow for remodelers. In a potentially challenging 2023, let Buildertrend help you thrive.

As a Buildertrend user, Jkath is living proof of working simpler to solve problems for clients. And they are able to succeed in doing this even in our current economic situation.  

There are a lot of changes in the building and remodeling industry, but with construction management software on your side, there’s an easier way to build. Home remodelers and contractors can rely on Buildertrend to keep you on task in a new and challenging environment.

Be sure to check back for our second installment of our Behind the business series. We’ll dive into female-led innovation with the rise of women in the construction industry. Tune in to learn how Katie Kath, along with her husband Jesse, remain successful in a male-dominated industry. 

About The Author

Meghan Townley Meghan Townley is a freelance copywriter for Buildertrend.

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