Master Builders Association’s Rampathon 2017 with the MRM Team

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Each year since 1993, Master Builder’s Association (MBA) members and community volunteers head to homes across King and Snohomish counties to build wheelchair ramps for people in need. This year the Model Remodel team stepped up to the plate and offered to build a south Seattle recipient, Laura, a front entry ramp. Laura spent years on her feet as a high school custodian, and has developed a number of conditions that make walking difficult. Her husband and two daughters were also very thankful for the ramp, as it will help them leave the house as a family. [Read more…]

Before & After: Grand Capitol Hill Remodel

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Our recent clients, a couple working in Seattle tech, purchased this 1909 home for its spacious interior and grand features. The home, located between Capitol Hill and Eastlake in Seattle, is one of many box-style homes in the neighborhood having features such as: a dormer, covered porch and square columns. Though the home had been renovated before, the interior had more Victorian details than modern ones. With the help of local architect Board & Vellum, designer Jules Thomas of Maker Agent and our build team, the couple reimagined some of the major spaces and made quick updates to modernize others. The result is a truly stunning modern home that retains its historical grandeur. Note: The interior design of the home is currently still in progress, and we look forward to sharing updates upon its completion.

Before:
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After:
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The entryway and stairs received a touch-up with new painting, flooring and a fireplace addition. The fireplace was a change that occurred during the build process, as the living room shaped up to focus on the entertainment system. So that the fireplace did not compete with the TV, the original brick fireplace was removed from the living room and a new traditional, marble fireplace was added to the family room where it becomes the focal point. [Read more…]

9 Places to Buy Unique Home Gifts in Seattle This Holiday Season

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With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to start making your shopping list so you can avoid the last-minute rush. If you know a family member or friend who has recently purchased a new home or completed a remodel, you may consider gifting them something for their new space. Buying for someone else’s home can be a tricky affair, since our homes are such personal spaces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose something that fits their style (and thoughtfully includes a gift receipt). Watch as the recipient opens what’s sure to be a unique gift this holiday season—much more exciting than a gift card! To help in your search, our office staff has rounded up a list of our favorite home shops in Seattle:

seattle-home-stores [Read more…]

How Model Remodel Got Its Name

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Every person and company has a story to tell. We’re excited to share with you our unconventional story of how a Seattle remodeling company was born from a cosmopolitan modeling career and a deep-rooted love for the state of Washington.

Modeling and Remodeling

Two occupations you don’t often find on the same resume: fashion modeling and home construction. Yet, those are two you’ll see when you look at the resume of our founder, Jason Legat. In junior high he started working for a family friend, Rick Newell, who owned a general contracting business on Whidbey Island. It’s a place Jason, his family, and many of the staff in our office still frequent. After high school, Jason spent a few years traveling the world to model designer clothing including: Nike, DKNY and Pierre Cardin. His heart was always back in Washington and within an industry that provided a more tangible and permanent product. So eventually he moved back and the roles reversed—Jason began leading the business. He officially launched the company in 2002, and retired from modeling shortly after, but retained the history of his career within the name of the business: Model Remodel. It was a little known fact, until now! [Read more…]

The Future of Sustainable Building: Built Green Conference 2016

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On Tuesday, several members from the Model Remodel team attended the Built Green Conference held at Cascadia College in Bothell, WA. We send a few members to every green building conference each year so that we can stay current on trends and remain an active part of the discussion on the future of sustainable building. As Leah Missik, Built Green Program Manager, wrote in the event brochure “though understanding how green building is connected with complex issues such as equity, health, and climate change can be daunting, it is incredibly heartening to know that as we improve in one area, we also rise in others.” As a builder, we are committed to building in a way that is structurally sound, but also environmentally-friendly. We do this because we believe it to be right, it is a shared-value of our entire team, and it is the only way to build for the future. This is a view we thankfully share with a large community of advocates in the Puget Sound area, and it was a pleasure hearing from and speaking with some of these great minds. As Shannon Affholter, Executive Director of the local Master Builders Association, said “It’s about being a good neighbor.”

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The future is looking bright for green building in the Seattle-area. Roughly one-third of new homes built in King County last year were certified Built Green, and the goal is to have 100% enrolled in a green program by 2030. The Built Green team also shared preliminary data that shows [Read more…]

Columbia City Backyard Cottage

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Location: Columbia City

Type: Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU)
Year Built: 2016
Building Recap: Detached office and guest house built in the backyard
Considerations: Sustainability, multi-purpose usability, maximizing square footage

The DADU is a building by many names: backyard cottage, mother-in-law unit or carriage house are also widely used. This backyard cottage in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood was recently built by Model Remodel and designed by live-work-play as an extension of the existing bungalow home, though a separate structure entirely. The owners intend to use the dual-purpose space as a home office and extra storage, and have found new use for their backyard space with the fun, blue dwelling. Receiving a Built Green 4-star certification means the property is not only functional, but it’s highly sustainable too!

Detached Accessory Dwelling Units are small structures next to, most-often behind, the existing home on a lot. They can be used for a variety of purposes including: guest house, rental property, yoga or art studio, hobby space, and more. DADUs are a great way to supplement living space without creating a traditional home addition. Since they’re separate from the main property, they have more flexibility and opportunity for evolution as the owner’s needs change. In 2001, Seattle legalized the addition of these small properties on residentially zoned lots, making this couple one of the many homeowners taking advantage of the change. [Read more…]

Going up! House Lifting 101

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No, we’re not talking about a Disney movie—homes can actually be lifted using manpower and modern technology, as opposed to balloons. It’s actually a fairly common endeavor for homeowners. Typical reasons for house lifting include: repairing the foundation, adding a basement or protecting against water damage. Last week, we lifted—with the lead of talented lifting pros D.B. Davis—a home in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle so that we could begin remodeling the space into a livable basement. Our awe of the recent lift led us to write this informational post about how a house lift is conducted. Photos provide some excellent points of view on the process. We can’t wait to share the “after” photos of the finished basement later this year.

Reasons for Lifting a House

Lifting a home is a great way to add space and increase value without taking away square footage from your yard. It’s also a surprisingly economical way to approach a change to your living space, as it avoids the costs of selling and purchasing a new home (broker and legal fees, taxes, moving costs, etc). Typical reasons include:

  • Excavating a new basement
  • Adding head room and increasing current basement functionality
  • Adding another story to the home
  • Repairing an old or deteriorating foundation
  • Protecting against or retrofitting for flooding

House Lifting Companies

Though house lifting is common, that doesn’t mean it’s not a hefty process with a substantial bill. Finding the right, experienced house lifting company is the key to the whole process. We’re lucky to work with D.B. Davis Structural Moving & Raising. The owner, Dell—a 5th generation lifter—is an extremely approachable and efficient guy. It was clear that with his great leadership, the skilled team had the entire process down to a science—as any good lifting company should. Plus, their years of experience and very successful lifts make them the most appropriate choice for the job. They even lifted the real-life “Up” home previously mentioned (see photo) and “can move anything manmade” including bridges, boats and heavy industrial buildings! Along with experience, a qualified lifting company should always have appropriate liability insurance policy.

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House on Howe raised - DB Davis    1 - DB Davis
Bottom two images provided by D.B. Davis

Before the Lift

Prior to the house lifting, it is determined whether or not a new foundation or additional concrete will need to be poured. Some excavation work may also be necessary. As these considerations are being made, the homeowner will be asked to thoroughly clean their basement of personal belongings. Exterior cleaning will also take place, since patios, decks and landscaping will often need to be removed or relocated to some degree. Utilities (electricity, plumbing, phone, etc.) will also have to be shut off and disconnected, while pipes, plumbing and ductwork that hang below the floor joists will be removed. As a design-build contractor, we are normally the orchestrators of this preparation and the lift for our clients. [Read more…]

The Advantages of Hiring a Design-Build Firm for Your Next Remodeling Project

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What does design-build mean?

First, a short design-build definition: design-build is a simple approach to a construction project in which a single entity provides both the design and construction services.

This single point-of-contact approach has a variety of advantages over the traditional design-bid-build method in which a person uses two different companies to complete the subsequent phases of a construction project: an architect/designer for designing and a general contractor for building. Here at Model Remodel, we do both. There are some wonderfully talented architects in the Seattle area, and we work alongside many of them to bring their designs to life. However, we often receive inquiries from people who are starting from square one. If you don’t have someone in mind to complete the design phase of your next project, you might consider going with a design-build firm to simplify your project and increase efficiencies.

We feel strongly that every job should boil down to a satisfied customer who received quality work and communication every step of the way. A design-build process is one, common way to achieve that result. Using a Seattle design-build firm for your next remodeling project has three main, and directly-related, advantages:

  1. Simplifying the process and people
  2. Balancing the budget with your design goals
  3. Increasing efficiencies

Below we break down these advantages in detail. We also explain when a design-build process may not be the right fit for you. [Read more…]

Blue Ridge Boeing Castle Taken to New Heights

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Location: Blue Ridge
Type: House
Year Built: 1931
Remodel Recap: Kitchen, bathrooms, stairway, mudroom
Considerations: Preserving historic charm, modernizing and opening up the space

Land originally purchased for timber by William E. Boeing, founder of The Boeing Company, was built into a neighborhood for company executives in the early 1930s. A series of five brick homes were constructed and appropriately dubbed “the castles” by local residents. With spectacular views of the Puget Sound and Olympic mountains, this home was a catch for a local family of four who purchased it mid-2015. The 3-bed, 2.5-bath boasts plenty of yard space, a grand ballroom-style living room and a carriage house. As expected from a Depression-area home, the utilities and hubs of the home (bathrooms and kitchen) needed some work. From dated to dreamy, Satterberg Desonier Dumo and our team at Model Remodel helped these Blue Ridge homeowners take their historic property to new heights with some major updates and much-needed TLC. [Read more…]

The Average Cost to Remodel: Why There Isn’t One

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It’s the first thing you research, the first thing you ask a contractor, but the last thing you really want to talk about: cost. It’s not a glamorous topic, but a necessary one when considering a remodel. Yet, setting a realistic remodeling budget isn’t an easy task. Most homeowners simply don’t know where to start. Others have heard about a bad experience and are rightly skeptical of being taken advantage of. To help homeowners with this process, we’ve described what drives the costs of remodeling and how to look at the numbers in a pragmatic way. You won’t see any hard numbers below, as any general contractor would be remiss to give you a number without understanding the scope of work and your reasons for remodeling. The advice we give is meant to help you determine your personal budget.

Reasons for Remodeling

You have your reasons for wanting to do a remodel and your neighbor has his/her own as well. The reason may seem inconsequential to budget, but below we look at three different reasons for remodeling and how it affects your budget. [Read more…]