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

BrownHarris bed angle side by side

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…]

Delightful Wallingford Basement

In this fun project, we finished a shell of a basement that had been used for storage, turning it into a complex of entertainment and living spaces. Our in-house designer worked with the clients to create a place where they could relax and their kids would feel welcome.

One main feature of our design was a bright playroom complete with a mini rock wall in the corner and monkey bars installed on the ceiling. A new shelving wall with colorful organizers helps to keep the play den in order. The sliding door that connects to the media room provides easy supervision when needed.

In the new laundry room, the team creatively worked to hide a freezer underneath a faux cabinet. The workers carefully calibrated the springs of the lid so that it would come down gently around small hands. [Read more…]

Wallingford Whole House Remodel

Sometimes, all an older home needs is a little TLC. We updated this 1920’s home with mechanical and electric work, new plumbing, finishes, and lead abatement, to give it the fresh appearance our clients were looking for.

We started by converting the underutilized attic space into a beautiful master bed and bath. In the process, our crew reframed the aging ceiling to improve the appearance and save the owners money in the long run. Sleek new cabinets and wood finishes added texture, while new VOC-free white paint and recessed lighting brighten the room.

One of the most unique new features of the house is the master bath in the attic, which is complete with a standalone tub and a steam room. The steam area has fold-out wooden benches for the couple to sit and melt the stress away. A hanging glass sculpture complements the elegance of this at-home spa.

[Read more…]

Camano Island Dream Cabin

Working in a unique location is always a treat for the Model Remodel crew. This past year, we worked with Baan Architects to create a one-of-a-kind, upscale cabin on the shores of Camano Island to act as a meeting place for a globetrotting family.

The beachfront cabin, which sits at the North end of the island, is brand-new right down to the foundation. It boasts an enormous La Cantina 23’ x 12’ sliding glass wall and an open plan kitchen and loft to take advantage of the spot’s gorgeous views of Puget Sound’s Skagit Bay and Whidbey Island.

The designer made some appealing choices in the finishes. The white appliances and surfaces, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, help to maximize the light in the house. But then a two-story dark gray wall and matching fireplace insert add some sophistication. The airy interior has a distinct wood against steel aesthetic that you can see in the stair and railings combination in particular. Aside from that, the homeowners decorated with a global flair, matching pieces they’ve brought back from their travels. [Read more…]

5 Home Renovations to Brighten Your Home

Bright Room

Nicer weather is upon us, and with that it’s a good time to consider home updates to bring out the lighter, fresher side of your home.  Here are some ways to open your home to a brighter look, all budgets considered.

 

Using Glass to Your Advantage

Glass is an obvious choice for bringing more light into the home. New, bigger or reconfigured windows can have an immediate impact on not just lighting, but also the efficiency of your home. Besides adding windows, you may also want to consider adding skylights to capture that precious, direct sunlight. Super-efficient Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) can help you harvest the most natural light possible to cut down on artificial lighting. Last but not least, interior and exterior French doors can improve the flow of natural light from space to space and connect you to the outside.

Choose Reflective Surfaces
Reflective surfaces are perfect for amplifying your lighting. For example, marmoleum or wood flooring echoes your ceiling lights, and strategically-placed mirrors are a natural counterpoint to windows. [Read more…]

Bitter Lake Bungalow Master Suite

The homeowners of this Bitter Lake bungalow created a lot more bang for their buck when they decided to transform their attic into a glowing master suite.

Prior to the remodel, the attic was a bare, dated single space. It offered limited insulation, and the couple had to travel downstairs to use the bathroom. So, they called Model Remodel to transform the attic into a beautiful master suite.

The project began with Model Remodel’s in-house designer reimagining the whole space. First, she exposed the collar ties and consequently raised the ceiling line, making the relatively small space feel instantly larger and more open. Further improving lighting, she added skylights and strategically positioned one so the homeowners could stargaze from their bed. Finally, she added a closet, a TV nook, and a wall to close in the new bathroom.

The biggest transformation came with the new bathroom, which the Model Remodel crew built from the bottom up. It entails marble hex tile, a bathroom vanity of warm sapele wood, a doorless shower, and a modern track door. The designer also installed a laminated detail behind the vanity mirrors, to add visual texture to the space. [Read more…]

Three Cheers for Subcontractors!

TREX Awards with Modern Hardwood Floor

Owner Jason Legat poses with Minh Pham of Modern Hardwood Floor

In June, Model Remodel won two Remodeling Excellence (REX) Awards from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties. Judges granted the awards for the Redmond Revamp and Fremont Houseboat. Of course, Model Remodel did not earn the awards by itself.

As a result of the team effort that goes into a project, REX Award organizers put together another awards ceremony. The T-REX Awards honor the trades people who contributed to the REX-Award-winning projects. For Model Remodel, that included Coates Design, Langford Plumbing, Maple Valley Electric, Modern Hardwood Floor, and Whitelaw Plumbing.

Model Remodel owner Jason Legat attended the awards ceremony in downtown Seattle Sept. 16. He presented the subs with their awards and thanked them for their quality work over the years. Without a doubt, no project would be possible without them.

Bellevue Back Addition

To fully take advantage of their love for gardens, gardening and grilling, this Bellevue couple called in Model Remodel to build a 280-square-foot addition off the back of their home.

Waiting as long as possible to open the home up to the elements, Model Remodel carefully constructed the addition. The team of carpenters and subs excavated by hand and shovel the dig-out for the foundation, set the foundation forms, poured the concrete, and then began erecting the framing. From there, the team installed internal gutters, roofing, windows, doors, siding, drywall and finally, they meticulously matched the new trim and flooring to the existing ones.

CAST Architecture designed the addition, creating a space that generated cool, welcome breezes via the new room’s French doors. The doors- on both the north and south side of the room- are the perfect recipe for air movement. When the doors are wide open, the addition gives the feeling of a covered patio, while maintaining all the advantages of indoor living. [Read more…]

4-Star Built Green ADU in Seattle’s Columbia City Neighborhood

Pre-construction meetings have just wrapped up for this modern Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in one of Seattle’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods. The Columbia City unit will be a photography studio and guest house, with a smart, modern aesthetic.

Sheri Newbold of live-work-play is designing the ADU, with construction going from the ground up. (For the companies’ previous partnership on ADUs, see photos from the Ballard Backyard Cottage.) The lower level will be a garage, with the living area designed above that. Sheri has created a space that is much more than a box; it incorporates an interesting mix of textures and angles. The siding will comprise boral and Hardie lap, with a standing seam metal roof. The materials are resistant to rot and provide “a fortress to the Northwest weather,” according to Model Remodel sales director Mark Lowe.

Model Remodel is especially happy to team up with the clients and designer, as all three parties highly value sustainable remodeling. With features like Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) framing lumber, salvaged items for finishes, and fortified insulation, the project is trending toward a 4-Star Built Green Rating.

For progress photos and project updates, keep your eyes on the Model Remodel blog!

Model Remodel Gets the Cover Shot

Model Remodel and the company’s Towering Alki Home have been selected for the cover story of Premier Builder Magazine! The article highlights Model Remodel’s history, including owner Jason Legat’s interesting past; the company’s core values, which include high-level customer service and a commitment to sustainable remodeling; and a series of recent projects, from the high-performing Eastside Harvest House to the healthy home of the Wallingford Family Kitchen. The magazine also has a one-page story on the Master Builders Association’s Remodeling Excellence (REX) Awards, from which Model Remodel won two awards this year.

A very special thank you goes out to Premier Builder’s editor and publisher Curt Hines, who was an excellent partner and helper on the story and photo spread.