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 highlight’s 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 Associations 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.

Three Cheers for Rick Newell!

Model Remodel last night celebrated the long, industrious, quality career of supervisor Rick Newell. After more than 10 years with Model Remodel as a supervisor, Rick is retiring. With sincere gratitude and affection, the company threw him a retirement party at Reuben’s Brews, complete with family and past employees.

Rick has a long history with Model Remodel. Owner Jason Legat knows Rick well, from growing up on Whidbey Island. Jason began swinging a hammer with him at the age of 14 and regularly refers to Rick as his mentor. By 2004, Jason had started Model Remodel, and Rick was ready to part with the demands of being a business owner. In an interesting role-reversal that the Wall Street Journal wrote about, Rick decided to join Model Remodel, and Jason became Rick’s boss.

The two men have worked together seamlessly since then, and Rick has been an invaluable part of the business. “Rick has not only been a mentor for most of my life,” Jason says, “but he has also been a great role model and friend. I have learned so much from him about how to treat clients, employees and all people with kindness and respect. To have worked with him over the last 30 years has truly been a blessing.”

Former employee Jason McCullough shared in an email, “Rick was my professor, mentor and plain old boss for most of the time I lived in beautiful Seattle, Washington. Those were my real developmental years in remodeling. Rick was hands on with everything and would answer questions or show me a better, less stupid way of doing just about anything. However, he taught me much more than trade skills; he taught me professionalism, work-life balance and how to take real pride in every part of everything one did.”

While Model Remodel will miss Rick dearly, everyone wishes him well in this new chapter of his life. He has certainly earned it!

One Final Award for Model Remodel

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) Award is Model Remodel's fourth award this year

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) Award is Model Remodel’s fourth award this year

Model Remodel is closing out its awards season with a final one from the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW)! The Redmond Revamp has won an honorable mention in the Entire House category. The award is shared with Coates Design, the architects of the project. See the full list of winners here.

The BIAW Award is the company’s fourth award of the year. The others came from the Chrysalis Awards and the King and Snohomish Counties’ Remodeling Excellence (REX) Awards. Other 2015 winning projects include Ada’s Technical Books and the Fremont Houseboat. See a full list of Model Remodel’s awards and award-winning projects on the company Recognition page.

This is the first year Model Remodel entered the BIAW Awards, but it won’t be the last. Congratulations to all the winners this awards season on all the beautiful completed projects!

Adorable Green Lake ADU

With her long-term renter moving out, this homeowner in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood decided it was time to remodel her accessory dwelling unit on her home’s second floor, to make it more stylish, functional and a stronger investment.

The biggest challenge was creating a beautiful, functional, airy ADU kitchen, in a roughly 90-square-foot space with a sloped ceiling. Luckily, the homeowner and Model Remodel’s in-house designer clicked, and the two began a dialogue to transform the space. The designer listened carefully to the homeowner’s goals– an important distinction from the homeowner’s initial ideas– and selected materials that matched the client’s aesthetic and budget.

The crew took down the wall that divided the kitchen from the living space and effectively flipped the original layout. Though removing a wall lost some upper cabinet space, the designer planned a peninsula to maximize base cabinet storage, along with countertop space. In the peninsula, she added a sleek, flat-top range and a bar-top seating area. To get the most out of the small space, the designer recommended slightly-smaller-than-standard appliances and creatively added shelving in the nooks along the sloped ceiling.

The result was a bright, open kitchen—the complete opposite of the dark, closed-in look from which it began. The white cabinets, blue walls, and light grey quartz countertops create the effect of more soft, natural light. Model Remodel replaced all the fixtures with more modern ones, keeping with the cool, calming color palette.

Another design choice was keeping with the home’s 1920s character. The lines in the French doors are craftsman, the hardware on the cabinets is oil-rubbed bronze, the backsplash is a glass subway tile, the overhead light fixture is vintage, and the crew exposed the old chimney bricks. The handy homeowner- who is no stranger to construction and even filled in the brick masonry hole herself- also decorated the home with refurbishing projects from Seattle’s salvage stores.

In addition to the remarkable kitchen transformation, the team replaced the ADU’s inefficient French doors and window; added new flashing and railing to the balcony, which had fallen victim to rot; installed new durable, stain-resistant carpet for future renters; updated the electrical work; safely removed the second floor’s asbestos; and insulated the entire space. The unit now feels far less drafty and far more welcoming.

To top off a wonderful partnership, a Model Remodel friend decided to rent the beautiful Green Lake unit. It is no surprise why!

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

Model Remodel in Alaska Airlines Magazine

2015-07-01 Alaska Airlines Built Green photo spread

Frequent flyers can find the magazine on Alaska Airlines flights during the month of July

If you’re traveling by air this month, and you’ve chosen Alaska Airlines, give that in-flight magazine another look. Flip to page 124. Alaska Beyond Magazine’s July issue features Model Remodel, partners CAST Architecture, and the two companies’ wonderful Laurelhurst clients who chose green building.

The story highlights the area’s Built Green program. The article opens with a two-page photo spread of the beautiful, 4-Star Built Green Remarkable Laurelhurst Remodel project—a second-story addition to accommodate the home’s growing family. The spread pinpoints the project’s sustainable features, such as refinished floors, radiant heating and natural lighting. The piece also covers the process of remodeling or building within the Built Green program; the financial and environmental benefits of sustainable design; and the cool features of this Built Green home.

So, if you’re on an Alaska Airlines flight, instead of wishing away the minutes, read up on green building! For everyone else, view the story online here.

We’re Busy, and We’re Hiring!

we-are-hiringWith the busy season in full swing, Model Remodel is hiring and hiring fast! The positions will be integral to the success of the company, through the summer and beyond. Work will take place at Model Remodel’s office in Queen Anne, in addition to jobsites in Seattle’s surrounding area. Please pass the job postings along to any interested parties. We thank everyone in advance for their interest and look forward to the new additions to the team!

We are seeking a detail-oriented, responsible, trustworthy, punctual, dedicated and hardworking team player. Green/Sustainable building experience a major plus! This position involves regular interaction with clients and therefore requires a high standard of professionalism. This position is responsible for maintaining a safe and compliant job site.

Our ideal candidate must excel in multi-tasking, which includes framing, finish carpentry, drywall, painting and all aspects of residential remodeling, from start-to-finish. They should be able to track budgets and project schedules with regular reporting to management and clients. Strong computer (including smartphones/tablets) skills, including knowledge of MS Office are required.

•    Must have at least 7 years of leader experience in remodeling.
•    Must have the ability to learn new skills, problem solve, follow protocols, take initiative and lead by example.
•    Must have general personal tools including: nail bags, hand tools, saws, hammers, etc.
•    Must have a valid driver’s license with a good driving record AND reliable transportation for self and tools.

Please send a resume, cover letter and references to employment@modelremodel.com with position title in the subject line. Benefits of working at Model Remodel include medical, dental and vision insurance, along with paid vacation/sick days and holidays and retirement contributions. Please, no phone calls or third party recruiters. Model Remodel is an equal opportunity employer.

Administrative Assistant
Model Remodel is looking for a new member of the team. We are seeking a full time administrative assistant/receptionist who plays a key role in daily operations. This person is often the first point of contact with clients and colleagues, both in person and on the phone, and is responsible for making all guests feel welcomed and attended to. We are a fun-loving, progressive company that works in a fast-paced environment, and we take great pride in the work we do.

The ideal candidate is/has

•    3-5 years of administrative/receptionist experience in an office environment
•    Punctual, highly organized, and able to multi-task
•    Proficient with MS Office Suite, including Excel, Word and Outlook, QuickBooks experience a plus
•    Attention to detail
•    Able to work independently, as well as part of a larger team
•    Great communication skills, a great sense of humor, and positive attitude
•    Ability to follow strict confidentiality and privacy guidelines
•    An interest in sustainable building

A few examples of this individual’s primary responsibilities include

•    Assisting president, vice president and bookkeeper
•    Handle and screen incoming calls and visitors
•    Maintaining clean office common areas
•    Facilitate meetings
•    Data entry and filing
•    Create spreadsheets
•    Purchase supplies
•    Run errands
•    Reconcile bank/credit card statements
•    Assist with booking travel, create itineraries
•    Assist with party planning, events, all-staff meetings/socials

Please send a resume, cover letter and references to employment@modelremodel.com with position title in the subject line. Benefits of working at Model Remodel include medical, dental and vision insurance, along with paid vacation/sick days and holidays and retirement contributions. Please, no phone calls or third party recruiters. Model Remodel is an equal opportunity employer.

Production Coordinator
The perfect candidate for this position will be intimate with the residential remodeling and new construction production process, from pre-construction all the way to project finish. The Production Coordinator is responsible for the scheduling and monitoring of projects and crew schedules, facilitating the sales-to-production process, and serve as project manager when necessary. Generally speaking, this position is focused primarily on maintaining the momentum of the company while keeping the flow of multiple projects moving smoothly from start to finish.

In addition to production coordination, this person will maintain and manage the company’s safety program, as well as fleet schedule and maintenance.

Job Requirements
•    3-5 years’ experience in production coordinator/management
•    Must have experience with project scheduling
•    Must have experience scheduling production crew members
•    Experience in remodeling, green building and new construction
•    Must be detail-oriented, self-motivated, responsible, trustworthy, dedicated and extremely hard working
•    Ability to work with the different personalities within the office, as well as tradesmen, contractors, clients and architectural/design professionals
•    Must have excellent oral and written communication skills
•    Outstanding organizational skills
•    Must be proficient with computers/tech. Working knowledge of Excel, Word, Outlook, and MS Project. Experience using QuickBooks or UDA ConstructionSuite/ConstructionOnline a plus
•    Must be well presented, conduct oneself professionally at all times, be willing to adapt and learn new skills, follow instructions, take initiative, and lead by example
•    Must have reliable transportation

A detailed job description will be provided at time of interview.

Please send a resume, cover letter and references to employment@modelremodel.com with position title in the subject line. Benefits of working at Model Remodel include medical, dental and vision insurance, along with paid vacation/sick days and holidays and retirement contributions. Please, no phone calls or third party recruiters. Model Remodel is an equal opportunity employer.

Job Requirements
•    Minimum 5 years’ experience in remodeling required
•    New construction and green building experience a plus
•    Must be detail-oriented, responsible, punctual, dedicated, well presented and extremely hardworking
•    Must excel in multi-tasking
•    Must have the ability to take initiative and offer support and hands-on skills to each project Supervisor in a lead role
•    Must be able to assist with the management and flow of the jobsite. Responsible for checking in/checking out subcontractors and visitors and upholding safety standards and quality control
•    Must be able to comprehend architectural drawings
•    Must have general personal tools including nail bags, hand tools, cordless drills, saws etc.
•    Required to have a valid driver’s license, good driving record AND reliable transportation

Tasks include but are not limited to rough carpentry, framing, finish carpentry, drywall, painting and all aspects of residential construction, remodeling, and maintenance.

Please send a resume, cover letter and references to employment@modelremodel.com with position title in the subject line. Benefits of working at Model Remodel include medical, dental and vision insurance, along with paid vacation/sick days and holidays and retirement contributions. Please, no phone calls or third party recruiters. Model Remodel is an equal opportunity employer.

Model Remodel Snags Two More REX Awards!

For the fourth year in a row, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties has recognized Model Remodel in its Remodeling Excellence (REX) Awards! These are the company’s 10th and 11th REX Awards in the company’s history.

Model Remodel’s 2015 wins include

  • Major Remodel Excellence for a Partial House/Addition of More than $250,000, for the Redmond Revamp, shared with Coates Design
  • Major Remodel Excellence for a Partial House/Addition of Less than $100,000, for the Fremont Houseboat

Owner Jason Legat attended the awards ceremony Saturday at the Bellevue Arts Museum and accepted the awards on the company’s behalf.

“It is always great to complete a project that makes the homeowner happy and represents Model Remodel’s attention to detail,” Legat says, “but having industry-wide recognition on top of that is icing on the cake.”

Among the crowd in Bellevue were other builders, architects, subcontractors, publishers and friends.

Model Remodel congratulates all of the night’s winners and also thanks the judges who supported the company’s work. Most importantly, though, Model Remodel recognizes all of the carpenters and subs who made the projects worthy of the awards.

Model Remodel Wins its First Chrysalis Award

ChrysalisModel Remodel is the proud winner of a nationally recognized Chrysalis Award, for the company’s work on Ada’s Technical Books and Café! The company won the award for the western region, in the commercial category.

“This was the first year Model Remodel has entered the awards,” says the director of the Chrysalis Awards Ken Kanline, “and to take home top honors on the first attempt is impressive.”

Model Remodel shares the award with architects Board and Vellum, who gave the company a beautiful vision to execute.

The Chrysalis Awards this year recognized roughly 90 companies from across the country, in 15 different residential and commercial building and remodeling categories. Judges picked winners based on design, creative use of space, materials selection, and the degree to which the project enhanced the original structure. One of the many talented winners is Silent Rivers, a friend of Model Remodel through Remodelers Advantage, who won in the kitchen category.

All the Chrysalis winners will have features on Porch.com in late June.

The Chrysalis Award is one of many forms of recognition that Ada’s has received. The project also garnered a Remodeling Excellence (REX) Award in the category of green remodeling; a Residential Architect Design Award (RADA) citation in the category of light commercial work; and a Historic Seattle Award for preserving neighborhood character. The project has also been featured in the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Stranger, Seattle Met Magazine, Gray Magazine, and the Seattle Times. Finally, staff presented the project at the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild 10x10x10 Green Building Slam and the American Institute of Architects – Seattle Sustainability Slam.

Congratulations to all the 2015 Chrysalis winners, and Model Remodel looks forward to participating in the awards again next year!

Backyard Shed in Seattle’s Greenwood Neighborhood

Model Remodel met this artistic Greenwood client at the Phinney Neighborhood Association Home Design and Remodel Fair in January. She wanted to turn her underwhelming, minute backyard shed into one that would have the ambience of an escape—a place to gaze at the garden, paint and just relax. The project was a team effort by Model Remodel’s new in-house designer, Cat Schmidt, and new supervisor, Lincoln Skrypeck. The crew added new siding, roofing, insulation and windows. Now, it does just the trick for this homeowner!