Model Remodel Scores a Record Four REX Awards

Model Remodel is on cloud nine after winning a personal record of four Remodeling Excellence (REX) Awards from the Master Builders Association. The company was so proud to represent at the ceremony the architects, clients, subs and of course crew, who all brought the project together.

Model Remodel’s awards for the night included

Upon accepting the awards for Ada’s and the Wallingford Family Kitchen, Model Remodel remarked how much the company appreciated the sustainability elements of the projects—a core value of the company.

The awards ceremony took place in South Lake Union and included subcontractors, developers, remodelers, architects and friends. Everyone was extremely supportive and congratulatory to Model Remodel for winning the most awards that night. The comradery and positivity were wonderful.

Model Remodel would like to congratulate all the winners and participants at the REX Awards, in addition to thanking the judges and the Master Builders Association. In addition, we cannot overstate the importance of our architect partners, who we thank sincerely. Finally, a very special thanks goes out to all the Model Remodel staff- project managers, supervisors and carpenters- who worked on these projects directly. The awards never would have been possible without them!

MRM Seeks Designer

Model Remodel specializes in sustainable, residential design and construction. We are seeking a full time architectural designer to lead our design division. We are a fun-loving company that works in a fast-paced environment, and we take great pride in the work we do. Projects range from small bathroom remodels to whole house remodels.

The ideal candidate is/has

  • A Master’s Degree in Architecture
  • 3-7 years of professional experience in residential design
  • Proficient in AutoCAD, Photoshop, InDesign, Sketchup, and Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience with residential design and construction
  • Experience with construction documents
  • Technical knowledge of construction materials and methods
  • Technical knowledge of sustainable materials and methods
  • A great eye for materials and texture
  • The ability to design in multiple styles — traditional, modern, etc.
  • A great sense of humor and positive attitude
  • Attention to detail
  • Able to work independently, as well as part of a larger team
  • Great communication skills, highly organized and able to multi-task

Please provide a cover letter, resume and work samples via email to Please include samples of recent projects, sketches, 3-D modeling, furniture you’ve built, or any other images that show your creativity.  Graphic design and web design skills are also a plus.

We will provide a detailed job description at time of interview. Thank you for your interest!

Please, no phone calls or third party recruiters. MRM is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package. This is a full-time position.

Fremont Houseboat

Working on a houseboat had some unique and frankly funny challenges, from the Crew developing sea legs to the guys adjusting to make fixtures level in a rocking space. The men often joked that working under the houseboat’s low ceilings was like being on the set of “Being John Malkovich.” To read more about the unusual circumstances associated with this project, view Model Remodel’s blog post, “Working on a Houseboat.”

However, when it came to the construction aspects of the project, the work was similar to any other remodel job. The houseboat owner wanted a space that was more modern and conducive to his growing kids, who live with him part time. So, he called Model Remodel to convert the single sleeping loft into two separate spaces with pocket doors for the kids; update the unfinished basement into an entertainment room and office; make over the bathroom into a more contemporary space; install bamboo flooring throughout; and spruce up the kitchen with new countertops and appliances.

The project comprises a few custom features. The client wanted a dishwasher, but it didn’t easily fit in the small kitchen. Instead, the Crew rerouted the plumbing and drain lines and installed the dishwasher underneath the stairs, adjacent to the kitchen. The Crew also altered an internal triangle-shaped fixed window into one that can open. They cut the plexiglass piece and installed hinges on it, and now it opens awning-style toward the rest of the house. Finally, the client loves his gadgets and wanted more access to USB outlets. During the remodel, the Crew installed several of them throughout the house.

Despite some of the unique challenges of working on a houseboat, the Crew enjoyed the change of scenery of this project, literally and figuratively!

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

Montlake Light and Bright Basement

This young couple was running out of space in their home after the birth of their son. They loved the house and the neighborhood and decided to renovate rather than relocate. The home’s existing basement presented the perfect opportunity to capitalize on an already-existing space. Model Remodel’s in-house designer turned what was an unwelcoming raw space into a playroom for the son, a cozy spot for Mom and Dad to unwind at the end of the day, as well as a private guest suite for visiting friends and family.

The basement began as a dark, unfinished storage space. The floors were concrete and about 6 inches off level, and the foundation and framing were exposed. However, after meeting with a structural engineer, the team was able to rework the footings, beams and columns. The designer relocated the furnace and water heater and added new walls, paint, flooring and a guest bathroom. Very quickly, the basement became functional as a live-in space.

The biggest challenge, though, was transforming the basement into a well-lit, warm, cozy space, where adults and kids alike would want to spend time. The first task was lighting. The designer outlined two sliding glass doors into the basement’s plans. The crew installed a 9-foot door in the rec room and an 8-foot door in the guest bedroom, to connect the basement to the beautiful yard. The natural light changed the entire feeling of the basement. On top of that, the clients provided energy efficient inserts for new can lights throughout. To cozy the space up, the designer hid the foundation of the chimney with an energy efficient gas insert. Last, the couple’s fun taste and love of color really brightened up the basement. The multicolored rug, the green fireplace surround, and the colorful decorations truly transformed the basement from how it began.

Now, the basement is indeed one where the parents go to relax after their son falls asleep and their son goes to spread out with his toys. On top of that, it’s a comfortable spot for guests. Despite the very divergent purposes of the basement, the space is fresh, functional and fun for everyone.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

More Recognition for Ada’s Technical Books and Cafe

Historic Seattle group shotBook and coffee lovers keep pouring into Ada’s Technical Books and Café for its wonderful atmosphere. However, customers aren’t the only ones giving Ada’s attention. The bookstore and café has now garnered recognition from a number of sources near and far.

Ada’s on May 13 received honors at the Historic Seattle Preservation Awards in the category of Preserving Neighborhood Character. The organization was impressed by the old craftsman house’s transformation. Present at the event were Danielle and David Hulton, Ada’s owners; Jeff Pelletier, Ryan Adanalian and Robert Mech of Board and Vellum, the architecture firm; and Jason Legat, Ricky Bribiesca and Matt Everett of Model Remodel. The Model Remodel staff expressed what good company they were in, both in the nice group that attended the ceremony and in the company of the other project winners.

Ada’s also received a citation from the prestigious Residential Architect Design Awards (RADA) in the light commercial category. One juror said he liked the “playfulness and quirkiness” of Ada’s, and another said it was “a very fully considered space at all levels of design.” It was a high honor for all parties involved.

Finally, the Gold Nugget Awards has recognized Ada’s, too. The project received a merit award in the category of rehab commercial/industrial project. Merit winners received the top votes by judges and are the finalists for the Grand Award, which the organization will announce June 26.

As time goes on, we at Model Remodel look forward to more industry professionals and everyday customers discovering the beauty of Ada’s Technical Books and Café.

We’re Hiring!

Model Remodel is excited to be entering our busy time of year, which necessitates more good people on staff. Please see job descriptions below and forward our link on to any qualified individuals.

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 with the 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. Model Remodel is an equal opportunity employer.

The Estimator role is a full-time position. The candidate for this position will be intimate with residential remodeling and residential new construction from pre-construction all the way to turn-key.  The Estimator role is to take project information from a client, architect or designer and produce an accurate estimate based on the information provided. The Estimator is tasked with researching and staying current on industry standards and subcontractor, vendor and square footage costs.  Applicant must be comfortable reviewing plans, negotiating subcontracts, and value engineering method. An emphasis will be placed on candidate’s ability to bring green building methodology to the company.

•    Experience in green building/remodeling.
•    5 or more years experience in residential construction estimating.
•    Detail-oriented, responsible, trustworthy, self-motivated, dedicated and hard working.
•    Ability to work with diverse personalities within our office as well as tradespeople, contractors, property owners, and architectural/design professionals.
•    Outstanding organizational skills.
•    Must be proficient in MS Excel. Should be competent in Word, Outlook and general computer skills are required. Knowledge and experience in MS Project is a plus, as well as other estimating and/or project management software.
•    Must have excellent oral and written communication skills.

Please send a resume, cover letter and references to with the 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. Model Remodel is an equal opportunity employer.

Sales Director
Model Remodel is looking for a sales professional, with experience closing big ticket projects in the home remodeling and construction industry. Applicants should be known for their honesty, integrity and customer orientation, but at the same time, they should have the ability to be creative and help customers make the correct decision when it comes to their construction or remodeling projects. We are looking for people who have always been one of the top sales people in their organizations. They should thrive in an atmosphere of collaborative effort, knowing that the people they work with are professionals. Applicants must be seeking an opportunity in an organization that values contributing members of the team.

•    Must have at least 5 years of sales experience in the remodeling and construction industry.
•    In addition to closing abilities, the applicant must bring to the table significant experience in prospecting, generating and negotiating contracts.
•    Must be willing to attend networking and trade show events.
•    Must work closely with our estimating and marketing departments.

Please send a resume, cover letter and references to with the 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. Model Remodel is an equal opportunity employer.

Working on a Houseboat

The Model Remodel Crew for the last two months has been working on a somewhat unusual, albeit quintessentially Seattle, project—a houseboat on the Northwest side of Lake Union.

The Crew is remodeling in the master bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, basement and sleeping loft, and the work includes replacing plumbing fixtures, changing out countertops, installing bamboo floors, adding USB hubs to electrical outlets, dividing the sleeping loft into two separate spaces, turning the basement into an office/media space, and generally making the houseboat a little more modern.

The construction work is fairly straightforward, but there are several challenges of working on a houseboat that the average person might not think about…

  • First, the materials for this houseboat project have necessitated highly deliberate choices. The homeowner and Crew have needed to be mindful of the way weight affects the boat. If it becomes overloaded on one side, the boat leans. This came into play when swapping out the kitchen countertops. The homeowner wisely selected a PaperStone counter, rather than something like a thick granite. This helped distribute the weight more evenly.
  • Second, bringing these selected materials onto and into the houseboat has been a huge challenge. Unlike a house on a residential street, the houseboat doesn’t have easy access. The Crew must walk down the Burke Gillman Trail, go through the dock’s gate, proceed down the dock, and finally go up a stair ladder to enter the home. Try this with huge tools (Or worse—appliances!), and you’ve got quite a different experience than you would find at a regular jobsite.
  • Once the materials are in the houseboat, installing them level and plumb is an added challenge. Because the space has slight movements, it isn’t so easy as pulling out a level. Instead, the Crew must use tools like squares and right angles and use existing surfaces as reference points.
  • Last, completely atypical to a normal Model Remodel project, some of the Crew members have experienced slight sea sickness! No one has gotten severely ill, but several have mentioned feeling slightly motion sick at times, especially in the sleeping loft and basement, where there are low ceilings and limited reference points. Though he hasn’t gotten sick himself, supervisor Jasun Sherman has said he often goes home with sea legs.

Despite the unusual circumstances, Model Remodel has greatly enjoyed this houseboat project. “It’s always fun to work on something that’s different,” Sherman says. “There’s always stuff to learn, right?”

To see how the remodeling is coming along, view the progress photos above.

Model Remodel in 425 Magazine

425 magPick up the spring issue of 425 Magazine and turn to the Luxury Living section, and you will see three Model Remodel projects in print. They are the winners of the Remodeling Excellence (REX) Awards from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish County.

The awards and consequent magazine clips include

The full-page spreads include color photos, a before shot, and a description highlighting the special features of the project. Proper credit was not given to our wonderful architects, listed above, without whom the projects and recognition never would have been possible.

Sammamish Bath Goes Zen

Between their corporate jobs and their two kids, this Sammamish couple is busy. However, with some help from Model Remodel’s design department, they were able to seamlessly remodel their dated guest bathroom.

How do you make a remodel as quick and straightforward as possible, for two busy people? The couple first described their vision to the designer and asked her to present two different bathroom plans. Then they cherry-picked their favorite features from each. The chosen aesthetic was clean, modern and with simple detailing.

The designer got creative to make the bathroom appear larger than it started. First, she picked tile planks with long grains that gave the illusion of an elongated room. Second, she chose a vanity open at the bottom, to give the illusion of more space in the entire room. Last, she chose a mirror with a deep frame that acted as a built-in ledge. This gave a little extra depth in the room and allowed for extra storage for small items, such as a tooth brush or hair brush.

The project boasts other nice changes, too. The toilet is dual flush, the faucet is low-flow, and a sleek new shower replaced the old builder-grade tub. The use of dark and light tile created clean lines and broke up any monochromatic feelings. The tile is definitely a conversation piece, even more beautiful in person than in pictures.

Now, the couple can return to life’s many other to-dos and enjoy their new, luxe bathroom.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

All About Wine in Kirkland

These Kirkland homeowners love wine. When their 800-bottle-capacity wine fridge in the garage stopped cooling properly- coupled with the fact that their kitchen was long in need of an upgrade- the family decided it was time for a remodel.

First, Model Remodel’s in-house designer made plans to remove the half-height wall in between the two structural columns. This quickly improved the flow from the kitchen to its adjacent rooms, in addition to making the kitchen feel more connected to the living room. Then, she examined why the current kitchen wasn’t functioning well. After sketching multiple options, the best solution was to modify their existing layout. By pushing out the counter a few extra feet and moving the range, it allowed more than one person to work in the kitchen comfortably and vastly improved the space’s functionality.

The designer and the clients collaborated to customize the new kitchen—adding a bread drawer, a pull-out bin for trash, textured tile, a three-sided pull-out pantry, an air switch for the garbage disposal, outlets hidden under the cabinets, a Nest thermostat, and a dual-drawer dishwasher.

Of course the main conversation piece of the house is the new and improved wine storage. The space now comprises three wine fridges that can store a total of 239 bottles of wine. (Because the family didn’t want the wine storage to feel too commercial or overwhelming to the rest of the house, they opted for creating storage for fewer bottles.) A modern waterfall countertop encloses the two short fridges. Above them is a sleek upper cabinet with an awning door to store the family’s beautiful glassware. As a bonus, the space doubles over as a staging area for parties and entertaining.

The family loves their new kitchen and even threw a party to show off the new space (and drink off the extra bottles of wine). Now that the hard work is over, the couple can sit back, relax and have a glass of wine.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography