Retro Capitol Hill Condo


When this young professional moved from Chicago to Seattle, she bought her first condo in Capitol Hill. Working in Seattle’s theater community, Capitol Hill’s proximity to the city’s entertainment culture was a good fit. However, the dated appearance of the condo wasn’t. Before moving in, she called on Model Remodel to give the unit an overhaul and incorporate her fun retro taste.

In the kitchen, as the project progressed, the team together made the decision to remove one wall. This relatively straightforward change made a world of difference, creating a space that felt more open, welcoming and modern. Then, the crew took apart the kitchen and replaced the sink, countertops and appliances. The cabinets, though, got recycled. Instead of ditching them for new ones, the crew removed the old cabinets, sanded them, painted them, and reinstalled them in a slightly different layout. The grey color fell in line with the client’s retro style, and the reuse matched Model Remodel’s environmental values.

The crew incorporated reuse in other parts of the condo, too. They framed the old bathroom mirror with trim salvaged from a previous job. They also removed one of the mirrored sliding doors from the bedroom and framed it for another part of the home. The crew installed more of the leftover trim as trim itself throughout the unit.

In the rest of the condo, the crew added can lights throughout, set up new electrical systems for safety, and installed floating oak flooring. In the bathroom, they put in a heated floor, new tub, shower controls and retro floor tile. The fireplace is the centerpiece of the living room, reconstructed with 50s-inspired thin white brick—very different from the original gas insert and drywall surround.

Model Remodel’s project manager says the best part of the project was working with such a vibrant, enthusiastic client. Any time the crew presented a question or problem, she was quick with decision. Professional team work was the standout of this remodel.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

Demolish With Care – Deconstruction

Model Remodel NWHH Demolition Day

With nearly 40 percent of our landfills filled with construction debris, it’s time for our industry to do some major rethinking about what gets hauled to the dump and what can be recycled and/or reused.

Following one of our key strategies – to act responsibly at all times – Model Remodel creates an aggressive waste management plan for every project and aims for recycling or repurposing 90 percent of existing site materials.

During our demolition at the Northwest Harvest House (NWHH) site, we surpassed even our highest expectations achieving a nearly 99 percent recycle rate and taking barely one percent of our onsite debris to the nearby solid waste transfer station.

The elements of the NWHH waste management plan included deconstructing the existing house and working with strategic partners that have also evolved their business models. We worked with the area’s waste management companies who make it simpler than ever to properly sort construction waste and called upon others to haul away salvageable fixtures, doors and windows – giving these things a second life in another home, business or backyard.

Model Remodel tested for lead and asbestos and, when found, met or exceeded the requirements for safe removal of these harmful building materials. Toxic materials are safely dealt with to protect people as well as our storm water system and nearby Lake Washington. We also protected and preserved healthy vegetation, donated plants to local organizations, and sold unusable trees for milling into lumber.

This sloping, one-acre lot also required extensive excavation of existing soils. We’re protecting it during construction and will reuse it elsewhere onsite as the project progresses. Reusing soil saves time, money and fossil fuel!

Everyone associated with the project warmly embraces the responsible tenets of recycle/reuse and are thrilled knowing that this project did not adversely contribute to expanding our landfills. Besides saving the planet, it makes financial sense, too, as any revenues realized during deconstruction are passed along as a refund to our clients.