How Model Remodel Got Its Name


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…]

Laurelhurst Vintage Classic Remodel

This young family wanted their first home to reflect their values and family-focused lifestyle.  The new design celebrated the character of the home’s original 1920’s era, yet improved functionality and livability with efficient space planning and sustainable finishes.

We worked closely with the project’s outstanding architect, Carol Sundstrom, AIA, Rom Architecture Studio, and enthusiastic clients to create an efficient kitchen and welcoming indoor-outdoor dining space. The new French doors invite light into the kitchen on grey winter days and beckon guests outside on warm summer evenings.

The kitchen design encourages planning, preparing and enjoying lively family meals. The Shaker-style custom millwork, with elegant bronze pulls below and period-appropriate crystal knobs above, provides the personality and vibe this family was looking for in their classic craftsman-style home. The warm and inviting cabinets are complemented by a herringbone-patterned, marble-tile backsplash. To preserve the beauty of the tile, we hid electrical outlets under the cabinets. Pullout pantries keep the kitchen tidy and the chef organized. A vintage light fixture adds to the authentic character of the space.

Green features included a waste management plan during the remodel that diverted construction waste from landfills.  We upgraded insulation in the kitchen, master and guest bedrooms, installed low-flow plumbing fixtures, and used only low-VOC paints and finishes.

The vision and work was six months in the making; our company’s craftsmanship will serve the family for years to come.

Give us a call if your home is nearing its century mark and needing some updating to better support your modern-day lifestyle.

Among the many benefits that Model Remodel brought to our project, we really appreciated the recognition that a home is SO much more than the materials it takes to make it.  We bought an old home that had never been updated because we love the character and details it offers.  This was our first remodel project and Model Remodel really understood how huge the investment was for us in terms of time, money and emotions. We felt that they took responsibility not only throughout the project but even after completion. They have been able to take care of issues that have come up some of which are outside of the original scope.  Jason’s, no problem, we’ll take care of it, philosophy made us feel that we are being guided by professionals and quality craftsmen that we can really trust. – Homeowner’s Testimonial, November 2012

Note: Professional images by Cindy Apple Photography

Universal Design and ADUs

Architect rendering of new ADU design concept

Architect rendering of new ADU design concept

Announcing New Ballard Project: Universal Design and ADUs

A new approach in senior housing

We’re starting an inspiring new project in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood – a backyard cottage that will support the family’s aging parent – where he can live both independently and securely just a stone’s throw away.

Led by architect Sheri Newbold of live-work-play, sustainable architecture and interiors firm, the project team is designing an energy-efficient, 600-square foot cottage that will reuse the home’s existing garage structure.

Universal design elements are incorporated in the plans for this one-bedroom, senior dad pad.  The design blends contemporary styling and traditional details to complement the 1920s craftsman-style main residence at the front of the property.  We kickoff the project this month and will update you on its progress via future postings on MRM’s blog.

Are you interested in converting a garage into liveable space or adding an ADU to your backyard? Contact us anytime, we would be delighted to help!

More Recognition for Model Remodel!


King County Green/Sustainable Small Business of the Year Finalist

Our company’s latest recognition is for “the small business that has achieved excellence in the creation and implementation of sustainable business practices including waste and recycling programs, water stewardship, energy management, efficiency in the built environment, or any other significant effort designed to limit the way a business impacts our local environment.”

Winners, selected from small businesses from around King County, will be announced at the October 10th 2012 continental breakfast ceremony at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center. Please join in congratulating this year’s finalists, across seven awards categories, which represent both emerging companies and established businesses that have exhibited a substantial history.

We’re so proud of our team and its ongoing commitment to sustainable building practices, greening up of our operations and delivering exceptional results to ensure our economic prosperity and long-term corporate growth.

Click here for more information and to join the celebration!


MRM Interviewed for Remodeling Expertise

On May 29th, Model Remodel’s Jason Legat and Walter Goodwin were interviewed on KKNW’s Brasheconomics talk radio show. The show focuses on trends in real estate, mortgages, finance and the local economy.  Radio host Ben Brasher selected Jason and Walter because of their industry expertise, reputation and engaging personalities. Both Ben and producer Heather Moore were great to work with as we developed a one-hour segment that would be really relevant and interesting to their listeners.

Ben’s questions explored remodeling trends as well as triggers, the value of green remodeling, and the “roundtable” topic of customer service – fundamental to any successful business.  Ben also commented on Jason’s PSBJ’s  40 Under 40 award and what an distinguished honor that is to achieve.  Two other segment participants – a biologist and property manager – focused on identifying and mitigating a home’s key health hazards and the value of working with a commercial manager who understands ROI and owner liability issues, respectively.

We think the show turned out great. Have a listen for yourself by clicking on the YouTube version of the radio program above featuring Jason and Walter.

Want to interview Model Remodel for your project, contact us anytime, to schedule a free consultation at your home or at our South Lake Union office.

Laurelhurst Whole House Remodel

Under Construction, Model Remodel Whole House Project

MRM remodel during construction featuring new entrance, courtyard and clerestory windows

Laurelhurst Remodel: Another Model Remodel Cinderella Makeover Story

Model Remodel is in the final phase of a whole-house remodel in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood. The small 1960’s home was built with little attention to detail, design and durability. The new homeowners’ dreams combined with the architect’s vision turned this boring little box into a home that’s worthy of a double take. Raising the roof, playing with juxtaposed angles and adding new clerestory windows and steel framed doors with glazing takes this home from ho-hum to high style.

Key design / build elements include:

Layout: A reconfigured stairway and dramatic new cathedral entrance maximizes efficiency and improves traffic flow. Open family space was created by converting a small bedroom into a kitchen that adjoins the grand dining room and living room – topped off by a jaw-dropping, two-story, black granite fireplace.

Bonus Spaces: The entire lower level was reconfigured to include his-and-her offices and dedicated rooms for media, guests and projects – perfect for working on that special family keepsake or a creative school assignment. The tired carport was transformed into an enclosed two-car garage with valuated ceiling and modern steel and glass garage doors.

Size: The design maintained the home’s footprint, yet added 50 percent more livable space for a total of over 3,000 sf.

Lighting: The addition of clerestory windows invites natural daylight to diffuse the public spaces.

Windows: The upgraded metal-clad wood windows improve insulation and enhance natural lighting.

Inside/Out Integration: Continuity is enhanced by using three similar, but slightly different, black stone tiles in the interior and exterior. The once-ignored courtyard is enhanced with new plantings. New balconies run the length of the house on both levels – perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee or favorite book.

Millwork: Extensive custom millwork showcases the family’s treasures and adds significant storage options.

Insulation: Insulation was upgraded to R-38 in the vaulted ceilings, R-21 in the walls, and R-19 in the floors. An initial blower-door test revealed major opportunities for improving the home’s energy efficiency. We added insulation, sealing all walls and ceilings as well as full sealing of heating system air ducts .  We will perform another blower door test at the project’s completion.  Typical results show a minimum improvement of 50% between the first test and the final blower door test.

Green features: The team used repurposed materials, donated original items to Second Use, worked with a waste management plan and installed energy efficient appliances. Built Green® certification is pending project’s completion.

Site: This gorgeous, mature, sloped site has peek-a-boo views of Lake Washington and is conveniently located near public transportation, dining and shopping, and the University of Washington.

“It feels like we’re this home’s fairy godmother – turning a pumpkin into a dazzling coach,” says the MRM project supervisor. Of course, the real magic comes from the talented crew and outstanding collaboration among the architect, builder and homeowner.

Stay tuned for a picture portfolio of our final project to be published sometime in May 2012.