Can Your Remodel Be More Sustainable?

Whether you’re hoping to reduce your heating and water bills in your home, to minimize the amount of waste and impact during your remodel, or eliminate allergens and chemicals from your home,  there are many benefits to sustainable building. From kitchens and basements to full home remodels, sustainability is an important consideration both for your wallet and for the planet. In honor of Earth Day, here are a few ways we implement sustainable practices into our remodels.

Energy Efficient Design

From the initial phase of design, a space can be built with sustainability in mind to maximize efficiency and minimize impact on the environment. At Harjo Construction, we take a multifaceted approach that takes form, function, and energy system design into account when designing a space. Whether that means planning new construction to maximize natural light, or incorporating new insulation systems into your basement remodel, by starting with sustainability in mind in the initial phase of design you can proactively reduce your home’s environmental impact.

Think Insulation

When planning a renovation, taking insulation into consideration is another way to foster long term sustainability. Adding insulation to your roofing, an insulating layer to your basement, or installing insulating slabs in various other parts of your home are relatively simple installments to make that will benefit your home for years to come. That way, your home lets less cold air in and you’ll both save money and energy on heating costs.

Choose “Green” Materials

Not all materials are made equal, and some are significantly better for the environment than others. Whether you’re building new or renovating within your home, taking environmental impact of various materials into account is another great way to reduce the environmental impact of your remodel. We implement an analytical process to evaluate materials, and factor in the trade-offs when choosing various building solutions. We’ll also help you navigate the process of finding the best materials if you’re seeking a LEED certification or simply want to have a more sustainable home.

Make Indoor Air Quality a Priority

From allergens to pollutants, indoor air quality should be taken into account when planning a remodel. There are a number of solutions available to improve your indoor air quality, and we can help you choose what’s best for you. Whether that means improving your ventilation or high quality filtration systems, making air quality a priority can help you with maximizing airflow, minimizing future sneezing, and a number of other benefits.  Heat recovery ventilators are also great options for reducing the amount of energy used on heating and cooling. These systems improve the air quality in your home and save energy on climate control costs.

Making sustainable practices a habit

Beyond the initial planning stages, implementing sustainable practices during the project and after remodel is another way to shrink your ecological footprint. Whether you’re planning a commercial remodel for your entire company or a smaller scale upgrade in your home, making sustainable practices a habit in your day-to-day activities is one of the best ways to reduce environmental impact. Whether that means implementing a recycling program in your office, installing low energy appliances, or teaching the kids about composting, there are many easy changes that can have big impact on the environment for years to come.
From kitchens, to bathrooms, to entire office space remodels, there are many ways to make this process less harmful to the environment and more self-sustaining for years to come. To learn more about sustainable practices at Harjo Construction, visit our website today!

Featured image courtesy of

Boston Manor Bathroom

4 Signs Your Bathroom Could Use An Update

You might not realize how much you love your bathroom until it needs repairs and becomes out of service. To avoid fighting over the shower or being late for work because your high schoolers needed your mirror to do their makeup, keep an eye out for these red flags in your bathroom; if you see them, it might be time for an upgrade.

Outgrowing your space

If you have recently moved in with a spouse, now have three kids in a house that was bought when you had one, or simply could use more storage space, that’s a sign your bathroom could use an upgrade. Storage space and comfort in your bathroom is crucial. At Harjo Construction, bathroom upgrades are one of our specialties, and we’ll work with you to meet your needs and create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space.

Energy efficiency

Even if your bathroom appliances are fully functional, many older models do not have the energy saving features available in more modern models. Energy efficient bathrooms can take a lot of money off of your electrical bill, and benefit the planet for years to come. Having a low-flow toilet, energy efficient water heater, and taking other green steps are hugely beneficial both for your home and the earth. Beyond that, we believe in sustainable construction and design, so we build with green materials, strive for the best environmental quality and health, and implement job site sustainability. 

Improve your aesthetics

If your bathroom has been the same since Bush was president, it might be time for an update. While some designs are timeless, making contemporary upgrades to your space can change your home’s look and feel. Updating your bathroom to a more modern design and coloring can add to your home’s value and improve your bathroom’s aesthetics.

Poor configuration

While some bathrooms have elegant and functional layouts, many others do not. If you are unhappy with the layout of your bathroom, constantly bumping into your partner in the morning,  or think it could benefit from a better flow, that’s another sign you’re ready for an upgrade. You shouldn’t have to choose between style and function in your own home, so if you think your bathroom could be configured better, we can help.  

Your bathroom is a crucial part of your home. Whether you need a bigger space, want to lower your energy bill and be more environmentally friendly, or simply want an upgrade, contact us today to learn more about upgrading your bathroom.

5 Tips for Living Through A Kitchen Remodel

Whether you have hungry kids, hungry spouses, or hungry roommates, the kitchen is often the hub of your home. Oftentimes, households outgrow the size of their kitchens and some extra cabinet space, an island, a bar area, or updated countertops are needed. The sky’s the limit for the kitchen of your dreams. It’ll be well worth it in the end, but living with limited kitchen space during a remodel can be difficult. If you’re embarking on a kitchen remodel, consider these easy ways to keep your family full and happy during your home renovations.

Before: Clean out or stock up your freezer

During your kitchen remodel, you may or may not have access to your freezer. If your freezer will be accessible, make a few large meals leading up to the remodel and freeze them for the coming weeks. This way you’ll have access to home cooked meals without the cooking. If you won’t have freezer access, this is a great time thaw your freezer’s contents. This means eating those frozen pizzas and defrosting your backup bag of frozen vegetables. You’ll have a few easy dinners and won’t waste any food when you unplug your refrigerator.  

Before: Stock up the pantry

Taking a trip to Costco or Sam’s Club before your renovation to fill your pantry is another easy way to prepare. Having several non-refrigerated snack options at the ready will keep your kids happy and help them avoid climbing around kitchen construction to get snacks. Getting some disposable, compostable plates and utensils will make it much easier to function without a dishwasher or kitchen sink.

During: Plan menus that don’t require much cooking and pre-prep

During your remodel, planning menus that don’t require much cooking and pre-prep is another easy way to have great meals and avoid spending an arm and a leg on takeout. This can include making salads with pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, picking up fresh pasta salads and deli options, or opting for dinner kits where you just add vegetables or pasta. You can also keep an eye out for local restaurant coupons and weeknight deals, or try new delivery services that offer discounts on your first order.

During: Leverage the Barbecue and the Crock Pot

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere moderately warm during your remodel, this is a great time to break out the barbecue. From salmon, to chicken, to vegetables and more, grilling is an easy, healthy alternative to cooking in the kitchen. From tasty ribs to s’mores for the kids, this is an easy way to have great tasting food with little prep while your kitchen is out of service. If barbecue isn’t an option during your remodel, using a crock pot is another solution for home cooked meals without the kitchen. All the crockpot needs is a few ingredients and an outlet so setting this up in another area of your house can be an additional solution.

After: Enjoy Your New Space with your family

Finding ways around using your kitchen during a remodel can seem daunting, but there are many easy solutions and it will be well worth it in the end. Your kitchen is the hub of your home, and we’re here to help you dream up the perfect space. From minor updates to large scale renovations, Harjo Construction is here for home remodels of all kinds. To learn more about our services or to get a free cost estimate, contact us today!

How to Design Your In-Home Office for Optimal Workflow

Whether you work from home full-time as a remote employee for an outside company or you run your own business from your in-home office, it’s important that your office is a productive space. Depending on the size of the room, the amount of items that are necessary for your work performance and other factors, including whether anyone else will be using or accessing the space, there are a lot of considerations when planning the design of your home office.

One thing’s for certain: If you just put a desk against the wall without any other planning, you could run into issues with your use of the space down the line.

Planning Ahead with Design Saves Time and Frustration

One of the best ways to maximize the potential of your home office space is to spend time thinking about what, exactly, you will need to do in that space to perform your job optimally. Do you need a computer? What about a landline phone or a fax machine or printer? Do you need space for physical file storage, or a work bench, or a space to store tools? You should carefully consider how often you need each item and plan the layout of the space accordingly, with the items you need and use most being given closest proximity to your working space, whether that’s a tabletop or a desk.

Avoid Clutter, But Allow for Personal Touches

While you don’t want your office space overflowing with your craft projects, your kids’ sports equipment, or your exercise machines, you also don’t want an empty, sterile space. The area should be comfortable, with furniture that fits your work style and decorations that make you feel inspired and ready to work.

A few pieces of art, books that are relevant to your work, and perhaps a few other decorations should be enough to make you feel at home while still keeping your mind focused on the tasks at hand when you enter your home office. Try to keep the space open and clean, so that you don’t lose yourself in distractions when you’re trying to work.

Be Willing to Change if Something Doesn’t Work

Maybe you thought that having your desk by the window would keep you alert, as the sunshine would perk you up. Now, however, you’re just staring into your backyard, wishing you could be outside instead. In that case, it’s time to move your desk. Figure out what is working and what isn’t and be willing to change the layout of your space, as well as what’s in it, to help you maximize your productive time in your home office.

Featured photo source:

Why Winter Is the Perfect Time to Finish Your Attic or Basement Remodel

With Pacific Northwest winters being as wet and rainy as they are, we end up spending most of our time indoors.  This winter has been predicted to bring snow the 1st quarter of 2017, promising even more time to spend in your humble abode. 

Avoid cabin fever and expand the livable square footage of your home by finishing your basement or attic!  By finishing out these spaces, you’re not only adding more useable space to your home, you’re also increasing the value of your asset.


Convert the basement into a media room, family room, or a swanky speakeasy for entertaining other indoor-bound guests.  To maximize your home’s value, add a guest bedroom and bathroom.  These updates will help you appreciate your asset while it appreciates for you.  Call us with your ideas and we can help make your dream space come to life!

Photos courtesy of

4 Tips to Achieve a New Home Feeling Without the New Home Price

Want to get a new home feeling without the new home price?  Here are some ideas to make your home feel fresh and updated without taking out another mortgage.

Image courtesy of Houzz

1. Move that wall! 

By removing a separating wall, you’ll open up the room for better flow and accessibility.  Open floor concepts are very popular for multiple reasons, including their tendency to expand views and natural light, make spaces feel larger, and accommodate entertaining.


Image courtesy of Houzz

2. Put a door on it! 

Have a small space?  Try adding a covered or partially covered deck to the exterior of a kitchen or living room, and add sliding doors where the existing wall was.  This option opens up an indoor living space and invites a bit of nature into your current home.  Add exterior heaters to make the space function year round.

Image courtesy of Houzz

3. From floor to ceiling

Freshen up a space by pulling out tired carpets or laminate, and add a timeless surface like hard wood or tile.  This not only makes your space look better, but is also far easier to keep clean and allergen free.  New tile that looks like wood is a great choice for water-prone areas like bathrooms and entryways.  Finish off the room with a new coat of paint.  Maybe when you bought your house, textured paint was all the rage, and you’re ready to part with it.  It’s amazing how new surfaces like flooring and paint can really make the space feel like a whole new house.

Image courtesy of Houzz

4. Lose the closet but not the space

Try expanding a smaller room by removing an oversized closet and adding built-in cabinets.  This style of cabinet is very popular in the coveted craftsman style home, and helps add character while adding functioning storage.  Another way to add storage without clutter is adding built-in cabinets to a stairwell.  Make your space look like it was taken out of a design magazine by arranging books or other focal objects to a plain wall like a staircase.

Investing money into your home is a smart move.  You’ll be able to appreciate living in your asset, while your asset appreciates itself!  For other tips on how to love your home again, please contact us at Harjo Construction Services.  In our complimentary meeting, we’ll learn about your goals with your home, discuss budget and timeline, and work together to make your house a dream home!

4 Favorite Kitchen Remodeling Trends to Watch in 2016

As a contractor, it is as important to keep abreast of industry trends and new ideas as it is to also know what’s practical, worthwhile, and lasting. There have been a few shifts in the home design world that have been interesting to follow, and we’d like to share with you some of the developments we’re most excited about for 2016 interior design!


Stainless Steel is Over

BSS_mastheadWell, maybe not “over,” but stainless steel appliances certainly don’t have the same death grip on the industry that they have for the last twenty years. Alternative appliance surfaces have been increasingly popular for kitchen remodels, such as paneled fronts for refrigerators or microwaves that match the cabinetry and create a seamless look, or white-or-colored, vintage-styled enameled appliance fronts that are evocative of the 1950s-70s. Major appliance brands have been releasing new looks for old favorites, such as KitchenAid’s much-coveted new line of “black stainless steel.” Though stainless steel will never really go out of style, many competitors have been emerging that are pretty dang cool.


Underlighting is In

If you’re planning a major kitchen remodel, get ready to talk a lot about light—not only is lighting an incredibly powerful (and often underrated) aspect of design, but kitchen lighting has gotten pretty innovative these days. We love the trend of underlighting your cabinetry or countertops. Not only does it provide better ambient and task lighting, but when done well underlighting can make your kitchen look almost ethereal.


New Ideas for Stone

britt-kitchen3Natural stone is pretty much unbeatable in terms of lasting value, durability, and beauty for a high-end kitchen, but the game has changed a little in the last decade. In the past, thick, highly-polished granite countertops with ornate edge profiles were a very popular choice for making a kitchen feel elegant and expensive; today, matte finishes (like leathered or honed granite) are increasingly popular because they look more industrial, and thinner, flat-edged countertops are favored for their modernity. Quartz has also overtaken granite in popularity, likely because of its falling price point as it becomes more common and its virtually nonexistent maintenance.


Decline of the Dining Room

Ruben-Slider2In today’s modern world, families are far less likely to be sitting down together around a dining room table every day for breakfast and dinner. Unlike fifty years ago, it’s very common now that both parents work, and children and adults are busier and more interested in multitasking than ever. Especially as millennials grow older and direct a larger part of remodeling projects, we’re starting to see the traditional formal dining room decline in favor of integrated kitchen-to-living spaces. This means things like smaller tables, bar or counter seating, and much more open, sweeping floor plans.


If you want a contractor who’s on the cutting edge of the industry while still an expert in the timeless fundamentals, contact us at Harjo Construction! We love big-scale kitchen remodels, and also commercial or new construction projects. Contact us about your idea—we’d love to talk about it!

Photo Credits:

4 Reasons to Consider Commercial Remodeling

One of our specialties here at Harjo is commercial remodeling. We take great pride in restyling offices and commercial buildings to be more efficient in terms of space and energy and to make a better impression on employees, clients, or customers. Let’s take a look at a few of the motivators many of our clients have to seeking out a commercial remodel.

1.) Going Greener

This is one of the most common reasons businesses consider remodeling. In this climate-conscious day and age, it not only reflects well on your company to keep a green office, but it will end up saving you a bundle in energy costs. If you’re located in an older building, it’s highly likely that you’d benefit from a green remodel or retrofit. Replacing windows and appliances, installing new heating or cooling systems, insulating, or restyling your lighting to use LEDs or timers will all help you cut costs and conserve energy. We can help you with projects large or small, or even to achieve LEED certification!

2.) Better Use of Space

When companies grow, they often find themselves facing the question of whether they should move or remodel to accommodate the new bodies. If you find yourself with more people than desks, the solution might not be moving offices, which is often entails breaking a multiple-year lease, but simply making better use of the space you do have. Harjo is happy to come in and look at your office and let you know what the best solution might be—it’s also possible that you can expand your office to another unit of the building, and remodeling a new wing is certainly easier and less expensive than leasing and customizing an entirely new space.

3.) First Impressions

Making a good impression on potential or existing customers, clients, or investors should be of paramount concern to any business. You want your office to give the impression of a forward-thinking, chic, and successful company. If you have a carpet on your floors from 1992, still use those gray padded cubicle walls, or have dingy fluorescent lighting, you might want to consider investing in your office’s appearance. Your office is part of your brand, and you both want to have a wow factor that will inspire confidence and esteem from your potential partners. Money you spend remodeling an ugly office will come back to you, not only from the improved reputation of your business, but the enjoyment your own employees take in being there.

4.) Increased Productivity

A remodeled office isn’t just a moral boost—it can also boost productivity. For example, you can make your space more efficient for workers by arranging desks to maximize opportunities for concentration or supervision. You can also foster collaboration by creating an open office format or group work spaces. According to a study by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), 90 percent of upper management polled believed that a remodeled office design had a positive effect on worker productivity. Things like improving your overhead or natural lighting or providing updated, more ergonomic furnishings will make a big difference. Furthermore, renovated spaces usually require less maintenance and upkeep, meaning that you’ll even be making building maintenance staff more productive.

If you’re interested in a commercial remodel, call us at Harjo Construction. We are one of the most trusted contractors in Seattle, and will help you achieve exactly the office your business deserves. Get a free estimate today!

Ground-Up Remodel on Lake Sammamish

We are excited to be finishing up our work on a ground-up remodel on the shores of Lake Sammamish. The owners found a property they loved and hired Harjo Construction Services to bring down the existing house, expand the foundation and start over on a new modern design. We partnered with Encore Architects on this beautiful design.Take a look at our pictures of this dramatic remodel!

Here’s what the beginning of the construction looked like in March:

2015-03-09 14.17.352015-03-09 14.15.582015-03-09 14.13.092015-03-09 14.12.46

And here’s what it looked like by August!