Why It’s Important to Plan For Your Remodel Months Ahead of Time

Remodeling is a great way to increase your home’s value and create new spaces for your family to enjoy. When dreaming up the new warm and comfortable spaces for your family, it’s important to have a clear understanding of project timelines and take a few initial steps to avoid slowing down the project down the road. To have the best results from your remodel, planning months ahead of time is crucial. Here are some easy steps and pro-tips for planning your remodel, and why it’s important to get started ahead of time.

Design Takes Time

Design is a key element in the remodel process, because construction teams need a well thought out plan to follow when implementing renovations. It’s important to take the time to interview designers so you know what various firms have to offer. At Harjo, we are happy to partner with or recommend design-build companies, architects and interior designers. Or our in-house project managers, who have design training, can design your remodel based on your needs and budget.

Account For The Time It Takes To Find a Good Contractor

Interviewing your contractor is crucial, but this also takes a few weeks. Once you have interviewed a contractor, and they visit your home, they will get back to you with an estimate. Some homeowners will also want to visit project sites or talk to previous clients about their experience with the contractor. Rushing into hiring a contractor because you want your project done sooner can lead to poor results, so be sure to get started on your contractor search ahead of time.

Refining Plans is a Detailed Process

Many construction companies will give an estimated timeline for how long a project will take. It is crucial for homeowners to understand the impact reviewing plans, refining them, and deciding on the final plan will have how long a project will actually take. Remodeling is an investment, and we want to bring you and your family the best results. Reviewing plans, making adjustments and making decisions can elongate the design process, so accounting for some extra time in decision making is key to have a realistic project timeline.

Start Shopping Early

From tile, to fixtures, to cabinets and more, many clients fall into the trap of waiting until the last minute to choose items they’ll need for their remodel. We know that homeowners have busy lives, but often they either delay making decisions, or they don’t realize that items they like may not be within their budget. Selections may also be on backorder, and can take over nine weeks to be delivered. Vendors can also make mistakes and ship the wrong items.

We highly encourage clients to make selections early. If you need guidance finding the right items for your remodel, our team is happy to walk people through the process and offer advice on where and how they can cut back, and where it’s best to invest their money. (Read more: Where to Splurge and Where to Save in a Bathroom Remodel)

Allocate Time for Permits, if Needed

Some remodels require permits. If that’s the case for your remodel, most aspects of construction cannot begin until the correct permits have been issued. You’ll need a permit for the following types of remodels:

  • When changing the use of something, for example turning a garage into a room
  • When moving something, for example moving a staircase
  • When there is significant sheet rocking (e.g. ceiling to floor)
  • When adding new or changing electrical service or plumbing, which requires two separate permits

Detailed information about permit requirements can be found on the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections website.

Once you have all of these factors in order, you are ready to get started. To learn more about our Seattle remodeling services view our portfolio, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a project in mind!

Where to Splurge and Where to Save in Your Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling your bathroom is a great way to improve the functionality of your space and add value to your home. Whether you’re hoping to maximize the spatial flow of your master bathroom, make your space easier to use for aging family members, or simply upgrading a space that hasn’t been updated for a while, remodeling your bathroom is a worthwhile investment.

Before getting started on your bathroom updates, it’s important to know whether your remodel project is midrange or upscale. A midrange bathroom remodel would typically entail replacing all fixtures in an existing 5-by-7-foot bathroom, where an upscale remodel would include expansions and larger scale updates (see detailed definitions below, according to

Bathroom remodels are an investment, but they’re typically well worth the value: In the Pacific region (2017) on average midrange bathroom remodel job cost of $21,635 recoups 74.9 percent of the money invested and an upscale remodel of $65,748 recoups 70.2 percent. Making smart decisions during the remodel process can help maximize your budget, and our team is here to help. Here are a few pro-tips on where to save and where to splurge during your bathroom remodel.

Where to Splurge:

Your bathroom is a crucial part of your house. Renovating it to meet your specific needs while also keeping longevity and cost in mind is key to making your remodel a success. Here are a few places where you should consider splurging in your bathroom remodel:

  • High Quality Tile and Flooring: If you live in the Pacific Northwest, the wet air can make it hard for spaces to fully dry after water exposure. When your tile grout and flooring are exposed to water over time, it can cause mold and long-term water damage. We recommend using epoxy grout, made from epoxy resins and a filler powder. The grout is extremely hard, durable and nearly stain proof. Often the bond between tiles is stronger than the tile itself.
  • Smart Storage: If your bathroom doesn’t have ample storage space, finding ways to make better use of the space you do have can be highly beneficial. Spending extra money on additional cabinetry or multi-functional storage solutions can keep your bathrooms better organized and highly functional for years to come. Some innovative options include vanities with integrated electrical outlets and USB ports, double-tiered drawers, and replacing medicine cabinets with decorative mirrors and pull out racks.
  • Go Green: Implementing sustainable fixtures in your bathroom can help you save for years to come. While these solutions may be a bit more expensive initially, low-flow showers, low-flush toilets, and solar heating can save you money in the long run will benefit the earth for years to come.


Where to Save:

While investing in your home is always beneficial in the long run, there are a few places you can save without lowering the quality of your remodel. If you’re looking for a few places to save in your bathroom remodel, try some of the following:

  • Plan Around Plumbing: Changing plumbing lines can be expensive. When planning your remodel, shaping the new design around where the current plumbing lines already area can save money without devaluing your bathroom. For some inspiration, check out a few of our favorite showrooms in greater Seattle including Keller Supply, the Fixture Gallery and Consolidated Supply.
  • Block for safety measures, if you’re not ready to implement them: Bathroom safety is important. While you may not think additional safety measures in your bathroom are necessary at this point in your life, you or your family members may need them down the line. If you don’t want to spend the money to implement safety features now, you should consider blocking for grab bars during your remodel. Blocking means installing solid wood between the wall studs to insure the future installation of grab bars will be secure. That way, if and when the time comes to implement grab bars and other safety measures, the renovations at that point will be much smaller scale. You can find additional tips on how to create a beautiful bathroom for the ages from Consumer Reports.
  • Get Crafty with Cabinets: While some people may want the latest and greatest cabinets and other storage solutions in their bathrooms, others may be simply looking for a decent place to store their things. Finding alternatives to expensive cabinetry can be a great option. Companies like Semihandmade create great storage solutions at a discounted price.

To learn more about Harjo Construction, visit our website today!

Midrange Bathroom remodel: Update an existing 5-by-7-foot bathroom. Replace all fixtures to include 30-by-60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with 4-by-4-inch ceramic tile surround; new single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control; standard white toilet; solid-surface vanity counter with integral sink; recessed medicine cabinet with light; ceramic tile floor; vinyl wallpaper.

Upscale Bathroom Remodel: Expand an existing 35-square-foot bathroom to 100 square feet within existing house footprint. Relocate all fixtures. Include 42-by-42-inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls with accent strip, recessed shower caddy, body-spray fixtures, and frameless glass enclosure. Include a freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets; stone countertop with two sinks; two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting; a compartmentalized commode area with one-piece toilet; and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. Use all color fixtures. Use larger matching ceramic tiles on the floor, laid on the diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. Add general and spot lighting including waterproof shower fixture. Cabinetry shall include a custom drawer base and wall cabinets for a built-in look. Extend HVAC system, and include electric in-floor heating.


4 Remodel Trends to Consider Implementing in Your Home

Remodeling is an exciting process. From small updates to large-scale changes, adding to your living space can increase your home’s value and give you and your family more space to enjoy. When it comes to remodeling, there are many options to choose from, and it can be difficult to know where to begin. If you are considering making some changes to your living and are looking for inspiration, here are a few current trends and styles to consider adding to your home.

Smart Storage and Increased Square Footage

Home prices are on the rise, which means square footage is more valuable than ever. Many homeowners are looking for ways to maximize their footage and storage space when remodeling, so they can get the most use out of their space.

Implementing creative storage solutions and building hidden workstations within the kitchen are great ways to maximize your minimal space. From building up rather than out on an existing property, to adding additional storage and functionality to kitchens and basements, there are many ways to add to both your homes aesthetics and functionality when planning your remodel.

Sustainable Materials and Energy Efficiency

Seattle is known for being an earth-conscious city and as such, using sustainable building materials and opting for LED’s and other energy efficient options is a rising trend. These sustainable homes range from maximizing draining systems to use rainwater to hydrate plants to simply choosing LED light fixtures throughout homes. Opting for increasing natural light within your house is another sustainable option to explore that will both light up your home and help reduce your electrical bill.

Top Notch Flooring

Putting a bit more attention into floors is a trend among homeowners across the country. This includes elegant hardwood floors and quality tile made to last and stay cleaner longer. In colder areas, many households are also opting for heated flooring systems to add a little extra warmth in their homes during the winter months. Many current trends in flooring design include:

  • Bigger plank widths
  • Large, format tiles
  • Broader color and finish options such as graphic tile

Finishes with Flair

No home remodel is complete without the finishing touches. Black, stainless steel finishes are on the rise, and many homeowners are opting for darker colors rather than light. Darker colors aren’t only popular because of their elegant look and sleek style, but they also appeal to many homeowners with children as they have a smudge-resistant, finger-proof finish.

At Harjo Construction, we help households in Seattle update their homes and create more space for families to enjoy. To learn more about our team or to view our portfolio, visit our website today!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

Interior Painting Ideas to Lighten Up a Room


No matter how many sunburns or bug bites you may suffer throughout the summer months, it’s never easy to bid the season farewell come September. Before the weather grows semi-permanently grey and wet, you have the power to plan an interior space that serves as a sunny refuge through any season. One of a homeowner’s best weapons to fend off a dark and dreary space is a strategic approach to wall color.

If you’re ready for a room-by-room refresher rather than a whole home overhaul, Harjo Construction offers a wide scope of services including minor renovation work. Our team will devote the professional touch you need to execute your next interior painting project — whether it’s one room, a statement wall or a complete color makeover. No floor or ceiling splashes left behind, no mess, no “you missed a spot.” Get inspired with these on-trend bright paint jobs.

1. Mint

With so many variations of mint paint shades on the market, this color leaves plenty of room for customization. Whether your preferred shade leans heavier toward blue, green or even grey tones, mint is generally subdued enough to paint an entire room and still leave behind a soothing ambiance. If you’re not quite ready to commit to one color, it’s easy to mix and match bolder hues of mint with subtle, barely-there options, freeing you up to pair a statement wall with your all-over paint color.



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2. Lemon

Pale lemon walls can add vibrancy to any space, including the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or nursery. This is perhaps the most literal expression of summer color, as it offers your interior a dose of sunshine.




Image courtesy: The Tao of Dana


3. Cerulean

Whether true cerulean or a play on cobalt, deep and bold blue shades can deliver a pop of color without frazzling your nerves. Go all in by pairing with warm-toned bold decor, or let your walls speak for themselves by keeping the rest of your setting bare-bones.



Image courtesy: Houzz


4. White

Sure, it’s technically a non-color, but crisp white walls can enhance any room’s natural light. A fresh coat of white paint just might be the ideal mood-lifter for the minimalists out there. Best of all, white matches virtually anything, giving you ultimate free reign over decor. Go to town with bold accents and outlandish patterns, or if neutral is the name of your game, stick to white, black or natural furnishings.





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