Residential Construction

Where to Start With Large Scale Home Additions

Whether you are interested in adding an extra story to your house, looking to increase the size of your kitchen, or hoping to turn that screened-in porch into an AirBNB, there are many benefits to making home additions. Having additional rooms in your home makes it easier to assist family members, increases space for your kids, and may even help you make extra income.  From expanding rooms to creating accessory dwelling units (ADU), here are a few additions to consider if you’re hoping to expand your home.

Mother-in-Law Suite

According to the AARP, nearly a quarter of baby boomers anticipate their parents or in-laws moving in with them at some point. It’s both economical and convenient to have aging family members under the same roof. However, both parties often need some degree of independence to coexist. Having a Mother-in-Law suite where your family members have their own space within your home can be a great solution.

There are several ways to make this addition a reality. Oftentimes, garages and porches can be enclosed to create a bigger space within your home. Building up on top of garages or elsewhere within the home is also a great solution. Combining two bedrooms into one larger living space is also an option. If you’re interested in adding a Mother-in-Law suite to your home, our team at Harjo Construction can help you create a unit that meets your specific needs.

Income Suite

Long and short-term home rentals are a great way to use space you own and help you pay your mortgage. For homeowners whose children have grown up and moved away, or those who simply want to get more creative with the space they already have, an income suite is a great solution. Whether you’re looking for a space that includes a kitchen and bathroom that you can rent out for the long term, or a shorter term AirBNB-type rental, an income suite is an addition that will add value to your home and pay for itself in the long run! One client even built an ADU to move into and ended up renting out the main house to Airbnb users. He says it’s been quite the payoff!

Add New Story

If you need additional space within your home beyond an extra bedroom or just a bit more space, a new story could be your answer. A new story is a great way to add more rooms for growing families, a comfortable place to add entertainment space, an option for both an additional dwelling unit and another living space. Additional stories also make for a great chance to add decks and patios for your home to increase your outdoor living space as well as your homes interior.

Where should I build an addition in my home?

If you’re hoping to make an addition to your home but aren’t sure if it will work with your house’s design, there are many ways to make additions work. A few areas where additions can be made include but aren’t limited to:

 

  • Above the Garage: If your home as an extended garage area, building on top of that unit can be a great place to build an addition.
  • Build Up: If you’re looking to add more space to you home and building codes permit, building second story can be a great option.
  • Expanding the Back: If adding space within your home’s current boundaries won’t work, expanding towards the rear of your home is another potential solution.
  • Decks and Exterior Expansions: For a smaller scale addition to meet the needs of someone looking for a bit more living space, adding decks and patios could be your solution. These spaces are ideal for parties, summer gatherings, and a little bit of the great outdoors without leaving home.

 

When you make an addition to your house, you’re investing in your home’s worth and the amount of space in which your family as to enjoy. At Harjo Construction, we’ll work with you to figure out the best solution for your home and family. To learn more about our services or to get in touch with one of our experts, visit our website today!

Image courtesy of Pexels.com

What To Consider When Hiring A General Contractor

For homeowners of all kinds, hiring a contractor can be a big decision. There are many factors to be considered during this process, including the size and scale of the project, how long the job will take, what type of company to hire, and a number of other considerations. Regardless of what type of project you are undergoing, it’s important to have the right person to do the job. From bathrooms to basements and beyond, here are a few things to consider when hiring a contractor.

There are several types of contractors

General Contractors: A general contractor is essentially the person in charge of a larger scale project such as home remodel, room remodel, or other sizable project. This person handles strategy, organization, and other players involved in the project. A general contractor also manages permits and following building codes for a project.

Subcontractors: Subcontractors work under the general contractor, and play a specific role in the process. They’re the plumbers, electricians, roofers, painters, and anyone else who does a specific task during the remodel or building process.

Design/Build Firms: These types of firms don’t only handle the construction aspects of a project, they also design it from the beginning and work with architects and designers to build a project from the ground up.

Carpenters: If you’re working on a small-scale project in your home, a carpenter may be your best bet. For tasks such as installing shelving, cabinets, and other fixtures within your house, carpenters are great for small scale building tasks within your home.

 

When to hire a residential general contractor

Even if a home update seems like it’s going to be a small project, oftentimes renovating your home turns into a task that is anything but small. Oftentimes jobs require plumbers, electricians, painters, cabinet and countertop experts and more. If you are doing a project that requires a number of different service providers, such as a bathroom or basement remodel, a GC is probably your best bet. Here are a few rules of thumb for when to hire a general contractor.

GC’s versus Carpenters

  • If the job will take less than a week, you should be okay without a general contractor
  • If the job does not require permits, a carpenter should be sufficient
  • At Harjo Construction, we evaluate the size and scale of the job. If a potential client could save money by working with a carpenter who works for himself, or a subcontractor, we don’t hesitate to tell them.
  • We always give clients 2-3 individuals or companies that we recommend. We don’t turn anyone away empty-handed. Kurt Harjo believes that’s just the right thing to do; it’s good business.

Best practices when hiring a contractor

When hiring an independent party to do work on your home, it’s important to know their credentials and verify their credibility. A few pertinent steps to take include:

  • Ask if your contractor is licensed
  • Verify your contractor’s registration, bond, insurance and infractions
  • Do a simple Google Search – if they have a website and business profile with reviews, they are more credible
  • Read the contract in detail before signing, and insure you understand what is being laid out in front of you.

Hiring a contractor can be a detailed process, but when you have a fresh, updated home it will be well worth it. To learn more about Harjo Construction and view our portfolio of projects, visit our website today!

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 Pexels.com.

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.

Does Your Basement Need An Update?

When people invest in fixing up their homes, they generally focus on the areas with the most traffic. Living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms are frequently updated, however spaces that you spend less time in are more likely to be overlooked. If you haven’t been investing in your basement, it may be time to look into it. There are several common indicators of issues in your basement that can be indicators of costly damage further down the line. If you see one of these signs in your basement, it’s probably time for an update.

Watch out for that damp smell
That smell that so many people associate with basements is really a sign of a leaky, overly wet basement. Chances are that the smell in question is caused by small cracks or faults in your basement walls or foundation. These imperfections let in moisture, which can further compromise your foundation and lead to issues like mold and mildew growth.

Water accumulation is a real issue
If the leaking in your basement is so bad that there’s physical, visible water accumulating, you have a real issue. First and foremost, that water can damage your foundation, particularly if there’s a freezing spell. Secondly, it can damage anything you store in the basement, both by direct water damage and later due to mold and mildew growth.

Cracking in walls leads to bigger issues
If there are visible cracks in your walls, then water is getting into your basement. They will grow over time, and those cracks could eventually result in insects getting into your house. The sooner you address cracking in your walls, the less likely they will cause serious structural issues that could be incredibly expensive to repair.

Bowed walls and sinking floors are signs of trouble
Walls that bow are generally under pressure from moist soil on the outside. Repeated freezing and thawing can aggravate this issue, and the worse it gets, the more compromised your home becomes. Walls can be reinforced with steel beams or may need to be dug out and rebuilt. Sinking floors or warping of floors can be caused by shifting soil under the foundation. Your home may need support piers installed under the foundation to prevent additional movement or damage.

Separation in windows and floors mean movement
If your basement windows and doors are no longer opening and closing with ease, that’s a sign that the soil around your foundation is shifting and exerting pressure on your basement. Chances are that your foundation will need to be reinforced or repaired to prevent greater shifting and serious structural issues in your home.

If you notice any of these signs in your basement, it’s time to call a professional. Professionals who understand structural and foundation issues can help you determine the exact cause of the problems you’re experiencing and help you figure out how to address them. Because your foundation, and by extension your basement, are critical to the structural integrity of your home, you want to invest in repairing serious foundation and basement issues as soon as you notice them. If you need to update your basement, contact us today!

Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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: Pixabay.com

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.

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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 Houzz.com

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.

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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

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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.

Inspiration:

mint

Image courtesy: AVSO.org

 

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.

Inspiration:

 

lemon

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.

Inspiration:

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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.

Inspiration:

 

 

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Image courtesy: HomeIdeasBlog.com