Residential Construction

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.



Image courtesy:


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.





Image courtesy:

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:

5 Considerations for Where To Live During Your Remodel

One thing that families need to consider when planning a large remodeling project is where they’ll live during the construction process. Often, families assume that they’ll be able to work around the chaos of the remodel and cohabitate with their contractor and his crew. One thing is certain: it’s better to fairly assess how realistic this is and weigh the cons and pros before you’re several weeks in and need to find some last-minute solution. Here are a few points to consider when you’re determining where to live during your remodel:

1.) Financial Aspects

Yes, it’s true that renting a home for weeks or months can be very expensive, and other solutions like buying an RV or going on a vacation can also add up. However, it’s important to also recognize that a project will be completed more quickly when the crew has the place to themselves, and when it comes to construction, time is money. When a family continues to live in a house, the construction is often hindered by occupants, and slowing down construction makes it more expensive, not to mention they price you might put on your own sanity and convenience.

2.) Bathrooms, Water, Power

Utilities are also a major determinant of whether or not living at home can be feasible. Will you water or power be turned off? For how long? What about your heat or air conditioning? If your bathroom is being remodeled, do you have other bathrooms in your house you can use? Will one bathroom be enough for a four person household accustomed to having two?

3.) It Takes a Village

Many people get through a remodel by leaning a little on their friends and family. If you don’t want to include a hotel or rental in your remodeling costs, but you can’t realistically stay at home, you may want to consider moving in with someone close to you. If you have children and pets, you can also split up these residencies. Often, children will be overjoyed at the prospect of perhaps spending a week or two sleeping over with their friends or cousins, and you might have a friend who would love to host your labrador. It’s natural to worry about imposing on the hospitality of others, but keep in mind you can always repay your debts with a gorgeous dinner or party when your new kitchen or living room is finished.

4.) Pets

Pets can often complicate your housing options during a remodel even more than children. If you choose to stay at home, it can be almost impossible to make your pet understand that they need to stay out of the construction zone during work hours. Further, the last responsibility a work crew wants to deal with is worrying whether an indoor cat might run outside while they have the door open. Pets are also often terrified by the strangers and the noise, and pets with disabilities have a particularly hard time. If you don’t have somewhere you can reliably house your animals during your remodel, don’t forget to budget for a kennel or shelter!

5.) Cleaning

Even if you can endure the noise, strangers, and inconvenience of a remodeling crew, you might not be able to handle the mess. Construction can create a lot of debris, from sawdust to dry wall, and the smell of dust or paint can drive you crazy. Further, it will seriously slow down a crew if they have to tidy up after themselves enough to keep the living space usable at the end of every day, which slows down the project and increases expenses.

So where should you live during your remodel? That completely depends on the duration, your needs, your family, and your finances. We just encourage clients to consider their housing needs before they begin their project, and budget accordingly. We’re also happy to talk to you about your options—contact us at Harjo to learn more about what to expect from your project!

Why Wait Through Winter?—Start Your Construction Project Now!

Everyone seems to think that the only time the construction industry can get anything done is during spring and summer, and that’s just not true. The industry has changed a lot since the days when you needed to have a roof on by November, and improvements in technology mean that we can work on homes or buildings year-round!

The most important thing to note about year-round construction is that we live in the Pacific Northwest, not the Midwest—every month of the year here has an average temperature above freezing, and if we have any snowfall, we measure it in inches, not in feet. The biggest threat to Seattle construction is rain, but as we all know to well, that’s a year-round battle! New construction or remodeling projects in the winter are especially doable in our temperate climate.

Of course, there are drawbacks to winter builds. Daylight hours are shorter, and so there is decreased natural visibility. And of course, you’ll need to install weather-protecting materials for the site, including tarps, thermal blankets, and added insulation and heaters to keep the materials and pipes from expanding and contracting with the temperature.

But there are also particular advantages to winter construction. For example, demand is much lower, and it’s much easier to quickly secure a good contractor (like Harjo!) and team for your project—after all, we need to keep eating through winter! It’s also much faster to get your permits approved by the city because they are less busy.

Another great reason to build during the winter is that, even if there are potential weather-related expenses that might drive up the cost of your project, you’re already losing money if you’re sitting on property. If you already have property you hope to develop, you’re paying taxes on the land and perhaps taxes and rent somewhere else, too.

Finally, the ideal temperature, weather conditions, and humidity levels for construction almost never align. The summer can be too hot, or the fall and winter too wet. The unpredictability of the weather is something contractors deal with in all seasons—the key to a successful build isn’t picking the right time, but the right people. If you choose an experienced contractor like Harjo, we can guarantee that our team is ready to successfully negotiate any conditions to help you get your project finished quickly, within budget, and beautifully. Contact us today if you have a project you’d like to discuss!

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!