Hudson Remodeling News

Bellingham home remodeled to create master bath, office space

Posted 24 April 2019 by Team Hudson

Hudson Remodeling recently completed a multi-room remodel at a cute home in Bellingham that resulted in a new powder room, a conjoined master bedroom and office, an expanded master bathroom and improvements to the living room.

Let’s start with the bathrooms. To create the new powder room, we removed built-in cabinetry from the master bathroom and hallway. We removed the existing hardwood floor to install gorgeous black and white tiles with a pattern reminiscent of styles common in Spain and Portugal. The powder room got a new toilet and the original bathroom’s pedestal sink, installed against a background wall of crisp, gray subway tiles.

In the original bathroom, we created additional space by removing the brick chimney and expanding into the bedroom closet. We removed the existing white tile and laid down some radiant heating cable, above which we installed the same patterned tile from the new powder room. We connected the bathroom and bedroom with a new doorway, framing the wall just wide enough to accommodate the furnace venting that we moved out of the chimney. We slid the toilet back against the new wall and, on the other side, installed a length of cherry hardwood cabinets with Shaker-style doors and slab drawers. A new tall cherry linen cabinet was installed at one end to frame the Cambria quartz countertop with undermount sink. For a backsplash, we installed a coordinated length of tile in a gray-marbled basket-weave pattern. The chrome and stainless steel accents throughout the room — faucet, door handles, light fixtures and more — add elegance and tie together the honey-brown wood and patterned tile floor.

In the master bedroom, we moved a wall that had been dividing the space in two, using hardwood from the powder room to seamlessly patch the floor. We removed some built-in cabinetry from the bedroom and framed in a new closet (the old one was removed to make space for the bathroom). We also installed a new window in the bedroom, refinished the hardwood flooring there and in the hallway, and gave the walls and ceilings several fresh coats of paint. The result is a spacious new bedroom with adjoining master bathroom and office that makes much more functional sense.

Out in the living room, we installed a new wood fireplace mantel and retiled the hearth with a larger, darker tile that better matches the home’s existing style.

In the end, the homeowner was pleased with Hudson Remodeling’s ability to update the home with modern conveniences while retaining the house’s original character and style. Another successful Bellingham home renovation is in the books!

Darker colors are among trends in exterior home design

Posted 27 March 2019 by Team Hudson

Dark house paint colors are in. In recent years, more and more homeowners have been choosing darker shades for their painting projects. Dark green, brown or blue homes with bright white trim can make a beautiful statement. You needn’t stop there, though. Many new projects also are featuring both darker trim and siding, resulting in dark-on-dark color schemes. Other homes stick with the classic dark-and-light combination — but reversed, with light siding (think white, light yellow or a classic pale green) with deep black trim.

What else is hot in exterior design and remodeling? Let’s take a look.

Shake siding: This goes well with the trend of dark home exteriors, as natural cedar can create stunning curb appeal, as seen in this job we completed near Lake Whatcom. Don’t be shy about painting your shake, though. With so many gorgeous colors available, the options are practically limitless (maybe take inspiration from these colors of the year). Cedar takes paint well, but be sure to prime it first.

Painted brick: Speaking of paint, painted brick is another trend that can add fresh appeal to a home’s exterior. As a siding material, brick has staying power, and painted brick certainly does too, as it’s been done for years. If you’ve been thinking about painting yours, perhaps now’s the time. By the way, brick is being painted on new construction and remodels, too, so if your home doesn’t have any existing brick to paint, don’t fear!

A return to older styles: Shake and brick not your thing? Another fun trend of late is the re-emergence of such styles as shiplap siding and board and batten. Both styles offer classic looks that continue to stand the test of time (as opposed to, say, grooved plywood siding). Shiplap was a lot more common around here in the first part of the 20th century, before plywood became commonly used. It was often used as a substrate for flooring and roofing materials, but it works well as a siding option, too.

Outdoor living spaces: You don’t have to live in the southern U.S. to make use of outdoor living spaces. In fact, being in the PNW is all the more reason — where on earth is more beautiful than here? Homeowners today are making true use of their outdoor spaces, using such elements as high-quality furniture and built-in cooking appliances in covered spaces truly meant to be extensions of the home. Need some inspiration? Check out this gallery from House Beautiful.

Learn more: Porches, patios and sunrooms
make the most of summer living
.

If you’re considering an update to your Pacific Northwest home, contact us here at Hudson, and we’d love to walk you through these options and many more.

Green remodeling: Five ways to do it

Posted 25 February 2019 by Team Hudson

Ready to step beyond Energy Star appliance upgrades to reduce energy consumption in your home? There are a number of ways to incorporate green construction into your home remodeling plans, reducing the carbon footprint of the work, increasing the sustainability of your home long into the future, and saving money in energy costs.

Go tankless. Traditional hot water tanks can be energy drains, because they spend a lot of time heating water that’s just sitting around unused. Whether your water tank is heated by electricity or gas, it wastes a lot of energy keeping the water temperature at the desired level. A tankless water heater, on the other hand, heats water only on demand, using much less energy to deliver hot water throughout your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankless water heaters are up to 34 percent more efficient than the storage tank variety.

Get aggressive on passive solar. Passive solar techniques can make a major difference in the amount of energy you use to warm up or cool down your home. In the winter, large, south-facing windows can be used to let in as much warm sunlight as possible into the rooms on that side of the house. Materials that soak up warmth from direct sunlight and slowly release it throughout the day and night — including concrete, bricks and stone — also can provide free winter heat sources for your home. In the summer, when you want your home to remain cooler, overhanging eaves block most overhead rays, providing shade and keeping heat out of the home.

Let there be light. Large picture windows and skylights can increase the amount of natural light that filters into the home, reducing the need to have electric lights burning energy throughout the day. And when extra light is needed, such as on summer nights or winter evenings, LED bulbs can provide major savings. LEDs generally use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times as long as incandescent lighting. That energy savings is mostly because LEDs run cool; 90 percent of the energy from incandescent bulbs goes and 80 percent of the energy from CFLs go to heat, according to energy.gov. That’s a terrible use of energy from a device that you only need to produce light.

Say no to toxins. These days, it’s not too hard to find paint and other household finishings that don’t make your breathing air hazardous to your health. And not only do non-toxic, water-based paints improve your air quality, they’re also better for the environment. Consider this: According to the California Air Resources Board, more than two-thirds of the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in the air there come from paints and coatings.

Use recycled materials. Making good use of previously used products (wood, cabinets, sinks, appliances and more) can be a great way to limit the environmental impact of a remodel. When you can reuse something instead of throwing it in a landfill and buying a new one, you’ve aided the Earth on several levels. For a good start in Whatcom County, consider looking at the RE Store or Habitat for Humanity store, both in Bellingham.

As you’ve probably noticed, this is far from an exhaustive list! Contact Hudson Remodeling for ideas and to chat about how we can reduce the carbon footprint of your remodel. Or catch us at the Whatcom County Home and Garden Show March 1 to 3 in Lynden!

Taking a look at ‘modern farmhouse’ design

Posted 30 January 2019 by Team Hudson

Home. For so many people, it’s a place of comfort, a place for family, a place to gather around the big dining room table after a hard day’s work and laugh and play with friends. Home is a well-lived-in, well-loved place of coziness and relaxation.

This feeling, this idea, is what people often are aiming for when they decorate in certain styles. Remember “shabby chic” and its focus on things like antique furniture, distressed-wood touches and built-in cabinets? Or the “classic farmhouse” style with its sturdy, practical furniture, apron sinks and natural wood accents?

Lately, we’ve been seeing a number of customers with new takes on these classic decorating styles. They’re going for more of a “modern farmhouse” look, which in many ways is a direct descendent of both shabby chic and classic farmhouse styles. Let’s take a look at a few modern farmhouse elements. Maybe you’ll find yourself incorporating some of these in your home!

Farmstead elements: We’ve done a number of interior door installations lately in the barn style. It’s a classic look that evokes feelings of simple living and brings with it a practical touch. These sliding doors are great space savers, akin to the pocket doors of yore, for spaces where a large swinging door wouldn’t quite fit. This door was made from locally sourced recycled wood, but you can also purchase pre-made doors at places like Home Depot. As a matter of fact, that’s where we got the barn doors for this bathroom remodel.

Rustic meets contemporary: In a nutshell, this is the core of modern farmhouse design. Distressed shelves and exposed wood beams paired with the clean, glossy feel of embedded windows create a look that is both sophisticated and traditional. More common examples of this pairing can be found in kitchens that combine stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and apron-front sinks in the farmhouse style. This kitchen even takes that a step further, with sleek appliances, modern lighting, shiny black granite countertops, bright wooden cabinets and, to add an extra modern touch to a classic kitchen centerpiece, a farmhouse-style sink in black.

Neutral palette, uncluttered space: The farmhouse look, whether classic or modern, is all about natural, neutral colors and fibers — leather chairs, natural wood furnishings, cotton fabrics, white walls. This 1909 logging bunkhouse in Lynden was brought into the modern age while retaining the classic touches that give the home its lived-in character.

What do you think? Are you considering the modern farmhouse look in your home? With its shabby chic and classic farmhouse heritage combined with contemporary touches, the style has become a comforting, inviting and modern take on interior design.

Hudson crew Q&A: Susan Silva

Posted 26 December 2018 by Team Hudson

When you welcome Hudson Remodeling into your home for a renovation, you’re making a big commitment. A lot of trust and faith in our Hudson team is involved. Recognizing that, we would like to give you a chance to meet our crew members so that when we do begin working together, it’ll feel comfortable.

With that in mind, we’ve been rolling out crew bios so you can get to know each person who may work in your home.

The next person in the spotlight is designer and project manager Susan Silva.

Susan Silva smiles in the snow with Luna, the Hudson Remodeling office dog.

Susan and Luna, the office dog.

Name: Susan Silva

Role: Designer and project manager

First year at Hudson: 2015, but I’ve been doing designs for Hudson Remodeling since 2003. Charlie Hudson was actually one of the first contractors who hired my company, Silva Design, to do some design work. I still do some of that on the side, too, in addition to managing remodeling projects.

Favorite power tool: The Chief Architect 3D CAD program. I’ve been using it ever since I started in design. I like that it provides an easy-to-understand visual map of the projects — both for our clients and me.

Your favorite thing to redesign: I love to design small kitchens. When every inch counts, you have to be very efficient in your design. It’s much more of a challenge to make it work, and I like that.

Susan on a recent trip to Indonesia.

One thing most people don’t know about you: I love to travel and visit places with different cultures and/or environments. It’s sometimes challenging to be in unfamiliar surroundings, but it makes me feel alive! My last trip was to Indonesia and I got a chance to revisit some places I had been to 30 years ago when I was just out of college. On the domestic side I love to hike, ski, and kayak in our local mountains and waterways. There is so much to explore in our own backyard.

If time and money were no object, what would you remodel at your own home? Gee, I have been making so many changes over the last 10 years. I think the interior is finally done, and I wouldn’t want to change anything else.

One thing you think every homeowner should know before starting a remodel project: Remodeling homes can be a process of discovery. Sometimes unexpected conditions arise that can impact the original design. Having an experienced team to help you sort out the options is important. Also, it’s going to take longer than what you see on TV. You can’t use TV shows as a guide to how long a remodeling project will take or how much it might cost.

A kitchen showing special cabinets designed by Susan Silva.

Designing these cabinets in her home inspired Susan Silva to become a home designer.

First thing you remember designing: My own kitchen cabinets. In some ways, they were the impetus for me to go down this path of home design. I have a degree in industrial technology, and I always thought I would be a manufacturing engineer. And I was, actually, before I stopped to have kids. But then we were going through our own remodel process at home, and I was looking at all the catalogues for kitchen cabinets and didn’t really like anything I saw. I wanted the cabinets to be straight, with no curvy lines or inset panels, but not totally plain, either. So I decided to design my own. I really enjoyed that whole process. When I decided that I wanted to go back to work, my husband remembered that project and suggested I go into some sort of design work.

First car: 1974 VW Super Beetle.

Favorite candy: Baby Ruth. I love the combination of peanuts and chocolate.

New year, new (old) home

Posted 28 November 2018 by Team Hudson

Are you committed to loving your home more in 2019?

If so, you’ve probably already realized that your dream home might be the one you already live in. A tweak here, an upgrade there and you might find that the best place for you and your family in the new year is the place you already call home.

Here are five home remodeling projects that can provide great value — both in resale down the road and in enjoyment today.

Create new outdoor spaces: Perhaps what your home needs is a better connection to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest — spring breezes, summer heat, fall colors. Consider the benefits that a deck or porch could make and capitalize on that lovely view and/or extend your living space from the living room or master suite to the gorgeous outdoors.

Add more livable space: Speaking of more space, how about adding some on the inside of your home by converting the basement into space your whole family can treasure? Take that musty and dank basement or garage and convert it to a game room, rec room, sewing room, mother-in-law suite, wet bar or something else. If you’re lucky enough to have a basement in your home, you might as well make the most of it!

Fixing wear and tear: Over time, our homes begin to show their age. In some cases, it’s just a cosmetic issue, while in others, that age could be introducing serious problems. Take a tour of your home, inside and out, and consider whether it’s time for a new roof, remodeled garage or new siding. Peeling paint, loose siding and missing shingles can lead to big problems from water damage down the road. Are there leaky pipes in your crawl space? Poorly installed downspouts that let rainwater pool near your foundation? Don’t let small issues fester until they’ve become full-blown problems.

Modernize an older home: Depending on the era in which your home was built, it might contain one (or more!) of these outdated features: knob-and-tube wiring; electric baseboard heating; uninsulated walls, floors and/or ceilings; single-pane windows; an oil-burning heating unit; an open, wood-burning fireplace; and more. Updating these dated elements can make a big difference in safety, living comfort, energy efficiency and sellability:

  • Bringing the wiring into the 21st century can be a big safety improvement.
  • Installing gas piping for central air heating and gas appliances can be a huge boost in comfort.
  • Replacing the wood fireplace with a gas insert, thoroughly insulating the home, and installing double-pane windows can dramatically improve energy efficiency.

Remodel living spaces: When we think of home upgrades, room remodeling is one of the obvious choices. Remodeling a kitchen, bathroom, living room or master suite can make enormous changes to a home — changes that you’ll love living in and, should you ever decide to sell, will make your home a lot more attractive to potential buyers.

Committing to loving the home you already own is a great choice! Take a look at these five projects and let us know if we can help you get started. We’d love to be part of helping your family fall in love with your home all over again.

Hudson Crew Q&A: Andrey Skripachev

Posted 24 October 2018 by Team Hudson

When you welcome Hudson Remodeling into your home for a renovation, you’re making a big commitment. A lot of trust and faith in our Hudson team is involved. Recognizing that, we would like to give you a chance to meet our crew members so that when we do begin working together, it’ll feel comfy.

With that in mind, we’ve been rolling out crew bios so you can get to know each person who may work in your home.

The next person in the spotlight is Andrey Skripachev, a talented carpenter who’s been with Hudson for years.

Andrey with his wife and children.

Name: Andrey Skripachev

Role: Lead carpenter

First year at Hudson: 2006

Favorite power tool: That would have to be the chop saw. I use that tool the most – trim is mostly what I do, so I use it primarily for that, but I also use it for cutting framing and decking.

Your favorite thing to tear out during a remodel: Kitchen cabinets. They’re easy to tear down, and if they’re in good shape, you can save them. A lot of that stuff can get reused.

One thing most people don’t know about you: I speak three different languages, and often all at once. I’m Russian, but I was born in Estonia. I grew up speaking Estonian, which I learned from the kids at school, and even my mom couldn’t understand me. I don’t really speak Estonian anymore, but now I speak English, Russian and Ukrainian. When I’m talking with Russian friends, we’ll switch back and forth among languages a lot, choosing the easiest words, whichever ones make the most sense for what we’re talking about. It probably sounds kind of funny, but it works.

If time and money were no object, what would you remodel at your own home? If I had all the time and money? I’d probably tear down the whole house and rebuild it. Something with a different layout. It’s not like I don’t like the layout we have, but… I’d start with the siding, because I don’t like the current siding. I’d put in new windows, new trim, get the outside all redone. On the inside, I’d open up some walls, put in new hardwood floors, and go from there.

One thing you think every homeowner should know before starting a remodel project: Find the right company to work with. At Hudson, we run into a lot of customers who went with another company because they were cheaper, or because they’d done some work for someone they knew. My advice would be to hire the right person once and get it done right. Then you don’t have to hire someone else to come in later and do the job all over again. We pay attention to all of the little details.

First thing you remember building: I remember working with my dad, when I was maybe 10 or 11. He used to do remodeling and bricklaying, and I remember helping him on a brick barn for cows. This was back in Estonia, and for the time, this barn was really fancy.

First car: A yellow 1988 Honda CRX Si. I was working at a body shop at the time, and I bought it off a coworker. Later, I ended up selling the car back to the guy I bought it from. My favorite car, though, has probably been the 2006 Dodge Charger I owned. I’ve since sold that one, too.

Favorite candy: I would have to say Tupla, from when I was back in Estonia. You can’t get it around here. The last time I had one was in 2008. My mom had gone back to Estonia to visit, and she brought me a whole box. I don’t even remember what was in a Tupla bar, but I know it was good.

You might be wondering… Three tips for a successful home remodeling project

Posted 27 September 2018 by Team Hudson

A home remodel is probably something you’ll do only once in your life. Nobody expects you to be an expert at it.

After all, that’s why you’re considering hiring a professional to do the work, right?

If this is your first time through the home remodeling process, there probably are a thousand questions swirling around in your mind about how the construction and renovation process will go.

Based on Hudson Remodeling’s prodigious experience in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County, here some tried-and-true answers to a few important home remodeling questions.

When is the best time to conduct a Bellingham home remodeling project?

The best time of year to remodel your home depends a lot on the type of work being done. Any time of year works well for indoor remodeling and upgrade projects, but there are certain tasks that can’t be completed during the rainy season. Roof replacements and exterior painting jobs, for example, are best done under the sun. Most other projects — bathroom remodels, kitchen upgrades, deck installations and more — are great to complete all year long.

Hudson Remodeling is booking projects now for the spring, so if you have an exterior project, now’s the time to get on the list for the spring/summer dry period.

Can I live at home during the remodeling project?

Whether your family should continue to live in your home while it’s being renovated honestly depends on the extent of the work. If the area to be remodeled can be isolated from the rest of the home, such as a basement renovation with exterior access, then it’s OK for homeowners to remain in the house.

However, for safety reasons, contractors would prefer that people don’t walk through an active job site. If we’re talking about a whole-house remodel, it’s much better for the homeowners to move out, if at all possible, as it’s much more efficient for the contractor to have access to all rooms at once. With unfettered access to the home, the plumbers, electricians, sheetrockers, painters and carpenters can limit the number of times they need to access the home. That will help the project get done much faster, which of course means that the homeowner can enjoy the work that much sooner.

How much should I communicate with the remodeler or contractor?

Good communication is a major key to a successful home remodeling partnership. Great relationships are ones where the homeowners are willing to provide the contractor with insight into their goals and priorities for the construction project. For example, on many projects, some compromises might need to be made. In these cases, it’s important that the remodeler know what’s important to the homeowner so they provide sound remodeling advice and help the homeowner make the best choices.

Communication doesn’t always have to be with words, either. After all, a picture is worth a thousand! If you find a photo that captures your vision for the space, please feel free to share. Your home remodeling contractor will appreciate the clarity and the insight into your vision for your beautiful new home. Feel free to browse photos from past Hudson Remodeling Bellingham home renovations for inspiration.

How can I tell which home remodeling bid is the best one?

Hudson Remodeling’s lead carpenter, Dave James, weighed in on that during a recent Q&A. Check out his answer here.

Hudson crew Q&A: Dave James

Posted 15 August 2018 by Team Hudson

When you welcome Hudson into your home for a remodel, you’re making a big commitment. A lot of trust and faith in our team is involved. We recognize that and would like to give you a chance to meet our crew members so when we do begin working together, it’ll feel comfy. 

With that in mind, we’re rolling out crew bios in the months ahead so you can get to know each person who may work in your home.

So, here we go! Let’s kick things off with Dave James, who’s been with Hudson for decades.

Hudson employee Dave James, standing in a grassy field wearing a T-shirt and jeans.

Dave James

Name: Dave James

Role: Lead carpenter

First year at Hudson: 1993. 2018 marks my 25th anniversary with Hudson Remodeling and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!

Favorite power tool: That would be an oscillating multitool. It’s a hugely versatile tool for remodelers. I use it to cut tile and wood trim. It helps me get in tight spots and do a good job with detailed finish work.

Your favorite thing to tear out during a remodel: I like demo days when we get to remove built-in plywood cabinets with seven layers of lead-based paint and replace them with modern, clean, custom cabinets. I also like knocking out the vertical bar that separates the cabinet doors under kitchen sinks. That bar makes it impossible for a guy like me to get under the sink to do any work; that annoying vertical bar is the first thing I tear out in a kitchen remodel.

One thing most people don’t know about you: Ha! Most people are surprised to learn that I’m obsessed with Game of Thrones; I’m a total Game of Thrones geek. My wife and I have watched the shows together, admittedly more than once. We know all the characters and love the story. Same with Lord of the Rings. I’ve read all those books.

If time and money were no object, what would you remodel at your own home? I’d actually do many of the things we do for Hudson clients: replace siding, upgrade windows, pop out a sliding patio door and replace it with a French door. I’d remodel the kitchen and do everything on my wife’s “honey-do” list.

One thing you think every homeowner should know before starting a remodel project: Understand that you get what you pay for. Don’t just take the lowest bid. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to experience and quality standards. Not all contractors care about the little details that our crews do. We’re sticklers for the small stuff and that makes a difference in the finished product. If you want straight grout lines, tight trim joints and drywall without noticeable seams, make sure you’re hiring a contractor who can deliver that so you’re not left looking at flaws for years and years to come!

First thing you remember building: My dad was a remodeler so I started working with him early on. The first job I remember was hanging sheetrock in a hair salon that used to be in the hotel that is next to I-5 on Lakeway Drive in Bellingham – formerly The Lakeway Inn. I was about 12 years old.

First car: My first rig was a mid-’80s Dodge Ram 50 pickup truck.

Favorite candy: Gummy bears! Seriously. Haribo gummy bears are the best.

Featured project: Stunning cabinetry in a newly opened kitchen

Posted 26 July 2018 by Team Hudson

It’s recap time! We recently completed a gorgeous kitchen remodel in Bellingham that we’ve been eager to tell you about. It was a fun, vibrant project that the homeowners are thrilled with — but here’s one of the coolest parts: It was a relatively uncomplicated job, and thus it’s proof that even straightforward remodeling work can have a profound impact on your home!

Here’s what we did on this home remodeling project:

The client wanted a new kitchen that better opened up to the rest of the interior living space and to the outdoors. We pulled out the original cabinetry and appliances to create a blank slate, and then we removed a closet and a couple of interior walls to maximize the flow through the kitchen into the dining room.

As customers tend to do, these homeowners had dreams for the new space, and we customized their new laminate cabinets to fulfil their vision. They wanted a massive island with oodles of storage and cabinets that could be used to sneak counter appliances out of sight. They also wanted pull-out shelving, plenty of task and ambient lighting throughout the kitchen and power outlets that could be hidden from view but easily accessible.

Oh, and did we mention the cabinets themselves? They’re stunning, and they set quite a tone for the look and feel of the new kitchen.

We drew up the plans and created a 3D rendering of the space to help the homeowners see their vision in more concrete detail. And then, we set about making that dream a reality.

After replacing windows and doors in the kitchen and living room, we installed the new laminate cabinets all the way up to the 8-foot ceilings, maximizing their utility (and capitalizing on their stunning looks). We connected with Creative Stoneworks here in Bellingham for the beautiful granite countertops (which are called Fantasy Brown, if you’re looking for something like them).

Of course, the job called for a number of detail improvements throughout the space: recessed lighting, LED strip lighting, under-cabinet electrical outlets, laminate flooring and new lighting pendants and appliances.

Naturally, we also touched up the exterior siding where we installed the larger windows, putting the finishing stamp on another successful Whatcom County remodeling project.

If you’re interested in learning more about this kitchen (and living room and dining room) remodel, check out the photo gallery we made of this work. Trust us, you’re going to want to see the before-and-after differences!

And if you’d like your own kitchen dreams fulfilled, just give us a call or stop by our office in Lynden.

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