Hudson Remodeling News

How to add a home office

Posted 26 January 2021 by Team Hudson

Have you been working from home more lately? If so, you’re not alone. Throughout Whatcom County, many people are pulling out their laptops and setting them up at the dining room table or even a fold-out ironing board for a hard day’s work.

But why settle for a temporary and uncomfortable home office? Methods abound for crafting a home office out of your existing space.

What once was an awkward room off of the master bedroom is now a fully functional home office, with beautiful natural light and plenty of space for a computer desk and additional furniture. See more from this project.

Use a spare bedroom. If you don’t mind losing the guest space, converting a spare bedroom into a home office can be a great choice. Slide a desk into the room for a simple conversion or hire a contractor for more extensive work, such as moving doors and windows to create the best possible environment. Look at the space and use your imagination!

Convert a closet. Not ready to devote an entire bedroom to a home office? Start with a closet. Hallway closets, though a tad cramped, can work well as home offices. The walk-in closet in your master or spare bedroom could offer even more room.

Build a work zone in the kitchen. Many kitchens are designed around an island or peninsula that offers working space for the kids to complete their homework. These spaces might also work as temporary home office space. For a more permanent solution, a corner of the kitchen can be retrofitted to provide office space. For example, remove an appliance garage and replace it with a hideaway desk, or install a pull-out desktop and chair that can be tucked into a pantry cabinet.

Utilize part of the dining room. Add a roll-top desk, for a quick solution, or consider expanding a coat closet or adding walls for a complete re-visioning of the space.

Convert part of the garage. Garages usually are wide-open spaces that offer exciting potential. Put up walls in the back corner of a two-car garage to create a tidy and private office. If your garage has loft space above, that also could be prime space for a home office. Many garages are not insulated, but you can choose to add insulation to the entire space or just to your new office area.

Convert an existing shed (or build a new one). It’s not uncommon in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County for people to convert outdoor sheds into art space. With relative ease, the same could be done for a home office, resulting in a private work retreat that’s close enough to the main house to provide easy access to coffee and a bathroom.

Whatever your solution to the home office problem, Hudson Remodeling is here to help. Reach out via email or phone to chat about potential solutions.

Your kitchen, your way with customized cabinets

Posted 29 December 2020 by Team Hudson

What’s the difference between an off-the-shelf kitchen and a kitchen remodel that fits the way you cook, dine and entertain? Customized cabinets!

Here are five simple ways you can customize cabinets during a kitchen remodel to increase storage, reduce countertop clutter and create efficient food prep zones.

Pull-out pan rack: Are your cooking pans usually stacked in an unsightly pile in one of your under-counter cabinets? This pull-out pan rack, hidden behind a cabinet door, allows you to hang pans in an orderly fashion. Hudson Remodeling recently installed this pan storage cabinet in a custom kitchen remodel in Bellingham. It makes pan selection and storage a breeze.

Custom display shelving: Some Hudson clients had previously stored special glassware pieces on top of their cabinets. As you can imagine, the pieces tended to become dusty over time. However, when the homeowners remodeled their kitchen, they really wanted their cabinets to extend to the ceiling and to protect the dishes from dust. To accommodate their glassware storage vision, Hudson Remodeling included glass-front cabinet doors in various places in the design of the remodeled kitchen, including above the traditional-style cabinets and in the kitchen island.

Hidden utensil caddy: Here’s a clever storage insert that keeps counter clutter to a minimum while also providing easy access to kitchen cooking tools.

Under-cabinet power and lighting: This kitchen near Bellingham remodeling job featured a nearly seamless backsplash of granite that the homeowner didn’t want cluttered by power outlets. The solution was to use under-cabinet power strips to supply the electrical needs (and meet the building code) without marring the look of the backsplash. A custom channel also was routed into the bottom of the cabinets to accept an LED lighting strip. Hudson’s remodeling pros love brainstorming ideas and finding solutions that meet the needs of the homeowner.

Hideaway pantry: You don’t need a separate closet off the kitchen to get a pantry that provides ample food storage. This recessed pantry Hudson Remodeling installed for a remodeling client offers scads of dry food storage right next to the refrigerator. The deep pull-out drawers make it easy to access everything inside.

Of course, there are many more ways to customize cabinets in a kitchen. To get the most out of your kitchen remodeling project, be sure to select a remodeling contractor who listens to your vision, who thinks creatively, who has a solid understanding of cabinet construction and upgrade options and who has years of experience designing and building customized kitchen spaces.

Do you dream of a custom kitchen in the new year? Contact Hudson Remodeling, and let’s talk about your vision!

Green building choices to make on your next project

Posted 25 November 2020 by Team Hudson

When building or remodeling a home, it makes sense to take the environment into consideration. The choices we make regarding building materials and appliance efficiency, for example, can lessen the burden on the environment while also even saving us money. As you consider your next remodeling project, here are some potential green building choices to take into consideration.

Choose appliances and other equipment that are energy efficient. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has a program that rates appliances based on their energy usage and efficiency. This ENERGY STAR program can help homeowners select appliances that maximize efficiency and minimize energy usage. Many ENERGY STAR appliances also qualify for rebates, so be sure to check the program’s rebate finder page; many are available in Whatcom County.

Reuse whenever possible. Before the demolition phase begins on your Whatcom home remodeling project, consult with your remodeling contractor about what components of your home might be able to be saved and reused. Perhaps the old siding can be reused on children’s playhouse, or maybe the kitchen cabinets can be reused in the garage.

Install skylights and additional windows. Not only can skylights and windows provide additional light, limiting the need for electric lighting, they can also be a pathway for increasing a home’s warmth through solar radiation. On a related note, be sure to consider landscaping that blocks the sun during summer but allows penetration during colder months.

Use building products that are environmentally friendly. Sustainable building products made from renewable resources offer another way to build green. Renewable flooring options include cork, bamboo and linoleum (which, made largely from linseed oil, is among the most environmentally friendly flooring options you can get). Have you heard of sheep’s wool insulation? It’s renewable, sustainable and non-toxic.

Reuse rainwater. Having a rainwater catchment system installed on your roof downspouts can make hundreds of gallons of water available for watering and irrigation from a completely free (and plentiful) resource: rain clouds. Collecting also has the side benefit of lowering the burden on the storm drain system. If you’re in the Lake Whatcom watershed, you might consider the county’s Homeowner Incentive Program, which helps people make improvements that keep runoff from entering the lake.

Use low-flow fixtures. There are ways to reduce water use indoors as well, including the use of more efficient faucets and toilets. If you’re in the City of Bellingham, contact the city for a free water conservation kit, which includes a low-flow showerhead, faucet aerators and tablets for detecting toilet leaks.

Install a programmable thermostat. If your home remodeling project includes a new heating system, you’ll want to be sure to pair that with a programmable thermostat. Half or even more of a home’s energy usage goes toward heating, so anything you can do to lessen energy use will be good both for the environment and your pocketbook. Using a programmable thermostat to adjust heating and cooling needs based on time of day and ambient temperature can lead to real savings over time.

Read more: Five
green remodeling ideas

COVID-19 has led to delays, higher prices in the construction industry

Posted 30 October 2020 by Team Hudson

As an essential service, construction companies here in Washington state were able to restart their work not too long after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns began.

However, because this industry is so closely interlinked with many others, there continue to be major problems in construction. Projects are taking longer, materials are more expensive, and some products are even simply unavailable.

In mid-October, Construction Executive magazine predicted that among the long-term changes to the industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will be supply chain disruptions and longer project timeframes.

“Since the concerns over sourcing and supply chains persist,” the magazine wrote, “the construction industry will likely seek permanent domestic suppliers and seek to maintain larger inventories of critical materials and long-lead times to guard against similar disruptions and related delays in the future.”

We can expect to have to wait longer for products while suppliers sort out their sourcing, and of course we can expect higher prices, too, with that shift to domestic production.

Here at Hudson Remodeling, we’ve been seeing delays and shortages among our appliance vendors, and prices of some building materials have skyrocketed. For example, the price of oriented strand board — an important component of many home construction and remodeling projects — has doubled in just the past couple of months.

In an August survey, Construction Executive found that 85 percent of contractors were experiencing delayed or canceled projects, and seven in 10 felt that the industry wouldn’t rebound until 2021. Appliance shortages — caused by pandemic hoarding, difficulties in estimating demand and many more factors — also could last into 2021, though manufacturers are ramping up to meet increased demand. So far, about half of the contractors surveyed by the Association of General Contractors have been warned by suppliers to expect late or cancelled deliveries.

There is plenty of good news, however. For one thing, new home sales are up. Another great piece of news is that, according to the contractors surveyed by CE, the pandemic is likely to stimulate interest in construction training programs, potentially leading to an even more robust and thriving industry in the future.

For now, however, the pandemic continues to cause problems with aspects of construction and remodeling. Some prices are up, and some products are delayed.

As time rolls by, lockdowns will be lifted and supply chains will adapt to the “new normal.” As that happens, we expect that the situation in the construction industry will continue to improve.

Considering an ADU? Here’s what to know.

Posted 30 September 2020 by Team Hudson

Accessory dwelling units have been common in the United States for more than 100 years. Though they fell out of favor during the rapid expansion of the suburbs in the late 1900s, sustainable planning efforts have brought them back into style.

They are a popular item in Whatcom County right now, with homeowners in Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden and Blaine using them to keep elderly family members close, to make a little extra money through rent, or to have a place for the kids to stay when they’re home from college.

What is an ADU?

An accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, is a structure, basement, attic or other dwelling unit on your property in which someone can live independent of the main living quarters. ADUs have their own spaces for cooking, sanitation, eating, sleeping and living.

You might also have heard an ADU referred to as a mother-in-law suite or guest house.

Among the biggest reasons that cities and counties support ADUs is that they help increase neighborhood infill, reducing sprawl. They aren’t without their detractors, however, and regulations abound to ensure that ADUs don’t harm the character or functionality of the surrounding neighborhood.

So, if you’re interested in turning space in your home or yard into an ADU, be sure to check local rules before starting any planning or design. Some places to get started in Whatcom County are the regulations for Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale and Whatcom County.

What are the rules regarding ADUs?

A few points to consider when planning an ADU:

  • In most places, at least one dwelling unit on a property that contains an ADU must be owner-occupied.
  • ADUs are limited in size. Typically, detached ADUs cannot be bigger than 800 square feet or half of the main residence, whichever is smaller, though the rules do differ depending on location. In Bellingham, for example, ADUs can be up to 66% of the main house. Also, ADUs that are attached to the main structure can sometimes be larger. In Lynden, for example, attached ADUs can go up to 1,000 square feet and have two bedrooms.
  • There may be additional restrictions on ADUs depending on the zoning in the place you live.
  • ADUs often are required to mimic the design of the main structure. In Bellingham, for example, an ADU must have similar roof pitch, siding and windows. In Ferndale, the width of the ADU may be adjusted to ensure the roof pitch matches the main house.
  • ADUs generally require their own on-site parking, often with one space per bedroom.

If you’re looking to convert an unused basement, attic or shed into accessory living space into an ADU in Whatcom County, feel free to give us a call to go over your options.

And remember that regulations regarding ADUs do change, so be sure to research your local rules before getting started.

Construction during COVID: How Hudson is helping ensure safety

Posted 31 August 2020 by Team Hudson

During Phase 2 of the Washington “Safe Start” reopening plan, construction companies like Hudson Remodeling are allowed to continue the important work of ensuring that residential and commercial properties are in the best possible shape.

We’re grateful that we’ve been able to work, and we’re thankful to the homeowners who’ve entrusted their houses to us during this time.

Of course, construction work during a pandemic doesn’t necessarily look like it used to. Hudson’s job sites have taken on extra precautions to ensure that we’re doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition to our standard plans for keeping people safe on the job, here’s some of what we’re doing during the pandemic to abide by applicable guidelines and regulations and help people stay healthy:

First of all, we’ve developed a plan to limit exposure to (and the spread of) COVID-19. It is our responsibility to ensure that our Whatcom County job sites are as safe as possible, not only for our workers but also for homeowners who might be living on or visiting the premises while work is underway.

We’re being careful to ensure that any member of the Hudson Remodeling team who is feeling ill or showing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 does not come to work. Workers who start feeling sick during the day are asked to go home immediately. An abundance of caution is one way we can do our part to limit the spread.

We’re requiring the use of face masks for all employees who are not alone on the site. It’s not always easy — or even possible — to ensure physical distance from each other on the job site, because working safely on a construction site often means helping each other in close proximity. However, we are masking up when necessary, as required. We’re also limiting contact with homeowners and others as much as possible, and when we do need to talk, we wear masks and try to keep our distance.

We’re ensuring that any other personal protective equipment that might be necessary on the job, including eyewear and gloves, are available when necessary. Ensuring our workers have access to important safety equipment always has been our goal, and that hasn’t changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proper hand-washing is encouraged at all of our job sites. When running water isn’t available, we ensure that Hudson team members have hand sanitizer at their disposal.

Of course, these are just a few of the many ways that we at Hudson Remodeling are taking care to ensure team member and customer safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud of the home remodeling and renovation work we do throughout Whatcom County, and we aim to continue doing it safely and carefully while taking all necessary precautions.

Project feature: Expanded kitchen pulls light from sunroom through living, dining spaces

Posted 7 August 2020 by Team Hudson

A recent kitchen remodel transformed a cluttered and boxed-in kitchen into a modern, warm and open space that does justice to the abundant character of the home. Hudson’s crew also added remodeling touches to the dining room, an adjacent sunroom, the living room and a half bath.

This home, which is located in the woods near Lake Padden in South Bellingham, hadn’t been updated in a few years. Though it was functional and in good repair, the homeowners wanted a warm, woody makeover to improve the character and usefulness of the space.

The sunroom lives up to its name, as this view from the kitchen attests.

Here’s an overview of what Hudson Remodeling’s carpenters did to complete this Whatcom County kitchen makeover. For more on this project, including some before-and-after photos, check out the photo gallery.

Floor-to-ceiling kitchen improvements

This was a complete kitchen renovation, so naturally we started with demolition and removal. We removed all appliances, fixtures, countertops, cabinets, tile, carpet and baseboard trim, among other things, to prepare the space.

Next, Hudson’s crews widened and reframed the kitchen entrance from the hallway, removed a pony wall between the kitchen and dining room, and removed a half wall between the kitchen and sunroom. We also rebuilt the subfloor where necessary, constructed a new peninsula between the living room and kitchen and relocated the main sink there from the half wall.

Beautiful new hardwood cabinets were installed in the reconfigured kitchen layout, and new appliances went in as well. Granite countertops from Creative Stoneworks were installed, with a full backsplash that covers the gap between upper and lower cabinets.

In the half bathroom, Hudson’s crewmembers installed a new vanity, with a new sink and faucet going in atop more of the kitchen granite.

Throughout all of the spaces — kitchen, sunroom, half bath, dining room, living room — Hudson’s crewmembers installed new vinyl plank flooring with a wood-grain look that complements the warm and inviting feel of the other new finishes.

Throughout the spaces, Hudson’s team paid careful attention to the finishing touches, as is our trademark. We installed new baseboard trim and patched, painted and textured the drywall, as necessary. New recessed lighting brightens up the room and finishes the look.

The end result of this Bellingham kitchen remodel is a warm and open space — just like the homeowner wanted — that spreads natural light throughout the home, provides ample views of the beautiful fir trees outside, and offers a modern and comfortable kitchen that’s pretty and fun to use.

Six items to consider including in your bedroom remodel

Posted 29 June 2020 by Team Hudson

A luxurious bathroom. A spacious walk-in closet. Plush carpet that massages your toes. There are many reasons to remodel the primary bedroom in your house. Typically, homeowners see the biggest results in three areas:

  • The addition, expansion or improvement of the bathroom.
  • The addition, expansion or improvement of the closet (or closets).
  • The addition of space, either by adding on to the house or making use of adjoining rooms.

If you’re concerned about resale value, the biggest bang for your buck can be seen in the first two points: the bathroom and the closet. However, increased resale value is not always the best reason to conduct a home remodel. There’s great value in the simple pleasures of a custom space perfectly suited to the homeowner’s needs.

To that end, here are a few features – in addition to the general projects listed above – to consider mentioning to your contractor as you plan for your master bedroom remodel:

Fireplace in the master suite
  • A reading area. A calm and quiet reading space, complete with comfortable chair and side table, can assist in making your master bedroom a true place of rest.
  • A fireplace. Speaking of reading areas, a cozy fireplace would add wonderful ambiance to a reading nook. It also could lend much-needed warmth to the bedroom during cold Pacific Northwest winters. Check out the fireplace and cozy reading area in this Hudson Remodeling remodel near Lake Whatcom.
  • Excellent lighting. Don’t skimp on the lighting in your master bedroom. Large, well-placed windows can help maximize natural light, and sufficient electrical lighting can help ensure that your master bedroom is always a welcome retreat. You might consider a multi-zone lighting system that allows you to choose various settings and moods for your bedroom.
  • Features for aging in place. If you’re hoping to grow old in your home, a master suite remodel is the ideal time to make upgrades that will pay off down the road by making it easier to age in place. Consider things like walk-in showers, bathroom grab bars, wider doorways and floors that are free of elevation changes.
  • A strategic bump-out. If you don’t want to make wholesale layout changes in order to add space, you might consider a small bump-out to add a shower, walk-in closet or reading nook.
  • A home office. Do you work from home or sometimes find a benefit in having a home office? If you have extra space in your master bedroom, you might consider adding a space for getting work done. However, keep in mind that some experts recommend against adding a home office to your plans for a master bedroom remodel. “Constantly being able to see your office prevents you from being able to turn off,” says interior designer Christine Baumann in an HGTV article. Instead, she recommends placing a home office in a guest room or kitchen area.

Your house is your space, and you deserve a master bedroom that fits your needs and lifestyle. When you’re ready to turn your plans into reality, feel free to call the professionals here at Hudson Remodeling for support. Our design/build team has renovated and remodeled master suites in Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale and throughout Whatcom County.

Related: Three tips for a successful home remodeling project.

What are your goals for remodeling your kitchen?

Posted 27 March 2020 by Team Hudson

Remodeling a kitchen is an opportunity to get the cooking, gathering and eating space of your dreams.

Exactly what your dreams are, though, will help determine how to focus the remodel. When planning for your kitchen renovation, it’s a good idea to sketch out your goals ahead of time to ensure you have a clear line of sight to your finished product.

Related: Before you start, here’s what you need to know about kitchen remodeling.

Here are some kitchen remodeling goals that Hudson Remodeling customers in Bellingham and Whatcom County have had over the years:

Make the kitchen easier to work in. Primarily, this is done by focusing on the kitchen work triangle, which is formed by the locations of the sink, stove and refrigerator. If the points on the triangle are too far from each other, common tasks such as cooking and cleaning can become tiresome, with long (and frequent) trips from point to point. What’s more, if the edges of the triangle span common walking paths, you might find yourself with frequent traffic jams as you wait for others to move through the kitchen.

Beautify the kitchen. No matter what remodeling is done in the kitchen, making the space more attractive will (one would hope!) be an inevitable result. As such, homeowners would benefit from spending time thinking about the style you’d like to see in the kitchen, enabling you to work the style into your budget and enabling your contractor to work it into the plans. This is one area in which working with a design/build contractor can pay dividends, because the designer will have an intimate understanding of what’s possible and practical from the contractor’s point of view.

Open up the kitchen. Especially in the older homes that common to much of Whatcom County, kitchens can be quite small. In these situations, it can make sense to remodel the kitchen for the purpose of giving it more space, both physically and visually. Hudson Remodeling completed a remodel recently on South Hill in Bellingham in which physical space was gained by removing steps to the basement and visual space was gained by removing a wall dividing the kitchen from the dining room. The end result was a spacious, modern kitchen with gorgeous views of Bellingham Bay. You might also consider what adjacent spaces could be sacrificed to open up the kitchen. Perhaps there’s an unused powder room or closet that could be incorporated into the kitchen, or perhaps a bump out could add additional space without impacting nearby rooms.

Improve the kitchen’s functionality. Do you love to cook? One excellent reason to remodel a kitchen is simply to make it a better place to prepare meals, bake pies or experiment with culinary treats. Perhaps you want to upgrade the appliances, create additional counter space, add a prep sink or improve the lighting in order to create a space that’s a more pleasant place to cook.

Increase the home’s resale value. If you’re planning to sell your home soon, that might color the decisions you make not only about the details and style of your new kitchen, but the functionality as well. A professional designer can work with you to share what fixes and upgrades would do well in the current Whatcom County real estate market.

As you consider your potential goals for a kitchen renovation, it makes sense to write down your plans, perhaps using a worksheet like this one from HGTV. Of course, you’re also welcome to give Hudson Remodeling a call. We’d be happy to discuss your kitchen remodeling plans and help you flesh out the details.

South Hill home takes advantage of bay views

Posted 4 March 2020 by Team Hudson

The South Hill neighborhood in Bellingham is filled with gorgeous homes that take advantage of sun exposure from the south and west and beautiful views of Bellingham Bay.

This brick home in the middle of that neighborhood certainly was no exception.

Hudson Remodeling was hired by the homeowners to remodel the kitchen area on the upper floor, renovate the southern portion of the existing basement, and update the garage. In the kitchen, the homeowners’ main desires were to take better advantage of the view and create more floor space. Hudson’s plans in the kitchen area were to remove the wall between the kitchen and dining area and remove a set of stairs into the basement. In remodeling the basement, the objective was to clean up the overall look of the space by enclosing the plumbing, heating and electrical supply lines; enclosing the boiler area; creating storage areas; and adding cabinetry and countertops in the laundry area and snack bar. The goal of the garage remodel was to create a clean and insulated space in which to park a car.

Kitchen:

In the dining room, a large picture window opens to a stunning view of Bellingham Bay. That view was unavailable from the kitchen, however, thanks to a wall separating the two spaces. Hudson Remodeling removed that wall, replacing it with a structural support beam over a newly installed 42-inch-high countertop and bar that extends partway into the new space and allows for comfortable kitchen seating.

A good chunk of the kitchen space also had been taken up by stairs leading down into the basement. Removing those stairs — and the walls that surrounded it — created a large amount of additional usable space in the kitchen. In that new space, Hudson’s crews installed a double oven along the wall and a peninsula counter that houses a 36-inch gas cooktop. A prep sink was added along that wall as well, and the main sink and dishwasher were moved to the previously bare east wall under two windows that look out over the yard and neighborhood.

All windows and doors in the kitchen were replaced, as were the green vinyl flooring and matching countertops. Hudson’s crews installed custom-made shaker-style cabinets from Northwest Woodslayer in Bellingham. The new flooring in the space is pre-finished solid maple over a hydronic floor heating system from Rehau.

Here’s a before-and-after comparison of the view toward the bay from the kitchen. The “before” photo is on the left, and the “after” photo is on the right. Use the slider to compare the two images.

Basement and garage:

The removal of the stairs up to the kitchen naturally freed up space in the daylight basement as well. Hudson’s crews were able to turn this space into a closet and utility room, which now encompasses (and hides) the large boiler.

The walls and ceilings throughout the basement and garage areas were demolished down to the studs. Where there were bare concrete walls, Hudson installed 2×4 walls to accommodate the new electrical and plumbing work and allow for a smooth drywall finish. New laminate cabinets and counters — also from Northwest Woodslayer — were installed throughout the space, along with appliances.

The lower floor had previously been a mess of wiring, ducting, plumbing and exposed framing. With all of that now hidden in the walls and behind other enclosures, the new basement space is clean and inviting.

Of course, the best part of any remodel is seeing and hearing the homeowners’ reactions to their new spaces. This Bellingham remodeling job was a huge hit with the clients. Just consider this recommendation:

“Thank you for all your hard work, patience and professionalism. Your responsiveness was unsurpassed by your peers in the community. I cannot thank you enough for providing quality service; more importantly, trustworthy service. You’ve instilled a belief in me that there still are people who will stand by their word and not take advantage of others during challenging times. I’m a reference if ever you need one!”

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