Hudson Remodeling News

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.

New siding, trim boosts curb appeal of these Whatcom County homes

Posted 28 June 2018 by Team Hudson

How’s your curb appeal these days?

When you get in your car to head to work, do you find yourself checking the rearview mirror for one last glance at your lovely mansion? Or would you rather not see that faded paint and worn siding any more than absolutely necessary?

If you’ve been thinking that your house is looking a little worse for wear lately, you’re probably not alone. (After all, your neighbors have likely noticed it, too.)

What’s worse, old siding and trim can be more than just an aesthetic problem. Gaps in your siding and around your windows and doors can be entry points for water and insects, both of which can cause large amounts of damage in little time. In the Pacific Northwest, heavy rainfalls and infrequent sunshine can exacerbate extant moisture problems.

Thankfully, a good cladding of solid trim can help seal your home, keeping the weather out and the warmth (or cold) in.

Recently, Hudson Remodeling completed a complete exterior siding and trim upgrade for one local customer, and we’ve been eager to show you the difference! It looks like an entirely new home — bold, beautiful and, most importantly, better protected against the elements.

Living in the Northwest means coming to terms with rain and wind and the damage that moisture can do to a home. Peeling paint, mildew, moss, rotted siding … many things that can happen to a house given enough time in the PNW weather. Thankfully, good siding — with a good installation — can withstand these elements, and this exterior refresh has put this home on a path toward health and beauty for decades to come. We’ve even heard from the neighbors how much they love the improvements.

Here’s another before/after set for you. Mismatched window and door trim left this home feeling a little uninspired. But the new version — with wide, Craftsman-style trim and a cohesive paint job — greatly improves the exterior look. (The addition doesn’t hurt, either, but that’s a story for another day.)

By the way, replacing siding also is a great time to replace any windows and doors that could use an upgrade, too. If your home still features single-pane aluminum or wood windows, for example, upgrading could mean a huge boost not only in looks, but in energy efficiency. That could mean savings of as much as $460 per year.

If your home’s exterior siding and trim could use a little TLC, consider giving Hudson a call. Our experts can give you an estimate and offer tips on the best options for your type of home and location.

Design ideas for every room in the house

Posted 29 May 2018 by Team Hudson

Do you ever open your front door, glance throughout your house and imagine how things might feel with a pinch here or pull there? If you love your home but are tired of its dated elements, keep reading. Here’s one simple home remodeling idea for every room in your house (plus a few bonus options). Who knows, you might be sitting in your dream home right now!

Luxurious walk-in shower

Bathroom: Swap out that aging soaker tub and replace it with a spacious walk-in shower. Hudson remodeling noted this as a hot trend coming into the year, and it hasn’t slowed down. We’ve been doing a number of tub-to-shower replacement projects throughout Whatcom County in recent years, and the simple reason is that showers are so much more useful — and enjoyable — than tubs these days.

Hallway: Add vinyl plank flooring and clear-coated fir or hemlock doors. Say goodbye to that grungy hallway carpet and hello to the clean and classy look of vinyl. Seriously, if you haven’t been paying attention to vinyl flooring lately, get on it! You can get vinyl flooring in just about any style you want, and paired with gorgeous wood-grain doors, it’s a look you’ll be thrilled with for years to come.

Kitchen: Install laminate kitchen cabinets for a smooth and beautiful surface that’s easy to clean. Hudson Remodeling recently completed a job that used stunning laminate cabinets as the centerpiece for a kitchen remodel, and the results speak for themselves.

Living Room: Updating your old aluminum windows to energy-efficient vinyl or wood windows can make a massive difference, both in looks and energy efficiency. But if you’re not quite ready for that, consider swapping out your dated baseboard and window trim for an updated overall look.

Fireplace in the master suiteBedroom: Want to make the bedroom a cozy place of retreat? A fireplace might be just the thing. Imagine curling up with a good book this winter next to the fireplace in your new master suite. Another trend we’ve been seeing lately in bedrooms is accent walls — one wall clad in wooden planking, perhaps, or with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves flanking a window.

Hudson Remodeling’s designers and craftsmen can work with you to find the perfect upgrades for your Whatcom County home. If you’re stumped for ideas, just give us a call or browse through our photo galleries of other recent home remodels in Bellingham, Lynden and throughout the county. Hudson can offer both inspiration and expertise in getting your home just the way you want it.

Household fixes that can make it easier to age in place

Posted 25 April 2018 by Team Hudson

Look around your home. Is it easy to tell what things might cause difficulty as you get older?

If you’re considering aging in place in the comfort of your own home — or if you’re helping your mom or dad do the same — there are some changes we’ve noted over the years that should help make things easier and more pleasant down the road.

Lever door handles and faucets: These are easy to overlook when you’re young, but the older you get the more you realize just how daunting a hard-to-grip door or faucet knob can be. Replacing all knobs around the home with levers can be a hugely important part of an aging-in-place home remodel.

Better lighting and switches: Like round door knobs, small and/or complicated light switches can cause problems for the elderly. Instead, opt for large, paddle-style switches that are easier to manipulate. While we’re on the subject, it would be a good idea to consider overall lighting. As our eyes grow dim with age, a more well-lit house can help us avoid tricky obstacles. A remodel that includes larger windows and wide-open spaces can do wonders for eyesight.

Wider doorways: Speaking of spaces, are your doorways wide enough to easily fit a walker or wheelchair? Doorways need to be at least 32 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs, but often they’re only 28 inches or less. One key to successful aging in place is to remove potential barriers now so you don’t have to worry about them later.

No-step showers: Bathrooms are common places for falls. They’re often full of hard, slippery surfaces and slight changes in elevation that can catch people off guard. We’ve installed a number of step-free showers (such as Best Bath products) over the years, and our customers rave about them as a massive improvement, especially over bathtub showers that require complicated maneuvering to climb into and out of.

Bathroom grab bars: Strategically placed grab bars also can make a world of difference in a bathroom. Next to the toilet and near the entrance to the shower, specifically designed handholds can help ensure the elderly always stay balanced.

Step reduction: Is there a step up or down from the living room to the kitchen? How about from the driveway to the back door? Steps are among the largest trip hazards, and reducing them where possible is always a step up in safety.

Ground-floor bathroom and bedroom: Does your home (or your loved one’s home) have a ground-floor bathroom and bedroom? Single-level living is a major key to aging in place; you don’t want to be making multiple trips up and down long flights of stairs every day. If you have a multiple-story home, consider remodeling to put a bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor, along with the kitchen.

At Hudson Remodeling, we have years of experience converting Whatcom County houses to havens for those who want to grow old in their own homes, along with the awards and certifications to prove it. We would love to help you make your home a comfortable place to live for decades to come.

Feature: Whole-house remodel in Bellingham

Posted 28 March 2018 by Team Hudson

We’ve just finished up the most amazing whole-house remodeling job, and we’ve been dying to share it with you!

Our Whatcom County construction crews went all out on this job, refurbishing this home from top to bottom, inside and out. Wait until you see the before-and-after photos of the kitchen and bathroom.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and the homeowner wanted something open to the living spaces. We completely gutted it, working from bare walls to realize the homeowners’ vision for the new kitchen design. We installed gorgeous new hardwood flooring, cherry cabinets, new countertops and backsplash tile, and new appliances. We also added an island to the center of the room for additional counter and gathering space.

Whole House Remodel

Our carpenters reframed the connection between the kitchen and living room, too, and extended the same amazing flooring (seriously, you’ve got to see this stuff) into that space as well.

We used the same rustic cherry cabinets in the master bath remodel, which also includes large-format, rectangular tile extending from the new shower (which features amazing views out over the landscape) across the wide-open bathroom floor.

Throughout the job, of course, we installed new wiring, plumbing, windows, doors and exterior siding to match the house’s rearranged layout.

This project was one of those situations where the homeowner loved the home’s location but felt that the finishings had become outdated. The result is a home that truly captures the owners’ style and maximizes the house’s amazing points — including the beautiful views and the abundance of sunlight streaming through windows and doors. From top to bottom, this is a home-remodeling job that our crews are extremely proud of, from designers to builders.

If you haven’t checked out our photo galleries lately, we’ve added a bunch of new work in the past few months. Here’s a quote from a recent clients whose home remodeling job is among those galleries: “We have over 25 years experience doing home renovations, but we have never had a more delightful time updating our home than working with Hudson Remodeling. They transformed our vision into our favorite room in the house. The stress that comes from remodeling a home was greatly reduced by the professionalism of their construction team, who always respected our personal space, provided excellent craftsmanship, and gave timely input to make the finished product even better than we imagined it could be. We were lucky enough to get Hudson to work on our project and would not hesitate to use them again or recommend them to others.”

If you’ve been thinking about making upgrades to your Bellingham or Whatcom County home, please consider giving Hudson Remodeling a call. We’d love to hear from you. Not only do we pay close attention to the smallest details, we also have the vision and design skills to envision and implement a cohesive design for your home.

Whole House Remodel

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