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In the Home Category

My remodel

Last fall I threw myself into a major interior remodel project on a 30-year-old split-level home I just bought in Woodinville with a view of Cottage Lake.

With help from my girlfriend and kids, I first demolished the kitchen and bathrooms along with a couple of walls, scraped off the popcorn texture on the ceilings and then removed all the carpeting, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, lights, window coverings, doors and trim and other dated or damaged things.

Next, I got to work on the fun part of remodeling: buying and installing new stuff! My girlfriend, her dad and I did most of the remodel work ourselves. We raised the kitchen ceiling, framed in a closet in the main bath, hung new drywall and doors, installed new hardwood and tile floors, new bath fixtures and trim including a tub, shower, and toilets, new kitchen appliances, electrical outlets, smoke alarms, lighting, and more.

I called in the professionals to install new kitchen cabinets, bath vanities, granite countertops, to retexture the walls, and frame in a pocket door for the master bath. I probably could have done the work myself, but it would have taken much longer, and sometimes, you just need to let the pros do the work.

Along the way, we encountered the usual problems such as underestimating the cost of materials and labor and the amount of time needed to complete each project. For example, we remodeled the kitchen and a bathrooms and installed the wood floors in four months instead of two months as first planned. We encountered some other problems during both the demolition and remodel, too. We kept finding dead rats, mice, and ants in the walls, under the floors, and in the attic (yes, several fell on us). We also learned that “contractor time” is not linear. Some contractors (granite, drywall texture, plumbers) never showed up when they promised or showed up several hours late. I’ll spare them the embarrassment by not naming them here, but if you really want to know who they are, drop me a line…

Here are some of the BEFORE photos. Click on the photos to see the larger views.

Here are the AFTER photos:

After four months of intense remodeling, we moved into our new home. We still have lots of remodel projects planned including installing wood flooring on the stairway, laying tile in the entryway, replacing the front door, deck, roof, and windows, repainting the house exterior, re-landscaping the yard, and replacing the driveway and so on. I’ve learned quite a bit throughout this project, and gained much respect for those hard-working folks in the construction industry. I’ve taken many more photos of my remodel than I’ve shown here, but there isn’t enough space to post them all…

Many thanks to the following contractors who I would highly recommend:

CSI Kitchen & Bath Design – Located here in Woodinville. They installed my kitchen and bath cabinets. I also purchased all of my tile, faucets, bath and kitchen hardware from them. They were always on-time, always cleaned up after themselves, and were reasonably priced.

Ken Baltzell – General contractor / handyman. He helped me install my doors, and answered all of my remodel questions. In addition to helping me out from time to time, he has also performed great work for several of my clients. His phone# is 206-669-7708


Fredericks Appliances
– Located in Redmond, Eric Blakemore and his group have supplied all of the appliances in several of my homes over the years.

Lumber Liquidators – I installed 3/4″ solid, pre-finished Brazilian Walnut floors throughout the main level of the home (kitchen, dining, living room, hall, 3 bedrooms). This is the 2nd time I’ve purchased hardwood flooring from this company. I’ve been very happy with the quality of their hardwoods, and their service.

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