A Portland Remodeler Who Knows

Portland home demolitions: Committee to recommend 35-day waiting period

tear downWhen you consider hiring a remodeler in Portland  you want someone who not only knows his craft but also has a pulse on what is happening in the Portland Metro Area. Steve had been a member of the city’s Development Review Advisory Committee for many years. Here is a link of one of the lastest peices of legislature that he has been invovled with:

Portland home demolitions: Committee to recommend 35-day waiting period

Traditional vs Modern, the Addition Edition



1b7aa94482ec7c3bf838e98e32778b53A fireplace is a major focal point in any room and can be elegant, simple, opulent, or purely functional. A good place to start is with the sort of material(s) you want your new fireplace to be constructed of. Traditional fireplaces are more often made from stone or brick, and more contemporary fireplaces sometimes incorporate glass and even concrete.  Fuel is also an important factor to consider: decide between woodnatural gasbiomass and propane fuel sources. When thinking about your fireplace, always consider energy efficiency and upkeep. Regardless of what you choose, a fireplace will (literally and figuratively) add warmth to your home.

Wine Cellars


61e46a91047314837839290abf79511dTraditional wine cellars are romantic and opulent. More modern wine cellars are stylish and incorporate glass or steel. Traditionally built under ground, a modern wine cellar might be a better solution if you don’t want to dig into your foundation. No matter what your stylistic decision is, you can now include some incredible technology in your wine cellar, including inventory software and cooling systems.










brammy-kyprianou-residence-glass-top-wine-cellarCan’t decide between a traditional or a modern? Do a mix of both! A combination of traditional and modern elements makes for a unique addition to your home.

Summer Time

Summer is almost here! I know you’re ready (I am) but is your house? Make your patio or yard as comfortable as your living room, and there’s no reason to miss out on any sunshiny minute. I look for any reason to be outside in the summer time, particularly in Portland where cloudless days are so few and far between. Take the inside, outside and get the most out of your summer.


Add a Braai area (or a barbecue pit)

A Braai is a South African barbecue pit (pictured left) constructed of brick.  Roast a delicious meal for few or for many and load up on your vitamin D while you feast and entertain.  As the day cools down, stock the Braai with firewood and light an open fire to keep you and your guests warm. Add walking stones or construct a lounging area for a truly luxurious experience. A brick barbecue pit makes for a beautiful, permanent fixture to any yard.


 Install a pool

Okay, we know, a pool installation is not something to dive into (!) willy-nilly but it’s an incredible investment in your home. Get creative, even at their least expensive, pools are beautiful oasis-like additions. Build a waterfall, add an indoor entrance, or simultaneously invest in your health and your home and opt for a lap pool.

Build a deck


Like a pool, a deck is an investment that raises your home value. Decks expand a living space and can alter your home’s overall architecture in a dynamic way. Plus, you have a lot of options with today’s variety of decking materials.  A deck is a comfortable way for you to engage with your environment: build a place in the treetops, watch the sunset and enjoy the evening cool-down.


Let There Be Light!

We thought we’d do a roundup of our favorite windows! Here are 3 types that will help keep your home warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and well-lit all year round.


Casement windows


These hinged windows are hinged on the left or the right to open outward. Slightly more traditional than our other choices, hinged windows make for a romantic, practical addition to your home. These windows can be hung from any side. They’re often opened with a crank, and can be left-handed, right-handed, or double. Crank-free casement windows are very popular in Europe, where they decorate buildings that are hundreds of years old.



Floor to Ceiling Sliding Windows

Normally paired with more modern homes, floor-to-ceiling sliding windows can help you to bring the outside-in. Sliding windows often substitute for doors and are perfect for warmer climates. As far as mechanics go, sliding doors are pretty low-maintenance (no parts to break, really) but they can be hard to clean. Also, keep in mind: sliding windows make your interior very visible and unless you’re ready to install floor to ceiling curtains, they are not generally recommended for less-secluded homes.





Stationary Windows

We love stationary windows because they are great for smaller homes that don’t have the square footage for windows that swing open. They’re also nice alternative to sliding windows if you’re concerned about dragging in dust and dirt. Stationary windows are another more modern home addition but the photo to the left features a stationary bay window, which is a great mashup of traditional and modern elements. Stationary bay windows are great if you want to open up and extend a home.  It goes without saying, stationary windows don’t open so if you’re looking for a cooling alternative, we don’t recommend them. However, with the proper building materials and insulation they can be very energy efficient and a great for cooler climates.

A Pet Friendly Home

Inspired by this Remodelista post, we have some remodeling suggestions for a more pet friendly home.


A pet door

This creative pet door is not only adorable, but also acts as a place for your pooch to call home when you can’t have him in your home. Perfect for colder climates, your dog can camp out in his little space and go outside when he needs to.


An outdoor shower

Particularly useful in coastal or muddy climates (like Oregon), an outdoor shower is a simple installation that you can make to ensure your pet doesn’t muck up your home’s interior. For pools days, or days at the beach, make the shower human friendly too.

Architect-Kimberly-Peck-converted-barn-living-room-RemodelistaA concrete floor

Concrete is not only an environmentally friendly flooring solution, it is also great for pet-owner’s homes. Incredibly durable and easy to clean, concrete never has to be replaced. Concrete floors also stay cool, much to the pleasure of your pet.

Family-Friendly Updates

045The decision to start or grow your family doesn’t have to hinge on your ability to move. Many homeowners are renovating their current home to suit their needs and the needs of their new family. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Utilize Square-Footage

Knock out walls or construct additions to open up your space. Build lofts or bunk beds to accommodate extra sleeping space. Equip living rooms and children’s rooms with savvy storage for play-things.



For entries, hallways and family rooms, look for flooring that cleans up with a damp mop. Recycled, pre-distressed hardwood floors with a matte, nonskid finish are great for young families. If you do want wall-to-wall carpet, purchase it in a medium-to-dark tone and request a stain-protective finish. Nylon and wool-nylon blends feel soft, resist stains and wear well.


Kid-friendly Additions

Surprise your kids with a clubhouse!  Build a beautiful clubhouse in the trees or in your backyard and keep your kids close to home while they play.  You an even use eco-friendly building materials and paint.

Think Small


Per this article and Michael Anderson of Bike Portland, tiny homes (or ADUs, accessory dwelling units) now make up about three percent of new dwellings in the city of Portland. That’s one in ten homes! These tiny and sometimes portable homes are 800 square feet or less, slightly bigger than most one-bedroom apartments. Most of these small homes are newly constructed on empty plots of land, including this 740 square foot beauty by Portland couple Lily Copenagle and Jamie Kennel.

According to the NY times article about the house, The Copenagle-Kennel home was completed in 2012 and cost about $135,000 to build, including materials and labor. Not a lot for your dream home!

Whether you want to build your own tiny home or want to remodel a current small space to better suit your living needs, here are some ideas to get your started:



Lofts are a great way to utilize vertical space. Rather than building additions to your home for extra sleeping space, build up!


Creative Space

The image to the left is of a one-room London apartment  which, with some creative thinking, feels like three. The kitchen fits a sink, refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, oven, and induction range behind a fold out door which, when closed, transforms the kitchen into the living room. Fold-out or rolling doors and clever storage space can make a single space suit your varied needs.

3 Tips for Going Green

Given our  finite environmental and financial resources, going green is an incredibly important lifestyle choice. Green living can mean the clothes that you buy, the food that you eat and, of course, the house you live in. With the right remodeler (us!), you can transform the oldest house into a fiscally responsible, environmentally-conscious home. Here are our 3 tips for going green:


Eco-Friendly Flooring

  • Cork. We know, it seems like an odd choice but cork flooring is great material for eco-friendly floors! Cork is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree. These cork trees are the ideal renewable source: the trees are not cut down to harvest the bark and the bark re-grows every three years.  Cork has a anti-microbial properties that reduce allergens in the home, is fire retardant, and acts as a natural insect repellent too. 
  • Bamboo. Bamboo is actually a grass that shares similar characteristics as hardwood.  It is sturdy, easy to maintain and easy to install.  Bamboo grows quickly, re-sprouting in 3-5 years. It is a beautiful, sustainable alternative to the long-growth cycle of trees.
  • Concrete. Concrete is a non-traditional but unusually beautiful option. Pet-owners are particularly fond of it, as it is durable and easy to clean. If it is polished and tinted to the homeowners taste and style there is no need for traditional flooring to be put over it.  What’s more, concrete never needs to be replaced!

Other ec0-friendly options include wool carpet, P.E.T berber carpet, rubber, leather, and reclaimed hardwood.


Solar Panels

The average consumer uses electricity when engaging in daily activities such as heating water, turning on lights and cooking. A local utility company burns fossil fuel to generate electricity, which it then directs to the consumer’s home. Fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, are nonrenewable natural resources and once exhausted, cannot be replaced.

Solar power, however, is a renewable resource. According to “The Boston Globe,” the sun produces enough energy every second to meet all of civilization’s energy needs for 500,000 years. The “Globe” reports that by switching to solar power, consumers can help conserve Earth’s remaining natural resources.


45d6533b1557588e6a8a69893576b18aInsulating our homes is an incredibly important part of home construction, and it plays a key role in energy costs. Heat naturally flows from a warm space to a cool space and our comfort suffers in the process! In the winter, warm air from the inside will move to the outside and make us cold. In the summer, hot air moves from the outside to the inside and makes it uncomfortably warm. Insulation is often made from fiberglass, a material harmful to our environment. Eco-conscious homeowners are now transitioning to more environmentally friendly materials, some of which don’t require major deconstruction.

Some eco-friendly materials you can use for insulation:

  • Wool

    Soy-based spray foam

Aging In Place

With over 70 million baby boomers entering their golden years, it’s time to reassess conventional home layouts.  Rather than move to assisted living communities, many boomers are opting to age in place, transforming their long-time homes to suit their changing needs. With a little inspiration and some clever remodeling, you can stay where you love without sacrificing style or safety. Here are some changes you can make:



    • Grab bars and rails. Many manufacturers are producing beautiful, sturdy grab bars and rails. Install one in your shower and next to your toilet for extra help.
    • Threshold-free showers. Low-threshold shower floors mean easy entry, a gentle slope and a wide area for more comfortable, confident movement. Add anti-slip tile for extra safety.
    • Lower toilets and sinks. Toilets can be installed at any height to accommodate seated or standing position. Shorter toilets reduce strain on the body, and make sitting down and standing up easier for people of all ages.



  •  Lower counter tops and customize cabinets. Pull-out cabinetry, slide-out shelves, and other organizational solutions help bring items closer to the homeowner and remove frustrating digging. Smooth cabinet tops make for easier cleaning and bright cabinet lighting makes it easy to see at night. Some homeowners are opting to remove cabinets altogether.
  • Consider space. This is a good rule for all areas of the home, particularly if you need to consider wheelchair space. Remove obstacles, such as kitchen islands and create threshold-free entries between the kitchen and the rest of the house. Add non-slip flooring for a safer area.
  • The right appliances. Once you’ve remodeled your kitchen, be sure to equip it with safe, reliable appliances. Single lever faucets, gas ranges with automatic shutoff, and working smoke detectors are a great place to start.

A Testimonial


William’s NE home.

Client William Woods very graciously agreed to talk with us about his home repair and why he chose Portland Remodel to tackle the job. Thanks William!
Tell us about your home.

Our house is in NE Portland and is 110 years old.  We have lived here 14 years.

Why did you hire Portland Remodel over other remodeling services?

I needed some cosmetic structural repair done before I could paint the house. I have worked with Steve from Portland Remodel in the past. Steve is the only contractor I talked to that I trusted.  He obviously knows what he is doing.

What are you happiest about with Portland Remodel’s services? What do you love most about your new space?

Portland Remodel is a great resource.  They will return your call and they are very familiar with the Portland area permitting process.  They kept me informed on their progress and did a good clean up job. Steve has a broad background in constructions and has the resources to get a project done from beginning to end.

Do you want to repair or remodel your home? Contact us for a free consultation!