Latest From the Blog


The Secret Life of a Job Site!

Between all of the subcontractors, carpenters, architects and so on coming in and out of a house during construction, you would think not much stays still at a job site... At our latest walk through of the Lake House Remodel, we found quite a few details here and there that hinted at the hustle and bustle of the job, but had remained, hidden throughout construction (and will stay within the walls once it's complete!) This is our ever growing collection of the little things - the notes, systems, and methods that help our carpenters and subcontractors do their job best.  (above) "Right" on the money! (above) Our carpenters Sam and Robert hard at work on the Lake House exterior. (above) Although it looks like a face, it's actually the various iterations of the location of the kitchen cable light system with our lighting consultant and electrician! Trellis details, Corten sill details, and siding: all examples of job site problem

Read More
Larsen 1

DADUs, Backyard Cottages and Small Living in Seattle: Can you DADU too?

The greater Seattle area is growing! Are you up to date on what you're able to build in your backyard? We’ve had a lot of interest lately in small buildings from clients and several that we’d like to discuss. These have been garages, studios, and Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs), sometimes called backyard cottages. In each municipality and in single-family zones, there are specific rules governing these structures, as they are on the same lot as the principal structure (usually a single-family residence). The benefit of an additional occupancy unit is three-fold: for homeowners who rent out these units to another family, it's extra income every month. It's also a place for elderly family members to stay and retire, as size requirements can make DADUs great for aging-in-place. And beyond rental benefits, having a DADU can significantly increase the value of your home and the investment can provide generous tax benefits depending on your personal

Read More
Yarrow Creek Rambler | CTA Design Builders 13

Mid-Century Modern in Seattle: Tips on Transforming a Typical 60’s Rambler

As we have been remodeling so many Mid-Century Modern homes, we thought we'd highlight a few remodels that demonstrate our Mid-Century values. Owning a 60’s era homes usually means our client has an appreciation for the architectural features of the house; it becomes important to honor or even highlight these classic mid-century features when updating the house.  This translates to several things when we think about design moves: exposing structural elements; creating open spaces that are light and airy; providing textural interest in materials; and connection with the landscape (inside-outside connections). Structure and materials are the two key disciplines of the period – and disciplined we must be when considering a true-to-the-period remodel. An example of retaining values might be maintaining proper proportions and massing when redesigning a more contemporary roof, replacing a solid wall with an exposed column and beam, or emphasizing horizontal elements when designing new siding or interior trim. An important design value we stick to is subtlety. We think the

Read More

Framing the Lake House Remodel - Blog #3

Deep into our construction at the Lake House Remodel, we've straightened and supported the house (see blog #2 - Behind the Scenes), so we can now begin to implement our design. It was extremely important to make sure the house was level before we started our next phase: framing, electrical, and plumbing. We do this because an improperly framed house, or a house that has uneven settling, can lead to terrible problems down the road when it comes to drywall, furniture and cabinet installation among other structural issues. With it cleared up, we can move onto framing. dfgngsafld;kfg One of the more exciting parts of this new phase is the completion of the floor framing for our owner's attic "creative space". Beams and ties were needed to be put in place to jack up the roof from its current sag, so we used that as an opportunity to create a (quaint) 4th floor with

Read More