Post by Category : Remodeling

Bedroom Qualification – On the Road With Roger

Today we are going to look at what makes a legitimate bedroom. It is not uncommon when looking at a house, to get to a bedroom, usually in the basement, that does not meet the criteria for a bedroom. They are called non conforming. But you also may not have a legitimate bedrooms upstairs either. There is a difference between what meets a bedroom code and how a Realtor of Appraiser may define a bedroom.

Hazardous Waste

It’s not uncommon that when you purchase a property, the seller leaves their paint. See how to remove hazardous materials according to the city’s guidelines.

On the Road with Roger is a series of exciting videos about Seattle neighborhoods and real estate topics. If you are looking to buy or sell real estate in the Seattle metro area, Roger Morris Real Estate can help you! Contact me for more information about this or other real estate questions.

Click Here to contact Roger Morris.

Remodeling With Roger: The Final Product  0

It’s FINISHED!!! Here’s the big reveal! After 16 weeks of my kitchen and basement remodel, the project is finished. Come inside my home for a walk-through of the final remodeled kitchen and basement with some special features noted. I’m happy, I survived and it’s all good!!! Now to hopefully become a better cook and enjoy it for many years. You can read my (mostly) week-by-week blog posts to see the before shots.


Remodeling with Roger: Pretty Happy  3

September 14 was the start of week 16. Much happened last week:

  • Furniture got moved to the basement living and bedroom areas.
  • New furniture arrived.
  • Window treatments were cleaned.
  • New window treatments arrived.
  • The list of items went from two pages to less than one.

It felt great to cross stuff off the list and for the list to get shorter each day.

But it is not done yet. Two guys from the contractor have been knocking out the “to-do” list of items over the last few days. It is all of those final things that have to get done. The two biggest items are the glass for the shower and hutch doors, and finishing out the armoire with the sink and countertop configuration. The armoire should really be featured on HGTV showcasing the transformation it has gone through! Can’t wait to show the final product!

I’m getting ready for the big “reveal” which I hope will be done soon. I am still figuring out where things should go, putting up art in many new locations, and still have a list of things that I want to do that don’t involve the contractors.

FOR SALE! Treasures that don’t fit into the new remodeled version of my home include:

  1. A mid century dining set (gray table with six yellow vinyl chairs)
  2. Two rugs – one braided and one striped
  3. Antique credenza with glass shelf and glass sliding doors

Seattle area folks, contact me if you are interested. I can send photos or we can make arrangements for you to see in person.

The energy level is low, but I am so happy with the status. The only photo this week I’m sharing is the kitchen backsplash. It is art and makes a bold statement. On the opposite wall, a stainless steel backsplash covers the wall by the stove and range hood. I must say it’s pretty cool.

IMAG0995 (1)

I’m a pretty happy guy.


Remodeling with Roger: It Ain’t Over Until the Fat Lady Sings  0

The plastic wall between the dining room and living room came down. I can see all the way through!

It ain’t over until the fat lady sings. That pretty much sums up my kitchen and basement remodel. It was a very productive week as I inch so close to completion. This project is going into week 15 on Labor Day.

Last week:

  1. The countertops were installed in the new kitchen, as well as basement bathroom and hallway. They are awesome!
  2. Painting continued into this week. By Thursday, which was day nine, I had reached my limit (more on that shortly).
  3. Plumbing got installed (i.e., toilet and sink in the new basement bathroom).
  4. Electricians came back and all of the lighting is now installed. I can SEE!
  5. The finishing carpenter (“Rock Star” Chris) hung all of the new doors, installed the handles on the kitchen cabinets, and began the transformation of my old armoire into a wet bar.

    Basement hallway countertops installed. Let there be light!
New basement bathroom counters, plumbing, and lights installed. I can see!


New basement bathroom shower fixtures installed.

Kitchen cabinet handles – A match made in heaven! I recycled the handles from the original 1951 kitchen, but I was a few short for the new kitchen. Turns out my Aunt Francis had some to match from their church remodel in Vale, Oregon! The very simple pulls in the kitchen are very significant to me. And the architecture of the handle matches the handles on all of the appliances.

Painting – I thought nine days was edging towards stupidity – especially when I was working at home many days and the arrival time was “late” and the departure time was “early”. By the ninth day, I told Contractor Bob the painter needed to finish up and go. After living in this home for eight years (and the furniture away from the walls), I thought it was a good time to paint the upstairs living and dining rooms. The painter said he could paint the ceiling in two days. I said “no, thank you”. Instead my friend Doug painted the ENTIRE living and dining room ceiling AND walls in ONE day! It really looks fantastic. More painting will follow once I get some unpacking done, and Doug is who I will be calling!!

This next week, which hopefully will be the final week of the remodel, will involve:

  1. Installing carpet on the stairwell, basement bedroom, and basement walk-in closet.
  2. Installing the “surprise” backsplash on two walls in the kitchen followed by the stainless steel backsplash behind the stove.
  3. A major cleaning beyond what I’ve been doing all weekend.
  4. Arrival of new furniture and lots of moving around.
  5. Cleaning the window treatments – there is a layer of dust that needs to disappear.
  6. Cleaning the furnace air ducts.
  7. Installing the basement shower glass and dining room hutch glass.
  8. A myriad of little things that will hopefully mean everything getting out of my garage.
  9. UNPACKING, UNPACKING, UNPACKING! Who wants to help?

The next blog will hopefully be the last – a video walk-through of the entire project.

I’m ready to put on my interior design hat, donate items that were packed up but I haven’t missed or intend to use again, learn how to operate the dishwasher (haven’t had one for eight years), and cook with the gas for the first time. Let the fat lady sing!!!

Have I told you how much I LOVE this travertine tile in the basement bathroom?!?

Remodeling With Roger: P.A.I.N.T.  4

My cheerful red kitchen!

Patience. Anticipation. Interest. New. Timeline to Completion.

This past week of my kitchen and basement remodel can be summarized in one word: PAINT.

Priming and painting happened this week, but when the wind storm hit Seattle, my power went out over the weekend, leaving the painters to reschedule for this week.

Speaking of this week, August 31 is the start of week 14. Contractor Bob told me at the beginning it would be 14 weeks and I told him “no way”. Ha!


This whole process has been a patience builder for me. Generally, I think I get an A-/B+. Not one to be very patient, I’ve understood “most” of the delays. This weekend when I lost power, it was “whatever” – what’s a few more days of eating out, living in dust, etc. It’s become the norm, which is a bit scary.

Can’t wait to see the new view from the kitchen when the plastic comes down!


Contractor Bob outlined what is supposed to happen this next week. When we start talking about appliance installation, countertops installed, armoire being converted into the wet bar, and plumber and electrician returning, you KNOW the end may actually be in sight. I am filled with anticipation.


My goal for the finished basement is to use it as a short-term rental. The basement remodel was designed to be both functional as a rental unit and still maintain the “look and feel” of a single-family home. I started to create some interest by checking out the Visiting Faculty Housing Service office at University of Washington. The thought of having a faculty member from somewhere around the U.S. or the world would be intriguing. I’m also hoping to get on a list for the visiting nurse program at UW/Children’s Hospital, etc. If you know of similar short-time needs like this, please let me know.

Brick around basement fireplace getting a makeover to make the space brighter.


I’ve been doing a lot of shopping and the list is getting shorter. My checkbook thanks me. Since I was my own “designer”, I’ve gone to the plumbing store for new fixtures, selected new electrical fixtures and lights, and since I plan to have the basement furnished, I’m getting new bedroom and living room furniture and moving my current furniture downstairs. I’m going to feel like I’m in a new house when this is over.

Looking toward the basement bedroom…my furnace is finally hidden!

Timeline to Completion

As mentioned earlier, Contractor Bob outlined what will occur this week, which I know will be delayed now because the painter couldn’t get finished this weekend. But the end is coming! This remodel blog will end. My goal is that I’m unpacked and settled in by the weekend of September 12 and 13, which means folks, TWO more weeks.

Let’s make it happen! PAINT!

Remodeling With Roger: This Isn’t HGTV  2

Basement work zone.

This week of the kitchen and basement remodel brought contractors. They may not show up until 11:00am or even 3:00pm each day, BUT they show up. And luckily at my house, they can work until 10:00pm or so and I don’t care. THEY ARE WORKING. Things are now finally moving into another gear and the week has been very fruitful.

  1. Glass block was installed – one half of the basement doesn’t have any windows and it wasn’t cost effective to add them. So from the private entrance on the lower level, to create privacy, glass block was installed in part of the wall that needed to be closed off to get some light into that space.
  2. Chris, the finish contractor is amazing! He installed the cabinets and trim work in the kitchen, installed the cabinets, is working on the trim work in the basement, and has been hanging the doors. He truly is a miracle worker. Once he is done, painting starts (hopefully next week).
  3. Slav, who is working in the new basement ¾ bathroom has a unique work style. Contractor Bob told me he works slower than others but he’s a perfectionist (something I can relate too!). In order to do his work, he has taken over the new bedroom in the basement and closet space, storing about 20 buckets, saws, etc. I have no idea what it’s all used for, but luckily carpenter Chris knows how to “work around him”.
  4. The countertops got measured.
  5. The backsplash (design to be revealed later) got measured.
  6. The PLASTIC CAME DOWN. I now feel liberated from my confines. The kitchen area dust has been reduced to almost nothing. The basement is still a major work site, but I don’t feel like I’m in it as much currently.

Each day this week, as always, there were some hurdles and decisions to overcome. In one conversation with Contractor Bob, he reminded me that “this isn’t HGTV” which I think was a nice way of saying “this isn’t done in an hour”. But we are just finishing up week number TWELVE, so I’m restless and ready for the show to end.

I also think that when it IS done, I may have a few things that would be worthy of an HGTV episode on design.

Glass block in basement.
Kitchen cabinets in a cool grey…
Built-in dining room hutch!
Slav’s meticulous work in new basement bathroom.

Remodeling With Roger: Countdown is ON!  0

Blank “canvases” in the basement

It’s been over a week since I last posted about my kitchen and basement remodel, and this update will be short. Short, not because nothing was done. Stuff got done. It was the second week of drywall and it isn’t a topic that lends itself to much excitement other than it did get done. Contractor Bob reminded me that the drywall contractor did meet the two-week time frame that was proposed. Anyway, I won’t dwell on that anymore (like I did in my last post).

This past Monday the painter came and did a prime coat over the drywall. Needless to say, I have a blank canvas of wall space that needs to be painted and screams for artwork.

Kitchen and basement cabinets, baby!

On Tuesday of this week the cabinets were delivered. Now I can really start to get excited! And today, there will be so many things happening, I won’t know what to do with myself!

  1. The kitchen floor is being laid (remember…Marmoleum!).
  2. Cabinet installation will begin in the basement.
  3. The tile contractor will start laying the bathroom floor and floor-to-ceiling tile.
  4. And, to top it all off, the basement bathroom toilet, shower head, and other assorted plumbing fixtures will be delivered in the afternoon.

Rock and roll, baby!

In the next few days, the countertops will be measured and the “surprise” backsplash for the kitchen will also be measured, which will take two weeks to make. By then, I’m hoping we are getting pretty close to being finished. Contractor Bob warned me we’d be close by Labor Day. I’m not counting weeks but that would be 3.5 weeks away. Got it – 3.5! Next week I’ll be down to a day-to-day count.

So the countdown is on. Future blog posts and photos should start to reveal the end results, and then it’s par-tee time!

New walk in closet (door opening on the right) in the basement!
August 12#3
New “hallway” in basement between bedroom and great room


Remodeling With Roger: The Long and Winding Road  6

Drywall installed in kitchen.
Drywall installed in kitchen.

Week #9 just wrapped up on the kitchen and basement remodel, and I’m frustrated. I am trying to focus on the end result, but delays have caused me some aggravation.

On Monday, the drywall contractors were unable to start due to car problems. They arrived on Tuesday and installed all the drywall in the kitchen and basement. They taped on Wednesday. I was inspired and encouraged. I had my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t take the two weeks for drywall, but it looks like it is going to take that long.

I understand delays when you run into obstacles, however, I have already waited two weeks for the drywall folks to come. I understand it is difficult to find qualified contractors and that scheduling can be a challenge. I think I’ve been pretty patient, but I may have hit my breaking point. I’ve heard stories of remodeling project delays and now it’s my reality.

I have given up thinking this project will be completed by the time I have company in later August. I mentioned to Contractor Bob that I was now targeting “Labor Day” weekend to move everything back in – a realistic target according to Bob. I hoped that the 14-week project schedule could actually be 8-10 weeks, but I guess 14 weeks it will be!

So my friends, it is true. When you think it will be done in 8 or 10 weeks, add another month. I do know that the process after drywall inches me closer and closer to completion. Following drywall, comes painting then cabinet installation. Kitchen countertops will be measured and kitchen flooring (Marmoleum!) and bathroom tile (it’s a surprise!) laid. The photos in the next couple weeks should show big improvements each week.

To quote The Beatles, this remodel is a “long and winding road”. Hopefully the same will not be true for cost overruns. But I’m not holding my breath on that either!

Basement bedroom view out the new window, and check out that drywall!
More basement bedroom drywall.
Bonus photo: New doorway from rear of garage into basement utility room.

Remodeling With Roger: Insulation and Installation  2

Roger Morris Real Estate
Drywall delivery via crane

The last two weeks of this kitchen and basement remodel have made me restless…so restless that I made a calendar of what remains to be done with the project. Anyone that knows me knows I’m ORGANIZED. Of course I had to create a list to remember all of the odds and ends! I itemized what the contractor and subcontractors need to do, what decisions I need to make, and other work that needs to be hired out.

  1. Schedule the air duct cleaning.
  2. Resolve kitchen cabinet handles issue. (I want to recycle the hardware from the home’s original 1951 cabinets, but I need 28 handles and only have 27.)
  3. Contact the closet contractor to design the basement’s walk-in closet.

I could go on but the list is long and I’m sure more will get added.

Roger Morris Real Estate
Mounds and mounds of beautiful insulation!

This week, as expected, was as slow as last week. A portion of the insulation was installed. More work is still needed to blow in attic insulation and insulate the garage and utility room ceilings. The home’s two main floor bedrooms will benefit from this insulation as they are both above these spaces. For as well-built as 1951 homes are, builders back then didn’t seem to think insulation was very important. Perhaps they thought oil for heat was sufficient? Now I’ll have insulation and gas heat, so I expect to see lower heating bills next winter.

I spent the week “driving a few folks crazy” at the lighting and plumbing fixtures store (Seattle Lighting) and flooring showroom (Interior Floor Designs). However, I now have kitchen lighting and bathroom fixtures ordered and selected the basement’s bedroom carpet, bathroom flooring, and shower tile. I am extremely happy with my decisions! Guess the week wasn’t a total waste since measurements were made for these items and everything was ordered. I don’t want to be the reason the remodel isn’t moving along – and when I heard that carpet and tile could take a “few weeks” to be ordered, I knew it was time to make it a top priority.

Roger Morris Real Estate
Here comes the drywall!

Next week will see some major transformations. The drywall panels were delivered by a large truck with a crane and now fill the dining room and basement. Let’s make this happen! Thomas did a great job of hanging double plastic to protect the living and dining room furniture and large pieces of art from the dust. I don’t know if I will need to exit the home at some point for my own health (and sanity) or not. I’m planning to take it a day at a time, although I’m ready to pack up and leave if needed. Some friends have volunteered rooms, but if the weather heats up this week, air conditioning in a hotel might be appealing.

Everyone tells me that now comes the fun part. OK, I’m ready!