Why Powell Construction?

  • Established in 1990
  • Design-Build Experts
  • Clear Communication
  • Detailed Estimates
  • Fixed Price Contracts
  • Printed Schedules
  • Many Repeat Customers
  • Award Winning Designs

On The House

Kitchen and Bath Remodeler Serving Corvallis and North AlbanyTips, Suggestions, Advice, and Answers to Meet Your Home Building and Remodeling Needs
By Tom Powell, Owner of Powell Construction
As published in the Corvallis Gazette-Times


Cork Flooring

Cork, a beautiful and sustainable approach to flooring, was popular in the late 19th century and has been used ever since. There are many reasons cork continues to be popular to this day. It is insulating and durable, if properly installed and cared for. Cork flooring provides cushioning while standing, is hypoallergenic, and has natural anti-mold and insecticide properties. It is also fire resistant and provides sound proofing.

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Adding Value to Your Home

Investing in Your Home

According to Oregon Home magazines’s remodeling supplement, “Housing values remain stronger in Oregon than in the rest of the country, and that goes for remodeling too.” With interest rates still relatively low, it’s a good time to remodel. Home improvements are one of the few investments that provide enjoyment in the present and increase your financial picture for the future.

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Cost vs. Value

When you remodel your home what do you actually add to its value? Which types of projects bring you the greatest return on your investment?

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Give Your Home a Facelift

Corvallis has many middle-aged homes with a distinct lack of street appeal. Sometimes the look of a house can be dramatically improved without huge structural changes. Exterior improvements can range from adding a bay window to a whole new facade.

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Remodeling, A Strategic Plan for Falling Home Prices

During this recession many homeowners have seen the value of their home drop dramatically. While you might have to delay selling your home, that does not mean you have to sit by idly until home prices rise again.  Meta Title: Remodeling During Recession Meta keywords: recession, energy efficient windows, Energy Trust of Oregon, kitchen remodeling, bath remodeling, curb appeal Meta description: Remodeling strategy to combat falling home prices.

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Additions

Plan Now for Next Summer

By Heidi Powell

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Additions: Build Up or Out?

When a homeowner is considering putting an addition onto his or her home, I am frequently asked whether it is better to do a ground floor addition or add a second story.

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Remodeling the Family Studio

If your home is not large enough to accommodate a separate office, mudroom, or a laundry room, why not combine all three. The latest addition the remodeling scene is “the family studio”.

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Over the Garage Additions

An addition built over an existing garage is a popular way to gain extra room in your house. This space can be used for a child returning home, a master suite, a study, a guest suite, or a mother-in-law suite. The space can be designed to include a full bath or efficiency kitchen if desired.

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Not so Big Additions

In an earlier article we discussed the concept of quality space vs. quantity space. Often folks are thinking in terms of how much square footage they can add to their home instead of thinking about the usefulness and feel of the space that they are adding. Let’s take a more in depth look at this subject.

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Choosing a Contractor

The Three Bid Myth

I was at Safeway the other day and picked up a copy of “Kitchen Remodeling for Dummies.” I have to say, I was curious to read the advice the publication was offering. Not surprisingly it advocated getting three bids. “Be sure that all three contractors work from the same materials and labor list. You want to compare apples to apples.”

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What Is Design and Build?

When homeowners hear the phrase “design/build” it’s not necessarily familiar to them. This term describes a process in which one company creates the design and also executes the project. The design/build company is accountable for the entire project from start to finish.

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Choosing a Contractor

Partnership. A project should be a team effort between the contractor and the homeowner. An open exchange of information and ideas is paramount. Personalities need to mesh for a successful project.

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Checking References

When selecting a contractor is it really necessary to call references? Isn’t checking with the Construction Contractor’s Board enough?

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Do You Know Your Contractor?

When you hire a contractor there’s an implied understanding that the company you have hired will supervise your job. This is not always the case. Some contractors merely broker your job (similar to the way banks sell loans) to another contractor who will actually build and manage your job. The downside of this arrangement is that the company that you’ve built a relationship with is no longer involved in your project. This can make for cumbersome communication channels to say the least.

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Selecting a Remodeler

Start by talking to your friends and coworkers. Look for remodeling project signs in your neighborhood and don’t be afraid to talk to your neighbors. Most people are thrilled at the opportunity to discuss their project.

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Control of Costs

Remodeling and Construction Details

You’ve been dreaming about remodeling your kitchen for years. You love your home but the kitchen just doesn’t work. So you lay it out on paper indicating where the stove might go, how long the counter should be, and so on. Then you call a contractor and ask him for an estimate.

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The Scope of Work

An important step in any remodeling project is defining the scope of the project. Is a kitchen remodel limited to the kitchen or will it involve additional work, such as changing the trim throughout the house or refinishing the hardwood in other rooms?

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Why a Fixed Price Contract?

Itemized estimates and fixed price contracts result in greater homeowner satisfaction. The reason for this is clear expectations. It’s in the homeowner’s best interest to get a commitment on price up front. Why a Fixed Price Contract?

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Time and Materials: Remodeling Costs

A few weeks ago I wrote a column entitled “Why A Fixed Price Contract?” After reading that column a homeowner contacted me and told me a “time and materials” nightmare.

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Design

What's Hot and What's Not

As home designers and remodelers we work one-on-one with our customers helping them to identify their wants and needs. We are focused on each individual project and making sure that the design of the space incorporates the features that are most important to the homeowner.

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A Welcoming Entry

The entry to a home is a very important part of a home’s design. Consider the entry from both an exterior and interior point of view.

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Creating a Dream File

Walk through your house and make a list of the things you don’t like. Prioritize them into what you can live with and those that absolutely must be changed. This narrows the scope of what you really want to accomplish with your redo and makes it easier to trim items during final planning to stay on budget.

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Visualizing Your Remodeling Project

Gather together those magazine pictures you’ve been collecting and start thinking about what you really want. Do you want a kitchen with the latest in appliance technology? Are you picturing a luxurious bathroom with a jetted tub? Do you like recessed lighting or do you prefer something more traditional?

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Remodeling Trend Watch

We’re seeing the following projects as our most commonly requested remodels:

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Space: Quality vs. Quantity

Whether building or remodeling, when most people want a nicer house they build a bigger house without considering its feel. The result? A growing number of dissatisfied people with oversized houses that are impersonal.

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The Luxurious Bath

In this fast-paced, high-stress world, more and more people are looking to their homes as a refuge for peace and tranquility. Homeowners are simplifying while at the same time outfitting their homes with quality products that provide them with comfort and ease. Currently in the Corvallis and Philomath area we are seeing more bathroom remodels than ever before.

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Green Design

Rainwater Collection in Corvallis

With environmental issues increasingly at the forefront, I have had several homeowners asking about rainwater collection. The first question usually is: can I collect water on my property and is it legal?

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Cork Flooring

Cork, a beautiful and sustainable approach to flooring, was popular in the late 19th century and has been used ever since. There are many reasons cork continues to be popular to this day. It is insulating and durable, if properly installed and cared for. Cork flooring provides cushioning while standing, is hypoallergenic, and has natural anti-mold and insecticide properties. It is also fire resistant and provides sound proofing.

Read more...

Kitchen Related Issues

The Importance of Kitchen Ventilation

When designing a kitchen, meticulous care is taken in choosing nearly everything from the style of the cabinetry to the brand of light bulbs used. But, in the midst of this detailed planning one of the most important aspects of the kitchen is often overlooked. Kitchen ventilation is one of the key pieces to a well-designed kitchen.

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Flooring for Kitchens and Baths

Today’s homeowner has lots of wonderful choices when it comes to floor coverings. Wood remains popular, whether it’s a hardwood like oak or softwood like pine. Wood floors are sanded and finished in place after installation. Be prepared to stay at a friend’s or a hotel for the night to avoid fumes during finishing.

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A Living Kitchen

Today’s kitchen is no longer just an area for food preparation. Americans are finding that their families and guests tend to congregate in the kitchen, making it feel more like Grand Central Station than an area for preparing and consuming meals. Food preparation is difficult when you can’t get to all your supplies and ingredients without weaving through onlookers.

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Sink Options

Three of the most popular types of sink material are stainless steel, enameled cast iron and solid surface. Stainless steel is the most durable and comes in a wide range of styles and prices. It’s more heat resistant than cast iron and can’t chip or shatter. The downside of stainless steel is that it can scratch and the thinner gauges can dent easily.

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Kitchen Designs

First off, have your kitchen designed professionally. The design is a small fraction of the cost and can make all the difference. All the professional craftsmen in the world can’t make a poor design functional no matter how beautiful the granite or how amazing the convection oven. A good designer puts your individual needs at the forefront of the design process creating your own unique signature kitchen. He/she will look at such things as placement of the work triangle for accommodating single or multiple cooks, traffic flow, creative storage solutions, eliminating traffic bottle necks, allowing for eating space if desired, and the effective placement of lighting over workspaces. The designer can also help you to evaluate the possibility of any structural changes such as moving doors, walls, windows or adding on space. As the designer walks you through the different options you will be able to determine whether the existing space can be modified adequately or if structural modifications are necessary.

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Types of Wood

Oak has for years been the most popular wood for cabinetry. It’s a durable wood and can be stained in a variety of depths of color. A combination of birch and alder is becoming increasingly popular as homeowners are turning to a less grainy look. Birch/alder is not as hard as oak or cherry, however, it achieves the look of cherry without the associated cost.

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Countertops

There are so many different surfaces to choose from these days that it can feel overwhelming. Countertops help dictate the look of the kitchen. But it’s important to know how functional and durable the options are. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular choices.

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Lifestyle Changes

Are You Ready for the Future?

Don’t get caught unprepared when planning for your future housing needs. Baby boomers are remodeling their homes to accommodate their changing needs throughout their lives.

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Universal Remodeling Designs

Homeowners are increasingly asking for modifications based on the principles of Universal Design. This term is used for architectural features and products that are designed to enhance livability and make tasks easier for everyone, young and old.

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Remodeling for the Future

You don’t have to change addresses to get the home you want. An open mind about the potential of your home is the key to keeping up with future lifestyle changes.

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Move or Remodel?

You may someday find yourself wondering whether the old family home still meets your needs. You can move or remodel, but which is better?

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Other

Remodling Blog

When my wife and business partner, Heidi, started the Powell Construction Remodeling Blog last year, the world of blogging was new to us. We’ve since come to realize that many people don’t know what a blog is. A blog (a contraction of the term “weblog”) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as photos or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. Topics can be broad, such as “gardening” or specific, such as “organic gardening.”

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Lighting and Remodeling

A well lit home provides a thoughtfully designed mix of natural and artificial light. Effective lighting can provide not only illumination but also accents and drama.

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When to Remodel

When spring hits, people automatically think construction. It’s like peanut butter and jelly, butter and popcorn, spring and construction.

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Financing Your Remodeling Project

Some institutions will allow you to borrow against the anticipated equity in your home once your remodeling project is complete. If you are planning a fairly large project or do not have a lot of equity in your home this will give you more flexibility and allow you to include all the things you’re hoping to.

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Time to Remodel

There’s never been a better time to remodel. Interest rates are low and this makes for a great climate for financing your remodeling project.

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Affordable Housing is Available

Currently there are 13 new, quality affordable homes being built just outside the entrance to Willamette Park. Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services (CNHS) and Powell Construction are building these homes to help make home ownership more attainable for lower-income, first-time home buyers.

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The Remodeling Experience

Do I Need Plans?

A common question asked by homeowners is, “Will I need plans?” The answer depends on whether you are planning to repair or replace existing components in their current location or if you are planning to reconfigure or add new space.

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Where do I Start?

When you are thinking about remodeling, the best place to start is with a professional contractor, who can guide you through the process of design and construction.

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Reducing the Stress in Remodeling

Everyone knows that remodeling can be stressful. There are decisions to be made, furniture has to be moved, and there will be dust and noise. During the course of the remodel your space will no longer be entirely your own.

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What Women Want in the Remodeling Process

By Heidi Powell

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Keys to Remodeling Success

The essential goal is predictability. On the day construction (or demolition) commences, you want to know as precisely as possible what’s about to happen to your house, how much it’s going to cost and when the job will be completed.

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All at once? Or Room by Room?

The advantage of doing a project in sections over of number of years is that you don’t have to pay for it all in one year. Although it may be more costly in the long run, you may ultimately be able to afford a remodel of larger scope because you have time to save in between projects.

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Help with Your Remodel or Home Addition

Homeowner’s often ask how they can participate in their remodeling project. There are lots of ways you can help, if you have the interest and time.

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Remodeling Dreams

The thought of remodeling can be scary. David Hollies, president of a contractor referral service in Maryland called Home Connections, has a great quote regarding the process: “Remodeling is a bit like having 15 strangers over to play football in your living room for a few weeks. They all arrive and depart at different times and each is determined to make a mess of your home.”

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