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The Big Reveal: Renovating a Seattle Kitchen to Open Up the Space

Wrap it up and put a bow on it — we’ve finished the Seattle kitchen remodel, exterior renovation, and bathroom remodel.

You may remember our client Tom used us before to renovate his living room fireplace. He was so pleased with the design and quality craftsmanship that he brought us in to completely reimagine his kitchen and dining space. This also included a full makeover outside, and a remodel of his bathroom.

Formerly closed off from the rest of the home, we knocked down the walls surrounding the kitchen, added a wall of windows in the dining room to take advantage of the water views, and bumped out the exterior to make that half of the house larger.

In the kitchen, Tom chose a sleek and modern look for the cabinets and island. He’s gained cooking and entertaining room and has so much more storage space than before. The backsplash tile matches the tile on his fireplace, visually uniting the whole space.

“I had a party and several people said it looked like something out of a magazine,” says Tom. “My neighbor said I should have Better Homes & Gardens out to take pictures.” In the kitchen, Tom chose a sleek and modern look for the cabinets and island. He’s gained cooking and entertaining room and has so much more storage space than before. The backsplash tile matches the tile on his fireplace, visually uniting the whole space.

With the dining room window wall open, there’s a seamless flow between the inside and outside.

“Many people have remarked on the attention to detail,” Tom says. Which is also what he loved about our original fireplace — that it was perfect. So the stakes were high on this larger project, but he’s thrilled with the results.

“It’s so far beyond my expectations,” Tom says. “The quality of the work from everyone was off the chart — beyond excellent, they maintained great relationships with my neighbors. Just last night a couple came by and told me how much they appreciated how friendly the guys were when they would just walk by. And when my elderly next-door neighbor fell ,and his wife needed help getting him up, she turned to the Fuller guys for help — she still talks glowingly about them!  There’s also the puppy St. Bernard that ‘grew up’ while walking by the house and getting to know the guys.”

So a job well done, and we wish Tom many years — and parties — in his remodeled home.

If you want to catch up and see where we started, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.

If you’re thinking about a project, get in touch. We’d love to talk to you.

Half Time: Renovating a Seattle Kitchen to Open Up the Space

Tom’s hit the mid-point of his kitchen remodel with dining room addition in his Seattle home. The interior framing is done, and we’re working on the deck outside while the electrical rough-in continues inside.

He’s excited to see what it will become. “With the addition wall, it was amazing how fast the structure was built,” he says. The expanded dining room will have a Nano wall, which will make the most of the ocean view and fold away when open to allow for a free flow between inside and out on the deck. As part of the new deck, we built a trellis at the rear to create a nice visual backdrop.

“There are no flaws,” Tom says. “They put up this perfect trellis, every time I show someone a picture of what’s being done, and they say ‘wow, they really know what they’re doing.’ I’m so impressed by the quality of the work done by the Fuller Living crew and all the subcontractors — they’re top-notch.”

That confidence is helping him get through the project. It’s stressful living in a construction zone, especially in a project like this where we’ve demolished the kitchen, and most of the living space is affected. Tom’s living in his bedroom, a spare room, and his bathroom.

He’s cobbled together a kitchen of sorts between the spare bedroom and the bathroom, which hold a toaster oven, microwave, and Instant Pot. Even without a full kitchen, when the craving for biryani hit, he marinated the chicken overnight in his fridge, then used the Instant Pot stored in his bathroom to cook it. “It turned out great,” he reports.

Tom has a totem of sorts that also helps him keep his eyes on the prize. This red bag, which he calls his hope chest, is filled with samples of his finishing materials — tile, counters, cabinets, flooring. It sits in the garage. As he leaves home for work, he checks on that bag. “Seeing that little hope chest tells me it’s all going to beautiful when it’s all done,” he says.

“Over and over and over again, I’m so grateful for knowing everyone’s at the top of their game,” Tom says. “But June can’t come soon enough!”

To see what we started with, check out our project kickoff post on the blog, and be sure to check back this summer to see the final photos and see what Tom thinks.

And if you’ve got a kitchen remodeling project (or any other renovation) in mind, please get in touch — we’d love to talk to you!

Shrimp Tank Seattle Episode 51 – Russell Fuller – Fuller Living Construction & Real Estate Services

In the span of six years, Russell had transformed every section of the 1910 craftsman, including fully remodeling the basement and attic into separate apartment units. With an assortment of talents in his tool belt – from electrical and plumbing to carpentry and design Russell then moved on to realize his dream of doing construction projects for others.

Fast forward to 2010: Fuller Living Construction bursts onto the Seattle scene. With a passion for true craftsman homes, a keen eye for design, a sense of sophistication and a penchant for fun, Fuller Living works tirelessly to turn dreams into reality.

Russell Fuller founded Fuller Living Construction on the principle of helping people achieve their design aspirations. Over the years, he has brought together a team of knowledgeable craftsman, architects, and engineers who are passionate about building and design, and driven towards excellence.

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that Russell has a work ethic that few can parallel. He pays attention to every single detail, cares deeply about his customers and isn’t satisfied until projects are completed to perfection. Russell is committed to communication and transparency and makes sure to bring some fun and playfulness to his work as well.

Russell and his team are also committed to supporting the Aurora Commons and Wintergrass.  The Aurora Commons is a local non-profit that provides services to people in need on the Aurora corridor.  Wintergrass is a local nonprofit annual bluegrass music festival held at the Hyatt in Bellevue.

Even greater than his building and design passion is Russell’s love for his family. Russell and his wife Tracey are the proud parents of two young, energetic boys, Sylas and Quinault.  Russell shares his love for music and nature with his sons, and eagerly awaits opportunities to teach them the wonders of extreme sports. They live, play, eat and rest in their Greenlake home.

Russell, we welcome you to the Seattle Shrimp Tank and look forward to hearing more about your story!

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How Do I Know If My House Needs To Be Leveled?

Uneven foundations are problematic, and not just because it makes your house feel off-kilter. Foundation problems can cause cracks in your walls and ceilings, plumbing issues like slow drainage, and even brick separation on the outside of your house.

But what causes uneven foundations? And how do you know if your foundation work needs some major repairs?

Why does my house have an uneven foundation?

An uneven foundation isn’t always noticeable when you first buy a house. That’s because house foundations settle over time. It’s what causes all of those mysterious wood creaks you only seem to hear in the middle of the night.

There are three key factors that cause foundations to settle unevenly:

  1. Improperly backfilled soil. The soil under your home’s foundation needs to be backfilled properly. The soil will shift if it isn’t, which can cause cracks in your home’s foundation.
  2. Expansive soils. Certain types of soils can expand when wet and shrink when dry. Depending on the type of soil your house was built on, this expanding can cause the soil to shift even if it was properly backfilled.
  3. Tree roots. Sometimes when a homeowner cuts down a tree by their house it isn’t because they hate the view. Tree roots that are too close to a house can actually suck up the water in the soil around the home’s foundation. This can cause the foundation to shift because of the gaps left by the water.

How do I know if my house needs to be leveled?

You can usually tell when your house has a foundation issue because it can affect the entire house. Some of the most common signs of a shifting foundation include:

  • Sloping or sagging floors
  • Drywall cracks
  • Leaning chimneys
  • Stuck windows and doors
  • Window cracks

The good news is that these foundational issues can be repaired by a professional repair service. Your house will be raised, your foundation leveled, and any damage can be repaired.

Does your home need structural and foundation work?

Bathroom remodels account for 78% of renovations, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders. But before you can renovate a bathroom, kitchen, or make a home addition you need to level your home’s foundation work.

Fuller Living can help you straighten out your home’s foundation structural work, whether it’s through house lifting or leveling. To learn more about our lifting/leveling services and home remodel services, contact Fuller Living today.

Upgrading Your Home: 3 Great Benefits of Renovating Your Basement

Whether or not you plan on listing your home on the market in the future, you should still focus on improving its worth and its overall resale value.

There are plenty of landscaping tasks, interior projects, and structural work that you can do to boost your home’s worth, but make sure you’re not neglecting another important part of your property: your basement.

According to Home Advisor, the average basement remodeling job can actually provide around a 70% return on investment (ROI). From securing your basement’s structure to saving money on energy expenses, here are a few great reasons to spend the money and remodel your home’s basement:

  • Give your home some extra space — No matter the size of your home, you can always benefit from extra square footage. Renovating your basement will turn a previously unlivable space into a nice, comfortable, a cool new area. Plus, it’s an inexpensive option for adding new space to your home.
  • Basement waterproofing — You should waterproof your basement if you haven’t already. Basement waterproofing is a great remodeling project to consider because it will help rid your basement of all moisture and mold. Keeping your basement dry is essential if you’re looking to avoid costly water damage issues.
  • Save money on energy expenses — If you haven’t renovated your basement, you’re likely dealing with air leaks and insulation problems. These issues can result in not only comfort problems, but expensive energy bills, as well. Upgrading your basement’s insulation and installing energy-efficient windows will give you plenty of energy benefits and allow you to save a significant amount of money in the long run.

Don’t just ignore your home’s basement for too long when you can simply upgrade it for an affordable price. If you want to learn more about how basement waterproofing can help avoid stressful residential issues or plan on remodeling your basement, give Fuller Living a call today and ask about our basement and home remodel services!


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4 Signs Your Kitchen Needs More Space

There are many signs that a kitchen needs a remodel. For instance, your cabinets are falling apart and your sink is too small to fit your dishes.

But sometimes there are less obvious signs that your kitchen needs a renovation. After all, a kitchen doesn’t need to be falling apart to need a remodel. You might just need some extra space.

So how can you tell if your kitchen needs more space to cook and move around? Here are four signs your kitchen needs a remodel:

  1. Cooking isn’t fun anymore. For many homeowners, cooking is a fun way to end the day and to experiment with new foods. But if you haven’t been cooking much since you bought your new house, the problem could be that there isn’t enough space for you to do your thing.
  2. Dishes build up a lot faster. You might not be dirtying more dishes than you used to, but somehow they seem to build up in the sink and on the counters a lot faster. Odds are you don’t have a lot of sink space or counter space to hold them all.
  3. You bump into everyone. Unless your entire family is crowded around the stove while you’re cooking, you shouldn’t feel like you’re bumping into everyone while you’re in the kitchen. Crowding is one of the most common signs you need more space. There ought to be enough room for you to get by everyone without jostling each other around.
  4. You have more than one kitchen cart. Carts have become popular in the past year. You’ll see them sitting in the kitchen corner holding pantry foods and utensils. Carts can be great for extra storage, but if your cart is overflowing and you’ve been thinking of getting another one the problem might be bigger than your cart. You need more storage like drawers, cabinets, or maybe even a new pantry. It might also be a good idea to install shelves.

Looking for home remodel services?

Homeowners in the U.S. remodel over 10.2 million kitchens every year. Kitchen remodels give you more space and freedom to cook for yourself and your family. Fuller Living can give you the new kitchen you’ve been dreaming of.

Whether you’re looking to remodel your kitchen or remodel your bathroom, Fuller Living has got your back. To learn more about our home remodel services, contact Fuller Living today.


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First Look: Renovating a Seattle Kitchen to Open Up the Space

Our client Tom loves his Seattle home — it’s got ocean views in a great neighborhood, and he plans to live there for the rest of his life.

However, the kitchen is awful, he admits. It’s tiny, has little storage, and is cut off from the rest of the home. When he moved in seven years ago, he replaced some of the appliances, but ignored the rest of it — there are still two cabinet doors falling off their hinges.

But since this is the house he plans to stay in, his Realtor called it a toe-tag house. “I’m going out of this place feet first,” says Tom. So it’s time to remodel the kitchen, open it up to the rest of the home, and — most important — get a more spacious and aesthetically pleasing kitchen that actually works well.

Making Space

To get the space Tom wants, we’re bumping out the exterior to create the new kitchen area, gaining about 60 square feet. To do that, we have to build a new foundation for that extra room.

The remodeled kitchen will include an island, with drawers on one side and cabinets on the other to increase his storage capacity.”It’s seven feet by four feet and it’s going to be great,” Tom says. We’re also building in a pantry for even more storage.

A wall will come down, opening the kitchen to the dining room and front entry.

The appliances will all be Bosch, in the black stainless steel finish. Tom did his research, and loved that the Bosch finish is more durable than of other brands. His backsplash will be tiled in the same material we used on his fireplace.

It’s that fireplace that led Tom to call us about his kitchen. “The fireplace is perfect,” he says. “Who doesn’t want perfection?”

The fireplace and the rest of the house is protected from construction. Plastic zip walls that keep the dust and other debris within the construction zone. Ram board is down to protect the floors. These precautions make it a lot more pleasant to live in the home during a renovation.

What Lies Beneath

This being an older Seattle home, though, we did discover some water seepage and damage.  That has to be fixed. And there was rot on the deck, which has been torn off. “I may extend the deck a few more feet, so it will be a larger space right off the kitchen,” Tom says.

Folding glass Nanawall doors will be installed between the kitchen and deck, making for true indoor/outdoor living. “I have parties with 20-30 people,” Tom says. “And they’ve always had to be on the deck — but now everyone can be inside and outside and it’ll all just flow.”

Check back to see our progress!


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How Can I Live Large In A Small House?

When you live in a small home, it can feel like your design choices are limited. But great design comes in all shapes and sizes, even if those sizes are under 600 square feet.

Whether you’re feeling cramped in your kitchen or your living room doesn’t feel right, here’s how you can live large in a small house.

Don’t be afraid of a remodel

Remodels are known for their return on investments. In fact, a bathroom remodel has an average ROI of 70% and a minor kitchen remodel has an average ROI of 82.7%.

That said, you don’t need to worry about losing any of your home’s value when you make these changes. You’re more likely to increase the value.

But remodels aren’t just valuable. They also help to make your house feel like home. When you renovate your space, you can do what you like to make it more functional and visually appealing.

Make some space

Your basement doesn’t need to be a creepy spider dungeon where you go to wash your clothes at the end of the week. By finishing your basement and turning it into an additional living space, you can extend the square footage of your home.

Finished basements can be used for entertainment areas, home theatres, home offices, playrooms, guest bedrooms, and even in-law suites. If you don’t have a basement and the lack of space really bothers you, a home addition can also help to give you the extra square footage you need.

Choose furniture that wears several hats

Remodels and home additions can make your house a home, but you still need to navigate the smaller spaces in your house. You can do this by investing in furniture that serves a dual purpose.

Consider using your dining table or breakfast bar as a desk. You can also swap out your coffee table for a storage bench so you can use it both as a table, storage, and extra seating.

Looking to remodel your bathroom or renovate your basement?

It might seem like you can’t do much in a small space, but it’s easier than you think to live large under 600 square feet. Still not sure how you can make a small space work? Fuller Living can help.

Whether you’re interested in basement remodels, bathroom remodels, kitchen remodels, or home additions, Fuller Living has the home remodel services you need to make your space work for you. To learn more about our bathroom and basement remodels, contact Fuller Living today.

6 Cost Effective Ways to Beautify Your Bathroom

Remodeling a bathroom can do a lot to increase the value of a home. It has been estimated that when homeowners remodel this room, they can get an ROI (return on investment) of about 70%. Even if the remodel job on a bathroom is aimed more at making you more comfortable in your home, there are ways to create a new bathroom look without clearing out your bank account. Here are some tips:

  1. Use less tile. Tile looks great in bathrooms and kitchens all over the United States. It can get pricey. When you have a contractor who handles bathroom remodels use as much tile as they would like, the price tag on your new bathroom remodel is going to get to be pretty high. One way to get the benefit of some nice tile without blowing your budget is to use it sparingly. Get some really nice tile and place it as an accent in high profile parts of the room.
  2. Look at different materials for your counters. A lot of homeowners out there thing that all home remodel services who do bathrooms always recommend granite counter tops for everything. While that can be nice, there are a lot of other materials out there that look great and cost a lot less. Some people are also turning to pieces of furniture to use as vanities. At the end of the day, you can get a much nicer bathroom by looking around at alternative vanities and the like.
  3. Change the look by painting the room. The easiest, quickest, and most cost-effective way to make an old bathroom look like a new bathroom is to paint it. If you are going to paint the room yourself, you will need to take it slower than you may realize at the outset. Unlike other rooms that have lots of wall space where not a lot of detail is involved, the bathroom has less of that. You have more areas such as around the windows, door, shower or tub, and vanity. There is a lot more detail-oriented space in this room so you will end up taking more time than it may seem you will have to spend. You also need to be careful with the kind of paint you get. The conditions in the bathroom are different than in other areas of your home. The paint in the bathroom has to withstand more moisture than other rooms have to deal with.
  4. Get new fixtures. This may seem like a small thing but when you update your fixtures you can make the space look like a new bathroom. There are more fixtures than you may realize. You have the towel racks, light fixtures, faucets, shower head, and door handles. If you are looking to make your bathroom really reflect your personality, get creative with things like the towel racks. You do not have to go with cookie cutter fixtures for your bathroom. Check out some local antique stores or flea markets to get ideas about what you can put in your bathroom to replace the fixtures.
  5. Put in new grout and caulk. It can be amazing how such a small thing can make your old bathroom look like a new bathroom just by putting in new grout and caulk. Few things look worse in a bathroom than old, dirty, and cracked grout and caulk. This is a very easy and inexpensive way to clean up the look of your bathroom.
  6. Cover your tub, do not buy a new one. Few things look better in a bathroom than a new bathtub. Getting rid of an old tub and putting in a new one can be very expensive. The good news is that you can get that new bathtub to look without getting a new tub. Rather than replace what you have in there, you can be relined by professionals to get the look for less.

The bathroom can be one of the most interesting parts of a home. When done properly, this space can have a spa quality that helps you unwind at the end of the day. There are a lot of ways to spruce up an older bathroom to almost turn it back into a new bathroom.

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