Beautiful Basement Remodel







08062 Pedersen Final Pics 09-07-06 003

I was fortunate to participate in this beautiful basement remodel of a lovely 1909 house on Capitol Hill, in Seattle.  The owners wanted to make this new  basement just as lovely as the rest of their house. I think they succeeded!


Remodel Predictions for 2009


Newly renovated basement
Newly renovated basement


Homeowners are facing tremendous economic pressure here in Seattle.  Remodeling projects will mostly be smaller projects that cannot be put off any longer.  Projects will tend to be the most economical ones with the largest return for the smallest budget.  Here is my list of the top remodels for 2009:


Basement Upgrades.  Converting a basement from a storage area to a nice living space will be one of the most popular remodels this year.  People will take advantage of existing space rather than adding on.  Basement projects focus on well-designed room layouts and then finishing out those new spaces.  Issues to watch out for include:

  • Legal fire escape exiting for each bedroom you create.
  • Plumbing difficulties if you want a bathroom.
  • Insulating the exterior walls.
  • Preventing water intrusion (which seems like a yearly winter ritual buy now).
  • Ceiling height, which leads to the next item:

Surprise! House raising can be affordable. Your basement can gain not only added ceiling height, but the opportunity to install good size windows and let in lots of light. However, you need to be able to justify the expense by solving more than one problem: poor footings, no earthquake proofing, etc. And it probably is not economically justifiable for very small houses.   Issues include:

House raising in Columbia City, Seattle

House raising in Columbia City, Seattle

House raising. 



  • Redo of interior and exterior stairs
  • Reconnection of outside utilizes lines
  • Reconnection of interior wiring and piping
  • Possible cracking of interior finishes.

 More popular remodels ideas next time. 


 Hot Items:


·        Meditation Class: I am teaching meditation for beginners in Ballard at 1423 NW 70th.  The class is every Tuesday at7: 30 PM for one hour.  See information on Shambhala website:

 ·        Weatherization Class: Come to the NW Eco-Building class on Weatherization featuring two great presenters with lots of practical advice.  January 28 from 7 – 9 PM at the Phinney Center 6532 Phinney Avenue N.  See:

 ·        PNA Home Remodel Fair: I will be exhibiting at the Phinney Fair, and sharing my table with one of my favorite contractors, Ashton Construction. Save the date: Sunday, February 8 from 10 AM – 4:00 PM.  See:

 ·        Free Design Services: I will be giving away design services for free to one lucky winner at my PNA Fair contest. All you need to do in sign in.

 ·        Sales: Rejuvenation is having their annual Factory Sale for you old house fans:   Ecohaus has some good deals on higher end items like Yolo paint, including a free color consultation:



Clouds blanket the sky
But today the rain has stopped
Remember the snow?


I look forward to your comments and questions.  -Alan

 Alan Ness

(206) 323-6677

 Ten Directions Design

Designing your home environment

 Portfolio at:


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