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Welcome to the Powell Construction Remodeling Blog!  We’re based in Corvallis, Oregon. Click a Category on the left and you can view projects or topics that cover everything from green building to design ideas to remodeling tips. We hope you enjoy your visit!

Update on the New Home

August 14th, 2017 Posted in New Home | No Comments »

A few weeks ago we wrote about a new home just beginning construction. Here is an update!

Framing has progressed steadily, and the shape of the house is coming into focus. There is a certain beauty in the skeletal frame of a structure that we really enjoy. Below is a fish-eye panoramic view of the rear of the home. The den (in the foreground), breakfast nook, and covered back porch (to the right) have not yet been framed.

The master suite is on the north side of the house and includes a private sitting room with views in three directions. A deck with a spa will be added outside soon!

As guests walk through the front door, they will have a view through the living room toward the east and (on a clear day!) Mt. Jefferson rising above the clients’ meadow. A 16-foot-wide sliding glass door and transom will maximize views to the east. A breakfast nook to the right will provide both expansive views and lots of morning light.

The picture below looks west through the living room, toward the dining area on the left and the entry on the right. The client has commissioned a large tile medallion for the entry floor.

In this picture, Tom Powell is on site overseeing the work. This view is from the guest suite on the south end of the house, looking north toward the master suite. It provides a sense of the scale of the house.

Framing of the den will begin soon. A computer-generated 3D rendering (below) allows the client to visualize the den design, including recent finish selections. The fireplace is a true masonry Rumford design, built from scratch! Walls will be paneled in cherry, and the windows and doors will be cherry as well. The upper library shelves will be accessible using a rolling ladder. (The ladder rail is visible in the model along the top shelf.) Cove lighting will illuminate the tongue-and-groove hemlock ceiling.

We are very pleased with the progress, and we will continue to post more photos as construction continues!

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Airy Contemporary Kitchen

July 22nd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

This one-of-a-kind kitchen was a fairly extensive remodel. Originally a tiny and cramped kitchen, we worked with the homeowners to design a space that is much larger and more functional. The new design shows off the contemporary style of the homeowners and meets their needs for both day-to-day living and entertaining.

Before View of Kitchen


Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

After View of Expanded Kitchen and Archway

Before the remodel, the kitchen was connected to the dining room by a narrow door opening.  This constriction was exacerbated by the presence of the wall oven at that same opening.  On the other side of the kitchen, a family room wasn’t visually well connected to the kitchen, and there was wasted floor space between the two rooms. Overall the kitchen felt severely cramped, lacked adequate storage and was poorly connected to the adjacent spaces.

Before View Showing Narrow Walkways with Wall Oven and Refrigerator Opening into Aisle

Before View of Sink and Cooking Work Area

Our new design made the kitchen far more functional for cooking, and better related it to the dining and family rooms. We enlarged the work area by expanding into the formerly wasted space, consolidated cooking and cleanup functions into roomy work areas, and installed all new custom cabinets.  Storage functions—including food and miscellaneous storage—are located together for maximum functionality.

Kitchen Storage

Kitchen Storage

We greatly expanded the opening into the dining room, which made a big difference, by visually connecting the two rooms and opening up the space dramatically.  We graced the opening with an arch and a counter that can be used as a buffet.

View from Dining Room Toward Kitchen

The sink window was enlarged, and wall cabinets were replaced by cantilevered open shelves—giving the kitchen an airy, contemporary flavor.  White shaker cabinets lend a fresh feeling as well.

View Toward Dining Room

We installed Pental “Sahara” quartz countertops with an undermount stainless steel sink and Moen faucet. The kitchen remodel included all new, energy effificent LED lighting, new Kitchenaid appliances, and a full height tile backsplash. New luxury vinyl flooring (US Floors COREtec HD Delta Rustic Pine) flows from the kitchen into the adjacent spaces, stitching them all together.


On the family room side of the kitchen, a work counter allows for sitting and in-kitchen dining.  A separate desk area completes the layout of the kitchen space.

Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

The result is a central hub of the home that functions very well for cooking needs, but also pulls adjacent rooms together to form a cohesive whole. Plenty of storage, fresh low maintenance finishes and bright lighting make the remodel a welcome update to this family’s home!

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New Home Design

June 30th, 2017 Posted in Design, General Design, New Home | No Comments »

Here at Powell Construction, we specialize in remodeling and additions. But on occasion we build a new home or a free-standing structure next to an existing home.

New construction involves a very different kind of design process than remodels or additions for several reasons. In our renovation work, we must always address the condition of the existing structure—including necessary maintenance, structural issues, code and the possibility of unseen conditions—beyond the particular goals of a project. We also have to consider how our new work relates to and ties in with the existing design, both stylistically and technologically.


For these reasons, remodeling and additions inevitably involve working with constraints of various kinds. Believe it or not, these concerns help keep our work varied and interesting, in that we have to use our problem-solving skills and creativity to properly attend to the many issues at hand. We feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as we fix long-standing problems while also renovating and adding on to our clients’ homes.

With new construction, on the other hand, many of the usual constraints fade away and we can focus our attention and talents almost exclusively to our clients’ vision for their new home. We work with them to get just what they want—within the limits of their budget, of course. Regulations can be a possible limitation, but tend to be less of a factor with a new home compared to an existing one.

A current project is a case in point. This home is for a couple and their extended family and is designed for both functionality  and aesthetics. Private spaces are zoned so that the residents and guests are at opposite ends of the house, with shared common spaces in between. It takes advantage of its site, with its expansive views of the Cascade Mountains. An outdoor living porch and a private library round out the home’s spaces.

The real opportunity in the design, however, is that it is carefully tailored to the clients’ aesthetic vision. Whereas the tone of a remodel might have been set with what existed before, in this case we have been able to pursue our clients’ vision in a relatively free way—not beset with the constraints we tend to encounter in our remodeling work.

Working in close collaboration with our clients—who sent us ideas and suggestions from their Houzz “Ideabooks”—we helped bring the design ideas into focus. As you can see in the images throughout this post, our digital modeling capabilities—something we use in all of our design work—allowed us to construct a virtual model of the house. Our clients could look at these images and even walk through their virtual home and see how the design and selections work together to achieve their vision for their new home.

Our 3D modeling is a useful tool to explore ideas, and lets both our designers and our clients confirm that the design has cohesiveness and meets their aesthetic vision. This helps make the construction process more predictable and less stressful—always our goal!

Finishes in the common spaces have been selected for a clean, fresh and light look, as you can see in this rendering of the living room from the kitchen.

In the private areas, warm materials work to bring about a cozy feeling.

The exterior takes advantage of east-facing views of the Cascades. The library, breakfast nook, living room, and master suite all have expansive views and windows that let in lots of morning light.

Having done our careful planning, we have now started construction. The foundation is in place and framing has begun. Stay tuned for updates as construction progresses. We look forward to sharing the journey with you!


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Outdoor Update

September 21st, 2016 Posted in Design, Outdoor Living | Comments Off on Outdoor Update

The decision of whether to shop for a new home and move or stay in your current home and renovate is something that many homeowners find themselves grappling with. There can be many reasons to want to stay in your house: large yard, safe schools and neighborhood, and convenient location may all be factors. In any renovation project, one should think of what you would need to change in order to fall in love your home again.

The assessment of your home might not stop at the interior but rather extend to the outdoors as well.


This family wanted a large outdoor living space to enjoy together; a place where they could gather for meals, barbecues, or an evening fire. This new spacious patio offers plenty of shade during hot summer days as well as protection from rain and other inclement weather. The beautifully stained cedar ceiling adds drama to the space, while the skylights and exposed beams give an airy feel.


To bring in extra light, skylights were installed.

A large ceiling fan was also installed to help the patio stay cool even on the warmest days.



The new patio cover changes the whole look of the house, increasing its overall value and its everyday livability. It looks like a whole new house!

Stay tuned to see the transformation of this home’s kitchen in our next post.

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Vintage Home Meets Modern Kitchen Pt. 2

August 1st, 2016 Posted in Design, Kitchen Design | Comments Off on Vintage Home Meets Modern Kitchen Pt. 2

As this kitchen remodel nears completion I thought I’d post some updated photos.

IMG_20160720_154518515 (1)Cropped and Corected

A gray quartz countertop was selected, which pairs beautifully with the dark tile backsplash and mosaic accent. Custom maple cabinets were stained white to enhance the clean and modern look the homeowner sought. A soft blue paint was decided upon to complement the cool and calming atmosphere of the home. The homeowner chose a modern black tile floor that extends from the kitchen into the family room to create one large entertaining space. Our contractors installed radiant heating below the tile to keep the family’s home warm and cozy throughout the cold winters.


Close up view of the island showcasing the built in cooktop with beautiful stainless and glass vent hood.

IMG_20160720_154444870 (1)corrected and cropped

The new island increases the functionality of the kitchen and helps bring the two rooms together as one unified space.

IMG_20160720_154610170 (1)Lightened

The design of the custom cabinetry includes a message center with ample storage.

Some selections:

floor bailey                 countertop bailey

Tile Floor:                                       Countertop:

Emser in Midnight Black Slate         Cronin Quartz in Greystone

cronincompany-urban-antracite                 accent tile

Backsplash Main Tile:                      Backsplash Accent Tile:

Cronin Urban in Anthracite             Florida Tile Bliss in Smoky Mica

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