Beaverton Ranch Kitchen

Just scrolling through an email and found a few photos of a kitchen I really liked.  The client wanted a functional but attractive kitchen being an avid cook.  She supplied me with zucchini bread weekly and probably put on a few pounds during the process of the job.  Here is a pic of one of the many functional amenities of the kitchen.  Spice drawers add a quick glance of everything you may need for your daily 

cooking needs.  I am a little neurotic about mine and alphabetize it so it is easy for me to see when the cumin is low or out of Thyme. WIll send photo of kitchen in my next blog.  Bon a petit!

Laurelhurst Traditional Kitchen

Hey we  just finished a new kitchen in the Laurelhurst neighborhood.  There was some water damage and so my client decided it was time for a complete update. On finishing,  there was a color difference between the old hardwood floor in the dining room (80 years old plus which the finish yellowed over the past decade since it was last finished) compared to the new floor.  This has been an on going problem when trying to tie an old floor to the new, in a wide open space.

My hardwood floor subcontractor came up with the idea of screening the floor and using an amber colored toner over the new finish.  After a few coats the colors tied together.  After the 2nd attempt we got it right and even though tying old finishes to new cannot be perfect everyone was happy with the results.   Stay tune for the final photos.

Tammy’s Moving In!

We’ve finished the remodeling work on Kerry’s home in SW Portland, and his family has moved in.  Kerry was an employee of John Hassenberg Architects, who passed away suddenly several months ago.  You can read about our efforts to finish his home remodel here.

We’re happy to say that his family has moved into their home,  and we’re wrapping things up on site.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the efforts and donations.  Notably: Andy Davis for his help framing and coordinating,  Dietrich and Angie Wieland for their efforts organizing volunteer subcontractors, their architectural expertise, and help accessing materials,  and all the volunteers from St. Clair’s for their donations and labor.  Everyone’s empathy, prayers, and assistance went a long way.  Thank you all.  We wish Tammy and the kids the best, and hope they enjoy their new home.

Pearl Condo remodeling and more

In the past several years, we have completed multiple condominium remodels in the Pearl District, West Hills of Portland, and on the Willamette River.  The remodels have been extensive and challenging in many respects.  Your neighbors are closer above and below and we need to be respectful of noise and inconvenience.  We want to make sure you’re satisfied, not only with the final product, but also with the process.  Often we needed to create ways to get materials to the upper floors with an undersized elevator: Keeping halls neat; dealing with debris; informing the property manager of a daily schedule to assure the elevators were always lined for protection.  Even with those special challenges, we have been successful in high end quality remodels – completing them on time and on budget.

Many of the remodels have been traditional in taste on the inside and then a few of them very modern and contemporary.  Our work is strictly limited to the inside of the buildings – anything exterior work would fall to the property management company in all most all cases.

These are projects we thoroughly enjoy.  Just as in whole house remodel, from framing to finish we aim to please.  Thanks for considering us in your next project.

When Duty Calls

Kerry Cooper was an employee of John Hasenberg & Associates, an architectural firm that Petrina Construction works with regularly.  He died unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm.  He’s been a friend and colleague for many years and we’ve all been pretty distraught in the office.

Kerry, his wife Tammy, and his three young children were in the middle of a large scale home remodel adding a second story with sufficient bedrooms and an additional bathroom for the family.

When a tragedy strikes a family member so dear to our community, we need to step up.

We know the best way to honor Kerry is to support his family.  Finishing Kerry’s remodel is the best way we know how to do that.

Petrina Construction is working with Kerry’s good friend, Dietrich Wieland, his wife Angie, Marcelle Hanks, and a host of others, who are driving the project forward.  We are volunteering our time and resources – coming together with sub contractors, suppliers, and other friends of the Cooper family. We’re putting in carpet soon, and are excited to finish what Kerry so passionately started.

We miss Kerry, he was a part of our lives every day (our office is in the same building as his), and it’s hard to imagine that he won’t be walking down the stairs to say hello.

If you knew Kerry, or would simply like to lend a hand, here is a specific way you can help:

  • Money can be donated to “Friends of Kerry Cooper & Family” at any US Bank.  Account #153664240220.  Tradesmen are donating time and donating or deeply discounting materials, so know that your cash donations can go a long way to completing this project.
  • Whether you worked directly with Kerry or not, we’re hoping that you will join Petrina Construction in supporting a family that has suffered a great loss.

    In memory of Kerry, our thoughts and efforts go out to Tammy and the rest of the family.

A Bright Idea

Since early in the movement to build Eco consciously, recycle smarter, and buy cooler, more efficient toys, the light bulb’s been a icon of the movement.  Where light bulbs are surely lower on the totem pole in terms of energy waste in homes compared to heat, washer/dryers, and other electronics, it’s something addressed regularly when the client meets with us and the electrician.  “What’s efficient?”, “What’s the difference between LED and compact fluorescent?”, “Are the new lights bright enough?”, and the thing we hear most frequently: ” Why does my light  bulb cost $40?”

Well soon enough many of these questions will be moot, as the old way of illuminating your home will be illegal.  Or rather, incandescent bulbs will no longer be manufactured, left to go the way of the film camera and the telegraph.  The legislation states that between 2012-2014 all new manufacturing will have to produce lights that use 25-35% less electricity than traditional incandescents.  The good news is, the technology has already far surpassed that mark, and there are plenty of new lights on the market to fill the shoes of the old bulb.

The new options on the electric decision list is: LED or CFL?  Some people worry about the mercury in CFLs, but with proper handling, they’re no more harmful than your old thermometers.  The question of light is really a question of efficiency, lifespan, light output, and light quality.

To simplify things more, efficiency and lifespan are really one issue, it all depends on how much juice that puppy is sucking.  If the light uses less watts, it produces less excess heat, which puts less stress on the device, making it last longer (it’s actually the wasted energy that produces most of the heat in lights, the lighting device itself is usually just warmish).  Paired with fancy tech, these low watt bulbs can last decades and, in my mind, that solves the cost issue (as well as the back pain issues caused by frequent bulb changing).

You’d think using less watts that would effect how much light is actually produced, but that’s not the whole story: 70% of the electricity in a traditional incandescent light is wasted, some (more expensive) CFLs can produce as much light as a 35watt incandescent, while using only 4watts.  The amount of power used can be confusing on the box, because a LED or CFL labeled 60 watt usually means that it produces a “60 watt look” when compared to an incandescent.  There is a measure of light output called “Candles” which will usually have an associated number on the back of the box.

CFL - Incandescent comparison

Now we come to the hardest question when making any home remodel decision – style.  Most of our eyes and tastes are accustomed to the orangeish-yellow glow of the incandescent.  CFLs are closest to what we’re used to but slightly on the yellow side and much closer to a true white and cheaper CFLs can produce a flicker that can strain the eyes.   LEDs lights tend to produce a blue quality, which might be unpleasant to some, but a room that gets enough daylight can pair nicely with a well placed LED.

When it comes to making a lighting decision for your remodel there are no shortage of options, but don’t worry – you can always hire a contractor.

This video is a great comparison between different lights,  their lifespan, watt output, and light quality (though a little nerdy):

For a more detailed look at bulbs, I found this guide educational.

Get the Lead Out!

One of the joys of Portland homes is the rich texture of our past: the architecture, the landscaping, the funky wall paper behind the pantry door.  Unfortunately, some of those layers of texture can contain a threat to your family’s health!

For years, Petrina Construction has been mindful of the presence of asbestos in some older homes.  We use professionally certified testing companies and abatement teams to identify and remediate any flooring, insulation, ceiling tiles, or other materials that are contaminated.

In response to new guidelines and regulations from the EPA, Petrina Construction now has a complete lead testing program.  As a Lead-Safe Certified Firm, we have employees trained in testing, safe removal, and clean-up of contaminated paint and painted materials and we work with Lead-Safe Certified painting subcontractors.  Using EPA guidelines and specialized testing, containment, and HEPA cleaning equipment, we can be sure that your remodel will not endanger your health, your family’s health, or your home’s resale potential in the future.

For more information about Lead Based paint, check out the EPA website at or call our office for a copy of the Lead Safe brochure.

ReFit Real Fast

People often ask, “Just how fast are you?”  Well, we’re this fast:

What is it? It’s a handicapped ramp we threw up for a family in Portland Oregon, we got connected to the family through ReFit, a program that provides accessibility for the handicapped.

Fun With Time

This house was great and one of the last empty lots in Ladds Addition.

What you’re seeing is our first attempt at a homemade time lapse of a house going up.  Expect future time lapses to go all the way from start to finish.

Here’s the finished product from the front.

Good Kitchen Design

We remodeled a spectacular kitchen recently in the Mt. Tabor area.  There were so many unique details, that I thought I’d share a few.

I Love how the designer stuck different materials right up next to each other on the kitchen counter-tops.

The yellow cabinets are A+. The sink on the way to the dining room was also a great idea.

Where I don’t love strawberries quite as much as the owner, the colors are warm and bright, but not so much that the kitchen isn’t comfortable – it’s very homey.

The boxed ceiling adds a classy touch. Many kitchens try to bridge the gap between classic, modern, and down-home unsuccessfully – but this Mt. Tabor residence got it perfect. This job was a pleasure to shoot and I have so much respect for both the architect, and the designer.