Blog | Better Builders: Seattle WA | Marin Ryles

coastal building materials

May 25, 2023

The Top Exterior Coastal Building Materials That Can Withstand Salt Water

As a homeowner in coastal climates such as the Pacific Northwest, it is crucial to consider the unique environmental factors and weather conditions that your property may face, including heavy wind, rain, and saltwater ...

mini-split air conditioning

May 18, 2023

Installing Air Conditioning in Seattle: Is it Worth it?

For many years Seattle was a mild climate that didn’t require air conditioning. However, as time has passed, the summers are getting hotter, and more and more homeowners wish they could cool down their homes (over the ...

cracked foundation repair

May 11, 2023

Cracked foundation? Here's How to Tell if it's Time For a Repair.

The foundation is aptly named as the base that supports your entire home. When issues arise with your foundation, you risk compromising the entire structure. Many homeowners don’t realize that cracked or damaged ...


May 04, 2023

Brick, Stone, Stucco, and more? Discover the Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Exterior Material for Your Home

When it comes to choosing the best exterior material for your home, one of the first steps is to establish your budget. Although there are low-cost and low-maintenance siding options available, they may not offer the ...

How to Track Down a Home Water Leak

April 20, 2023

How to Track Down the Root Cause of a Home Water Leak

Often water leaks in your home are caused by two things: a lack of maintenance in an area where a product has broken down and has created water to leak, or there’s been a catastrophic event such as hail, tree branches ...

Home Window Repair vs. Replace

April 13, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Determining Whether to Repair or Replace Your Home's Windows

Before you decide whether you're going for window repair or window replacement, first, you must zero in on why you think the windows need to be changed. Once you know why you’re looking to make a change, the cause will ...

kitchen lighting design

April 06, 2023

The Top 5 Elements of Beautiful Kitchen Lighting Design

You may find yourself asking, what is the importance of lighting design in the kitchen? Your lighting sets the mood for an eat-in kitchen, as well as illuminating the areas you’re working in. It’s important to properly ...

roof failure when to repairs vs replace

March 30, 2023

Detecting Roof Failure: How to Know When to Repair vs. Replace It

Often, homeowners don’t notice problems with their roofs until things are so severe that leaks come through the ceiling. When it gets to this point, this has become a major issue. If homeowners stay up on roof ...

gas vs. electric stove

March 23, 2023

Gas vs. Electric Stoves. An Expert's Guide to Help You Choose

It’s no secret that burning natural gas isn’t good for our health. Studies have recently revealed that 12.7% of childhood asthma cases in the United States are linked to gas stoves in the home. A study from the ...

March 16, 2023

Exterior Paint Maintenance: How Often Do I Need to Paint my Home?

Your home is one of the largest and most important investments you’ll make during your lifetime. This means it’s critical to protect this investment by maintaining your home’s exterior and ensuring the siding and trim ...

Design Secrets for a Clean Kitchen

March 09, 2023

Clean Kitchen Design: 10 Secrets to Ensure Your Space Stays Clean Always

Most people want their spaces to be clean and sanitary, but this has come even more to the forefront in the past few years. With this increasing concern, more materials and products have become available to make keeping ...

March 02, 2023

The Top 4 Problems With Poor Kitchen Cooking Ventilation and How to Solve Them

Inadequate kitchen cooking ventilation is more common than many people realize, even in recently built homes. Generally, the hoods are not sufficient for the stove size, or they are improperly vented. The accumulation ...

February 23, 2023

The Top Appliances Technologies and Trends That Will Make Your Kitchen Fun

From intuitive design to wirelessly connected appliances, a “smart” kitchen is often a priority in a modern home. Blending efficiency and a fun cooking experience, tech-savvy kitchens are more popular than ever. Below ...

Eat-in kitchen dining table

February 16, 2023

How Much Space is Needed for an Eat-In Kitchen? Creative Ways to Dine In Style

The modern-day eat-in kitchen is a more intentional alternative in place of pulling out the folding card table and placing the ‘kids' table’ in the middle of the living room during holiday dinners. Eat-in kitchens can ...

February 09, 2023

How Much Space is Needed for a Kitchen Island? Top Things to Know About Space Requirements

Kitchen islands provide many benefits including additional storage, prep space, design appeal, and possible addition to your home’s dollar value. Significant value is added if the island includes seating for a more ...

Capitol Hill Kitchen Storage

February 02, 2023

How to Design the Perfect Pantry for Your Kitchen

Gone are the days of limited food storage options. Modern technology has eliminated the need for traditional food cellars with newer storage, like under-cabinet beverage centers and chilled refrigerator produce drawers. ...

January 26, 2023

Are Open Kitchen Shelves a Good Idea? Here's a list of 12 Pros and Cons.

The average kitchen remodel will have homeowners making between 60 - 150 decisions. Open shelving vs. traditional cabinetry is just one of these choices, and unbeknownst to most people, there’s a lot to consider when ...


January 19, 2023

Top 6 Design Ideas for a Timeless Kitchen that Won't Go Out of Style

If you're starting to think about a kitchen remodel, often one of the first steps is finding inspiration. We're here to share timeless ideas to help you create a space that won’t go out of style.

kitchen layout design

January 12, 2023

What is the Best Layout for a More Functional Kitchen Design?

Answering the question, “how do you use your kitchen” is where to start. Is it a gathering place connected to the rest of your home? Is it separate from the other living space? Is the kitchen a place to entertain or ...

kitchen countertop material

January 05, 2023

Countertop Materials Pros and Cons: How to Choose the Best Material for Your Kitchen

When working through selections for a new kitchen remodel, you eventually find yourself asking, “What is the best countertop material to use in the kitchen?” While there are many materials to choose from, all countertop ...

dark wood kitchen cabinets

December 15, 2022

The Top 6 Kitchen Storage Ideas for Culinary Bliss

When it comes to kitchen storage, it seems like there can never be enough. While upper and lower cabinets are obvious choices, what hides behind the cabinets and drawer faces can be an entirely different story. Avoid ...

Roosevelt Historic Kitchen

December 08, 2022

What is the Best Flooring for a Kitchen? 4 Things to Consider for a Kitchen Remodel

Choosing the right flooring is one of many decisions you’ll face in a kitchen remodel. There are so many options and so little time to research what will look and feel the best while standing the test of time. Choosing ...


December 01, 2022

Creative Storage Ideas to Make Better Use of the Home's Lesser-used Space

At one point or another, everyone talks about needing more space in their home. But, it’s amazing how much more space you have when you have an organized way to store all of your clutter. Here’s a list of unique ways ...

November 17, 2022

16 Creative Ways to Make Your Home’s Multipurpose Spaces More Functional

The term “functional” is defined differently by everyone. What may be functional for you and your family could present serious challenges for someone else. When looking at multipurpose spaces in your home, it’s ...


November 10, 2022

What are the Legal Requirements for a Bedroom in Seattle?

Perhaps your family is growing, you’re considering adding a guest room in the basement, or you simply want to add an additional bedroom to your home. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand what is considered ...

November 03, 2022

4 Ways to Increase Space in Your Home Without Adding Square Footage

Changing the interior space planning of your home to be more functional can look very different for each person. Increasing the space within your home can mean major changes, like taking down interior walls to open the ...

open floor plan

October 27, 2022

How To Design an Open Floor Plan That Actually Works: The Pros and Cons

Before deciding you want to remodel your home to include an open floor plan, it’s essential to ask yourself the ‘why’ behind your renovation goals. Open floor plans can be great for many reasons, but they’re not a ...

structural modifications

October 20, 2022

How to Safely Make Structural Modifications to Your Home

While home modifications like adding a window and removing a wall may seem simple, structural modifications require the existing structural loads to transfer to other areas within the structure. To properly do this, the ...

project to boost resale value

October 13, 2022

Top 5 Questions to Consider to Boost Your Home's Resale Value

Remodeling for resale value is a tricky evaluation. The amount of the increase will depend on the area and quality of the remodel. For example, projects like kitchen renovations will return (on average) 90% on the ...

universal design bathroom

October 06, 2022

Home Renovation Design to Comfortably Age in Place: Everything You Need to Know

When you are choosing to invest in your home, you want to create a design that will meet your function and needs, not just now but for many years to come. Typically, the cost to make changes to your home will be less ...

September 29, 2022

What are the Pros and Cons of Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Auxiliary or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are referred to as many things: backyard cottage, in-law apartment, granny flat, you name it. The various names are related to the fact that an ADU can take on many forms. ...

Space for An ADU or DADU

September 22, 2022

Do I Have Space for An ADU or DADU? What You Need to Know for Perfect Planning

An ADU is known by many names; The “backyard cottage,” mother-in-law suite, guest house, apartment, etc. These buildings have become increasingly popular and sought after by many homebuyers in the greater Seattle area. ...

September 15, 2022

How to Determine the Cost of a Home Addition

This is a very common first question for homeowners to ask. What many people don’t realize is that this is both a very vague and complex question to answer. A similar scenario would be going to a car dealership and ...

September 08, 2022

How to Get the Right Building Permits in The Seattle Area

A common question from homeowners considering a remodel project is, “can I pull my own permits?” Yes, homeowners can purchase their permits and a benefit is you will not be charged sales tax. A risk is that you may not ...

September 01, 2022

How to Identify Your Home Renovation Design Aesthetic in 4 Easy Steps

Homeowners often underestimate how many decisions need to be made during a home renovation project. For example, there are approximately 150 decisions that need to be made for a full kitchen redesign. Every last detail ...

August 25, 2022

How to Make Your New Addition Fit Seamlessly with Your Home.

Have you ever walked down a street and asked yourself, “why does that addition look the way it does? Was it a bad design, or does it look completely separate from the old home on purpose?” No matter what architectural ...

August 18, 2022

Is an Addition Right for My Property? A Guide to Planning the Perfect Project

Before you begin the work to decide if an addition is right for your property, the first step is to determine your ‘why.’ Why do you think you need an addition outside of the current footprint? Is an addition the best ...

August 11, 2022

What Does a Typical Timeline Look Like for a Home Renovation?

Before you dive into the process of custom home building or remodeling, it’s important to remember each step takes time. It is best practice to engage with a contractor as soon as possible. Better yet, work with a ...

August 04, 2022

Is My Lot Large Enough for a Home Addition? 6 Important Things to Know

So, your family is growing and you’re running low on space. You may find yourself asking, “is my lot large enough for a home addition?” Whether you’re considering expanding out or expanding up, this is an extremely ...

Basement Renovation Ideas

July 21, 2022

Considering a Basement Renovation? Creative and Affordable Ideas to Increase Your Home’s Value

Basements are full of potential to become usable spaces that are warm and welcoming for the whole family to enjoy. A basement remodel can add a significant amount of usable space and value to your home. There are many ...

July 14, 2022

Moving vs. Home Renovation: Tips to Help You Decide What's Best

Every day, homeowners are faced with the dilemma of outgrowing their homes. From needing more space for a growing family to requiring different functionality to age in place, your needs and wants change over time and ...

Best Home Building Team

July 07, 2022

A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Best Home Building Team

Selecting a general contractor to work with is a big decision. You are choosing a company that you will trust with your home, your family, and your money. With so much on the line, you want to make sure you are ...

8 Things to Consider When Living on Site During a Home Renovation

June 30, 2022

8 Things to Consider When Living on Site During a Home Renovation

For many people, staying in the house through a major project sounds unimaginable. While the process is never easy, we have 8 tips for living through a remodel to help make the experience a little more bearable and help ...

Top Reasons to Involve Your General Contractor in the Home Design Process

June 23, 2022

Top Reasons to Involve Your General Contractor in the Home Design Process

Taking on a home remodeling or new build project can be a daunting task. The first hurdle to cross is figuring out where to start. Oftentimes, homeowners decide to dive straight into the home design process because it’s ...

March 11, 2022

Ideas for Creating a Backyard Entertainment Space

Imagine summer days basking in the sunshine, watching the kids play. Imagine friends around a cozy fire pit, sharing stories and creating memories. Imagine having a space to enjoy all the seasons in the Pacific ...

February 25, 2022

Routine Home Maintenance to Avoid Emergency Repairs

If you’re a homeowner in 2022, you have some seriously valuable property on your hands. You probably mow your yard, pull your weeds, and keep everything looking good – especially if you’re in an HOA. The cosmetic ...

August 27, 2021

Common Kitchen Design Selections

When it comes to remodeling a kitchen, there are tons of kitchen design selections to make. Many people underestimate just how many decisions are involved in a kitchen remodel. If you are looking for a complete ...

July 30, 2021

The Design and Estimating Process

When you’ve officially decided you’re ready to pursue a home remodeling project, design and estimating is often the first step. The design process involves so many little details and important decisions, we encourage ...

July 16, 2021

Bathroom Refresh on a Budget

Doing a bathroom refresh on a budget can be hard work, but it’s definitely rewarding! While we would love to help you completely remodel your bathroom, sometimes a major project just isn’t within the budget. While you ...

June 04, 2021

2021 Kitchen Cabinet Crazes

When it comes to planning for a kitchen remodel, kitchen cabinet selection is often one of the biggest decisions. Cabinets are a big chunk of the investment in a kitchen remodel and there are seemingly endless selection ...

May 07, 2021

Full House Remodel and Addition: Project Spotlight

To say these homeowners needed a full house remodel and addition is an understatement. Picture this: a loving couple with two growing kids, all living in a lofted one bedroom, one bathroom house. You read that ...

April 23, 2021

Bathroom Basics: Must Know Floor Plans

Whether you are looking to remodel an existing space, or create a new bathroom from scratch, layout makes a big difference. From water closets to extravagant spa master bathrooms, any space can be luxurious with the ...

March 26, 2021

5 Kitchen Design Trends for 2021

Coming to the end of our first quarter, we have noticed some strong kitchen design trends for 2021. If you're starting to think about a kitchen remodel, often one of the first steps is finding inspiration. We're here to ...

March 12, 2021

Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Remodel

Choosing the right flooring for your remodel can be challenging. There are so many options, and so little time to research what will look and feel the best while standing the test of time. Here we’ve shared some do’s ...

February 12, 2021

5 Bathroom Design Trends for 2021

We are two months in to 2021 and we are noticing some definite bathroom design trends for the year. When you are planning a bathroom remodel, one of the first steps is finding some inspiration. No matter what your ...

January 29, 2021

Do You Need a Permit for a Kitchen Remodel?

One of the most common questions from homeowners when wanting to remodel the kitchen is: do I need a permit?


January 29, 2021

How to Design the Perfect Kitchenette in Your Basement

Basement remodels are more popular than ever. And the basement kitchenette is growing in popularity as more cold unfinished basements are being transformed into cozy living areas. Whether you are turning your basement ...

January 15, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Taking on a home remodeling project is a major commitment. You’re investing a lot of time, money and energy into creating the perfect space for you and your family. With such a big decision, it is no surprise that ...

December 18, 2020

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Tub with a Shower

Turning a bathtub into a shower is growing in popularity with many homeowners right now. But what should you think about before making the move from a tub to a shower and how much should you expect it to cost?

December 04, 2020

Project Spotlight: Brand New Bathroom

Imagine two teenage daughters sharing a tiny 6’ x 8’ guest bathroom, a single sink and mirror and limited storage for accessories and appliances. They had managed for many years but had finally reached a “tipping ...


November 06, 2020

Tips on How to Transform Your Master Bedroom into a Master Suite

When you’re a kid, your bedroom design revolves around what color your parents will let you paint the walls and how many posters you can cram into any given space. You need a bed, somewhere to keep your clothes, and ...

October 16, 2020

Ideas for Luxury Walk-In Showers

Walk-in showers can create a roomy and luxurious feeling as a result of a bathroom remodeling project. The open sight lines create a seamless transition to the rest of the bathroom making the entire space feel much ...


October 09, 2020

Steering Clear of Kitchen Countertop Confusion: Quartz or Granite?

When remodeling a kitchen, you have dozens of decisions to make. From major picks like cabinetry and appliances to little details like knobs or pulls, there’s a lot to think about. One of the biggest design choices ...

September 25, 2020

Designing a Bathroom for Aging in Place

If you’ve already found your forever home, it is wise to consider long term factors when designing for a remodel. When designing a bathroom for aging in place, safety and accessibility are key. Planning space that ...

September 11, 2020

Creating the Ultimate Basement Home Gym

A home gym can be a great convenience year-round; especially during this time of the pandemic when public gyms have been closed for months. If you’re someone who regularly hits the gym, why not use that spare room or ...

September 04, 2020

How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost

Next to the kitchen, many of us look to remodel the bathrooms in our homes. We dream of a spa-like oasis where we can envision ourselves relaxing and unwinding or being eager to get ready for the day ahead. Not only ...

August 28, 2020

Bedroom Paint Colors that Encourage Sleep

Assuming the average person sleeps 8 hours a day, over time you spend approximately one third of your life asleep. And that’s not counting the time you spend laying in bed before and after sleeping. With at least one ...

August 14, 2020

Small Bathroom Remodel, Big Design

Designing the perfect bathroom to fit your style and needs can be a challenge. This can be especially tough when you are limited to a small space. A small bathroom remodel doesn’t necessarily mean a small project, and ...

August 07, 2020

The Importance of Project Management

Project Management is a large part of the service you receive when working with Better Builders. We establish a relationship founded on trust far before your project starts. We also back this up with transparency and ...

July 31, 2020

5 Things to Consider Before Remodeling

Unless you built your home from the ground up, odds are there are some changes you’d like to make. We’ve all thought about the little things that would make our home picture perfect, but it’s important to think about ...

July 03, 2020

Patio or Deck: Which One is Right for You

Summer is upon us and we are ready to enjoy the beautiful weather. While it’s great to have wonderful public outdoor spaces nearby, nothing beats having the perfect outdoor space at your own home. Whether you’re ...

June 12, 2020

Meet Gustavo: Architect

Being a design/build General Contractor, we are frequently asked about the Architect that we work with. One of the talented companies we work with is PRDG architecture + design in Seattle. We have been working with the ...

May 22, 2020

Backyard Remodeling Projects to do Before Summer

This article is a guest publication by Matt Lee, Copy-editing by Marin Ryles. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, this summer will look a bit different for many people. Safe-at-home precautions will have many people ...

March 23, 2020

Better Builders Covid-19 Policy

Updated: April 30, 2020

March 13, 2020

Meet Amanda: Interior Designer

Being a design/build General Contractor, we are frequently asked about the designers we work with. One of the wonderful companies we work with is Housewarming Seattle. We have been working with Housewarming for six ...

February 28, 2020

Green Home Building Ideas

This week’s blog, Green Home Building Ideas, is guest written by T-Square Properties.

January 31, 2020

Othello House: Five-Star Built Green

Better Builders has been a proud member of the Built Green ™ program for years. Homes constructed with Green Building in mind are more energy efficient, use fewer toxic materials, and minimize the environmental impact ...


December 06, 2019

Sunroom, Solarium, or Greenhouse: Which Is Right for You?

We may be diving headfirst into winter, but now is the perfect time to start thinking about sunny days. Begin planning projects for sunshine-focused spaces now so that they're ready to enjoy when the warm weather ...

November 22, 2019

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words: Pinterest vs. Houzz

So, you’re finally ready to start pursuing that remodel you’ve been dreaming of for years. Or maybe you bought a new home that needs some serious fixing up. Or perhaps, you’re ready to build your dream home from scratch.