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Before Construction

Mike and Karen asked us to visit their home in June 2013 to replace their old, rotting back deck. They wanted to build an exceptional outdoor living space that extended their main floor into the expansive forest of Vineyard Mountain that surrounds their home. Our homeowners felt a tri-level deck would be best as it would incorporate the natural slope of the yard and give them the outdoor space they wanted. Additionally, a multi-level deck allowed our homeowners to have defined spaces, such as a dining area and a lounge area to sit by the fire, rather than just one large deck surface. Mike and Karen’s previous deck provided no access to the yard from the back of the house, so we made it a priority to give them access from multiple points on the deck.

Final Sketch Up rendering

Final Sketch Up rendering


During Framing                     Deck Skirt Complete

We took dimensions of their home and built a 3D model on the computer to visualize the deck and made adjustments until we had exactly what Mike and Karen had envisioned for their deck. We also modeled various types of handrails that could accommodate undermounted lighting and then worked with J&J Electric to create the lighting plan. The homeowners also wanted the stairs to function as extra seating when they host parties, so we designed wide stair treads so their guests will have more places to sit. The next step was engineering and permits, and then construction. We started excavation in January, deck framing and decking in February, handrails were installed in March, and then the electricians installed the lights. We installed the natural gas fire table in early April.

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Our homeowners choose Nexan’s NextDeck powder coated aluminum decking in Light Gray. Nexan says that “NextDeck is a revolutionary decking product that offers unsurpassed durability and longevity. Specifically designed to replace other high-maintenance decking products, NextDeck® delivers a truly maintenance-free choice. NextDeck® gives homeowners the freedom to enjoy their outdoor living space and activities, rather than spending countless hours and money on deck maintenance and repairs. Designed for the life of your deck, NextDeck® aluminum decking is fireproof, pest resistant and will not rust, rot, sag, splinter, warp or crack in freezing temperatures.”

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Karen and Mike also chose a Stainless Steel Cable Railing system and Nexan’s Black powder coated posts to support the steel cables. The steel cable railing system allows anyone sitting on the deck to enjoy the various views of the yard without feeling like their sight lines are being obstructed. We installed LED strip lighting under all of the handrails along with step lighting on every other tread to provide safe access at night and ambient lighting. The fire table is an American Fyre Designs 48” diameter Contempo Round Firetable fueld by natural gas. We finished the deck with a Rustic Hardiplank skirt to match the home’s existing LP siding, the skirt also conceals the framing members. We also added a metal roof under the upper deck to provide a dry place to store outdoor furniture during the winter.

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In the evenings, the warm glow of the lighting and the fire table make this a cozy and welcoming place to sit and enjoy the gorgeous, peaceful surroundings. Mike and Karen are exceptionally happy with the finished deck. They were thrilled with our work and dedication through the coldest and wettest part of the year to have this completed in time for summer in the Willamette Valley.

A Corvallis family approached us in April about remodeling their home and building a deck project. We worked up a quick bid on the projects for their 1952 ranch style home in west Corvallis. One of the projects is an expansive Asian style deck. They worked with local designer Bruce Osen to design a beautiful deck and outdoor space to enjoy with their children this summer. The design included an 20’x30′ deck and a 330 square foot gazebo connected to the deck. After pricing the entire design, we discussed material options and helped refine the design to match their budget. They ended up deciding to use Trex Transcends Tree House composite decking for it’s attractive color and low maintenance, but decided against building the gazebo.

Construction is now underway, we have framed the deck and set posts for the trellis. Today we poured the concrete step around the deck and tomorrow we will set the steps for the deck. The deck includes a 7’ tall lantern connected with a built-in bench to the large trellis. There will be provisions for growing grapes on the trellis, outdoor lighting and a future hot tub. Please give us a call at 541-754-6326 if you have an outdoor space you want to improve!

–          Carl

Wand wanted to change that with Sabi. The company has already released a set of Yves Behar-designed pill boxes and water bottles, as well as a line of very stylish canes. The company’s newest endeavor, Sabi Space, is a collection of 13 bathroom accessories that cater to the aging set, but will probably end up in the bathrooms of 25-year-olds, too. Just as Oxo did for kitchen accessories, Sabi is betting that great design for the elderly, if done right, will naturally become a must-have product for the young because its many functional benefits.

You can mix and match components or remove the pegs altogether.

To design the products in the Sabi Space line, the company tapped MAP Project, a creative studio founded by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. When Wand first approached MAP, he didn’t even know what kind of product he was looking to develop. So MAP looked at research, interviewed people in Sabi’s demographic and came to a surprising conclusion. “We thought it would be about reaching and mobility,” says Jon Marshall, a founding director of MAP. And so they designed a slew of items like hand-holds. But it turns out that the biggest issue is creating a bathroom you want, without having to undergo the enormous pains of installation. Sabi’s insight was to create a system that can expand over time, chock full of human-centered design touches.

Bathrooms come with all sorts of hurdles for the older population. Safety is clearly a concern, but less obvious is the fact that many people, old and young, have a hard time creating a customized bathroom on their own. Porcelain and ceramic are hard to work with, and often require professionals to install something as simple as a shelf. “I want a 65-year-old woman to be able to install this system in her bathroom,” says Wand.

Ingeniously, MAP came up with a system of products that centers around a single building block: the peg. The collection includes bathroom standards like towel racks, mirrors and toilet paper rings, but each of those components connects to the wall through little aluminum pegs that adhere to the wall, no screws necessary. This way you can mix and match components or remove the pegs altogether if you decide that’s not where you want to place your mirror. “This is something you can’t do with any products in the bathroom right now,” says Marshall. “You can’t change your mind.” You also can’t expand upon the pieces you’ve already bought, reconfiguring them to changing needs. This system allows that.

Each piece comes with an ingenious graphic: On the back of the package, there’s a true-to-size rendering of the product, along with installation instructions. That way, you can literally hold the package up to a wall, and see how to install your new shelf or rack. It’s a thoughtful design touch, and the line is full of them. For instance, a rubber-coated aluminum grab bar that goes near the shower, the place where the majority of accidents happen in the bathroom. MAP worked with engineers to create a circular form that varies in thickness. “Some people, when they have arthritis, their hands become quite curved and they find it difficult to grip onto a thin round rail,” says Marshall. “So this is a range of different grip positions.”

The nod to medical issues is subtle, which is exactly how Wand wants it. Yes, Sabi Space is meant to make life easier for the aging without being patronizing, but you could just as easily imagine any of these pieces in a busy college student’s apartment— the grab bar included. In fact, Wand says, “We even use one for my kids.”

In 2013, Alpha Phi’s leadership met with us to remodel the Sorority basement. Their goal was to convert multiple storage rooms and a dark and dingy meeting room into a space that the ladies would enjoy using. Their priorities were to find a General Contractor who could provide great communication, timeliness, help with design, material selection, scheduling, and value. We were able to bring in our resources to meet the challenge and remodel the basement during summer break.    

 In 2013, we started the remodeling project; our 3rd at the Alpha Phi Sorority. The basement project consisted of two major pieces. First, we needed to create a large, warm, functional, and welcoming space. We created multiple spaces within this one large room for the ladies to study, watch television, socialize, or wait for their laundry to finish. 


Meeting area before remodel…


Meeting area with built-in cabinetry.

We demolished walls between the old chapter meeting room, hallway, maintenance closet, and the trunk storage room. We discovered the posts supporting the house had dryrot and needed to be replaced. That inspired us to add a steel beam to open the floor plan by removing one of the bad posts. We leveled the floor with gypcrete, replaced leaky pipes, insulated, added lighting, replaced a rotten piece of wall, reinforced the flooring system and installed new wiring.

 Once the old walls were removed and the dryrot was taken care of, we created an open area where the ladies could study or hold sorority meetings. A large table with room for 6 to sit comfortably was placed under a contemporary, but bright pendant light which provides ample task lighting for the table. Recessed lighting was added to provide more lighting on the white board and bulletin board that are located on the walls beside the table. Additionally, in the east side of the basement is a functional laminate storage unit with drawers and cupboards for the girls to store supplies. It also provides a flat large surface separate from the table to spread out paperwork or other study materials. 

IMG_1702 Stitch

Media room before remodel.


Study area, media room, and reading nook.


Studying area.

On the west side of the basement, another table was placed that will seat 4. This table can be moved around the room as needed by the ladies. Ambient recessed lighting and task lighting was placed around the west part of the basement that provides warm, but strong enough light for studying. A small reading nook was created in the west part of the basement to give the ladies a comfortable spot to read and provide more seating. This area is also a part of the lounge area and can be used when the ladies have movie night. In addition to the reading nook, a large microfiber sofa provides more seating in the basement. 


Reading nook and extra seating for the media area.

Shaw “No Limits” carpet tiles were chosen for the entire basement. These carpet tiles can easily be individually replaced if needed. New Mannington vinyl was installed into the laundry and bathroom. New MDF baseboard and casings were added after the new carpet tiles were installed. 

Second, we needed to replace the very old gas boiler and water heaters. We installed a new Lennox HRV3-150 Heat Recovery Ventilator to bring fresh air into the basement. We also installed a Lochinvar 95% high efficiency boiler with direct ventilation to heat the sorority house. We additionally installed a Bradford White 98% ultra high efficiency water heater and storage tanks to provide ample heat for all of the showers.


Mechanical room before remodel….


Mechanical room with new HVAC systems.

Here are some simple things to consider when designing an accessible bathroom in your home or for someone else. G. Christianson Construction has a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist available to help you design your bathroom remodel.

Lighting at Vanity

1. Hand-held showerheads and shower benches. Inside the shower, hand-held showerheads mounted on a vertical bar allow users of different heights to select the perfect height for  them, or they can choose to use the fixture without the bar as a hand spray.

2. Hand holds. With the high incidence of bathroom falls, remodelers shouldn’t forget to add “hand holds” (aka “grab bar”). They can be built into items such as: a soap dish, towel bar, or a toilet paper holder.

3. Sinks that offer seated access. Pedestal sinks or wall-mounted sinks have space for people who might need to be seated; plus there’s more space for maneuvering in the room.

4. Multi-tasking toilets. There are new toilet/bidet combinations that wash the body and blow warm air for drying, features useful for anyone who might have difficulty managing personal hygiene. Comfort height toilets, typically two inches taller than conventional toilets, can be great for users with mobility issues who find the boost in height makes it much easier to rise from the toilet.

5. Wider doorways. Bathroom doorways in older homes are usually 24 inches, making it difficult for even an average size person to walk through comfortably. Pocket doors are an option, although they add time and cost to a remodel. Widening the door to 32 or 34 inches makes a big difference

.Accessible Bathroom Vanity

6. Better lighting. Use a mix of lighting, including task lighting. Place lights on either side of a mirror, or mirrored medicine cabinet, rather than above it. Designers are highly recommending some form of daylighting in the bathroom, which can be accomplished by adding a window, skylight, or solar tube. Also recommended are dimmer switches to control light levels, and rocker switches, which don’t require the fine motor skills needed to operate other types of switches.

7. No-slip flooring. Slippery floors are the culprit in many falls, so choose flooring carefully. Tiles with texture provide a better grip surface, and cut down on glare as well.

8. Lever handles instead of door knobs. These are easier to operate for those who have trouble grasping and twisting with their hands.

9. Hands-free faucets that work with sensors, or touch faucets that require only a tap to operate.

10. Walk-in showers. The walk-in shower has no step or edge to it, which removes a tripping hazard, and also opens the shower up to wheelchair users, who can roll in without help. Accessible Shower

During the last snowstorm the awning canopy at one of the Corvallis Sororities collapsed under the weight of the snow. Fortunately, it was late at night and no one was hurt. We arrived that evening after the Fire Department and stabilized the roof to prevent it from overturning and hurting someone, then we installed temporary tarps to keep water out of the Sorority walls. The next day we disassembled the roof and weatherproofed the house where the lagbolts had pulled out of the wall. We provided a fixed price bid for re-building the canopy and once it was approved we applied for permits. The City’s plan review department found a code provision that required a rebuilt canopy to need expensive fire sprinklers. We worked with the Sorority to find a less expensive alternative, rebuild the structure out of non-combustible material (steel).

We have installed new foundations and welded a new structure out of steel. By reusing the triangular pieces we were able to reduce costs, we have repaired the handrails and deck that were crushed during the collapse. The last steps are to install a new metal roof and gutters. G. Christianson Construction is able to help our clients by navigating Corvallis’ requirements and creating a lasting product they will be proud of. Please give us a call if you need help with your project 541-754-6326.

–          Carl

Karen and Mike approached us last fall about building a new three level deck to connect the main floor of their home to the outdoors. Their old deck had significant rot and was unsafe. After meeting them at their home, I took some quick measurements and sketched up some deck ideas in Google Sketchup. We refined the ideas and decided that an aluminum deck surface (NextDeck) with stainless steel cable handrails would look best. Construction begin in January, with a few breaks for inclement weather, we are well on the way to creating their dream deck.

This week we’ve finished the deck skirt (HardiPlank siding with Tamyln aluminum trim) and an under deck roof to protect the deck furniture during the wet season. Next week we will be installing the down-shining LED ribbon lighting underneath the handrails followed by the deck surface and finally the stainless steel handrail cable. We will post pictures once we complete the project.

Please give us a call if your deck needs improvements before summer begins 541-754-6326.

Bill and Tammy’s bonus room above their garage is in full swing. We have completed siding, drywall and bathroom tile. The next step is painting the interior trim with oil based paint for the highest quality finish and then installing the 8” hand scraped factory stained and finished hardwood floors. Since the floor planks are about three times as wide as a standard hardwood floor, we have to add special gluing and nails to attach the floor well. The dark, wide planks will give the space a rustic charm without looking too busy. Once the floors are in we can finish the trim work, install the countertops, doors and wrap the project up. Their addition is spectacular, you can see the progress we’ve made in the past two months.

Please give us a call to find out how we can meet your schedule with your next project. 541-754-6326.

We’ve posted final photos for Herb and Linda’s cabin in Kings Valley:

Herb and Linda’s Craftsman Cabin

We have finished at Herb and Linda’s new cabin in Kings Valley. This is a special project because Herb and Linda needed to build a house on their Benton County timber property in order to keep their rights to build a future large house. Linda worked extensively with Susan Harthun (a local retired designer) to create a small charming cabin that meets the County’s minimum 400 square foot size and habitability requirements, but is still very comfortable to live in.

The drawings were completed in late August, then we applied for permits and were able to start construction in mid-September. Our goal was to get as much of the construction done before the rains made the gravel access road impassable to large trucks. We poured the foundation on an expedited contract and agreed on the rest of the details in early October. The framing and roofing proceeded quickly followed by the windows, siding and decking. By pushing to get the cabin “dried-in” before the rains started, we were able to dry the lumber and proceed with the interior drywall and trim during the winter.

The cabin has some very lovely features including large timber framed entry porch and matching covered back deck, Nichiha Sierra stained fiber cement siding, fiber cement exterior trim, Milgard Essence wood windows and French doors, and Western Red Cedar decks.  Indoors the main room has a vaulted ceilings, reclaimed wood for beadboard and ceiling paneling, custom drywall texture by Linda, antique sinks and cabinetry, marmoleum flooring, extra insulation and a high efficiency ductless heat pump.

Please give us a call if you are interested in building your own custom cabin 541-754-6326.

Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity in Corvallis contacted us when they realized that their front entry facade was quickly becoming unsafe due to extensive dryrot. You could easily push a screwdriver through the wood mullions between the single pane windows. If you leaned on the wall, the entire window system would deflect about an inch.

We meet with the Alumni representative Gerry Reese who asked us if we could replace the window system during summer break. We proposed a window system supported by clear grade Douglas fir glue-lam beams with commercial glass and black powder coated aluminum capping system. The results are spectacular.

After a thorough design and engineering process, as well as permits from Corvallis, we began construction in July last year. We discovered the front entry canopy also had significant dryrot including its main support beam. So we replaced the canopy with a much more attractive version. The new canopy consists of a new glulam beam stained to match the window system. Knotty cedar tongue and groove soffits flank the canopy’s beam. We wrapped the canopy edges with black powder coated metal trim to match the window system.

The new front doors are Therma Tru Insulated Fiberglass Classic Craft 890 which we stained and lacquered to resemble Alder wood with an Early American stain. The door hardware included a Simplex 1000 manual push button lock (to allow easy access for the fraternity men) and Dorma closers.

The commercial glass is bronze tinted, tempered, with argon gas, low-e #2 coating for energy efficiency.

We finished the project on time for the 2013 school year.

Who We Are

We are premier builders for additions, remodeling and new construction for Corvallis and the Willamette Valley. We specialize in unique and challenging projects and apply sustainable building principles.

Contact Information

Please call us for a Free Estimate!




644 NW 4th St. Corvallis, OR

Greg Christianson

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