Q & A with Mark Hylland, Oregon Home Renovations

Mark Hylland
Oregon Home Renovations

What three remodels add the most value to a home?
It all really depends on what you’re starting with. We do a lot of inner east side older homes where there’s often no master suite. I think even beyond a kitchen, getting a dedicated master bath can make a big difference. Number two for me would be a nice basement. The return on investment is better, there’s often little structural work, and sometimes we’re talking about a thousands square feet, which could literally double the square footage of the house. And then, of course, there is the kitchen.

What’s the best way to improve the curb appeal of a home?
Aside from the quick cosmetic stuff like paint and siding, the big thing is purely a design question. I drive around Portland and see a lot of crummy exteriors, dormers that are too big or too small. A lot of times with remodeling, it’s more about the design than the execution.

What trends are you seeing?
The trend is don’t’ do anything and don’t spend any money. That, and we’re seeing a lot of people who are phasing work. People who have been sitting on their hands for two years, scared to do a whole lot, are at least now looking at projects to hit on their list. We’ve been spending a lot of hours to structure proposals in bite-sized chunks for people. It’s a lot more time and effort, but you have to do what works.

What have you done to diversify yourself?
Not only are we running as lean as possible, but we’re being as flexible with clients as we can be. Someone might say that they have a big project that they’re thinking about, but right now they just want their laundry room painted. We’ll paint the laundry room for them with the hope that they’ll remember us when that big project comes up. We are also now working in places we didn’t before, places like Gresham and Beaverton. We used to do high-end, good dollar value projects only, but that was such a little demographic to try and hit, so we’ve branched out. We’ve also ventured into selling cabinets through our Portland Cabinet Company, which has given us some diversity.


One response to “Q & A with Mark Hylland, Oregon Home Renovations

  1. Great tips. Everybody has to adjust to the slower economy. I believe things will pick up soon though. fingers crossed

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