A company called Ten Fold Engineering is now offering pop-up structures that build themselves with the touch of a button! They can be folded back up and moved on a truck bed just as easily. Read more here.
Have you ever wanted to live with mobility, add an office space, or go off-grid? We are happy to help in thinking through the utility installation, foundation, and how one of these (or any other type of prefab unit!) might work on your site. Just let us know!
Mold and moisture mitigation is essential in the Pacific Northwest. The tips below can help you improve your indoor air quality (IAQ) and keep you and your family healthy! Mold needs moisture and warmth to grow. Here are some ways to mitigate its growth:
- Vacuum and clean regularly with a vinegar solution (more green cleaning tips here).
- Check plants, furnishings, or stored items for mold before bringing them into your home
- Properly ventilate kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas with exhaust fans or opening windows.
- Promptly clean up spills, condensation, wet surfaces or any other source of moisture.
- Make sure the walls and attic of your home are properly insulated.
- Regularly inspect your home for leaks, discoloration, or wet spots and repair them.
- Increase warm air flow by moving large objects a few inches away from the inside of exterior walls.
- If you do see mold growth, clean the area with detergent, mild bleach, or call a professional cleaning service.
Sometimes sustainability is about enhancing the longevity of what you already have. This couple wanted to stay in the home, garden, and neighborhood they love as they look forward to aging. With modest updates and practical design by Sheri Newbold of Live Work Play, we were able to create an accessible space that will enable these homeowners to continue to live in and enjoy their home for many years to come.
A widened window in the master bedroom creates a comfortable sitting area to enjoy their garden and bird watch.
In the bathroom, we added grab bars, a fold down seat for bathing, and created a zero threshold shower. All light fixtures are energy-saving LED with dimmer switches.
Most important was how to get from the garage to the main floor of their 1960s split level home. The existing stairway would not work with a chair lift, so they chose to add a Garaventa elevator to make accessing the second story easy. They also wanted to widen the hallway and increase the width of two doorways to 36″ to access the master suite.
Check out more photos in our Flikr gallery.
- Gutters – clean them and ensure downspouts are effectively moving water away from your house.
- Foundation – gaps in window caulking, cracks in masonry, or cracks around doors could signal the need for foundation repair.
- Crawl space – check the condition of your moisture barrier and close crawl-space vents.
- Hoses – detach outdoor hoses, drain the water, and move them inside before the first freeze.
- Roof – make sure no shingles are missing or loose, look for dips, and consider an inspection if your roof is over 20 years old.
- Don’t forget to check to see if your neighborhood storm drains are clear of debris.
We can all do our part to help prevent flooding in our neighborhood by making sure street drains are clear of leaves and other debris. Here are a few tips from the folks at Seattle Public Utilities:
- Avoid piling yard waste near the street where they can wash into drains. Put them directly into your yard waste bin instead!
- Use a rake to clear leaves from storm drains to keep them from getting clogged.
- Watch for traffic when clearing drains. Work from the curb, not the street and make sure children who want to help are supervised.
- Report clogged drains and flooding to SPU at 206-386-1800.
More information and resources here.
The Seattle Times recently published an article highlighting the ways that simpler, subtler backsplashes are becoming more and more popular. Here are some of their best tips, alongside a Mighty House spin.
From The Seattle Times:
- It’s worth hunting for high quality ceramic or porcelain.
- Choose a neutral color or coordinate it with your countertops – you won’t get tired of it and neither will buyers down the road.
- Get creative with shape or arrangement instead of color, like choosing hexagonal tiles or laying them vertically instead of horizontally.
- If you cook a lot, be sure to stay away from big grout lines and marble so you won’t have to waste time scrubbing them down.
- A backsplash is not always required in a kitchen – depending on how you cook and clean. It’s also a feature that’s easy to add on later!
- Glass tile is another great option and it’s even better if you can find it as recycled material or salvaged!
- Natural stone, such as marble, is a mined non-renewable resource, so we discourage using it whenever possible.
- Stainless steel behind the stove is easy to clean and has a simple, minimalist look.
As housing prices in the Puget Sound Region continue to climb, folks are coming up with innovative ways to put homeownership within reach. CoBuying involves unmarried couples, friends or family members buying a home together and sharing a mortgage payment. And it’s on the rise! There are even services like GoCoBuy.com that will help you through the process. More here.
Seattle will experience a 90% solar eclipse. Are you planning to view it? Be safe! Check out this guide from NASA on how to do so without damaging your eyes. And remember, that the eclipse is only safe to look at when the moon is totally blocking the sun or if you are wearing certified solar glasses. You can pick up a pair from your local library branch! More info here.
Is it Sunset for Solar Incentives?
The solar industry has relied heavily on government rebates and incentive programs to put the costs of purchasing and installing a system within reach for many homeowners. However, federal incentives are set to start declining in 2019. Initially Washington State programs were scheduled to follow suit in 2020, but now many solar companies are breathing a sigh of relief that the state legislature recently passed a bill extending those incentives through the year 2030. Hopefully, this extension will allow customers and businesses to “wean off” the incentives instead of having to jump off a cliff just three years from now! Read more from The Seattle Times.
Solar Roof Tiles now Available from Tesla
Tesla is no longer only in the business of electric cars. Their recently released solar roof tiles provide homeowners with the ability to create an all around carbon reduction in their home. While these solar tiles are expensive, the overall cost of a solar roof will likely be less because of the significant energy savings over the lifetime of your roof. Additionally, Tesla is offering a guarantee that they will replace /repair any tiles for lifetime of your home or infinity (whichever comes first). Taking these factors into account means that a solar roof can cost as little as $21 per square foot. Check out the Solar Calculator here.
Support Solar with your Checking Account
Did you know that you can promote solar energy in Washington with your debit card? Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union is now offering a Green Rewards Checking account, which is free to sign up for, earns cash rewards for you, and helps fund their socially responsible banking actions! This year, the credit union will be donating to Puget Sound Solar. More info here.