Watering Wisely, Even in the Rain

Did you know that across the country, about 9 BILLION gallons of water are used for watering gardens and lawns every day?! By using the same practices that save water in the summer, we can keep our waterways and salmon healthy in the winter and spring. At the Natural Yard Care Series, King County provided tips for keeping rain gardens, watering the right amounts at the right times, and the benefits of compost and mulch. Making small changes in the ways we care for our gardens can have a big impact on our neighborhood waterways.

water collecting on side of the road

Read more here.

New Book: Remodeling Advice from an Architect

Are you thinking about remodeling your home but feeling unsure of where to start? A new book by our friend + colleague Stephanie Wascha of Wascha Studios, summarizes what she’s learned from 18 years as an architect, on two key subjects. First is how to prepare for your project – information you’ll need to give your architect, how to establish your priorities and save money. Second, she outlines how to avoid major conflict when you and your partner have different ideas in mind.

More info here. Available from Wascha Studios as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the like.

New Year, New [Healthy] Kitchen

You wouldn’t know it just by looks, but this kitchen is about to receive a Mighty House treatment! Beyond better integration of the dining and pantry area… Beyond value-engineering that please the eye and the pocket book… we’ll be using several products that are manufactured healthfully with the intent to do less harm to environment and humans, for the products full life cycle.

One of those such products is a countertop made of compressed paper and resin. Luckily, the top three composite paper counters are locally manufactured with locally-sourced paper. Paper countertops like Trea are super dense and strong, making them as durable and luxurious as stone, but warmer and simpler to manufacture. They simply need wiping and oiling to be maintained and can be evenly sanded to look completely new. They are a beautiful capstone to any kitchen and a multitude of other solutions.

Call us to learn more or stop by one of our supplier partners, Greenhome Solutions, to take a look at all the solutions in one place! Plus, stay tuned for photos of the finished project!

Project Spotlight: Columbia City DADU

The homeowners live in a very small home and decided to convert their garage into a detached auxiliary dwelling unit (DADU) to be able to house guests, host parties, but also to simply GET. MORE. SPACE!

Mighty House Construction believes, it’s not always about making the most green choice, it’s about knowing all the options and finding the greenest solution that balances need, budget, and aesthetic. The design originated with Mark Johnson of Signal Architecture and was then collaborated on with Mighty House Construction and the homeowners resulting in unique detailing and creative solutions in every square foot of the space.

Longevity – Building for sustainability means considering current and future needs when designing a space. Right now the DADU needs a simple kitchenette, but the homeowners thought ahead to aging in place and designed the DADU as a multi-use space with a
kitchen that will be useable by a caregiver or other on-site family.

Budget Conscious Kitchen – Although the materials used for the kitchen aren’t high on the eco-conscious scale, they kept the project within its budget. Because of these cost-efficient choices, the homeowners were able to maximize their investment in the green-ness of the other features and more quickly invest in more solar.

“Wet Room” Bath – The bathroom is designed so that everything in it can get wet! This means that square footage is maximized within the bathroom and the rest of the DADU. The “skinny” sink and towel nook commanded a custom cabinet built by MHC staff on-site for a perfect fit.

Multi-Functional Space – A Murphy bed folds into the wall and can then function as a dining space. Features like this make this DADU functional for anything from an art studio or expandable party space, to guest quarters or a quiet place to escape for cat naps. Every design choice was made with an uber- flexible space in mind.

Salvaged Materials – The pendant lights were purchased from Second Use Building Materials, which means they were salvaged from another project. By renovating the garage, we also repurposed the space itself. Reusing and repurposing is a great way to minimize resource consumption and breathe new life into old materials.

Creative Daylighting – By including skylights, Solatubes, and a huge west-facing entry door, we were able to maximize the natural light entering an otherwise dimly lit room. Taking advantage of daylight also reduces the amount of mechanical illumination needed for this space. The homeowners took it one step further and used LED bulbs throughout.

What would you do with the extra space of a backyard DADU?

A Sustainable Home Makeover: Spanish Bungalow Style

At Mighty House Construction we believe that you don’t need need radical change to make a radical shift in how you live, play, and grow in your home. Sustainable makeovers are about small, sticky changes that you can sink your teeth into and make a big difference.

Watch as Mighty House’s Co-Founder, Laura Elfline, presents at the Green Building Slam on this Spanish Bungalow in Madrona. What started as a simple kitchen remodel became a project that would enable a family to increase the livability of their home, enhance their energy conservation efforts, and balance the circle of life. Then, check-out more pictures from the project in our gallery.

Choosing Safe Cleaning Products

You would hope that keeping our homes free of bacteria and dirt would be simple. But it turns out that there can be a surprising number of toxins in the products that we use to keep our homes clean!

The EPA has just made it easier than ever to choose products in the store that are free from harmful chemicals. This rating also takes into account a product’s impact on the environment in terms of packaging waste, water use, and more!

Check out more from Buzzfeed

Remodeled Homes Tour Oct 8-9!

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Join us! We will be showcasing our North Beach Artist Lofts on both Saturday and Sunday during the Master Builders Association’s 2016 Remodeled Homes Tour. These homeowners decided they needed an on-site studio after having their first child and wanted to find a sustainable solution that would have minimal impact on the property.

Check out this awesome 360 virtual tour of the space:


View Larger

A few of the most exciting features of this DADU (detached auxiliary dwelling unit):

  • The ability to keep it simple in the original smaller home and have a separate space for artistic pursuits
  • Two stories, meaning that the structure has a small footprint on the property (in terms of building codes) and the planet
  • Taking advantage of reused materials! A salvaged circular staircase, repurposed barn wood siding, and barn door with a custom sliding track
  • A slot in the second story floor gives them the ability to slide large paintings through to the first floor
  • A finished bathroom, without a kitchen, but a fully functional kitchenette would be an easy upgrade

We hope to see you there!

October 8-9, 2016

10 AM – 5 PM

8907 31st Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117

More Info I Get Free Tickets I Map to Other Sites

Save Water and See the Salmon!

When you work to conserve water at home, not only are you saving money on your bill, but you are also keeping water in our rivers for the salmon. This is especially important during the summer and fall, when our fish friends start their annual migration home. Want to bring your family to witness the salmon returning to spawn this fall? Visit the King County website to find out where!

Time to Replace Your Old Toilet?

toilet full of dollar billsDid you know that older, leaky toilets can use more than five gallons for each flush? That’s a real dent in your water and money-saving efforts! Newer, more efficient models use less than half that amount.

 

If you are a Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) customer, you are eligible for a $100 rebate toward the cost of a Premium toilet that uses 1.1 gallons per flush or less. See qualifying models and learn more here.

 

Clean Energy Initiative

This year we have the opportunity to pass an initiative that will fight climate change, promote clean energy, and lessen the tax burden on working families. Here’s what I-732 will do:

  • Charge polluters a tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels
  • Reduce the state sales tax by one percent
  • Provide tax rebates for low-income families
  • Eliminates B&O tax on manufacturing – keeping jobs in WA
You can find out more by visiting the campaign website and don’t forget to VOTE in the November election!