Sometimes sustainability is about enhancing the longevity of what you already have. Ralph and Jeanette 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 small, cantilevered addition for a sitting area along with a widened window in the master bedroom creates a comfortable sitting area to enjoy the garden and bird watch.
Most important was how to get from the garage to the main floor of the 1960s split level home. The existing stairway would not work with a chair lift, so we 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.
In the bathroom, we installed grab bars, a fold down seat in the shower for bathing, and created a zero threshold shower stall. A dressing table for resting while getting ready for the day was also added. All light fixtures are energy-saving LED with dimmer switches. The designer also collaborated closely with Ralph and Jeanette to create a custom tile layout using neutrals with blue accents for a handsome design that works in tandem with other fixtures.
Check out more photos in our Flikr gallery.
Before the weather gets too harsh, make sure you check the exterior of your home for any repair needs:
- 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.
Check out more backsplash inspiration on our Mighty House Flickr page and read the full Seattle Times article here.
Over the past month, extreme weather patterns and record breaking storms have devastated countless families, friends, and neighbors in our hemisphere. As the climate changes, we will see these impacts worsening and continuing to hit the most vulnerable communities the hardest. Linked below are organizations that work to reach and support the most vulnerable in these trying times:
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.