Get Your Drains Ready for Rain

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.

Workshop: Power Tools 101

Doug with power tool
Saturday July 9, 2016
11-12:30 PM
Second Use Building Materials
3223 6th Ave S Seattle, WA 98134


There is nothing better than having the right tool for the right job! Join our very own Doug for a presentation on the four w’s (who, what, where and why) of power tools. Learn how to assess which tool is the right tool, how to plan your tool use, safety considerations, and troubleshooting potential problems. There will be a demonstration of some of the more popular power tools and a conversation on where to find them. See you there!

More info here.


Create an Emergency Food Kit

Emergency_PreparednessPreparing your family for an emergency is a vital part of living in a happy and worry-free home. Many of us know that keeping clean water and food on hand is important, but what kind of food and for how many days? PCC’s April edition of Sound Consumer recommended storing enough food to last your family three days in case of emergency. PCC suggested:
  • Look for protein-rich foods that have a long shelf life like tuna, peanut butter, or protein bars
  • Canned beans and soup can be eaten without heating
  • Avoid salty food that will make you thirsty
  • Canned fruits provide calories and hydration
  • A propane camping stove will give you the option of boiling water and heating food
  • Store food in a cool, dark place and asses your kit for expiration every six months
Learn more and see a sample food kit by reading the full article.

Safely Disposing of Medicine

Did you know that medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning? When thrown in the trash or flushed down the drain, they pollute city water. You can protect your kids, families, community and environment by safely disposing of expired and unwanted medicines for free at a medicine drop-off location shown here.

A Little Prep Goes a Long Way!

There have been a number recent natural disasters that have had the potential to make an impact on the safety of the Washington State coastlines and cities. Thankfully, they didn’t, but they got us thinking about our role as a contractor for our community. Planning ahead for potential disasters is always a good idea. While few of our homes are at risk of tsunami damage, as featured in our article, “Danger Inspires Beauty,” natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes have the potential to cause significant damage to our homes locally.

From securing bookshelves to the wall to replacing pressboard trim, and installing earthquake strapping (securing a home to its foundation) to installing perimeter french drains or sump pumps, there are many ways to mitigate and minimize potential problems.

We are happy to chat about ways you can make your home resilient (and beautiful)!


Danger Inspires Beauty

“Tsunami House,” a newly-remodeled family dwelling on Camano Island, is getting a lot of attention lately, and it is easy to see why.  A Daily Journal of Commerce article tells the story of the modern and functional abode with special features required by mother nature (and local land code).
When the homeowners went to do a remodel in 2006, they found that the floodplain maps for the area had been redrawn and the home was in a “V-Zone” meaning that it had to be designed to withstand big waves. This didn’t stop the architects or homeowners from moving forward on creating a warm and contemporary plan – it just added a few extra “requirements” – including living space that begins 9 feet above ground, “break-away” walls, and electrical outlets placed high on the walls.
We are also pretty sure that part of the reason for the attention is the tongue-in-cheek attitude of the homeowners – from the provocative name for the property to the sculptured “wave” panel around the fireplace – they have embraced the potential danger of the home’s location and let it inspire the home’s aesthetic.

Solutions For Green Cleaning!

Spring cleaning time is almost here! Following are some of our favorite easy-to-make recipes for earth friendly cleaning.

  • All-purpose Cleaner – 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar, 4 drops of essential oil (optional), a drop of dish soap. It’s a great window cleaner! (You will need to use it 2-3 times before it will cut through the wax build-up from commercial products, after which you can stop using the dish soap). (The vinegar smell goes away when it is dry.)
  • Soft-Scrub – 1 c. baking soda, 1/4 c. liquid castile soap, 2 tsp. vegetable glycerin (as a preservative), 2-4 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, or rosemary (optional). mix and store in a sealed glass jar.
  • Natural Disinfectant Spray – 1 c. distilled water, 1/2 c. vinegar, 2-4 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, or rosemary.

Happy Cleaning!

Ask an Expert: New and Improved!

Ask an Expert, a regular event we facilitate at the West Seattle Tool Library, will be moving to 3rd Thursdays, beginning January, 2013.

New in 2013: Each month we will have a dedicated featured discussion focused discussions on hot topics for the season, including insulation, edible gardening and rainwater. Join us this month for a conversation on day-lighting your home and how to beat those winter blues.

These events provide an opportunity for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts to get together and share their stories of challenge and success, while drawing on the expertise of local coaches in fields such as solar power, green building and design, sustainable living, and urban gardening. These experts are willing to answer any question you may have on your current projects, future plans or anything else you’d like to discuss.

Ask An Expert

Every second Thursday Doug and Laura organize an Ask an Expert for the DIYer event at the West Seattle Tool Library. The venue provides the perfect opportunity for our community of DIYers to get together and share their stories of challenge and success, while drawing on local coaches in fields such as solar power, green building and design, sustainable living, and urban gardening. These DIY coaches are willing to answer any question you may have on your current projects, future plans, or anything else you’d like to discuss. Ask an Expert goes from 6-8pm so come join us on the upcoming dates: April 12th and May 10th at the West Seattle Tool Library located at 4408 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98106. Everyone is welcome to attend, and it’s totally FREE!

The West Seattle Tool Library hosts an extensive library of tools and a workshop accessible to all. They empower people to take change into their own hands through extensive scholarship possibilities and access to volunteer-organized forums for professionals and amateur builders alike (like the Ask an Expert event) to come together and share ideas and projects. The West Seattle Tool Library and all its activities are open to individuals in and outside the West Seattle neighborhood.

If you have a project that you’d like to tackle and want more intensive or private consultations, Mighty House is set to help you make your vision a reality. We can help you save time and money and a lot of headache by consulting with you through the process of your DIY home improvement project.