Creative Corner: Solutions for Older Homes

Creative Corner: Solutions for Older Homes

Sustainability is often about creativity and working with what you’ve got. This is especially the case when remodeling older homes, many of which were not built with modern kitchen design or location in mind.

At this home in Leschi, the existing kitchen windows were lower than standard counter height. Our solution was to create a window-well behind the sink. This allowed the windows to stay in place, while also reducing cost, minimizing landfill waste and preserving the home’s old world charm.

See more photos of our kitchen remodel projects here.

Save the Date for the NW Green Home Tour on April 29-30!

Save the Date for the NW Green Home Tour on April 29-30!

It’s still a ways off, but we’re already getting excited for this year’s NW Green Home Tour from the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild. The 2017 tour will be the seventh annual event that brings together thousands of visitors, helps educate the public on green building, and lets you get into homes and experience real-life sustainable solutions in person!

We will be co-hosting a site on the tour with LD Arch Design. The Westwood Addition project features DEEP GREEN solutions and infrared radiant ceiling panels. More information coming soon!

April 29 – 30, 2017 | 11 am – 5 pm

Join us! FREE Tickets Here

Solar Star – Green Building Material of the Month

Solar Star – Green Building Material of the Month

The Solar Star Attic Fan is a solar powered fan designed to suppress heat build up and battle moisture. This fan comes with a 5 year warranty, is whisper quiet, and leakproof. It is a great solution for Pacific Northwest homes that experience some high temps for a few weeks during the summer. Most homeowners report a 10 degree difference in their home. In addition it will help the utility costs incurred from increased temperatures and ease the workload of AC’s. Solar Star Attic Fan’s help during the winter too! The fan equalizes interior and exterior temperatures which helps to prevent damage to insulation and framing materials produced by moisture accumulation. Or, if you already have an attic vent, Solar Star makes a conversion kit so you can change it to a solar powered vent.

Tips for a “Cool” Summer Home

Tips for a “Cool” Summer Home

When heat waves hit the Pacific Northwest it can be tough to stay cool in homes designed for a temperate climate! Here are some tips to help release the heat!

1. Close Your Windows

This may seem counter-intuitive, but closing your windows will help keep cool air in and hot air out. You can open them back up at night when the temperatures drop but then close them in the morning before leaving the house.

BONUS: Get a window fan that blows hot air out in the early evening & brings cool air in over night.

2. Let Nature Be Your Air Conditioner

With the help of fans of course! Strategically place fans throughout your home and open windows and doors to create a cross breeze if the air outside is cooler than inside. They have window fans that will work in both directions so you can blow hot air out and cool air in.

BONUS: Put a shallow bucket of ice in front of the fan, take caution of the water created from the melted ice.

3. Eat Cool

Turning the stove or oven on will only increase the temperature in your home. Eating cold foods for dinner such and salad or gazpacho can help to keep your core temperature down as well as your home temperature. If you do want to eat hot food the grill is the best way to go so all the heat will stay outside.

4. Hang Out in all the “Cool Places”

If you’re lucky enough to have shaded areas in your home or yard, or super luck and have a below-ground basement, try to spend most of your time in these spaces. That might mean moving y our computer to the kitchen table for the day, folding laundry in the living room, or prepping your dinner on the patio.

BONUS: Open windows + doors across rooms from each other to create a cross breeze.

Cork: Green Building Material of the Month

Cork: Green Building Material of the Month

Cork, commonly known for its use as a wine bottle stopper, is also a fantastic green building material. Cork is made from the outer bark of the cork oak tree which can be found in the Mediterranean region. A typical tree produces several hundred kilograms of cork at each harvesting and will survive for many generations. Cork is harvested on a sustainable basis. Unlike other trees, stripping the cork bark from the tree does not harm the tree, in fact a cork oak tree can be safely harvested 20 times during its life cycle. This rapidly renewable resources makes cork an ideal sustainable building material.

This by-prouct of wine corks is a recycled material that can have many building applications. Cork is naturally fire retardant, impermeable, hypoallergenic and resistant to wear. The value of cork is further enhance by its low conductivity of heat, sound and vibration making great flooring applications for rooms with cold floors or reducing sound transfers on second story additions. In addition to cork flooring there is also cork roofing, exterior walls, interior walls, insulation and ceiling. One of our favorite cork material producers is ThermaCork. Visit their website for more information.
Homestead Community Land Trust

Homestead Community Land Trust

In celebration of each Mighty House anniversary we make a donation to an outstanding non-profit in the area. We like to give back to this community which has given so much to us.  There are so many organizations doing such great work it makes it very difficult to choose. In celebration of our 6th year in business we have chosen to donate to Homestead Community Land Trust.

Homestead’s mission is to empower individuals, stabilize families, and strengthen neighborhoods by creating and preserving affordable home ownership opportunities for low to modest-income homebuyers in the Seattle area. Through this program individuals and families are able to achieve homeownership and stay in their community – ever increasingly areas they may have otherwise been forced to leave due to rent increases. Homeownership helps to increase financial stability for these families because their resources are no longer tied up in commuting, paying high rent, or relocating frequently. And unlike the traditional housing market, homes purchased through Homestead remain affordable for every new buyer even when the previous owner decides to sell. Each dollar spent on a Homestead home is a lifetime investment towards sustainable homeownership and community stability. What is not to love about that! Learn more here.