Shou Sugi Ban solution detail on the front entry.
The clouds parted and we collectively opened our doors and cautiously stepped outside. As excitement continues to brew for the amazing PNW seasons ahead, we’ve started spending more time on the outside of our homes and scrutinizing a number of things about our homes and gardens — which might include our siding. Some of you may find as you look a little closer that your siding could use a little love. Maybe sections show wear and tear (or worse)… but how to proceed – repair, cover, or replace?
1. Repair: Is it a small amount of damage? Then repair is likely doable, depending on if you need new material and if it is available anywhere. You will want to take note if the existing material has asbestos in it. While the amount of potential asbestos dust is minimal in many repairs. Rules for contractors working with asbestos materials are much more strict than you as a homeowner.
A mix of corten steel and
repurposed barn wood.
2. Cover: it was super popular mid- and later last century to cover wood siding with aluminum or vinyl siding. Sometimes the wood was damaged, sometimes the homeowner was wooed by the lack of maintenance. Depending on a whole slew of things, sometimes the “cover-up” trapped moisture and made matters much worse. It’s one of the reasons we are not fans of just covering problems. If you’re going to replace siding, we recommend demo’ing the existing and taking the opportunity to improve your insulation, shear walls, and weather-resistant barriers.
3. Replace: Replacement can be a full overhaul or partial. Think about what angles you and others see two sides of your home together – it may be possible to lessen the cost impact and just repair one or two sides. Sometimes the effort for repair isn’t worth the difference in cost between that and replace, given a variety of circumstances. Plus, there are some pretty cool, eco-friendly options out there that can also give your house a simple face-lift.
All in all, there are some pretty incredible sustainable, functional, and aesthetic solutions that can stand-alone or be combined with other new and old solutions. From cement board and trim made with concrete waste (called fly ash) to recycled compressed paper, thermally-treated hardwoods that don’t need any maintenance, and even siding made from rice husks (a by-product of the rice industry)! They all come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to meet a plethora of aesthetic needs. To view more projects, visit our Project page .
Visit our Site on the Northwest Green Home Tour!
FREE Sat, April 29, 2023 from 11:00am-5:00pm
Westside Kitchen, Bath, and Basement Remodel
4931 SW Forney St, Seattle, WA 98116
This family of five had outgrown the functionality of their 1955 main floor kitchen & bathroom as well as the funky and lackluster basement and decided it was well past time to optimize those spaces. Designed by Lucy Johnson & remodeled by Mighty House, they found the sweet spot of beauty, function, and healthy solutions. Deciding the boundaries of your remodel is as important to what you want to use in your remodel. Come see the choices this family made to mitigate scope creep.
The Northwest Green Home Tour is a FREE educational community event. You’ll see and learn first-hand how your neighbors are generating their own electricity with solar panels, lowering their energy bills with insulation, and creating healthier home environments for their families with better building materials and systems. Get your FREE tickets here.
As if you don’t already have enough on your plate preparing for the holidays, adding plans for a remodel may not feel like the top of your priority list. Yet, this is the perfect time to tune in and take note of all the small details you’d like to change about your home as we move into the new year.
This time of year is when we find ourselves in the kitchen more – maybe wishing we had more counter space and more room to move. We host family and friends and dream of an open-flowing kitchen and living space so everyone can be together. Or imagining how nice it would be to have that extra bathroom downstairs. It’s the time of year that we find ourselves identifying changes we’d love to see and saying, “We will do that for next year.”
The reality is that a simple kitchen remodel, from initial idea to end-of-build can easily take 6 months to a year – more complicated projects can take much longer. As such, now is the perfect time to make a running list of your troubling and dream features.
Meanwhile, contact us to schedule an initial phone/zoom call with us in January to get the ball rolling and endeavor to be ready for next year’s holiday cheer.
Backyard Cottage and DADUs
Maximize the assets you already own, like your home and your property.
The holidays are a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate the functionality and usefulness of your home. Entertaining friends, family, and pets for one-day celebrations as well as hosting guests for extended stays, really highlight what works, what doesn’t, and what the dream may be. Maybe it is a remodel to open up the kitchen to the living space – perfect or entertaining – or the need for extra space to accommodate extended family for longer periods of time – whichever, both are good to start discussing immediately if you are considering having it done in time for the 2023 holiday season!
ADUs grow out of a variety of design opportunities. When the additional living space is contained within (think basement, attic) or physically attached (like a converted attached garage or an addition) they are called ADU – or attached accessory dwelling unit. An ADU has the design advantage of feeling like just another part of your home if you want it to and has less of a cost impact due to the easy access to systems/utilities and building no or less exterior walls.
Sometimes, however, it makes sense to have the additional space detached – which is often referred to as a backyard cottage or detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU). More costly than an ADU, but with other advantages (like sound, and privacy for just two) that have additional opportunities for increased value as well.
In today’s crazy world, maximizing your existing assets — like your home and property – is not only smart but sometimes the “easiest” solution for maximum return.
If you find lack of space is your biggest obstacle, many people consider finishing out a basement or adding square footage to the existing home. Neither are an inexpensive endeavor when done right, so we often encourage families to consider diving deeper and maximizing the effort by expanding scope into an Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU). Yes, it costs more and there is often equal to not more value added to your home immediately – not many investments can boast that kind of return!
A few reasons why ADUs pencil out:
Perfect Guest Space
While most of us love having friends and family at our house, things can get a little uncomfortable, especially if you don’t have extra space to begin with. A backyard cottage makes for the perfect guest house friends and family will love!
Ideal for Family Members
These structures make for the perfect in-law suite or multi-generational housing options. Whether you have an aging-in-place family member or your young adult just graduated from college, an ADU allows independence while saving money and being close by to provide support.
Income Generating Rental Opportunities
Have you ever considered investing in rental properties? If so, an ADU is a smart choice! You can rent it out for short periods or fill it with a full-time tenant. Because these units have their own entrance, bedroom, and bathroom, they make for the perfect vacation destination or long-term rental.
Increase Your Property Value
Another benefit of building an ADU is that it will increase your property value. With rental housing costs and the lack of available units, ADUs are becoming more and more popular and are in high demand. Having one on your property will give your home a competitive edge when it comes time to sell.
Sustainable Housing Solutions
The new generation of homeowners and renters are much more concerned with their ecological footprint than ever before. Accessory dwelling units are low-impact housing solutions that tend to use far fewer harmful resources compared to building traditional homes. Because they are small in size, they also require less energy to light, heat, and cool. And utilizing space on an existing housing property rather than breaking new ground is always the more environmentally-friendly approach!
This holiday season, consider giving yourself the gift of more or more flexible space, and consider the real estate investment opportunity “right in your own backyard.” Reach out to us today to help you get started on that path!
Check out our photo gallery page to view a few of our recent backyard cottage, DADU, and ADU projects.
Finish work is often about the smallest of details, and it takes the right carpenter with an extensive line of experience to execute it precisely. No matter how beautifully designed, this high level of detail work is the first thing that will catch any visitor’s eye when they walk into a room. Whether it is intricate tile work, crown molding, built-in custom cabinets, or live edge shelving, you will not regret taking the extra step to integrate this level of work into your new construction or remodel.
Most seasoned finish carpenters know the tricks of the trade about getting it right. This requires them to think quickly and adapt to any given situation. A successful finish carpenter also needs to have an eye for the work and dedication to making every single detail work. We pride ourselves on our fine craftsmanship, and we are committed to every project from start to finish – down to the very smallest detail.
Check out our Details photo gallery from projects throughout the years. Contact us to let us know which are your favorites and how we can help integrate extra fine details into your upcoming or existing projects. We look forward to hearing from you.
Integrating a safe and eco-friendly fireplace into your design.
If you watch HGTV regularly or constantly browsing Pintrest, you will undoubtedly see the trend of adding fireplaces (sometimes in the most unique places) into the design of new builds and remodels. Who doesn’t love the idea of a cozy warm fireplace in their home? Although we recognize that most of the appeal is in the ambience itself, to keep our commitment to provide sustainable innovative solutions, we usually try to steer our clients away from installing wood-burning units.
In general there are no true eco-friendly fireplaces that burn wood or gas. Even though some companies manufacture high-efficiency, wood-burning fireplaces (those that feature a firebox separated from the interior of the home by a sheet of ceramic, heat resistant glass), if they are not maintained regularly and specifically, they lose their efficiency and their particulate rates begin to climb.
If the ultimate goal is to create a cozy fireplace ambiance, we recommend an electric or white (light) gas option. Along with the help of Entero Design
, we installed this beautiful white gas fireplace into the design of a recent remodel in Bellevue (see photo above). This particular fireplace is from ecosmartfire.com, that offers a premium range of ethanol fireplaces and electric fires that comes in many colors, styles and finishes to perfectly accompany the look and feel of your home.
to see more living spaces we have completed over the years and let us know
if we can help you integrate a safe and eco-friendly fireplace into your upcoming design.
If you already have an existing fireplace in your home that you use regularly, especially for heat, here a few tips on eco-friendly ways to use your wood burning fireplace:
- Always burn seasoned firewood. Using dry firewood greatly reduces the particulate matter that is released into the indoor and outdoor environment.
- Burn hardwood trees. Hardwoods burn hotter, longer, and cleaner than softwoods.
- Avoid a smoldering fire. A smoldering fire yields a lot of smoke and releases hazardous particulate matter into the indoor and outdoor air.
- Keep your chimney clean and in good working condition.