Using Salvaged Materials To Create A Unique Charm

Using Salvaged Materials To Create A Unique Charm

And, lessening the impact on the environment and your wallet!

Salvaged Materials Kitchen CabinetsSalvaged or reclaimed materials are building materials that have been recycled specifically for reuse. Some people conjure up images of dumpster diving – and while they could be from dumpsters (Doug has been known to pull materials out of dumpsters for reuse), most are building materials that were carefully deconstructed from or home or building and one way to greatly lighten your remodel’s carbon impact. Not only does the reuse of materials lessen the overall impact on the planet, it also can lessen the impact on your wallet while also adding unique character that is hard (and sometimes impossible) to replicate.

Mighty House Construction is a huge proponent of using salvaged materials and finishes. We encourage clients to check out the warehouses at Second Use and like businesses during the early planning stages of their projects.

Often you can find salvaged cabinets, lighting, windows, doors, and fixtures (to just name a few) for up to 50 percent less than buying new – like these cabinets in Doug and Laura’s own kitchen (pictured above). Sure sometimes there are additional costs to making the salvaged materials work in your home (like Doug had to build two upper cabinets to infill), but often there is still a cost savings plus now we get to tell a fun story about our kitchen. (Ask us later!)

The trick with utilizing salvaged materials is that you either let the materials dictate the design or find materials that will fit or can be modified to work with your design. Then you begin the hunt for what will work and start collecting your items. Similar to shopping for that perfect prom dress or tux from a used clothing store, committed hunting usually will lead to some great finds! Like this gem of a counter and backsplash (pictured below) one client found awhile ago planning ahead for the ADU she knew she wanted to build.

Reach out to us anytime if you have ideas of unique ways to used salvaged materials in your project or if you have some items you’d like to use just to update your existing space. No project is too big or too small.

Battling Those Lingering Fall Odors

Battling Those Lingering Fall Odors

Laundry Room - Growing In The Greenbelt RemodelWhether it is your stinky child or a wet dog, fall is the season of stink. As the weather turns colder and wetter we also have less opportunity to open our doors and windows or to air out stink before bringing it in. We recently learned about seemingly simple, healthy, and effective options for battling those lingering odors.

Ozone Laundry System. Ozone is often used in commercial laundry systems as a way to conserve energy and lower overall costs. by replacing hot water and reducing the need/desire to use chemicals. Ozone laundry systems create ozone by combining electricity and oxygen and then dissolves the ozone into the washing water. The oxidation process happens when the ozone water is mixed with organic or “dirty” materials in your laundry and works to kill bacteria, fungi and live viruses in your clothes. It appears that most ozone laundry systems may easily attach to existing washing machines.

Another chemical-free “ozone approach” to keeping your clothes and your home free from lingering odors are Closet Ionic Air Purifiers. They are small, hang in your closet, and use advanced plasma breeze technology to quietly remove odors with safe, natural ozone.

Both of these “smell removing” options are seem safe for you, safe for the environment, affordable, and easy to install.

Speaking of stink… Most people know by now that many laundry detergents don’t completely biodegrade and they contaminate rivers, oceans, and our water supplies, with toxic heavy metals – not to mention their heavy contribution to plastic pollution on a daily basis. Obviously people need to wash their clothes, so we have some simple ideas that can keep your clothes clean and lessen your carbon footprint.

Make the switch away from liquid detergent and pods. These products are usually at least 50% water (an expensive commodity to transport) and may contain toxic chemicals. Choosing powder detergents in cardboard containers (or in bulk in your reused container), is two steps up from the liquid because you tend to use less, save on the added water, and the cardboard packaging is easier to recycle. However, the packing is still very bulky and costly to transport. A third step forward would be to select one of the number of safe and healthy environmentally friendly detergents on the market today that feature zero (or little) plastic packaging with detergent sheets. Google “detergent sheets reviews” and you will find many happy customers.

Let’s not confuse detergent sheets with dryer sheets…just ditch the dryer sheets altogether or use dryer balls or reusable sheets if you must use something.

Let us know if you have other ways you try to keep your home sport stink free or if you try these solutions, we’d love to hear what you think.

Summer Smoke Season is Upon Us

Summer Smoke Season is Upon Us

Indoor Air Quality - Wild Fire SeasonThings you can do to reduce your family’s exposure to smoke.

Clean air in the home is crucial for the health and well-being of our families. To combat smoke particles finding their way in through tiny cracks and crevices in walls and windows, and to minimize your chances of breathing viral particles and standing smoke we have come up with a few suggested approaches:

  • Attaching furnace filters to box fans.
  • Window fans blowing outward to expel stale or polluted air.
  • Avoid unconditioned spaces.
  • Improve central air filtration.
  • Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air WITH the right filtration (that is a whole science on it’s own!)
  • Wear a mask, yes even in your home or vehicle.
  • Air purifiers work by creating finer and finer filters.
  • Whole house ventilation and air cleaning.
  • Avoid activities that create more fine particles indoors, like:
  1. Using gas, propane or wood-burning stoves and furnaces.
  2. Spraying aerosol products.
  3. Frying or broiling food.
  4. Burning candles or incense.
  5. Vacuuming, unless you use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

We are happy to consult with you on what installed or stand-alone solutions might be best for your home.

Getting Back to Normal

Getting Back to Normal

As we draw closer to summer and the Seattle weather reminds us all the reason that we all live here — the gorgeous and abundant natural environment and community. We are excited to see our community work so hard to get the region opened up again. And while we are jubilant about being able to hug and actually see the smiles of our friends and family again, the re-opening also is a little nerve-wrecking… Seeing the crowds collect at sporting events (especially indoors!) fills us with a sense of concern. Being in confined places unmasked has us uneasy. Time will help us all move forward – together.
We have also made some positive strides toward impacting our climate. So much more to discover about socializing in this new reality.
In a similar vein, we think it will be a bit before figuring out to best live, play, and grow (and maybe work or school!) in our homes is still shaking itself out. Sure there was an immediate need; though now people are getting to make decisions about which path forward is the right path for their family and how that is reflects in their housing needs. The knee-jerk reactions of spring 2020 are giving way to future-proof planning. Tough conversations for most of us with most everyone I know is having them (including Doug and myself!)
And while we can’t make the decisions for you, we are here to help to answer questions, consult with you, or give you referrals to partners to help you gather the information you need to move your housing thoughts forward.
Northwest Green Home Tour Friends, We’ve Been Thinking of You!

Northwest Green Home Tour Friends, We’ve Been Thinking of You!

With NWGHVT (“v” for Virtual) coming to you over three successive Saturdays in May 2021 on your Internet connected device. We hope that you will join us again at this event. We offer conversations on topics you are interested in, virtual tours and discussions of new Green Home construction trends, products and ideas. It is a highlight of our professional year and a chance to show off our work and talk about your projects. Check out the plans for this year at https://www.nwgreenhometour.org/ and we hope to see you again in May!

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Groundhog Sees Shadow

Groundhog Sees Shadow

As you have probably heard, Punxatawney Phil has seen his shadow and we have another month and a half of winter assigned to us. Great. It is actually quite a pleasure to be following innocent, non-news about a groundhog and not another emergency.
Laura and Doug in snow gear.


The sun setting later and later, is a reminder that the season is changing. The dogs appreciate the extra walking time and increased focus on getting outside. Of course, February is also good at reminding us it can still pack a wintery punch. No days off for remote workers or scholars this year, though the snow is still nice to transform the landscape for a few days.

We had the opportunity to get up to the mountains for some snowshoeing a couple weekends back. Getting a break from everyday rushing around, and being enveloped in a world covered in white was the balm our family’s collective souls needed to embrace another busy week, finishing up a 2nd-story addition, continuing work on a basement ADU while preparing to start another, all the while working away on a kitchen while talking about all the potential in store for our company in coming months. It’s a lot to juggle sometimes though we wouldn’t trade the work (nor the play) for the world.