3 Eco-friendly Essentials to Include in Your Upcoming Remodel
Focusing on the quality and purity of the air in your home. This might not be top of mind for most homeowners, but any well-insulated building also needs excellent airflow. This ensures that moist, stale, and contaminated air moves out of the home and prevents the accumulation of mold and mildew. This is why a powerful air renewal system is highly desired in the sustainable design world. Many of our design partners consider air quality in their design work and have seen an uptick in demand lately – especially with the rise of summer wildfires over the past few years. Read more onbreathing clean air and what can you do to minimize your chances of breathing viral particles and standing smoke.
Thermal insulation is an eco-friendly home essential. Insulating your home will make your space more comfortable throughout the year as you will enjoy consistent indoor temperatures. In many cases. Intentional design that creates passive heating and cooling through the tactical placement of windows and shading is an environmentally conscious strategy for keeping temperatures comfortable. But it’s those intentional choices made during the construction process that helps turns the home into a self-contained, eco-friendly oasis.
Using salvaged materials. Salvaged or reclaimed materials are building materials that have been recycled specifically for reuse. Sometimes it is merely reusing the materials already available in your home, but most are building materials that were carefully deconstructed from other homes or buildings for reuse and can greatly lighten your remodel’s carbon impact. Not only does the reuse of materials lessen the overall impact on the planet, but it also can lessen the impact on your wallet while also adding a unique character that is hard (and sometimes impossible) to replicate. Learn more about the benefits of usingsalvaged materials.
And, lessening the impact on the environment and your wallet!
Salvaged 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.
Thinking about starting a kitchen remodel this year? Salvaged cabinets are one of the most popular ways to incorporate reclaimed materials into a remodel. Like most salvaged material, working with salvaged cabinets presents many rewards, as well as a few challenges.
Join Doug Elfline of Mighty House Construction to gain an understanding of how to shop for salvaged cabinets, prevent common installation mistakes, identify the different types and parts of cabinets, and determine what type of cabinets are the best fit for your project. This is a taped workshop that was presented live via Zoom on Saturday, February 27th, 2021. This workshop was presented by:
For information on how to shop reuse for your design – 0:30. 1:12:30 General design terms – 2:00 Kitchen remodels with salvaged cabinets examples – 4:30 Info on painting cabinets – 11:20 Staining – 29:20 Info on installing cabinets – 16:30, 36:20 Info on creating kitchen islands – 33:45 Info on unique countertop integration – 44:15, 52:55 Info on cabinet hardware: hinges & drawer glides – 47:45, 1:02:30 Tips on shopping for Cabinets at Second Use – 1:15:20
The 2020 Northwest Remodeling Expo brings together hundreds of local and regional home improvement companies for one weekend only. Bigger and better than ever– at Seattle’s comprehensive “one stop” home improvement marketplace, you’ll discover new resources and companies to help you update and maintain your home.
Co-Owner Laura Elfline will be teaming up with Roy Stark McGarrah at the Expoduring the seminar session Building a Carbon Neutral Backyard Cottageto talk abouthow Living Shelter Architects and Mighty House Construction designed and built a beautiful, industry and media acclaimed carbon neutral DADU (Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit) in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood at 11 AM on Saturday, January 25 at Center Stage. Click here to register for the seminar.
And Laura will be back at 4 pm on Saturday with Dirk Wassink of Second Use Building Materials to tell you about incorporating salvage into your remodeling project with their talk: Salvage Simplified. Click here to register for the seminar.
Our current building boom in Seattle means a lot of old homes are being torn down. And there are lots of useable materials from these old homes that don’t always get put to best use. In fact, construction waste accounts for one-third of Seattle’s landfill total. Our friends at Dedicated Deconstruction are hard at work trying to change that. They make sure quality lumber, flooring, tile, and fixtures don’t go to waste. Every year the crew diverts about 20,000 tons of material from landfills!
Noel Strout and his crew are brought in on construction jobs by contractors concerned with minimizing job site waste. They then asses the site and salvage everything that’s useable, including lumber, fixtures, appliances, tile, and bricks. These salvaged materials can then be used on the next project or donated to salvage resellers. This process is a fantastic way to minimize the impact our remodel jobs have on the planet.
“You’d be hard-pressed to see someone throw away a truckload of gas, but they’ll throw away a truckload of gas’s worth of material without thinking twice” – Noel Strout, Owner
At Mighty House, we are proud salvage and donate/reuse as much material as we can on each project. Dedicated Deconstruction has been a great partner on our past projects and we look forward to continued work with them and other environmentally minded crews!Read the full Seattle Magazine article here.
Our friends over at Second Use Building Materials are now accepting used latex paint for a small fee! After years of hunting, they have finally found a sustainable solution by partnering with Green Sheen‘s recycling efforts. Learn more about their new policy and how to recycle your paint here.