Green Building 101

There are many ways you can incorporate green building practices into your next remodeling project. If you are interested in adding some eco-conscious touches, consider some of the new building materials that are now available.

In addition to materials choices, design can play a very big role in how green (or un-green) your project is.  By choosing designs that minimize waste, you can spare your local landfill the unused materials that might come from a less eco-friendly design.  For example, the most common size sheet of plywood measures 4′ x 8′.   By adjusting your design according to these dimensions, you can make a huge impact on the overall efficiency of your remodeling project.

King County has a terrific tool to help homeowners identify options for green home projects.  Check out the Eco-Cool Remodel Tool.

There is an overabundance of information about home improvement projects available to homeowners. This includes everything from simple DIY projects to houses that are magically transformed in one week. All too often we only see before and after pictures without getting the full story. A common pitfall many homeowners make is to oversimplify their remodeling projects.

There are numerous unknown conditions that may play a factor in the success of completing a project on time and on budget.  For example, it is impossible to know if rot or mold exists inside a wall until it is opened up, which can add considerable time, expense, not to mention headaches, to a project. Before any work begins, it is important to establish a good design and materials specifications.

Although many home improvement projects can be tackled by the average homeowner, there are building skills and knowledge that can only come from years of experience.  Certainly, an average homeowner can complete a project themselves and save themselves the expence of hiring a licensed contractor.  However, there are times when you will get the best results by hiring a professional who has already navigated the waters of building code, land use permits, the proper installation of materials, etc.  The most important tools on any job site are not the ones in the toolbox!