Much Ado About ADUs – MBA Spring 2019

Much Ado About ADUs – MBA Spring 2019

Consider the humble backyard cottage. Its name conjures up images of a cute grandmotherly abode nestled in  deep green foliage. Indeed, this generally small and unassuming dwelling might seem more like a quaint guesthouse than a permanent place someone would choose to live. But people have been happily living in them for years and soon a lot more people-including people you know ­will be living in them, as well.

Read the full article here: Much Ado About ADUS by Laura Elfline

Newsletter July 2020 : Home Offices

Newsletter July 2020 : Home Offices

I miss going into the office. Trapped at home, with my standing desk squeezed up against our dining table – there’s a lot I get to keep track of – between the dogs and the teens – and then again, there is A LOT to keep track of as well as hollering to keep it down for business calls/zoom meetings and just to think long enough to put two sentences together. Truthfully, it is often much better than that and yet when it’s not…. I really miss going into the office.

Home offices – wherever and however that is defined in your home — have been getting a workout these days. Some folks need the hustle and bustle to stay motivated, some need an ordered desk, a quieter space, a space to rock out in – the list is kinda endless. What is your ideal working space? Is there a shed you are dying to sequester to? A corner of the basement you want set for virtual schooling? Let’s talk about how we can make to make your spaces a better fit for all the extra time you and your family spends there. Give us a call to explore the options and check out some of the offices that we have worked on in this Instagram gallery.

 

Mighty House has barely missed a beat. We have been hard at work. Granted, not everything is moving forward at our usual pace, and yet this gives us a chance to share some of our experience getting things done under evolving COVID-19 conditions. All aspects of our work has been affected – both administratively and on-site. Rather than be dismayed and shut down by it, we innovate and find new ways to successfully do what we do. To start, we can fit less workers in a space (6 feet apart, people!). We are also seeing shipping slowdowns and warehouse shutdowns from COVID flareups around the country and less sales staff in warehouses, manufacturing, and showrooms often means slowed-down order processing. Never mind the increased precautions; hand washing stations, extra masks and PPE, distancing, and cleaning. One of our tricks is front load supplies for projects so that we don’t hit delays or product scarcity – it is cause for less space at Laura and Doug’s home, yet it keeps projects moving forward which means happy homeowners and staff.

Laura often talks about how flexibility and grace are key components of a successful remodel project… perhaps now more than ever.

Speaking of flexibility, you may have noticed that the NW Green Home Tour is going to be virtual  this year. At Mighty House, we are embracing new technologies to bring out visitors a fantastic online tour that will display our work and the Green technologies that go into our projects. We are excited to present you an engaging and educational tour that will inspire your projects.

Something new and cool as well as important to know about is the City of Seattle’s new “Shaping Seattle” website. It is a map-based system that allows you to view permits, inspections, project status, and yes, even complaints for Seattle buildings projects. It is a great way to see if a permit has been granted or to check out the plans for the new DADU replacing the garage next door. And while much of this has been public information and accessible for a while, the new map-based system feels more accessible. And as such, even if your small project is a candidate for a permit and you’re thinking it’s barely worth bothering about, you might reconsider and prepare for the worst.

Shaping Seattle 

This new, mobile-first map allows users to find active construction, land use, and Design Review permits in their neighborhood. The new map will make it easier for you to research active permits, find related documents and permit records, and comment on land use permits under review.

4-Star Built Green DADU With A View

4-Star Built Green DADU With A View

This family had two tweens that needed their own bedrooms, and a home-based furniture business involving a lot of bulky inventory. They desperately needed more space! An innovative, 2+ story DADU (Detached Auxiliary Dwelling Unit) significantly expanded available living space, without tackling the structural challenges of increasing the existing home. Living Shelter Design Architects and Mighty House Construction collaborated on this project to include super energy-efficient building solutions; emphasizing healthy finishes for superb indoor air quality. Plus, it’s Built Green 4-Star Certified!

With total living space under 800 square feet, the expense of installing ductwork or a heat pump system just didn’t make sense. Instead, we chose cozy and efficient infrared radiant ceiling panels. Heated by an electric infrared coil, these units radiate energy down — heating the people and objects in the room directly. Spaces warm up faster & stay warm longer with very little electricity and zero maintenance, and no dust or allergens being blown around. Provided by Mighty Energy Solutions.

The DADU’s walls are filled with Havelock Wool insulation, and air sealed with “vapor smart” membranes. These membranes create an air barrier, but also allow trapped moisture to escape from the wall system. Sealing leaks in the building envelope is one of the best ways to improve energy efficiency and get the best performance out of your insulation. Havelock Wool insulation is as eco-friendly as it gets – it grows on sheep! Provided by 475 Building Supply.

Flexible, multi-use spaces help maximize square footage with a below-grade first level. The sunken patio and french doors, bring generous amounts of natural light to the DADU’s interior, and provide use of outdoor living spaces.

Recycled glass tile is produced on the West Coast by Oceanside Tile and Fireclay Tile. In 2103, Fireclay was the first company to recycle panel glass from CRT (the first 1/2” section of optical glass used in older computer monitors and TV sets) and incorporated it into an innovative line of lead-free glazed, glass tile. Oceanside provides 30% pre-consumer recycled glass content in their products.

The light shelf provides roof deck access and additional light in the stairwell and kitchen. Access to this top floor was custom designed by Living Shelter Design. This simple and innovative ladder uses a weighted pulley system to easily fold against the wall when not in use. When open, it is safe to climb and just as sturdy as a set of stairs.

Cork flooring is a rapidly renewable resource, as well as a sound and thermal insulator. This material is also anti- static, hypo-allergic, and completely impermeable. Other flooring in the DADU is FSC Certified Maple, which is plantation grown. It contains zero added urea-formaldehyde and zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds) adding to an even healthier indoor environment for occupants. Provided by Greenhome Solutions.

view from deck

Plus, a pretty breathtaking view of Mt. Rainier!

See more photos in our Flickr Gallery.

Self Deploying Pop-Up Homes

Self Deploying Pop-Up Homes


A company called Ten Fold Engineering is now offering pop-up structures that build themselves with the touch of a button! They can be folded back up and moved on a truck bed just as easily. Read more here.

Have you ever wanted to live with mobility, add an office space, or go off-grid? We are happy to help in thinking through the utility installation, foundation, and how one of these (or any other type of prefab unit!) might work on your site. Just let us know!

Aging in Place in a Split Level

Aging in Place in a Split Level

Sometimes sustainability is about enhancing the longevity of what you already have. Ralph and Jeanette wanted to stay in the home, garden, and neighborhood they love as they look forward to aging. With modest updates and practical design by Sheri Newbold of Live Work Play, we were able to create an accessible space that will enable these homeowners to continue to live in and enjoy their home for many years to come.

A small, cantilevered addition for a sitting area along with a widened window in the master bedroom creates a comfortable sitting area to enjoy the garden and bird watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most important was how to get from the garage to the main floor of the 1960s split level home. The existing stairway would not work with a chair lift, so we chose to add a Garaventa elevator to make accessing the second story easy. They also wanted to widen the hallway and increase the width of two doorways to 36″ to access the master suite.

Tiled shower with grab bars and fold down seat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the bathroom, we installed grab bars, a fold down seat in the shower for bathing, and created a zero threshold shower stall. A dressing table for resting while getting ready for the day was also added. All light fixtures are energy-saving LED with dimmer switches. The designer also collaborated closely with Ralph and Jeanette to create a custom tile layout using neutrals with blue accents for a handsome design that works in tandem with other fixtures.

Check out more photos in our Flikr gallery.

Tips for a Beautiful Backsplash

Tips for a Beautiful Backsplash

The Seattle Times recently published an article highlighting the ways that simpler, subtler backsplashes are becoming more and more popular. Here are some of their best tips, alongside a Mighty House spin.

From The Seattle Times:

  • It’s worth hunting for high quality ceramic or porcelain.
  • Choose a neutral color or coordinate it with your countertops – you won’t get tired of it and neither will buyers down the road.
  • Get creative with shape or arrangement instead of color, like choosing hexagonal tiles or laying them vertically instead of horizontally.
  • If you cook a lot, be sure to stay away from big grout lines and marble so you won’t have to waste time scrubbing them down.

Additional thoughts:

  • A backsplash is not always required in a kitchen – depending on how you cook and clean. It’s also a feature that’s easy to add on later!
  • Glass tile is another great option and it’s even better if you can find it as recycled material or salvaged!
  • Natural stone, such as marble, is a mined non-renewable resource, so we discourage using it whenever possible.
  • Stainless steel behind the stove is easy to clean and has a simple, minimalist look.

Check out more backsplash inspiration on our Mighty House Flickr page and read the full Seattle Times article here.