Real good work.

Going Green
Join the green bandwagon! By remodeling your house, you are performing the greatest of green strategies. It's the ultimate in recycling!

A story on KUOW in February 2010 stated that green-built new houses in Seattle were selling for an average of $87,000 more than non-green houses, despite the former being of a smaller square footage.

So what is green? Two basic parameters guide the meaning:
1) The MATERIALS that go into a project are harvested, manufactured, distributed and sold in an ecologically-sound manner. For example, lumber is logged ecologically, then certified and graded by an independent organization like Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). In Seattle this graded lumber is sold at select lumberyards. But take note: every material going into a project can be graded ad nauseum to where one’s headache from fussing over how green to be far outweighs the ecological prudence gained. But generally speaking, green materials that cost 5-40% more pay back huge dividends in low maintenance and longer wear. For example, engineered green decking like Trex or Azek will outlast cedar decking twice as long and needs only to be washed, never re-painted, re-stained or water-proofed (in the Northwest, that is huge!). Common green materials include decking, siding, insulation, framing and trim lumber, and paint.
2) The DESIGN is energy-efficient, comfortable to occupants both physically and psychologically, and uses renewable resources. Simple strategies include south-facing windows for passive heat gain, over-insulating the building envelope for energy gain and cost decrease, materials that won't degrade in maritime weather, a gray-water system and drought tolerant landscaping. The design focuses on quality of the house systems more than quantity of square footage. (Parmesan Construction gives limited design input; we can recommend architects/designers who specialize in green design.)
Often in a green remodel, the existing foundation, siding and roof are kept while walls are rearranged, electrical and plumbing systems are upgraded, the kitchen and bath redone. In addition, many existing materials that are removed in the demo, such as sheetrock, asphalt shingles, wood, concrete and old appliances, can be recycled. To carry it further, Seattle has four large architectural salvage yards that sell used cabinets, lumber, windows, etc.

Go hog-wild and go green! (But before, not after, your design is completed.)
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