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Where We Live: Your Next Step in Home Improvement

Optimizing your home

So you’ve read and heard and pondered and finally decided it’s time to put up solar panels or rework the yard into a garden or any number of projects. Who ya gonna call? More specifically, what contractors in Shoreline or Lake Forest Park can do it and are any really Green? I’ve looked around and there are lots of contractor options in Seattle (of course) and some in our surrounding communities. Here in our corner there are fewer, but there are still good selections.

In general construction I’ve found good stuff about Irons Brothers Construction, 1510 NE 170th St Suite 2, Shoreline, WA, 98155.  They had a table at the , are listed by the National Association of Homebuilders as Certified Green Professionals, and are certified by the Shoreline Green Business Program. As they say on their website We are the first construction company in King County awarded an EnviroStars rating! In fact, we achieved 4 stars from the King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program. We also work within the guidelines of the Master Builder Association’s Built Green program which establishes consistent benchmarks for green building practices. Irons Brothers Construction is a member of the EcoBuilding Guild and recently our company’s project was featured on the cover of the Green Pages publication.”

Basic home systems need occasional attention, and many of us will have to repair a roof, furnace, water heater, or something else. North End Heating of Lake Forest Park is highly rated, and even though their website is rudimentary and they don’t mention anything overtly green the simple truth is no matter what system you have, optimizing it is inherently greener, cheaper, and more comfortable.

If you’re going for a solar system your options are broad and includes NW Wind and Solar They’re down in South Seattle, but their claims are very strong, and they’re building the Bullitt Center, greenest building in the world. There’s also Sunergy Systems, of Ballard, which certainly looks like it has the chops, including very strong BBB and Angie’s List ratings.

Another part of a home that is often ignored is the furniture, so reconditioning your existing furniture is a great way to save material, energy, time, and money, and you end up with your own favorite furniture, only better. Better yet, we have a truly local refinisher to patronize: His website states Christian only uses non-toxic finishes (important for clients with young children, or subject to allergies). He mixes different types of shellac (natural resin) to make a varnish specific to each piece.”

So now your house is as good as you can make it. You want to keep it that way? Green Cleaning Seattle has a pervasive emphasis on being deeply green. Their “Why GREEN Cleaning?” list lays it all out and goes straight to the health issues involved in all those thousands of chemicals- only 30 percent of which have even been tested for toxicity.

I haven’t gone into roofing, counter tops, flooring, and various other things, and I know for sure I’ve missed a lot of our home systems companies, and if you have a favorite I’ve unintentionally slighted feel free to tell us in the comments. Maybe we don’t have every service right here in Shoreline/LFP, but we do have them all within about twenty miles, and whatever you do to optimize your own place makes the rest better.

Wendy DiPeso September 16, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Hi Larry, Thanks for writing about this. I am also familiar with Irons Brothers Construction and they deserve high marks. One company that also deserves a look see is Northwest Mechanical. They take care of heating, plumbing and solar. This year they are the lead for putting on the Solar Tour for the Shoreline Lake Forest Park area October 6th. They also have solar thermal and solar PV installed on their building. I have known about Northwest Mechanical for years. Tina Young the general manager will be President of Shoreline Chamber next year. (Full disclosure: I was recently hired for a part time job with Northwest Mechanical and will be working full time for them starting in October) Please do a feature on 21 Acres sometime. They are doing some incredible things.

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