Green Home Remodel Guides

What is a green home remodel, and why consider one? It's an approach to home improvement that not only makes your home look better, but also work better--all while saving you money on utilities, adding value, and enhancing your health and the environment. Our Overview Guide explains how this works, describes what a green remodel can look like, and provides helpful project tips.

Bath & Laundry
Bathrooms today are both refuge and a place for utilitarian tasks, such as washing the family dog. They also use large amounts of water and energy (used to heat that water and warm, light, and ventilate the space).

The kitchen is the heart of the home. As a room subjected to daily heavy use, careful consideration during your remodeling project can ensure it's durable, efficient and safe as well as welcoming and comfortable. The Kitchen Guide examines everything from countertops to cabinetry, including the kitchen sink.

A new coat of paint can enliven tired walls and protect surfaces. But the wrong paint can compromise air quality indoors or cause smog outside, and paint projects can release health hazards, such as leaded paint dust. In our Painting Guide you'll learn to choose paints that accomplish these goals along with protecting air quality and reducing exposure to toxic hazards.

Lighting is a crucial component of a comfortable, safe, attractive and efficient home. Yet all too often, even in "green" homes, little consideration is given to lighting design. Misconceptions regarding the inferiority of efficient lighting are still common. In our Lighting Guide you'll learn efficient lighting comes in a diversity of styles and functionalities which helps to create flexibility for the discerning designer and homeowner.

Landscape Materials
Your landscape is an essential part of the way your home presents itself to the world. Selecting materials that are low-maintenance, nontoxic, and kind on people and the planet is one way to tell your neighborhood how you feel about it. The Landscape Materials Guide provides selection tips on landscape elements from pathways to pergolas.

Managing Rainwater
Stormwater runoff is the greatest threat to the health of Puget Sound. Homeowners can make a big difference by managing rainwater on their individual properties - a variety of techniques add beauty and interest to homes while reducing runoff. Trees, soil management, rain gardens, and green roofs are some of the practices addressed in the Managing Rainwater Guide.

A roof provides essential protection to the rest of your housing investment in this rainy Seattle environment. But beyond shielding your home from the elements, choices made when replacing your roof can help protect the environment and your pocketbook. Learn how in our Roofing Guide.

Hiring a Pro
This guide outlines tips on hiring and working with design professionals and contractors when working on green remodel projects. A green remodel requires a new approach to the design and construction process; the Hiring a Pro Guide will help you understand this approach.

Salvage & Reuse Guide
Seattle is a treasure trove of building materials. Remodeling projects often yield materials that can be valuable in the project or to someone else. Additionally, used building materials and architectural salvage from other projects can be readily incorporated into yours. Learn how in our Salvage & Reuse Guide.

Find out about more resources from Seattle Public Utilities and our partner organization, King County.

Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Guide
This guide provides a step-by-step instructions for identifying and improving your home's energy efficiency. A diligent tour of your home with this Do-It-Yourself Guide and its tear-out checklist to record your notes, will help you determine how well your home currently operates and what upgrades are needed to improve it's energy performance.

Green Home Buyer's Guide
Buying a home is a significant investment and a choice that will have an ongoing impact on your quality of life - including how you travel to and from work, your family's health, and your utility bills. The home you buy also has an impact on our environment - from the natural resources consumed in its construction to the greenhouse gasses generated to keep it warm. The Green Home Buyer's Guide will help you understand your options.