Archive for the ‘Green Remodeling’ Category

Hudson Remodeling News

How to improve a home’s natural light

Posted 2 January 2020 by Team Hudson

There’s nothing like natural light. It’s environmentally friendly, kind to electrical bills, pleasant in character and — even during the darkest days of Pacific Northwest winters  — in abundant supply (at least for part of the day).

Whatcom County homeowners looking for a boost to the character and feel of their homes have plenty of options for increasing the amount of warm, natural light they can enjoy indoors.

Windows: Windows should always be a homeowner’s first choice for introducing natural light. Not only do they brighten up a room, but they also visually open up the space and extend the home into the outdoors. Plus, they’re fairly easy to install. Hudson Remodeling’s Bellingham construction crews recently installed a full two-story wall of windows in one Bellingham home, opening up grand vistas of the Puget Sound and flooding the home with gorgeous light, dawn to dusk.

Solar tubes: Solar tubes are incredible. They look and feel like recessed lighting, and they can be so bright they’ll leave you fumbling for the switch as you leave the room. Solar tubes work by taking the sunlight from outside and channeling in through a reflective tube and then diffusing that light throughout the room. Solar tubes are brilliant and cost-effective ways to introduce additional light into a space, often costing as little as one-half or even one-fourth as much as skylights. Consider them for windowless bathrooms, that dark corner of the kitchen or in other spaces without adequate window lighting. Solar tubes produce the equivalent of three to ten (or more) 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, depending on size — all without requiring any electricity whatsoever.

Skylights: In essence, skylights are windows placed into the roof. They are especially nice when there’s not a lot of attic space to contend with during insulation, but they can be installed through any height of attic. However, they’ll lose some light to absorption within the skylight well, and they don’t take advantage of diffusion systems (like solar tubes do) to spread the light around the room. Skylights can serve to raise room temperature, so you might consider whether that would be welcomed (or appreciated!).

Window wells: In basement living spaces, windows should be close to the floor and large enough to provide egress in the event of an emergency. These larger windows also provide the benefit of additional daylight into underground spaces. If your home in Bellingham, Ferndale or Lynden was built with a basement, consider the benefits of enlarging underground windows.

Additional possibilities: While you’re mulling over the above home remodeling options to increase your Whatcom County home’s natural light, you also might consider a few additional options for a sunlight boost:

  • Add more mirrors or other shiny objects, especially in places where they can reflect window light.
  • Replace an exterior door with one that contains a window — a full-panel window would work great, but even a small half-circle at eye height would add important natural light.
  • Replace opaque window treatments with sheer curtains that maintain privacy while also allowing natural light to filter into the home, even when closed.
  • Use lighter paint colors on walls and ceilings. You might even consider a high-gloss paint on your ceiling to boost the reflection potential. Consider swapping out your flooring, too, for a lighter, more reflective option. Changing from carpet to a light-colored wood, for example, can make a big difference.
  • In lieu of windows, consider using glass blocks in exterior walls. Remember that they are not load bearing, though, so contact a good home remodeling contractor to install them.
  • Consider opening up your indoor space, removing walls and doors or using translucent instead of opaque dividers.
  • Cut back and/or move any exterior plants that might be keeping sunlight from entering the home.
  • Clean your windows! Have you ever noticed how much better you can see in your car after getting it washed? Your home windows are no different. A good cleaning can make a noticeable difference.

When you’re ready for your beautiful new windows, doors, skylights or solar tubes, please reach out to Hudson Remodeling. Our Bellingham construction crew works throughout Whatcom County to improve the character and livability of our clients’ homes, taking advantage of all of the beautiful natural light that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Posted in Basement Remodeling, Exterior Remodeling, Green Remodeling, Interior Remodeling, Remodeling Design | Comments Off on How to improve a home’s natural light

Green remodeling: Five ways to do it

Posted 25 February 2019 by Team Hudson

Ready to step beyond Energy Star appliance upgrades to reduce energy consumption in your home? There are a number of ways to incorporate green construction into your home remodeling plans, reducing the carbon footprint of the work, increasing the sustainability of your home long into the future, and saving money in energy costs.

Go tankless. Traditional hot water tanks can be energy drains, because they spend a lot of time heating water that’s just sitting around unused. Whether your water tank is heated by electricity or gas, it wastes a lot of energy keeping the water temperature at the desired level. A tankless water heater, on the other hand, heats water only on demand, using much less energy to deliver hot water throughout your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankless water heaters are up to 34 percent more efficient than the storage tank variety.

Get aggressive on passive solar. Passive solar techniques can make a major difference in the amount of energy you use to warm up or cool down your home. In the winter, large, south-facing windows can be used to let in as much warm sunlight as possible into the rooms on that side of the house. Materials that soak up warmth from direct sunlight and slowly release it throughout the day and night — including concrete, bricks and stone — also can provide free winter heat sources for your home. In the summer, when you want your home to remain cooler, overhanging eaves block most overhead rays, providing shade and keeping heat out of the home.

Let there be light. Large picture windows and skylights can increase the amount of natural light that filters into the home, reducing the need to have electric lights burning energy throughout the day. And when extra light is needed, such as on summer nights or winter evenings, LED bulbs can provide major savings. LEDs generally use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times as long as incandescent lighting. That energy savings is mostly because LEDs run cool; 90 percent of the energy from incandescent bulbs goes and 80 percent of the energy from CFLs go to heat, according to energy.gov. That’s a terrible use of energy from a device that you only need to produce light.

Say no to toxins. These days, it’s not too hard to find paint and other household finishings that don’t make your breathing air hazardous to your health. And not only do non-toxic, water-based paints improve your air quality, they’re also better for the environment. Consider this: According to the California Air Resources Board, more than two-thirds of the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in the air there come from paints and coatings.

Use recycled materials. Making good use of previously used products (wood, cabinets, sinks, appliances and more) can be a great way to limit the environmental impact of a remodel. When you can reuse something instead of throwing it in a landfill and buying a new one, you’ve aided the Earth on several levels. For a good start in Whatcom County, consider looking at the RE Store or Habitat for Humanity store, both in Bellingham.

As you’ve probably noticed, this is far from an exhaustive list! Contact Hudson Remodeling for ideas and to chat about how we can reduce the carbon footprint of your remodel. Or catch us at the Whatcom County Home and Garden Show March 1 to 3 in Lynden!

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Change your home’s personality with new flooring

Posted 23 August 2017 by Team Hudson

Is your home’s interior looking a little tired these days? Looking for a project to breathe life into your home, but you’re just not sure what?

One effective way of giving your home a makeover is to redo the flooring.

Plus, new flooring means hiding the carpet wine stains from Christmas 2004 and the path worn through the kitchen by Sadie and her clackety claws.

But what to choose? From carpet to cork, from bamboo to berber… the myriad possibilities can seem overwhelming. Here are a few flooring options that have been experiencing a resurgence in popularity lately for Bellingham and Whatcom County home remodels.

Vinyl flooring: Luxury vinyl plank flooring is pretty hot right now. (Note the “luxury” in the name; there are cheaper options that don’t look nearly as good.) LVP can be made to resemble pretty much anything you can think of, from weathered, reclaimed wood to Brazilian Oak to slate tile and more.

Linoleum: Like vinyl flooring, linoleum is experiencing a resurgence. Made largely from linseed oil, linoleum is popular among people looking for renewable, eco-friendly options. In fact, linoleum is one of the most environmentally friendly flooring options available. And because it’s manufactured, you can get it in just about every color, pattern and texture you can think of.

Cork: Cork flooring is environmentally friendly, comfortable to walk on, durable and cost-effective. Like wood, it can be stained in pretty much any color imaginable, so it’s a versatile option for homeowners who like thinking outside the box.

Bamboo: Made from the familiar fast-growing grass, bamboo flooring can be as hard and durable as any hardwood. Lately, we’ve been seeing an explosion of colors and styles, making this renewable flooring all the more attractive. Bamboo often resembles hardwoods in look, too, though its interesting grain patterns offer something unique.

Concrete: As an interior flooring material, concrete is another surface that has come a long way in recent years. It can be textured, colored, stamped, stained and polished until it shines like a mirror. Whatever your style, concrete can probably match it.

Reclaimed wood: People are using old barn siding or other reclaimed wood as flooring with gorgeous results. It can be harder to find than more traditional flooring options, but it’s stunning and already proven to stand up to wear and tear. As an alternative, there are some tiles that do an impressive job of emulating the look and feel of reclaimed wood. An excellent choice for a floor or even a quirky backsplash in a modern kitchen.

Engineered hardwood: If you want the traditional look of hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood is a great way to go. It layers an actual slice of hardwood — usually oak, hickory or cherry, but other options also are available — over high-quality plywood, and it actually stands up to moisture better than solid hardwood, because it’s less prone to warping.

If you’re looking for a fun, effective way of rejuvenating or remodeling your home’s style, flooring is a great way to go. Contact us at Hudson Remodeling to chat about flooring trends in Whatcom and Skagit counties and how we can help upgrade your style.

Posted in Aging in Place, Flooring, Green Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling, Products and Services, Remodeling Design | No Comments »

Exterior remodeling projects include skylights and new siding

Posted 6 March 2014 by Team Hudson

Hudson RemodelingThinking of adding skylights or updating your home’s siding this summer? Now is the time to begin planning these types of outdoor remodeling projects.

It’s a fact that both large and small home remodeling projects take time to plan. It’s always best to begin the process sooner than later, especially if the renovation is one that would benefit from being done when the weather is nice…like alterations involving roofs and siding.

Solar tubes vs. traditional skylights

If you’re looking to add skylights, two available options are traditional skylights (square or rectangle boxes inserted between ceilings and roofs) or sun tubes (cylinders that capture light and diffuse it into the room below). Both options are viable depending on the slope of your roof – you’ll just want to consider cost the direction your home faces.

Skylights do seem to have more variations that can make them visually appealing, whereas sun tubes have a very simple design.

Because sun tubes are a small dome of glass, they require less upkeep than traditional skylights, which may collect dirt and leaves as time goes on. Sun tubes are also a more cost effective alternative to skylights, mostly because installation is easier.

Consider cement fiber siding upgrades

If you’re looking to replace siding, consider fiber cement-siding which is a mix of wood pulp and Portland cement (the most common type of cement).

This type of siding requires minimal upkeep, is resilient, and can often be an affordable option when compared to other products.

Fiber cement-siding products can give the look of painted wood, shingles or vertical siding. It’s a great way to keep costs down without sacrificing the aesthetics of your home.

Now is the time to schedule outdoor construction projects

Spring is the best time to sort out project design and construction schedules with your contractor. They will need adequate time to order and receive supplies and also get your project on their schedule for the summer months.

Do you have an outdoor remodeling project you would like to have done on your Bellingham or Whatcom County home this year? Contact Hudson Remodeling today to set up a consultation.

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Posted in Exterior Remodeling, Green Remodeling, Interior Remodeling, Products and Services | No Comments »

Top 6 bathroom remodeling tips

Posted 3 May 2013 by Team Hudson

Have you been thinking of modernizing or renovating a bathroom in your home?

While bathroom remodeling projects are a piece of cake for Hudson Remodeling, we know they can make homeowners nervous, anxious and frustrated.  With that in mind, we have assembled a list of top bathroom remodeling tips to keep in mind as you work through the DIY (do it yourself) process.

  • Consider updating your bathroom’s floor plan.  Simply rearranging the toilet, vanity and tub can improve the flow of your bathroom.  Adjusting the floor plan through careful design can maximize the space available to its fullest.  Hire a bathroom designer or work with or an experienced remodeler to develop a detailed plan.
  • Choose energy efficient products.  Use low flow or dual flush toilets, Energy Star lighting fixtures and water saving shower heads.  Incorporating these environmentally friendly remodeling products into your design will save you money over time.
  • Think about lighting.  Bathroom lighting is more than just 4 bulbs around a vanity mirror.  Look for places to incorporate additional lighting in the ceiling, bathing areas, closets, and more.
  • Add natural light when possible.  Skylights and solar tubes are a great way to add natural light to your bathroom.
  • Go neutral.  Stick to a somewhat neutral color palette when choosing pricy items (tile and granite).  Add splashes of color with less expensive things like paint, shower curtains, throw rugs, and accessories.
  • Splurge a bit.  Even if your bathroom remodel project is small in size it’s still nice to treat yourself to something fun.  Upgrade cabinet hardware or sink fixtures; add a heated towel bar, color changing shower head or waterproof speakers and an iPod dock so you can listen to music while bathing.

Lastly, as you are planning for a bathroom remodel, keep universal design in mind.  Consider making doorways a bit wider, replacing your traditional tub with a walk-in shower or installing the behind-the-scenes framework so grab bars can be added later.  A bit of consideration and planning now will make a difference down the road.

As an experienced general contractor in Whatcom County, Hudson Remodeling has worked on many bathrooms.  We have helped homeowners through the bathroom design phase, demolition and product selection.  Our crews are master tile installers (floors, tub enclosures and free-standing showers) and we are detailed when it comes to cabinetry and trim work.  Give us a call with any bathroom remodeling questions you may have.

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Posted in Aging in Place, Bathroom Remodeling, Green Remodeling | No Comments »