Small is the new green
Increasing environmental awareness along with economic and demographic trends favor smaller house sizes. Many cities are doing their part by updating zoning codes to allow cottage housing and small backyard cottages (detached ADU's) on residentially zoned lots. Seattle and Portland are two cities which allow backyard cottages up to 800 sq. ft. in size. These small houses provide opportunities for families, while increasing housing stock density and diversity. Continue reading for more information about small house design and Seattle's backyard cottage ordinance or contact us to find out if your lot is eligible for a backyard cottage.
Tuesday, July 27
Infill cottage housing for volunteer workers, I thought, would be a great re-purposing for this house. In Richland, when the houses were originally built, land was in abundance and the car was king. The current proposal for an undeveloped urban infill site, requires a more compact footprint and greater emphasis on community. To date, two plans have been developed. One 200 sq. ft. studio loft unit and one 400 sq. ft. 1 bedroom unit. Contact us for pricing and additional information.
Wednesday, July 21
Rain Gardens 101: Rain gardens are small retention ponds that collect runoff from impervious surfaces. In many parts of Seattle rain water that is not absorbed into the ground (runoff) is collected into combined sewer systems (CSO's) where it is combined with sanitary sewer. The cost of conveying and treating this runoff is considerable which is why Seattle Public Utilities can offer incentives to homeowners who reduce runoff by building rain gardens.
In a pristine environment, most rainwater would be absorbed into the ground, picked up by plants, or slowly percolate to recharge local streams and ground water. In urban area impervious surfaces like paving and roof tops prevent rainwater from entering the ground and must be collected and discharged. Increased runoff from these surfaces create excessive peak flows that lead to erosion and water degradation. Runoff often contains biological contamination from fertilizer and pet waste and oils from road and driveways. Rain gardens increase groundwater infiltration and break down these contaminants keeping them out of local waterways. Rain gardens also create meaningful water features and provide great landscaping opportunities.
Check out the Seattle Public Utilities Rainwise Program for more great resources.
Wednesday, July 7
Microhouse will make a virtual appearance at the West Seattle Summer Fest along with our building partners Ncompass Cottage Company. In collaboration with Ncompass we are able to a provide a more comprehensive design/build process. The integration the design and building results in smarter designs, improves construction quality, and reduces cost.
Stop by and say hi to Stefan and Drew and talk to them about your project. They have 30 years construction experience working in and around West Seattle and are enthusiastic about the new opportunities allowed by backyard cottages. Their booth is located on California Ave SW just South of Key Bank.
Monday, July 5
All inquires are confidential. We have a proven track record of legalizing existing cottages built without a permit and a select group of select contractor referrals.