Archive for the 'Green Remodeling' Category

Home’s green remodel gives mother and daughter space

See all photos Charles Darwin might have found an interesting research subject in the Burke family's Goleta, Calif. home, which has evolved over the last 47 years as the family has changed. Chuck and Harriet Burke purchased the five-bedroom tract house in 1962 as a place to raise their five rambunctious kids. As the children [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Eco-decorating is suddenly hip

I guess my friend and co-author Kitty Bartholomew is a visionary. For many years, long before it was eco-hip, she was finding new uses for old things that have served their purpose well and that deserve more than a slow ride to the landfill. Old leather belts are a case in point. Consider how much [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

If you are a ‘cultural creative’ who votes with your dollars . . .

. . . you might be interested in an earth-friendly company named Gaiam. Take a look:

Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Green remodeling with Entourage’s Adrian Grenier

I didn't really want to like this guy, but he's pretty cool. His own house has denim insulation, reclaimed wood floors and reclaimed beams. He says these things are hipper and cooler than the old toxic materials. I like the way this guy thinks.  Check it out:

Read the rest of this entry »

The ipe conundrum — green or not green?

For several years, ipe (pronounced EE-pay) decking from Brazilian hardwood trees has been the darling of green builders. This beautiful wood looks like mahogany, and it does not require a finish (and typical finishes are often petroleum-based), as do softer woods. Also, ipe is durable, with a lifespan of  25 years outdoors, compared to 10 to [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Will bamboo save the world?

Meet the woman leading the push for bamboo as a building material: Embedded video from CNN Video

Read the rest of this entry »

Rebuilding green in New Orleans

Last year, New Orleans was the setting for the National Assn. of Home Builders' national green building conference. The conference included a tour of green homes, including the one pictured here: 1. The exterior of the charming turn-of-the-last-century cottage. The home is owned by a woman who bought it from her grandmother, so it's been [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Bathroom makeover was due

My latest Pardon Our Dust feature in the L.A. Times, about a small bathroom in Venice, has the most gorgeous photos ever to accommodate one of my articles.  Check out the story here. And check out the photos here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Where there was darkness, I brought light

This morning, as I walked down the hallway toward the bathroom, I felt startled when I saw light coming from there and I thought: “Darn it. I left the light on all night.” But the illumination did not come from a light bulb. It was natural light from a high window that, until yesterday, had [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Tank water heaters better, this green builder says

Over here at the Robinson/Price-Robinson abode, there has been a standoff concerning the new water heater we need so badly. Ours is likely 20 years old and not very efficient. Our gas bill would go down immensely if we replaced that beast. But the choices are many. Do we get a new and efficient gas-powered [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Peel-and-stick solar panels

See a fast-motion video showing 2.25 kilowatts of Lumeta solar panels installed in 34 minutes. These will be featured at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference June 24 to 27 in San Francisco. These thin panels are only available for commercial use, not residential, but it shows you the direction we’re heading. The company does offer [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

My new shower curtain: Should I toss it out?

I was so excited about this new shower curtain, which was a gift for my husband. It was at about 35,000 feet, breathing airliner air, when I saw in a magazine this really neat shower curtain. The clear vinyl on the top would allow our dark and narrow shower stall some needed daylight. And the [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Mammoth-area cabin earns silver LEED certification

A two-bedroom cabin at Tamarack Lodge, overlooking Twin Lakes in the Mammoth Mountain area, has earned silver certification from the LEED green building program. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. The silver rating means it adheres to a more strict green-building protocol than [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Stopping the catalogs

The worst part about ordering a home-improvement item or sample online is that you know you’re going to be receiving catalogs in the mail that you may not want, even if you unclicked the send-me-unlimited-marketing-materials-from-you-and-all-your-partners-from-now-until-eternity button. And how do you stop the catalog influx once it starts? Do you call the customer no-service number and [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

The votes are in: coolest green building products

Each year, the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) holds a competition for the coolest building products. This year, 125 products were entered into the contest and were voted on by 679 home-building professionals. Here are the 2008 cool-product winners in the green building category: 1. Rinnai LS Series tankless water heater Rinnai’s LS Series tankless [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Dwell on Design conference June 5 to 8

If you want to stretch your design vocabulary, you might consider attending the Dwell on Design conference this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Put on by the San Francisco-based Dwell magazine folks, the seminar descriptions include sentences like this: "Not all designers set out to achieve the Platonic ideal in a concept for [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Ask the Resident Builder: Is it time for an electric water heater?

Question: I need a new water heater, and because my home's gas bill is so high, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to get an electric water heater. My husband is not in favor of an on-demand water heater, so I've got to decide between gas or electric with a [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Santa Monica landscaper wins award for sustainable Malibu project

Pamela Burton & Co. won an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for the gardens and hardscape (seen above) at a Malibu beachfront home. At first, the owner wanted lots of bright green turf. But the designers explained how that would be out of place with the sand and chaparral of the [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping cool in Claremont

Deb and Vern Jahnke, pictured here, are way too nice to brag. So let me do it for them. Even on the hottest days, their home in Claremont stays cool and comfortable without artificial air conditioning. See how it works: This home stays cool most of the day because the walls are made of super-insulating [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Ready to reduce your home water use to a trickle?

Is it just me, or does anyone else see the connection between these two stories in the L.A. Times? May 8, 2008: Tejon Ranch pact would allow 26,000 homes on the range May 14, 2008: L.A. prepares massive water-conservation plan I’m all for conservation. Really, I am. But what’s the real point? Those 70,000 people [...]

Read the rest of this entry »