Archive for the 'Green Remodeling' Category

Green deal of the day: Ecopod recycling center

Engineered right here in Southern California by BMW DesignworksUSA, the sleek Ecopod is a compact recycling center that makes crushing cans fun! Just drop one in the top, step on the lever, and c-r-u-n-c-h, it’s all over. The bottom holds the crushed cans while the top holds other recycling. At Gaiam.com, the regular price is [...]

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Cushions you can compost

Does this bug you, too? You have a pillow, blanket or other textile that is clearly past its prime and too worn for the Goodwill. But you hate to see it take the slow ride to the dump. Here’s the answer: textiles of certified organic cotton and other materials that are designed to be composted [...]

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New limits on McMansions bring cheers, jeers from readers

Tuesday’s vote by the L.A. City Council to limit home sizes to 3,000 square feet on 5,000-square-foot flatland lots (a little larger on larger lots) was unanimous at 12 to 0. But the responses by readers were more, shall we say, well rounded. Are these restrictions a communist plot? Or necessary to preserve neighborhoods? Some [...]

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Nonprofit opens new warehouse selling salvaged building materials

The ReUse People, a facility where you can buy salvaged and new materials from deconstructed homes and other sources, is holding a grand opening Saturday, May 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The warehouse is at 11017 Sutter Ave., Pacoima, two blocks north of Van Nuys Boulevard near the confluence of the 5, 210 [...]

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Seattle houseboat remodel

Another jewel in a series of amazing small spaces: Here’s what happens when a native of Japan and a native of the Netherlands, both with architecture degrees, remodel an 807-square-foot houseboat in Seattle. The floors, cabinets and some of the ceilings are bamboo. It wasn’t a cheap remodel, at $240,000. But there are only 482 [...]

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Problem with tankless water heater, seeking solutions

Reader Elise is having problems with her new tankless water heater: We purchased a tankless a few months ago and have had ongoing problems with low water pressure. The plumber says it is our well, but we had no problems previously, with the exception of running out of hot water, which is why we got [...]

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Are you ready for water rationing this summer?

I’ll admit I’ve been critical of water-saving schemes that conspire to take away my daily baths while the powers-that-be concurrently approve plans for more, more and more new developments in the Southland. But the situation facing us this summer is way beyond my little rants. We are in a terrific drought, and a state official [...]

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What blocks your views, poisons your neighbors and is slowly becoming illegal?

It’s your wood-burning fireplace, of course. And they’re slowing going out of style, much to the dismay of fire devotees (and I used to be one). Last weekend, I visited with a couple who took out their fireplace during a remodel. In this photo, you see a Santa Barbara home that also lost its fireplace [...]

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Want solar? This is the weekend to visit San Diego

The Solar 2008 convention will be held this weekend, May 3 and 4, at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego. The attendance fee for consumers is $5, with a $1 discount if you take public transportation. The event is put on by the American Solar Energy Society, among others. And [...]

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Blend your own glass tile

Do you ever feel “terminally unique?” I do. And that’s why blending my own glass tile backsplash is so appealing. Oceanside Glasstile of Carlsbad offers an online tool for mixing up the colors you like best. Here’s my favorite blend! It feels exciting to my bones. Granted, it’s not relaxing. It’s not classic. But, it’s [...]

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When bad solar fountains happen to good people

You don’t need to share with me the definition of insanity: trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Been there (bought junk), done that (had it fail), still slipping into it. Specifically, I’m talking about the solar fountain I bought ignorantly and impulsively at Home Depot last October. I paid [...]

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Unbuilding rather than tearing down a house

Wall Street Journal columnist Nancy Keates is tearing down her house to build a new one in its place. But instead of taking a wrecking ball to the old house, she’s having it “unbuilt” so the items and materials can be reused and recycled. It’s taking two weeks longer than a wrecking-ball tear-down, and will [...]

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The Story of Stuff

I really want to wean myself from impulsive purchases of junky household stuff I don’t really need and that won’t last. One strategy is getting clear on the implications of my actions. If my purchases of junky stuff help foul the earth and exploit its people, but I remain willfully ignorant of that, does it [...]

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Green Builder Profile: DAD’s Construction (Orange County)

Company name: DAD’s Construction Inc. Website: www.dadsconstruction.com Principals: Dan Derkum and Lori Derkum Contact info: Lori Derkum, 25422 Trabuco Road, Suite 105-220, Lake Forest, CA 92630, phone: (949) 380-0177, e-mail: lori@dadsconstruction.com or dan@dadsconstruction.com Years in business: 25-plus Specialize in: Kitchens, bathrooms, and full interior remodels Professional memberships: National Assn. of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), National [...]

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Hey, John, what’s it like to live solar?

I caught up recently with John Park, who, along with his wife Erin, did an addition to their Burbank home and wrote about it at the Park Haus Addition Blog. Part of the project was adding $14,000 worth of photovoltaics to the addition’s rooftop. You can see John here washing off the panels. John read [...]

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Hot or not hot? Tin can wall covering

This wall covering made from tin can tops, as seen in the New York Times, has a certain appeal. But there’s something a little creepy about it, as well. Or is it just me? (Photo: New York Times)

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Enough already with the long receipts

This goes into the category of: Yeah! The blogger over at The House on Red Hill (Echo Park) wonders this: "Why does a receipt from Lowe’s for a single item ($10.95) take almost two feet of paper?" I wonder that myself. When the cashier at the grocery store gives me a yard-long receipt for one [...]

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The wonderful world of greenwashing

How many ways are there to greenwash home-improvement products? To make toxic junk sound green? To put lipstick on a pig? So very many! Here are a few: • The packaging is made of recycled materials, but the garbage inside is toxic enough to kill a horse. • The product is not so toxic, but [...]

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Big green weekend coming up in Santa Monica

You can see and touch alternative building materials Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26, at the 5th Annual Alternative Building Materials & Design Expo (also known as AltBuild) in Santa Monica. And on Sunday the 27th, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., you can tour green homes in Santa Monica, Venice and Mar Vista. [...]

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Earth Day is coming — how’s your eco-anxiety level?

<p><a onclick=”window.open(this.href, ‘_blank’, ‘width=469,height=530,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false” href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/04/20/hummingbird.jpg”><img title=”Hummingbird” height=”226″ alt=”Hummingbird” src=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/images/2008/04/20/hummingbird.jpg” width=”200″ border=”0″ style=”FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 5px” /></a>Do you feel guilty about every drop of water that trickles through your flow-restricted shower head and every minute of light that your compact fluorescent light bulbs produce? You may have eco-anxiety and may need an <a href=”http://jscms.jrn.columbia.edu/cns/2007-03-13/nobel-ecoanxiety”>eco-therapist</a>.</p> [...]

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