Select the icons to get remodeling tips for each area of the room.
- Heating or cooling your garage should be done with a separate system from heating and cooling your house.
- Air seal the garage from the house. Investigate the garage ceiling to ensure the joists are blocked off above all walls common to the house. If there is a door to the garage from the house, check the weather stripping and door sweep. Air seal around trim, electrical boxes or any other penetrations.
- If there is a heated room above the garage, make sure there is insulation in the garage ceiling. Make sure the insulation in the garage ceiling is in full contact with the flooring above. Seal any electrical boxes in the garage ceiling.
Indoor air quality and leakages
- Carbon Monoxide FAQ – from the Consumer Product Safety Commission external link
A frequently asked questions page about home carbon monoxide detectors.
- Insulation and Air Sealing from the U.S. Department of Energy external link
Provides information on energy–efficient insulation, and how to fix air leakages in your home.
Recycling and Composting
- "Recycle More. It’s Easy to do" – from the King County Solid Waste Division
Offers tips and resources related to home recycling.
- Recycling Page – from the King County Solid Waste Division
Offers links to all kinds of information on recycling, waste reduction, and food scrap composting.
- Compost your food scraps in your curbside bin
Find tips on how and what to compost in your curbside food and yard waste bin.
- Household Hazardous Waste Collection Options – from the King County Solid Waste Division
Provides information on how to best dispose of household hazardous waste
- The Story of Stuff external link
The Story of Stuff Project’s journey began with a 20-minute online movie about the way we make, use and throw away all the Stuff in our lives. Five years and 40 million views later, this website includes a community of 750,000 changemakers worldwide, working to build a healthy and just planet.
- Consider keeping the smallest landfill bin you need to encourage you and your family to think twice about where items go.
Alternatives to Asphalt/Concrete: Pervious Surfaces and Low Impact Development (LID)
- 2009 King County Surface Water Design ManualDownload PDF
Stormwater tools can be found in Appendix CDownload PDF : "flow control BMPs"
- Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER) Bulletin 34B Surface Water Design Manual Variances or AdjustmentsDownload PDF
- The National Ready Mix Concrete Association’s (NRMCA) Resources on Pervious PavementDownload PDF
- Watch local green building contractor Martha Rose’s crew install Pervious Pavement Youtube
- U.S. Cold Patch Recycled Asphalt external link
An Everett-based company that sells bags of recycled asphalt
- King County's Sustainable building topics page
- GreenTools program – technical and financial assistance and other resources for both residential and commercial green building stakeholders in King County.
- Become a Solid Waste Division partner! Apply online today to become a LinkUp, "What do I do with…?" or Take it Back Network partner.
Consider placing recycle bins in the garage for daily sorting of recyclable materials. You will need at least three bins:
- Food and Yard Waste: food scraps, food-soiled paper (like pizza delivery boxes) and yard debris
- Recycling: materials such as plastics, glass, paper and aluminum
- Garbage: this should be your smallest bin!
- All other materials (e.g. large household items, electronics): Refer to your local requirements online.
- King County prohibits the disposal of TVs, computers, monitors and cell phones, fluorescent bulbs and tubes in the garbage or at King County transfer stations or at the household hazardous waste facilities (King County Waste Acceptance Policy).
- The City of Seattle Prohibits the disposal of bulbs/tubes, computer monitors, TVs or any other device containing cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in residential or commercial garbage or at Seattle transfer stations. (Seattle Municipal Code 21.36.025 – Unlawful Disposal; 21.36.026 – Household Hazardous Waste; 21.36.029 – Small Quantity Generator)
- Provide track-off mats/carpets and/or shoe removal area to avoid tracking in contaminants
- Keep bikes easily accessible to encourage riding. Cutting down on car trips is one of the best ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint.
- Keep handy bike tools and spare tubes
- Provide hooks or a rack for wet bike gear to avoid tracking in contaminants
- Request your free copy of Seattle Bike Map or view King & Snohomish County Bike Maps here
- Consider use of other local public transportation options in lieu of vehicle use if not using a bicycle, i.e. bus, rail, etc
Indoor Air Quality
- Thoroughly seal the air barrier between your house and garage to keep pollutants out of indoor air.
- Store paints, solvents, gas powered appliances and anything that off-gases outside the garage.
- Install an ENERGY STAR rated exhaust fan and set it to run when a car uses the garage; use a motion sensor or wire it to the garage door opener.
- Waste Management Program
Electric vehicle charging
- Consider buying a plug-in hybrid or all electric vehicle. Local electricity is a very inexpensive way to fuel a car and environmentally cleaner than gasoline.
- Ask an electrician to evaluate adding a Level 2, 240 volt, electric car charger to your garage before you buy the vehicle. Charging stations are available both from electric car dealers and other suppliers like big box hardware stores.
- Pre-wiring for an electric car charging station when you are remodeling or adding a garage is a great way to prepare for the future.
- Look at local incentives and rebates for charging station installation
- Consider Low Impact Development (LID) techniques if replacing or adding a driveway (code may require it!).
- Plan to protect trees during driveway work.
- Consider more than first costs when deciding on materials and approach.
- Minimize runoff by using permeable materials such as pervious concrete or porous asphalt.
- Ensure grade of driveway drains away from house
- For areas that must be paved, elect to use the lightest color of stone or aggregate (reducing heat insland effect)
- Trees provide numerous important functions on your property, including shading to reduce the cooling needs of your home and storm water management through the interception of rain on leaves and branches. Be sure you or your contractor follow best practice guides for protecting all site trees during your project.
- First costs often drive decisions for many products, but high maintenance and replacement costs can end up swallowing any savings from a lower first cost. Consider the warranty of your driveway material, the maintenance requirements before making your choice.
- Pervious pavement requires engineering to ensure sufficient sub-surface materials are designed and installed properly to account for the structural loading and the water infiltration rates desired. Note that there are maintenance requirements (periodic vacuuming), but the benefits of improving storm water management are very compelling.
- Green Product Buying GuideDownload PDF 500 K