Is it possible to make a 1970 split level house cool by today’s standards? Lara and I are foolish enough to try, with a green twist. After all, doing so puts the walk in two things that we’re doing a lot of talking about – 1) that eco-friendly remodeling of an existing home is a relatively low-impact way to create a green dream home, and 2) that greenlording with a green exit strategy can be a smart approach to real estate investment.
We’ve just moved into the 4 bedroom, 2 bath 1900 square foot home pictured above. We bought it in 2003 from the original owners as an investment property. It is quite dated, and a bit tenant-worn after six years as a rental, but it has as they say “great bones”. And the yard has mature peach, cherry and plum trees, as well as grape vines. To put all of this fruit to good use, we’ll be calling on our friends Jana and Steve and their wine-making talents for payback for the cork floor labor they got out of me earlier this year .
Here is a sampling of the projects we have on deck…
- new bamboo cabinets in the kitchen and vanities in the bathrooms.
- replacing worn carpet with rapidly renewable flooring throughout.
- sourcing and installing the most eco-friendly concrete countertops we’ve heard of to date.
- re-painting the entire inside of the house with low or no VOC paint.
- energy efficiency improvements guided by a professional energy audit.
- a sprinkler system audit and corresponding xeriscaping to reduce lawn watering requirements.
- installing water-conserving fixtures throughout.
We hope you’ll grab our feed, follow along and maybe even learn a bit from our experiences, if not our mistakes!
Oh, one last thought about the timing of things. We’ll be completing and blogging about these green remodeling projects as quickly as our day jobs permit, but we may take a slower road toward our green exit of this home than originally anticipated. We’re confident it is going to be a pretty cool and comfortable greened-up home to live in.