I'm speaking at the MREA Energy Fair, Friday May 15th at 2:30 and 5:30 to spread the good word on green design and remodeling. Here's what I plan to say!
You can remodel your home and substantially increase your living area without adding on a single square foot! Staying within your existing footprint is easier, cheaper and more sustainable.
Remodeling is your opportunity to improve all kinds of layout flaws - tight corners, inadequate kitchen storage, not enough privacy for bedrooms - AND improve your relationship with the sun.
Nothing shows the importance of insulation like an IR thermometer. It is best used when the temperature differential between inside and outside is greatest - mid summer or winter.
With winter coming (the weather just shifted from 70's to 40's this week), I was reminded of a punch list of get it done in good weather items. One was last weeks painting catch-all. Another is the possibly crazy goal of getting the mudroom framed in, scheduled for next week. This week I wanted to … Continue reading Basement Progress: Snugged in for winter with new basement Windows
Once we filled in the big hole we'd had dug in the ground, I turned my attention to filling in the big hole we'd had cut in the basement wall. We want to turn that area of the basement into a legal fourth bedroom. For health and safety reasons a bedroom, especially one in a … Continue reading Basement Progress: Bedroom Light and Vent, plus an Egress Window!
This is a change I made to the house almost immediately but forgot to blog. There have been a lot of existing conditions here that I've decided to just live with "for now" because I knew I'd fix them later but the bathroom window just could't wait. Due to the vagaries of lot lines and … Continue reading Micro Update: Instant Bathroom Window Privacy
So I haven't been making as much progress as I'd like on the Togstad project in August but it is for an excellent reason. I've been designing another project - a new Passive House residence to be constructed in the Bloomington, IL area.
Part of the reason I decided to entirely tear out the existing "finished basement" was aesthetic: it was incredibly dated with an unpleasant drop ceiling and an unfortunate layout. I could have kept some parts of it however, if it hadn't been totally un-insulated. I can do SO MUCH BETTER than that.
Saturday, I gave a lecture at the MREA Energy Fair in Custer, WI about the joy of working with my parents to design their timber frame, straw bale, passive solar house, Underhill, completed four years ago. Here's some of what I said.