Our house cost a lot more than I would have liked, but many of the ideas used in it could be implemented more affordably.
Photo Credit: Alex Wilson
My wife and I tried out a lot of innovative systems and materials in the renovation/rebuild of our Dummerston, Vermont home—some of which added considerably to the project cost. Alas!
The induction cooktop that I wrote about last week is just one such example.
For me, the house has been a one-time opportunity to gain experience with state-of-the-art products and technologies, some of which are very new to the building industry (like cork insulation, which was expensive both to buy and to install). We spent a lot experimenting with new materials, construction details, and building systems. While we haven’t tallied up all the costs, we think that the house came in at about $250 per square foot.
All this has raised the very reasonable question about whether all this green-building stuff is only feasible for high-budget projects.
So I’ve been thinking about what lessons from our project would be applicable to more budget-conscious retrofits. Here are some thoughts. (Also see our recent EBN feature article, How to Build Green At No Added Cost.)