Happy spring everyone! I'm happy to share with you our first project intro (and a big one at that) - the addition build and remodel of our home that my wife and I have been planning since we first laid eyes on our place. I spent most of the winter planning this out, working with our architect and energy consultant, and searching for concrete contractors in preparation to get this project rolling.
What Are We Building?
We're going to build a 32x38' addition with an attached 10x24' greenhouse. The basement level of the addition will be the garage and above it will be master suite, office, bedroom, and laundry.
As for the remodel, we'll be revising the existing floor plan, finishing the basement, and making energy efficient upgrades to improve the home's envelope.
Who is Building and Remodeling It?
The core team will be my father-in-law, my dad, and myself with a lot of support from our better halves. We'll also be leveraging the expertise of numerous technical experts in their various fields and trades.
How Are We Building It?
I'm focused on building the most energy efficient structure I can and employing sustainable or energy efficient solutions that will last the lifetime of the home. It would be easy to say we're going to build and retrofit to net zero, but the reality is that probably isn't going to be economically feasible - for a host of reasons that we'll cover later. In reality, we'll be trading off cost, energy efficiency, and doing the best we can.
Why go as efficient as possible?
In order to curb climate change, action needs to be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Around 20% of greenhouse gas emissions come from residential buildings in the United States. Designing and retrofitting buildings to be more efficient and employing renewable energy solutions is a great way to help drive these emissions down.
While I admit that building anything new doesn't help reduce emissions - we as humans have needs, desires, and wants that also need to be considered. I believe there are sustainable ways to build, and in our case, we need or desire certain features that will support our businesses and family. Telling homeowners or consumers that building nothing at all or building a home without windows as the only ways to make a home efficient isn't going to drive market adoption of this key issue. Consumers need options that are not massive departures from their current standards of living.
My main goal with this project is to teach and show how someone can build efficiently, discuss design decisions, and show that building an efficient house or addition can in large part be done on your own. DIYing your house or addition is no small task, but it will allow you to do more with your money. I also want to educate consumers and push the building industry to offer more efficient solutions.
All that said, check out our intro video below! My goal is to publish chapter updates consisting of 1-2 weeks of progress (be sure to hit that subscribe button) and share more detail as the project gets rolling. I'm also planning on becoming an expert GoPro filmer!