Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Heat Is On

Here is our new high efficiency furnace. That's what it says anyway. It's a Heil. The Energy Guide that comes with all appliances places this unit very close to the most efficient in its class. We'll let you know how that goes.

One of the questions most frequently posed to us when others discover we're building a home goes something like: "are you doing anything green?" Fair question. There are a lot of things, some obvious, and some obscure. We'll start a list, and add to it as the project progresses.
  1. Reclaimed flooring (we've touched on this one earlier)
  2. Reclaimed bathtub. The lovely refinished pedestal bathtub from our beloved family in Ohio will soon be placed in the lower level powder room.
  3. The master bath sink, we are told, was from a University building, possibly the biology building on Iowa Avenue. We don't have positive verification of this, but it sounds plausible. Anyway, it's old, beautiful, sturdy, and it came from somewhere not too far away!
  4. H Windows. Stay tuned for more on H Windows. Or Google them--ours are being manufactured right now. We'll be picking them up in Ashland, Wisconsin, on the shores of Lake Superior, in a couple of weeks.
  5. Standing seam metal roof. Our roof will outlast us, we're told.
  6. House siting. Our house is oriented to the sun such that its heating effect will be limited in the summer, and maximized in the winter.
  7. Not a McMansion. Easy to maintain, but with freedom of movement, accomplished by an open floor plan, and generous utilization of "outdoor rooms". High quality, energy efficient windows will bring the outside in, but will keep it out when necessary. A small footprint disturbs as little of the land as possible. Saves excavation costs. And looks really tall if you lay on the ground outside the basement.
  8. Highly efficient and clean burning (mostly) Lopi wood stove. A lovely Modern fan will distribute the heat in each room thanks to the open floor plan. Except the bathroom. We don't really want that one to be too open.
  9. Energy efficient kitchen appliances.
  10. The best contractors in the area. A tight, well constructed, well insulated home will last for many years requiring minimal maintenance. That's why we chose Amelon Construction!
  11. Hardie Panel cement board siding. The siding on the Yum Yum Farm house will look like barn siding--vertical boards and battens, but will be comprised of long lasting cement board (or whatever it's called--Google "James Hardie" for more information, if you want).
  12. That's enough for now--I'm using a lot of electricity trying to think of what to put next. I'm going to reduce my carbon footprint and go to bed. Good night.

I'd Like to Thank...

Twenty years ago, the young man on the right conducted what has turned out to be the most important job interview of my life. It went something like: "You like to mow lawns? You like to work hard? Can you start this afternoon?"

Twenty years later, Dean and his mom enjoy a warm, sunny afternoon on the entry porch. Both have been great resources for us as we've developed Yum Yum Farm, and become familiar with the community in which Joanna works, and we are about to live. Dean graduated from the local high school, which can be seen way off in the distance to the east (not in this picture though). We owe so much to the generosity of this family, and continue to learn so much from them. Can't wait to have them over for dinner, which will be served in the lovely room with a view at the top center of the photo.