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Homeowner's Journal

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

This wouldn’t be a true journal if I didn’t admit that there have been times when I’ve asked, “What have I gotten myself into?”  (Lately I do that about 6 times a day.) 

  • We’ve struggled with budget, especially now that we are at the end of the project. 
  • We’ve struggled with scheduling, largely due to some of the more specialized products we’ve ordered.  Here’s a tip:  Make sure your countertops are shipped in plenty of time because you can’t finish electrical, plumbing, or tile until they are installed.
  • We have and will continue to struggle with the requirements of LEED.  Most recently we learned that the closet we built for our geothermal unit will also need to be insulated to get LEED points.   Here’s another tip:  If you are going for LEED certification, plan far in advance on the location of your HVAC system so that you can put it in a basement or other conditioned area of the home. We thought we couldn’t afford a basement; I’m wondering if it might not have been cheaper to do so. 
  • We’ve struggled with finding the right fluorescent bulbs for all that Energy Star lighting we’ve installed.
  • Finally, most recently we’ve begun to struggle with the appraisal of our home. We’ve invested in energy efficiency so clearly we would like to see this reflected in the value of our home. The “problem” is that there are so few “green” homes in our area to compare it to.  I never expected to recapture all of my “green” costs; but I’m apt to go off on a rant if the geothermal system and the upgraded insulation are not reflected in the appraisal cost.

My husband had a conversation with a local appraiser who told him that homes in Utah are appraised to reflect sustainability characteristics but, as of yet, homes in NC do not. That’s UTAH folks!  Arguably the most conservative state in the nation! My goodness, if Utah appraisers recognize the value of home efficiency, surely NC can. I’ll let you know how it goes; very loudly if it doesn’t go my way.

I did some asking around at the recent Greenbuild Conference in Boston and found some encouraging news about green home appraisals. There is an online course through the Appraisal Institute specifically for appraisers who want to enhance their understanding of green building, recognize the principles of green building as they apply to residential construction, and improve their abilities to appraise these types of properties. Information on the course can be accessed at  It also seems like an excellent opportunity for an appraiser to increase his or her own marketability. What do you think?



Ode to the Great Seamstresses of World - Journal Entry - 02/28/09

Sleuthing the Noise in Our Ventilation - Journal Entry - 02/27/09

My Greenspiration Valentine - Journal Entry - 02/19/09

"SEAMED" Like a Good Idea at the Time: - Journal Entry - 01/20/09

Floors to "DYE" For. - Journal Entry - 01/15/09

A Funny Story about Our Kitchen Lighting…. - Journal Entry - 01/05/09

Happy New Year Greenspiration Voyeurs! - Journal Entry - 01/01/09

I.O.U. Journal Entries! - Journal Entry - 12/18/08

If Walls Could Talk, These Would Say, “I look MAVALOUS!”- Journal Entry - 11/27/08

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda- Journal Entry - 11/22/08

Name that Geothermal Unit!- Journal Entry - 10/24/08

This part of the construction process goes fast. - Journal Entry - 10/19/08

Okay, so we’re finally registered for LEED-H  - Journal Entry - 10/08/08

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." - Jounal Entry - 09/16/08

It’s been a tense couple of weeks for Greenspiration. - Journal Entry - 08/11/08

A lot can happen in a couple of weeks.  - Journal Entry - 07/04/08

Groundbreaking:  A Tree Leans On Greenspiration - Journal Entry - 05/31/08

"How's the house coming, Trish?" - Journal Entry - 03/31/08



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