Photo Update

We’re making progress toward our target move-in date in March!  In this post are photos of the completed roofing, sliding doors, insulation, solar panels, and exterior foam and lath stages of the project.  Drywall is next!    

Our Quest for Reclaimed Wood

Our Quest for Reclaimed Wood

Reclaiming wood by definition is giving old wood a spit shine and a new purpose.  It adds instant charm and character to a space and it is definitely having its moment (seen a new Starbucks lately?)  Our home is a 1957 ranch with a lot of great ranch house characteristics, including a wood ceiling in the original den.  Wood ceilings are a great way to make a modern space cozy, […]

Open House a Big Success

200 visitors attended the “Behind the Walls Open House” event held at the house Sunday, January 11.  There to answer questions were: Dan Hardey, Hardey Construction Cynthia Kraus & Claudia Wiehen, OPENHAUS Design Bryan Amburgey, Solar Source Mike Burch, D’Mand Hot Water Systems It was great to see the turnout, despite the NFL playoffs and rain that morning.  The skies cleared just in time for our real-time solar demonstration.  Visitors […]

Behind the Walls Open House

Behind the Walls Open House

Planning a remodel?  Curious about energy efficiency and lowering your utility bills?  Wondering what green technologies to include in your project? If so, please join us for a unique course-of-construction open house.  Holland and Nick Brown are excited to provide this educational opportunity for the community to look inside the walls of their house project to see the systems that will achieve zero net energy in their 1957 ranch home. […]

Mechanical Ventilation & Tight Homes:  A How-to Guide

Mechanical Ventilation & Tight Homes: A How-to Guide

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a common refrain in American business.  In home construction, this is often invoked to defend the normal way of doing things over innovation.  There is good reason for aversion to change in construction.  The stakes are very high, with the threat of lawsuits a constant for builders, contractors, and manufacturers.  So I always heard industry veterans say that houses are built to […]

Hot Water: There’s Lots of Energy in that Tank!

Hot Water: There’s Lots of Energy in that Tank!

Because hot water is such a big part of our overall energy load, we designed our plumbing system to minimize the energy required for our every-day uses. We purposely located several hot water usage points in close proximity. We located the water heater next to two heavily used bathrooms so that they will get instantaneous hot water (due to a very short plumbing run). And we are sizing our PEX […]

Why You Can’t Plan a House Around a Table :(

Why You Can’t Plan a House Around a Table :(

When we purchased our Net Zero Nest, I knew one thing for sure – I was keeping my reclaimed wood dining room table.  I love it, have only had it two years, and feel it reflects our style and personality.  Plus it took a really long time to find a table I could afford and at every dinner party it has performed beautifully.  I am invested in that table! Fast […]

Floor Plans are Fun

Floor Plans are Fun

Perhaps my favorite project day so far was when Cynthia Kraus and Claudia Wiehen, our fabulous architects from OpenHaus Design, showed us some floor plan options. We were utterly shocked to know that our 1950 sf ranch could be reconfigured in not one, not two, not three, but four different ways to meet our needs. All within the existing walls and footprint. All with 3 bedrooms, 3 baths plus an […]

Why Us? Why Now?

Why Us? Why Now?

As we continue to write the story of our remodel, things are a little rocky at times. Let’s be honest, remodeling isn’t for the squeamish. It requires a certain tenacity, flexibility, and optimism – especially when you have limited time and money. With each challenge, there have been moments of soul searching…do we really want to do this now? Can we afford it? Will our kids disown us? Will our […]

Check out the Green Idea House

If you like what we’re doing with the Net Zero Nest, you can fast forward to the end of another great green building project at the Green Idea House website.  Robert and Monica Fortunato took their house and poured their energy into rebuilding it as a demonstration net-zero home.  They incorporated many cutting-edge technologies, as well as many common sense ones, and created quite a splash with Ed Begley, Jr and […]