Two neighbors switched homes and this home was completely remodeled using  green products throughout and was featured in the Green House Tour in Ventura, CA.

For over 30 years, the owners of this recently remodeled home lived just down and across the street in a 1,500 sq. ft., three bedroom, one and a half bath spanish style home with a large yard.  This is where they raised their two children, who are now grown and out of the house.  The Dwires were looking to downsize and wanted a home where they would be comfortable in their retirement years. They love the neighborhood and were extremely happy when their neighbors approached them with the idea of swapping homes.  The neighbors had three young children and needed a third bedroom and extra bath and also wanted to remain on this street.  The Dwires felt it was a fun, fresh start to do something new, downsize, design something the way they want and go GREEN at the same time. They hired Penny Lane Design to help them with this project along with Allen Associates as the general contractor for the job.

Some of the characteristics that make this house a green house include: insulation throughout all the walls – the exterior walls were filled with cellulose (made from recycled newspaper) insulation.  Recycled content, formaldehyde free fiberglass insulation was installed in the walls of the addition and to the underfloor of the entire house.  All interior walls were also insulated.  Ceiling fans were installed instead of an air conditioner.  Three Solatubes were installed to reduce the need to turn on lights in certain rooms during the day, thus saving the owner money on their electric bill and reducing the use of fossil fuels.  The old, inefficient heating system was removed and replaced with a York Modulating Furnace with a programmable thermostat.  Recessed compact fluorescent lighting fixtures were installed in the kitchen, reducing the amount of energy used for lighting in the home.  All of the original windows and doors were replaced with new energy efficient Eagle windows and doors.  In addition to being energy efficient, these doors and windows have aluminum clad exteriors which reduce the amount of maintenance required over the life of the product.  All energy star appliances were used including the refrigerator, dishwasher and washer and dryer.  The existing old and inefficient water heater was replaced with a Noritz tankless water heater, on-demand unit increasing the water and energy efficiency on the home.  They also put a radiant barrier roof sheathing which is a reflective coating on the roof plywood that reflects the heat away from the attic in the summer and retains heat in the winter.  It can reduce heat gain or heat loss by up to 20%, reducing the need for supplemental heating or air conditioning.

Regarding Resource Conservation -

Construction waste makes up between 20-50% of the waste going into our landfills.  Allen Associates donated appropriate materials, (old doors and a toilet) to Habitat for Humanity.  B.J. Harrison’s Construction/Demolition waste program diverted as much of the remaining waste from the landfill as possible.

Flooring – The beautiful, original oak hardwood floors were refinished throughout the majority of the house.  New cork flooring was installed in the kitchen and master bedroom.  Cork is a rapidly renewable and sustainable material that is also very attractive, affordable and comfortable on the feet.

Roofing – A new 35 year composition shingle roof was installed.  This is a longer life product than other comp shingle roofing materials that have life expectancies ranging from 15 to 30 years.

Kitchen Countertops – Caesarstone slab countertops were installed in the kitchen and bathroom.  Caesarstone is made of crushed quartz combined with polymer resin and pigments rather than quarrying large slabs of stone.  It is stain, crack, scratch, chemical and heat-resistant properties.  The product is made in the United States versus marble which typically comes from overseas.

Recycled content tile was used in the shower and the kitchen/bathroom backsplashes.  The use of recycled materials reduces the impacts associated with extracting and manufacturing new materials.

All of the original exterior siding was preserved and restored.

A dual flush toilet was installed in the bathroom to reduce the amount of water outflow.

Regarding Indoor Air Quality – Low-VOC paint was used on the interior walls to reduce the potential for health effects caused by toxic products off-gassing from paints.  Formaldehyde-free MDF material was used for boxes in the cabinet boxes in the kitchen cabinets and for closet shelving.

This remodel was pretty extensive and took about 9 months to complete.  The owners are thrilled with their new energy efficient home and are so glad they did it!

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