Rambler Revival

Tom and Jane’s original remodeling goal was typical: They wanted to update the kitchen to ready their home for sale. They believed that moving to a newly built home would give them some years of freedom from the burgeoning stream of repairs and upgrades required of their 45-year-old rambler. Tired of their money pit, drafty rooms, and ceiling stains, they had already begun the process of house hunting when they hired a designer to assist them through the kitchen update. The designer also posed an alternative plan – investigate the possibilities of completing a whole house remodel rather than building new.

The investigation started with a thorough home performance assessment (energy audit) by a certified energy professional. He developed a recommended Scope of Work to fix the nagging problems and improve energy. The proposed changes were discussed with the desired contractor to evaluate impact on budget and scheduling. When Tom and Jane found out they could create a nearly new home for a cost significantly less than building new, they put their furniture in storage and readied themselves for a six month remodel.

In addition to completely gutting the kitchen, turning 3 bathrooms into 4, and completing a total exterior facelift, the contractor:

Installed all new ENERGY STAR triple pane windows and appliances

Used spray foam insulation in the kitchen walls, at the rim joist, and on the floor of the attic

Sealed with caulk or foam all accessible gaps, holes, cracks identified by the infrared camera. Installed closed cell spray foam on the attic floor and covered it with loose fiberglass to increase R-value. The exterior of the home was covered with a house wrap and rigid insulation before the new siding was installed. 

Added a gas fireplace insert.

Replaced the old water heater with an ENERGY STAR sealed combustion tankless water heater

The energy pro returned to the jobsite during construction to review the installation of the insulation and energy-related products and systems for quality assurance.

A post-construction test indicated that the air leakage of their old rambler had been reduced by 50 percent.  Their home was looking, feeling, and performing better than ever, and better than most new construction. The whole house remodel with improvements guided by the energy pro helped Tom and Jane achieve peace of mind, an improved pride in their home, and the legacy of a home built to future standards.

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