Monday, October 6, 2008

Remodeling ideas

I recently read Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House (2006) by Carol Venolia & Kelly Lerner.  It's full of useful and comprehensive ideas for your home.  Chapters cover your home, nature, climate, the sun, air, water, your garden, energy, design, materials, construction, and more, plus there's a questionnaire at the end to help you plan your remodel.
 
One recycling idea used a Mazda hatchback window for an entry roof.  And they used a house plan to make notes of the bad and good points of your home--good view, lack of storage, too much sun, ugly carpet, etc.  There's a chart that compares sun direction with amount of glare, temperature, intensity, etc.; the book also covers the importance of themal mass, shade, etc..
 
There are charts about water usage; and the book covers waste water, landscape watering, using rain water, handling humidity, and more.  There are remodeling hints and real life examples. The book also covers heating and cooling, including furnaces, wood stoves, and swamp coolers.  Material tables include insulation, exterior materials, flooring, countertops, and more.  The book's premise is that "You don't have to build from scratch to live in a house that's good for you and the earth."  This book is a keeper.       

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