Dan and I are passionate about getting you into a more energy efficient way of living whether that means changing the house you are in for the better or building you one that functions like a high performing machine. We came to this passion slowly over many years.
I started out as an engineer doing site design for large projects and Dan owned his own company framing houses. Dan, the quintessential perfectionist, liked to make a game out of framing the houses, it started with how fast could he go, but everyone was chasing speed, he needed something else to sink his teeth into. He looked at the dumpsters that lined the streets where he was working and started to calculate the sheer tonnage of waste that was being produced over the entire subdivision and it broke his heart. He had always been one to recycle and reuse and make do in order to not over consume and what he saw as poorly managed building materials and waste made him passionate about reducing the waste.
He began by spending a little time at the end of the day to pull back out of the dumpster all the short cuts of lumber and line them up by size in the garage of the house where they wouldn’t be in the way. The next day when they would need a short block, the pieces were right there ready to use instead of hiding under piles of trash from yesterday’s lunches. He started counting dumpster loads for the different framers on the street building the same house that he was and was counting 3 loads to every one of his. This beginning success just whet his appetite for finding more ways to save.
He then discovered advanced framing techniques, a new proposition at the time. It required that you frame corners of houses with only 2 studs instead of 3 to allow for more insulation in the corners as well as many other new ideas to Dan. This allowed him to reduce his waste even more and then got him interested in why you would want more insulation in the first place.
Dan went from being a framer to becoming a builder and he brought all of his ideas with him teaching them to his new framers and other contractors. This led him to discover the process of certifying houses as energy efficient through the HERS Rating process and that opened up a whole new area of the housing construction process for him to learn new and better ways to make houses perform. He started by tweaking things in our own house and then took his show on the road.
He went off first to obtain his license as a BPI Building Analyst, and then onto becoming a HERS Rater. He bought the testing equipment and began testing every house he could talk his way into. Together we have tested hundreds of houses from ones that are less than a year old to some over a 100 years old and we have found ways to help all of them perform better. Testing all of these houses has given us invaluable insight into how not to build a house and what makes houses uncomfortable.
During this process we have both been getting on in years and have been looking at taking care of aging family members and what to do with their big old houses. We decided early on that as the kids leave, we want to be in the smallest house we can be in with the least amount of stuff, and ultimately paying next to nothing to operate the house. As each of the kids have moved out, we have moved to progressively smaller houses that perform better and better as our energy efficient building experience increases. Our current house received an award from Viridiant as the 6th most efficient house built in Virginia in 2015, scoring a 38 on the HERS Rating Scale and that with no solar panels at all! We are passionate about or pursuit and know that there are others out there that want to feel comfortable in every room of their house and to do it while paying very small energy bills as they move towards their retirement years.
So this is the story of how we got to where we are today and why we love what we do. We have been bitten by the energy efficiency bug! What is your story? You are on this page for some reason. I would love to hear your story and help you write your happy ending of living in an energy efficient comfortable home. So call me, let’s get started.