My new Green Home

Posted By on February 24, 2009

So you ask, what green features will I put in the next home I build? Ok, so you might not have asked but I’m going to tell you anyway.  

 

First, let me give you a bit of insight into my current “land” search.  My husband Greg, who is one of 17 children, was raised in a rural Ohio county where land is plenty and neighbors are scarce.  They were tobacco farmers, and he loves working the land. His dream home would be situated on several acres of land so he can expand his vegetable garden, currently in the small 10’ side yard of our home in Madisonville. He would expand to our back yard if he could but our dogs Hattie & Louise have staked claim to that turf.

 

My dream home would be a newly constructed home in Hyde Park or another very walk-able, urban community, with some privacy & a back yard for the dogs, but not necessarily on the 5 acre oasis my husband wants. Thus, the struggle to find that perfect piece of land.  5 acres in Hyde Park just doesn’t exist unless one of the golf courses decides to sell off to a big bad housing developer (in which case please call Carolyn Rolfes at 575-0100).

 

So when I talk about building my dream home, understand that it might take a while, unless one of us caves.

 

With that disclaimer, I will share with you the essential items that will be installed in the Rolfes-Jodrey household once we do actually break ground:

  • the first thing on my list is Geothermal heating & cooling.  Even though these systems are considerably more expensive than gas furnaces, they are worth every penny. You get a $2,000 tax credit for installing one and the system will typically give you a positive cash return the very first month you move into your home. Let’s say the Geothermal system cost about $14,000 more than a high efficiency gas furnace (which is the approximate upgrade cost in homes under 2,500 square feet). To add $14,000 to your mortgage, at today’s interest rates, will cost you approximately $85/month.  However, the savings you will experience on your utility bill will exceed that amount by an average of $30/month or more! Thus, extra cash in pocket, month one.  Sign me up.  These units can also be hooked up to your hot water heater, which heats your water partially so that your hot water heater doesn’t have to do all of the work on its own.
  • The second thing on my list would have to be blown cellulose insulation. (http://www.nuwool.com/) This type of insulation helps prevent air infiltration (drafts) in the home, because it helps seal the nooks & crannys on the exterior envelope of the home. You’ll notice the drafts particularly around electric sockets if the insulation installed in your home doesn’t provide that air barrier.
  • The third thing on my list would have to be EnergyStar rated appliances. (http://www.energystar.gov/) This might be a tricky one in my household because my husband, an aspiring chef, has visions of commercial grade appliances swimming in his head. I’m not sure if they make really fancy appliances with the EnergyStar label, but I’d be willing to bet you that I’ll have to find out sooner or later.
  • Also in my top “must haves” would be EnergyStar rated windows.  Efficient windows can save you big bucks on your heating & cooling bills.

 

While there are certainly other green & energy efficient features that will go in my home, these are the top 4…..for now.  With green & energy efficient technology constantly changing, I reserve the right to change my mind!

 

Until next time…remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room.

 

 

 

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About the author

Carolyn Rolfes is the President of Potterhill Homes. And she's also a Rolfes - as in daughter of Dan Rolfes, the infamous Red Tag Man of Holiday Homes. So what does that say about Carolyn and who she is? Plenty. When you grow up the daughter of man who does commercials in his red underwear, you have no choice but to have a great sense of humor and humility from a very young age. Carolyn and Dan founded Potterhill Homes in 2001 and she has grown it to be one of the most successful home builders in Cincinnati. Home building is in her blood and she has a keen awareness of what consumers look for in a new home and how to deliver value at all levels. And while we don't make Carolyn dress up in green underwear for our commercials, we bet she would if we asked!

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About Potterhill Homes

Cincinnati-based Potterhill Homes is a premier builder of affordable, environmentally friendly homes in Greater Cincinnati. Our homes are built with traditional Cincinnati architectural styles and are perfect for both urban infill and suburban development. To learn more about Potterhill Homes,visit www.potterhillhomes.com.


About the authors

Carolyn Rolfes is the President of Potterhill Homes. And she's also a Rolfes - as in daughter of Dan Rolfes, the infamous Red Tag Man of Holiday Homes. So what does that say about Carolyn and who she is? Plenty. When you grow up the daughter of man who does commercials in his red underwear, you have no choice but to have a great sense of humor and humility from a very young age. Carolyn and Dan founded Potterhill Homes in 2001 and she has grown it to be one of the most successful home builders in Cincinnati. Home building is in her blood and she has a keen awareness of what consumers look for in a new home and how to deliver value at all levels. And while we don't make Carolyn dress up in green underwear for our commercials, we bet she would if we asked!