Energy Efficiency Audits & Contracting in Coastal Maine
Diane and Mark's 1995 Belfast Home
The real estate listing promised that this 1995 Belfast farmhouse was energy efficient, but moisture problems prompted a major overhaul before the new owners went through a winter.
When Mark and Diane Cook set out to rebuild the deck on their new house, they discovered that the house was rotting beneath the deck, thanks to moisture problems that also caused mold, mildew, and rust in the garage and walk-out basement bedroom. An architect friend suggested that they call Evergreen Home Performance for an energy audit and comprehensive improvement plan.
After a full energy audit, Advisor Brian Robinson suggested a series of improvements that allowed the Cooks to reclaim the entire ground floor of their home. The Cooks hadn’t anticipated undertaking such a big project just months after moving in, but they decided that “it made sense to gut the whole floor and deal with the problems once and for all.”
Evergreen started by tearing out moldy drywall, encapsulating the ground floor, and reinsulating the walls and ceiling with dense packed cellulose. Adding insulation in the attic “got the whole house functioning at a higher level,” Mark said. Next Evergreen coordinated with local contractors to ensure that the space was finished to the Cooks’ specifications, and worked with solar partner ReVision Energy to install solar collectors and a solar hot-water heater. The result: a bright, cozy studio where the garage had been and an airy bedroom where there had once been mold growing up the walls.
Mark and Diane qualified for state and federal rebates that defrayed the cost of their $15,000 improvement project, and financed the rest of the project with savings. “We didn’t plan to spend our savings on home improvement,” Diane says, but “not cutting corners is more economical than cutting corners.”
“In this economy, people want value,” said Mark, “and energy savings is incredibly valuable.” In addition to expanding their home’s living area with useful usable space, the Cooks eliminated unnecessary energy waste and cut their fuel use by more than 50%. “You get what you pay for,” said Mark, “and with Evergreen you get more than what you pay for.”