You know what they say about the cobbler’s children?

Well, starting on Monday, this cobbler’s kid is getting some new shoes. A year and a half after Phase 1 of my Evergreen Home Performance project, we’re starting Phase 2.

(A quick note on Phase 1: When we turned the attached barn of our 1856 house into a playroom, we let our builder talk us into insulating with fiberglass batts. This was after we’d left the target renovation budget in the dust and before I joined Evergreen, so really, we didn’t know any better. We learned that first winter. The floor was so cold that the kids refused to sit on it, and the drafts between the floorboards were intense. Our builder was right that it cost more to insulate with dense-packed cellulose – but not nearly as much as it cost to do it wrong, rip it out a year later, and do it right.)

Our barn-playroom’s Before & After made a pretty strong case for Evergreening the rest of the house, but a few key elements clinched it:

  • We’re burning 800 gallons of oil to keep the house at a chilly 62. My daughter’s room in the eaves is colder than that – and the infrared images prove that there’s not a speck of insulation there.
  • We have a typical Maine basement – rubble stone foundation, sometimes-damp dirt floor, generally creepy – and one of my occupational hazards is that I know just what that means in terms of indoor air quality. Encapsulating the basement will improve the efficiency and health of our home – and decrease the ick-factor considerably.
  • Jessie Davis, our Energy Advisor engineered a project that will cut our heating costs by 30% - which means the savings will just about cover our PACE loan payments.

So basically, Jessie proposed a nearly-cash-flow-neutral project that will improve our indoor air quality, improve our comfort, let me off the “we should really do something” hook, and resolve the sibling rivalry around whose bedroom has the most insulation.


I can hardly wait till Monday.