Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Greening my old house

Going green in any part of your life can seem overwhelming at first. So many questions to answer: What products to use, what systems to install, which contractors will go along with your vision?

My old house was built in 1921 and the first resident was an Akron rubber worker. It is essentially a small upright box covered with aluminum siding.

When I bought this house in 1999 it cost 45K. I figure it is worth about 25 cents in today's economy. But for me, the value is in its location -- one mile from my place of employment. Having a low monthly mortgage payment is also convenient, as it has allowed me to put money into home improvements. I will confess that not everything I have had done to the house is eco-friendly. Some of my first improvements were dictated by cost rather than by sustainability.

My latest home project is creating a bathroom with the best available water saving fixtures, along with sustainable flooring and tiling. It took weeks of research to find the materials and the construction workers to carry out the project. This week, the work on the bathroom begins! I will be posting pictures and commentary as the work commences. Stupidly, I forgot to take "before" pictures, but I'm pretty sure the tile guy took some pictures of the bathroom before the tear out began. Hopefully, he will share those with me so I can post some proper before and after pictures when the job is finished.

Below, a view of the medicine cabinet, vanity and toilet. The medicine cabinet is the only original fixture I am keeping. Everything else will be replaced. No more water-wasting bathtub, rather a magnificent shower with water-sense shower head. A very cool state of the art Japanese toilet and lavatory will reside here as well. The walls, the flooring and the shower area will feature recycled materials.

I will be discussing my sustainable choices as the work progresses, along with photos. Stay tuned!