Thursday, September 18, 2008

Green Home Tour Redux

Despite Chicago receiving a record-breaking rainfall last Saturday, we finally had our Green Home Tour. After weeks of preparation, it was great to finally take a step back and take in what we accomplished, and show off our home to the 60+ people that came through to learn a bit about green building.

Looking back at where we were a month ago, I'm amazed at how much work we were able to get done in preparation for the tour. We'll detail most of these projects in upcoming blog entries, but here's the quick hitlist: Exterior painting, stucco painting, replacing broken glass and re-puttying our porch windows, interior staining and sealing of our kitchen trimwork, wallpapering, major ceiling and wall repairs to the dining room (and adding a tubular skylight), installing an arts & crafts stair banister, and putting together a rough landscape in front of our home. Wow.

In particular, the exterior painting turned out to come down to the wire. We had finished painting on Thursday, but it started raining that night and didn't quit until the day after the tour. This made it quite difficult for the paint to dry. In fact, two hours before people were scheduled to show up, Kenny was helping us dry the paint of our front steps using Jen's hair dryer. We had tented off the steps to prevent them from getting wet for two days, but there was just too much humidity in the air. It's amazing what a hair dryer and a little patience can accomplish! As always, Kenny deserves a big shout out for all the help he gave us to prepare for the home tour.

And for all of you wondering how our colors on the house turned out, we managed to snap a photo during a brief break in the rain on Saturday. Here's before, and now our house looks like this:

I also wanted to summarize some of the things we pointed out about our green home. Thanks to Michelle at Seven Generations Ahead for organizing this list and producing a nice tour program for our home and the others on the tour. I'm sure it will be a great resource for the visitors and their future green remodeling. Here is Humphrey House's "green" resume:

Energy Efficiency

Water Conservation
Healthy Air Quality
Resource Efficiency
Rapidly Renewable Resource
Locally Sourced Items
So, that's the virtual Green Home Tour of Humphrey House in a nutshell. We don't have some of the fancy "green bling" such as solar panels (yet), but we like to point out things that show that living or remodeling green doesn't necessarily have to cost a lot of green.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Green Home Tour Coming Up Soon

We've been working oh so hard over the past few weeks to whip Humphrey House into shape in preparation for the Green Home Tour this weekend.

It's been a nearly murderous pace as we tackle all of the exterior painting, finally fixing Scott's hole and other repairs to the dining room, and finishing the woodwork and stairway trim in the kitchen/family room. I'm sure I'm missing a few things here, but we have been documenting the work and will post individual stories in the weeks to come once the dust settles (literally).

In the meantime, if you are in the area and want a tour where the money goes to a good cause, be sure to check out our home (and six other green homes) on the Seven Generations Ahead green homes tour.