Big Picture Planning
If you’re undertaking a major remodeling project, you probably have other goals in addition to energy efficiency. You might want to add square footage or reconfigure the space to work better for you — for example, by adding an extra bedroom or a bathroom. Your budget will be a major factor, and you’ll want your home to be even more comfortable and enjoyable.
Will it add value to your home? Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com for your home value questions.
Almost everyone on our panel of five energy experts — including architects and specialists in energy efficiency who together have numerous successful remodels behind them — suggested the same starting point: Get a thorough home energy rating, which will illuminate what’s possible for your home and help you set priorities.
“A certified home-energy rating is worth every penny, and it’s rarely more than $500,” says Jeremy Knoll, an architect and co-founder of Historic Green. “It gives you a priority list based not on your gut feeling, but on measured data of what’s going to make the most difference in your home in terms of energy repair work.”
You can find a certified home-energy rater in your area through RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network. Be sure you talk to the rater before scheduling the audit, and pick someone who is good at answering your questions and explaining the details. A home energy rater should be able to recommend reliable people who can do the energy upgrade work. Getting an energy rating can also help you qualify for different financing options, such as an energy-efficient mortgage, if that interests you.