Dave Sweet My name’s Dave Sweet. I’m an eco-friendly homeowner and builder who’s been building his own homes since the 1980s, and I’ve had a great time doing it. Each time I’ve built a home, I’ve tried to include as many environmentally-friendly features as I can. This time, my goal is to use as little energy as possible while maximizing comfort for my wife, my daughters and I. This blog is about helping each other - whether you’re a homeowner or a contractor in the field. Ask questions, exchange ideas, share resources, and more! I encourage you to be a part of this community, and share your experiences. www
As we get closer to the finish line of building my new home, I wanted to take the opportunity to revisit one of my favorite sources of knowledge.
Now that the walls of my new home are all painted up, I’ve been working on four key areas of the home’s interior: the flooring system, the kitchens, the bathroom, and the master bedroom.
Putting a good finish on the interior walls of a home is more than just slapping paint on a wall and calling it a day. Every home is different, and so is every paint job.
There’s always a trade-off to doing drywall during the wintertime. I want to be able to finish off the taping process quickly, but it needs to be warm enough inside my house for the installation to go smoothly.
There's no better way for me to kick off this new year than with a home that's getting to be almost ready to move into.
As far as winters go, we’ve been pretty lucky over these past several years with fewer snowstorms and milder temperatures overall. But it looks like this winter could be a colder one, and I need to get the insulation on my new home buttoned up before the snow arrives.
Winter’s around the corner, and we’re on a race against the clock to get most or all of my siding system installed around the outside of the house.
After some careful consideration, I’ve decided to install a solar thermal system onto the roof above my garage as part of my project!
You probably know by now that photo voltaic solar panels have been part of my master plan for this home since day one. Utilities are expensive, especially electricity. My wife and I are usually pretty good about turning the lights off when we leave a room, but the bills can still add up.
October is definitely here. I'm thinking more about what I need to do at the job site to prep for winter and meet a few key deadlines before the cold sets in.
I can’t believe that it’s already time for our first blower door test. It feels like yesterday that I was walking around on a piece of raw land and problem-solving with my wife over what we wanted our new home to look like. Now here we are - the lion’s share of construction has been completed and I’ve shifted my focus to the interior.
One thing that sticks out to me about building an eco-friendly home in 2017 is that from a technology standpoint, there’s never been a better time to build one. From appliances to lights to indoor comfort, nearly every facet of a home can be managed through a centralized control system connected to the internet.
It occurs to me that some the most important things about building a home are either underground or otherwise unseen, from utilities to time and effort.
Fifty years ago radiant heating might have sounded like science fiction. Today there’s a saying about concrete and underfloor heating systems that goes, “friends don’t let friends pour concrete without PEX in it”.
There are many angles to building an eco-friendly home including advanced construction techniques, using recycled building materials, and for many people, growing food and recycling the waste. For my project I’ve tried to cover as many “eco-friendly umbrella” areas I can.
If you’ve been following this blog you know I’m a big fan of good project management. My wife and I know what we want the home we’re building to feel like to live in, but with all the new technology, building products and techniques available, we have really focused on the results we want and sought out experts to guide us.
Even though we’re nowhere near finished building our eco-friendly home, at least we can say we’re weather tight! Framing and insulation went well, windows are in, and electrical work has been planned out.
Over the past 30 years I’ve built up a regular group of people I like to use for different projects. If someone is reliable, does a great job, and I like working with them, I call on them again and again.
My wife and I kicked off the New Year in the saltbox cottage that has been our temporary home during the construction of our new eco-friendly home. By mid-January framing was nearly complete so we selected a house wrap system to protect the structure from wind, moisture and infiltration.
For more than 30 years I've enjoyed keeping up with residential building trends and innovative materials and practices. Plumbing is obviously a major system, and you might be surprised at the variety of eco-friendly options available.