Energy

2014 So Far: The Good, the Bad, and the Future

The end of spring/summer real estate season is time to catch up on personal business, analyze trends and plan ahead. Armed with flashlight, screwdriver and little gray cells here’smy look around the housing industry Mega-trends I’ve worked for up-and-coming multi-degreed professionals, investors, software engineers/designers/managers, medical professionals, first-time buyers, retirees, divorced and widowed persons; everyone except my main source of income; the middle-middle class.…

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Letters Home

Inspectors typically work Point of Sale transactions.  A lot of what we do gets lost in the buyers rush to negotiate, move and settle. Here are my reasons to schedule aMaintenance Inspection every 6-9 years. The science of how we build and live in homes is changing.  Materials, methods and lifestyle all have an impact on function and…

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Postcards from the field

These recent intown Atlanta inspections put my understanding of building science to the test 1.  Poor Drainage A reputable builder purchased mid-block properties in an older neighborhood.  Local ordinance required he dispose of roof and surface moisture on-site, not to the storm sewer.  He built a comfortable, durable and efficient Earthcraft home.  This property and adjacent lots contain large amounts of organic clay…

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Cool in June

Thermostat Wars and The Streetlight Effect Too much A/C gives me sinusitis, too little and I can’t sleep.  You may be comfortable at 79, but it’s 78 for me. Family beach week is a constant battle between the 70F-crew and grumpy uncle Dan. Individual comfort depends very much on the specific needs of the comforted. How homeowners solve cooling deficiencies depends upon their understanding of the problem. When I see a fan in every room during an…

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2014 Atlanta Home Trends

These real-world trends in the Atlanta market are worth a look. Thanks to agent Peggy Desiderio and landscape contractor David Curl for your knowledge and advice   Walk To Pizza What was once a lifestyle decision is now an economic necessity.   This nation-wide trend holds for Atlanta, ITPand OTP. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2012/05/why-you-pay-more-walkable-neighborhoods/2122/                 Take the Last Train to Boomerville  Ranch-condo quads…

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Cold-Weather Comfort and the three-legged stool

Cold, Comfort and Energy Cold-Weather Comfort and the three-legged stool Building Science has shown there are three components required for comfort and efficiency:   A source of energy  A building enclosure in which the flow of energy is controlled   A system of delivering energy from a source to the enclosure  Of these three sources of…

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Sustainable Savings Time

  Green building practices save money.  Use them when you build, renovate or replace.  Maximum savings begin with good design Atlanta’s Southface Energy Institute is regional leader in sustainable building http://www.southface.org/about/letter/ Climate-specific primer on efficient and durable residential construction http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/houseplans/hp-mixed-humid-recommendations Saving money is good business for this Washington DC company http://thefifthfuel.com/   Open windows are cheaper than fans,…

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Energy Basics

Most of us relegate energy efficiency to the bottom of our home improvement checklist. Practical concerns such as correcting major defects, moving in and settling the kids in school come first. Painting and decorating provide the homeowner with immediate, visible results; a much more tangible reward than sealing attic ductwork with mastic. Does the average…

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