Here are links to some of the products and sources we’re using in our new home. If there’s a link here I generally recommend their goods and services.
Goal Zero – Okay, I have NOT used any of their products but they look awesome, awesome, awesome. Their solar kits and power-packs look to be perfect for anyone looking for portable power off the grid at a reasonable price. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? With these you can plug in a mixer out on the trail.
GreenWorks – They offer a whole range of zero emissions yard care products. I have the tiller, which I’ve come to terms with and now the cordless mower which I will marry someday. From their website: “Mowing your yard can feel like following an old clunker down the highway – you inhale gas fumes the entire way. Not anymore. GreenWorks electric and cordless products allow you to care for your yard without raising up a cloud of gas emissions that’s harmful to you and the environment.” Lowes.com and Lowe’s stores carry several of their products.
Modern House Numbers – They provide high quality & affordable address numbers, mailbox numbers & curb stencils for the modern dweller. Every month they sell hundreds of numbers to people just like you… from Australia to Canada, California to Germany and everywhere in between. We bought and installed a set of Palm Spring numbers on the garage when we built the house. They look really nice. I think the numbers they sell look good no matter what style house you have.
Queen Right Colonies, Ltd. – A great little farm in Spencer, Ohio that sells bees, bee keeping supplies, pigeons, mini horses and even hedge hogs. The owner, Denzil St. Clair, is as knowledgeable an apiarist as you’ll find out there.
Insulation Depot – Insulation Depot is North America’s largest seller of recycled and reclaimed RIGID FOAM INSULATION board. They supply all types of Once-Used EPS, XEPS, ISO, and Composite Foam Boards. We got 4″ EPS in 2×8 sheets. Be prepared to take what you can get and unload it yourself from a semi truck. You’ll save 50% in the process.
Superior Walls – Precast concrete walls. The pricing is comparable to other methods. The walls include insulation, knockouts for wiring / plumbing and metal stud facings built in. Our 10′ foundation walls went up in 1 day and were within 1/8″ across 190′ which is out of this world tolerance. Do perform a soil test before ordering though so you know what all your costs will be. They require a gravel back fill and footer.
Ferut Architects – Knowledgable in designing energy efficient homes that are as easy on the eye as they are on your wallet. Do take the time to couple your design with the work of a good builder, familiar with the latest techniques and environmental sensibilities. Our challenge was building the house ourselves, we missed out on some of the details a seasoned builder would pick up on.
Fike Excavating – About as quality an excavator as you’ll ever find. If anyone can put up with me as a client they’re above and beyond. The team at Fike Excavating met all of our needs and questions with a courteous and professional demeanor. I’d recommend them to anyone looking for an excavator.
Pactiv GreenGuard Raindrop -THE housewrap to use. Not much more expensive than regular Tyvek and includes a relatively unique channeling system to route any condensed water down towards the ground. On our house the wrap technically creates the air barrier around the house. It’s tough to find but well worth the effort. Big box stores and lumber yards don’t stock it. We called the distributor to find out where it was and sent our locally owned lumber yard out to source it for us.
Lowes – Or Home Depot, but I personally prefer Lowes. They had Grace Vycor Plus in stock. Home Depot doesn’t carry it in stores. Home Depot was our source for lighting and other assorted items though. Can’t go wrong either way.
Serious Windows – The name says it all. There are several levels or models to suit your budget. We went with 525 in the house and 325 in the garage. All are gas filled and tailored to which direction they face to regulate how much sunlight and heat they let in during various times of year. From their website: SeriousWindows 525 Series, powered by SeriousGlass, are our best value fiberglass products, delivering the thermal and structural performance you need, at an affordable price. Combining the look of a traditional wood profile window with the advantages of fiberglass, the 525 Series will never rot, warp or stick making them ideal for new construction or as remodeling or replacement windows. With a thermal performance up to R-5.9, the 525 series outperforms Energy Star requirements. One inconvenience is they show up on a semi-tractor trailer every time. Difficult if your site is hard to reach. NOTE: as of 2012 it looks like Alpen bought out Serious Windows http://thinkalpen.com
COOLR Energy Efficient Metal is a family of sustainable, energy efficient roofing products comprised of 70% Kynar 500® or Hylar 5000® prepainted metal and acrylic coated Galvalume®. COOLR® is available in a wide variety of roofing colors, gauges, widths and substrates for low and steep slope applications. It’s highly reflective meeting EPA Energy Star Products Program performance criteria. Available with emissivity as high as 90% is achieved with COOLR® prepainted metal. Proven to last over 35 years with minimal maintenance and is offered with a non-prorated warranty for most applications. Paint colors retain 95% of their initial reflectance and emittance over time. Environmentally friendly energy efficient roofing metal, typically having a minimum recycled content of 25%. 100% recyclable at the end of a long, useful life.
Kurtz Brothers is the supplier in Northern Ohio for landscaping products and supplies for your green home. They also have a comprehensive recycling program that will turn your construction waste into new products.
Emtek produces quality hardware for doors, cabinets and bathware suitable for any style home. We selected their Orion handleset and Bern knobs for our exterior doors in an oil rubbed finish.
Barn Light Electric is out of Titusville, Florida. They sell made in America, old school barn style lighting, as well as industrial and retro looking lighting fixtures. Authentic is their middle name. To say their lighting products are stupid cool is an understatement. Browsing their online catalog should be a prerequisite for any so-called designers out there. True old school lighting fixture eye candy if there ever was. You’ll see their lights scattered throughout our project.
Restoration Hardware has some sick products too, though many are made overseas so you lose some of that made in the USA good karma. And obviously if you have a ton of time you can get the real deal at your local antique shop or Habitat for Humanity store. Regardless, slide your credit card and drop in their hardware for instant drool the next time you give your designer friends a tour of your pad.
Give Paul a call at R-TEK Insulation, Inc for you new or remodel insulation needs in Northeast Ohio. They specialize in spray cellulose insulation which is what lines our walls and roof. Paul’s team is world-class and understand the insulation needs of high performance, energy-efficient homes. They worked seamlessly with Bob over at R Family company, LLC, which was our EnergyStar rater. Get these guys on your project and enjoy stepping into the future of energy efficiency at home.
Wolf & Sub Zero are two of the top names in cooking and refridgeration products. We not only like the integrated look of our Sub Zero fridge and freezer; we also like that they are manufactured in the USA. Wolf ovens and ranges offer a variety options sure to please every cook. We cross shopped several other brands including Viking, but ultimately landed on our 30″ Duel Fuel range because of its features, style and price.
For the most of the first floor and stair landings we selected Mercier hardwood flooring in a select and better, natural maple finish. I personally like that you can get individual types of wood in about 17 colors each, so if you like maple, that’s a lot of options to match your decor or tastes. Our wood floors are zero VOC Greenguard certified, FSC sourced, and come with a 35 year warranty (longer than I’ll be around).
The upstairs studio and craft roof both sport Shaw laminate flooring in Orchard Lake Pear finish. Shaw has a variety of floor coverings from carpet to hardwood, and they even sell area rugs. Their commitment to the environment is well documented as well.
Quadrafire offers a variety of wood, gas, electric and pellet burning appliances including freestanding stove styles and built in fireplace looking models. We have an EDGE60 and love it. It can burn pellets, sunflower seeds, corn or switchgrass. We got ours at Northfield Fireplace here in Ohio, they installed the unit during construction including the chimney. Check out the Quadrafire website to see where you can get a great wood burning appliance for your home.