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housing trend · WAHomeowners.com

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Furnace free: How to turn a drafty, decades-old house into an engineering marvel

Could you imagine the money you would save if your house didn’t need a furnace?

Furnace free: How to turn a drafty, decades-old house into an engineering marvel

Sometime in the next few weeks, Paul Brazelton will move his family into a 1935 Tudor in south Minneapolis that has no furnace. He’s just finished a massive renovation of the home and even though winter’s bearing down, he removed the boiler and plans to use that basement space for his daughters’ home-school classroom.

He also took out the fireplace.

If this sounds like the most uninviting house (and classroom) in Minneapolis, there’s something else to know. Brazelton, a software engineer and passionate environmentalist, has nearly finished a retrofit of his house to the stringent engineering standards of the Passivhaus model, a German system of homebuilding that uses insulation and highly efficient doors and windows to save energy.

Read Story on the Seattle Times…

Smart-home systems go mainstream

Smart-home systems go mainstream

Home automation, once the province of the ultra-wealthy, is now making its way to everyone else.

“For decades, technology companies and futurist magazines have teased us with visions of houses in which the lighting, temperature, TV and audio system could be controlled from a central unit. You are supposed to be able to check on that basement heater while staying snug under the blanket.”

Read Story…

Green value in going green?

Green value in going green?

Home energy efficiency and sustainability have been major policy priorities for the Obama administration, but lurking in the background are two consistent, pesky questions:

Beyond the documentable savings on utilities bills, do such steps add to the resale value of a home? And do they make it easier or faster to sell your property?

Officials and housing groups say definitive statistical data covering multiple regions of the country are scarce. But some localized research projects in Oregon, Washington and California offer promising hints.

Read More…

That’s it honey, I’ll be in the snore room

An interesting new trend in housing. Would you want a snore room?

That’s it honey, I’ll be in the snore room
Builders catering to couples who start the night together but end separately

Judy MacDonald faces a near-nightly domestic conflict. When she wakes around 2 a.m. to her husband’s snoring, she has to decide between migrating to another room or toughing it out beside him in bed and watching TV to block out the noise.

If Judy and her husband, Ross, were in the market for a home today, they could snap one up with a feature designed to solve the problem of late-night sleep incompatibility: The snore room.

Read More…