Can This Home Be Greened? A Florida Fixer-Upper Gets a Green Remodel

A personalized remodel can be eco-friendly, resource-conscious and under budget.

| May/June 2009

  • Homeowner Tim Dyer lives in a country setting and wants to make his home more eco-friendly.
    Photography By Greg Hardwick
  • The home still has a fw inefficient windows.
    Photography By Greg Hardwick
  • Tim and Phyllis want to protect their lake.
    Photography By Greg Hardwick
  • The Dyers hope to replace dated tiles and carpet.
    Photography By Greg Hardwick
  • Narrow doorways aren't wheelchair-accessible.
    Photography By Greg Hardwick
  • Phyllis and Tim Dyer hope to improve their home's accessibility, efficiency and sustainability for around $50,000.
    Photography By Greg Hardwick

Phyllis and Tim Dyer live in a single-story home in Eustis, Florida, a cozy town nestled in central Florida’s Lake County, about 50 miles southeast of Daytona Beach. The couple purchased their 1959 lakefront home in 2000 to escape increasing urban sprawl in Orlando, and they began considering renovations about three years ago. They don’t want to expand the 1,950-square-foot home, and they are determined that their renovations create “sustainable value” for about $50,000.

The Dyers started renovating the home last year, and their efficiency improvements have already halved their electric bill. They replaced most of their home’s windows with efficient, low-emissivity (low-E), double-glazed aluminum windows and sliding glass doors. They also replaced the 25-year-old HVAC unit with a 5-ton, 13-SEER heat pump with a variable speed air handler.

The Dyers have clearly defined goals for the remainder of their renovation budget: to further improve efficiency; to renovate their kitchen; to replace floors throughout the home; to accommodate the needs of their son, who sometimes uses a wheelchair; and to plant native, water-conserving landscaping.

Longtime subscribers to Natural Home, Tim and Phyllis turned to us for help in determining a way to accomplish these goals while staying “as green as possible.”

Replacing and redesigning

Finishing their efficiency improvements and reworking the kitchen to be more pleasurable and functional will make Tim and Phyllis’ home less expensive to operate and more fun to live in.

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