Rebecca brings us a second mini-house tour, this time, a peek into a green constructed home belonging to one of her good friends who moved from LA to Austin. Tell us what you think!
Location: Austin, TX
Size: 1050 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years
California native, Kelly, went green last year by purchasing a 5-star green home in Austin, TX. After spending most of last year working and getting to know this eclectic city, Kelly set down roots by purchasing the 3 bdrm/ 2 bath modern house. With a clean palette to work with, Kelly invested in landscaping the courtyard, designing and building a sustainable deck with benches as well as a 7 ft x 7 ft dipping pool.
She also used zero-VOC paint for the interior walls and had solar panels installed on her roof. Just a few weeks ago, Kelly's house was part of Austin's 2008 The Cool House Tour, which featured energy efficient and environmentally sound design and construction. The Texas Solar Energy and Austin Green Building Program teamed up to produce this event that spotlighted 20 Austin homes ranging in size and price.
My/Our style: Texas Modern meets Dwell Modular
Why go green?: Aside from wanting a smaller carbon footprint, I loved this house – the design was beautiful and is the ideal size for me.
Most interesting green design feature?: The builder did a 365-day sun survey to see where the sun is at all times of the year. He then built the house and placed the windows accordingly to utilize the power of the sun in the most efficient way for all seasons.
Biggest Challenge: Designing my deck. I wanted it to be functional on many levels yet still stylish, comfortable and cool. Everything else about this house has been easy and I love that!
What Friends Say: Everyone seems to always ask about our utility bills are per month and how the solar panels work. I may have inspired a few to go green after hearing that my monthly bills were only 10% of a non-green home.
Biggest Embarrassment: Browbeating the electric company when I thought my solar panels weren't hooked up, only to find out I was misreading the utility bills. (eek!)
Biggest Indulgence: With respect to my home- Recessed lighting.
Proudest DIY: Designing the deck myself! The landscape architect that I wanted couldn't fit us into his schedule in my time table. I took matters into my own hands by putting together a space for how I wanted to use the yard. I couldn't' be happier!
Dream source: Hive Modern for furniture, Pepper in Art and Big Red Sun for outdoor décor.
Best Advice Given or Received: Buy property you can afford. Get into the market, just get into the game!