19min read How can you plan an upgrade for your house that will keep it out of the landfill for as long as possible? I’m so glad you asked!
Do you ever think of your home as destined for the landfill?
This is dark, I know. But all things are…eventually. Every part and piece of your home has a useful life, a finite number of years to serve as a dwelling.
Sure, some buildings have lasted for ages and across the globe there are numerous examples of structures standing the test of time. These structures are often constructed of naturally occurring local materials and designed to function well in their climate without too much mechanical intervention.
Buildings are where humans spend the vast majority of our time and are, rightly, a place we invest an incredible amount of resources. And so it makes sense to help each building out of the landfill for as long as we can. At least, that’s what I believe and that’s one of my primary goals for Mid Mod Midwest. Some days I think of my job mostly as postponing each mid-century home’s trip to the dump for as long as I can.
13min read Have you ever considered remodeling your mid-century ranch is an act of radical sustainability?
Think about it! There are 15 million of these modestly-sized, well-built houses across America located in walkable neighborhoods close to local businesses and schools. Taking on a sustainable mid-century remodel means helping people occupy them, love them and preserve them. In doing so, you prevent their demolition to build something larger or just building new homes on greenfield land elsewhere, and this is a significant environmental win.
Yes, mid-century modern style is cool and fun, but more than that – coming up with design tools to help 15 percent of US housing stock stay relevant is IMPORTANT WORK.
2min read Having passed the framing and electrical inspections, the next direct step for the basement was to finish up the insulation. For the first time ever, this task turned out to be easier than I expected.
It was unexpectedly challenging to find 23” batts of insulation (designed for more efficient 24 inch on center framing I used) which were ALSO unfaced (no place for moisture to get stuck) AND designed for a 2×4 wall (not an attic).I scoured the internet for this unicorn of insulation objects, the 23” unfaced 3.5” batt and finally had to special order it to be delivered to Menards. Continue reading “Progress: Installing Batt Insulation”
4min read Insulated blinds are one of my favorite micro updates. In addition to a warmer (or cooler) house they provide privacy, controls over your daylight and a stylish update to your aesthetics. Win. Win. Win. Win.
The snap in the air this week reminded me to adjust my insulated blinds up at night instead of leaving them at half mast for daytime privacy. I love, Love, LOVE my cordless, up-down, cellular blinds. They are energy efficient, streamlined and private, and I think they could be an improvement to any home. Continue reading “Micro Update: Up-Down Insulated Blinds”
2min read With winter coming (the weather just shifted from 70’s to 40’s this week), I was reminded of a punch list of get it done in good weather items. One was last weeks painting catch-all. Another is the possibly crazy goal of getting the mudroom framed in, scheduled for next week.
2min read So I haven’t been making as much progress as I’d like on the Togstad project in August but it is for an excellent reason. I’ve been designing another project – a new Passive House residence to be constructed in the Bloomington, IL area.
While nothing in the design brief said “ranch” it is no coincidence that it has an elongated single-story profile and flowing open plan layout. I do have ranches on the brain. Here are some of my sketches from the Schematic Design phase.
3min read Part of the reason I decided to entirely tear out the existing “finished basement” was aesthetic: it was incredibly dated with an unpleasant drop ceiling and an unfortunate layout. I could have kept some parts of it however, if it hadn’t been totally un-insulated. I can do SO MUCH BETTER than that.