Gauss family circa 1913. We will restore the original historic integrity of the house, and hide dozens of modern features that will make the house ultra energy efficient. We still find pieces of coal in the back yard from the original coal stoves used at the time of this photo. The solar panels on the roof will be the only thing that gives away this stealth green home.
DURING: Exterior house with asbestos siding being removed - revealing gorgeous original wood clapboard siding. The siding will be restored and painte
BEFORE: Exterior house covered in asbestos siding concealing original wood clapboard. Porch covered in plywood. But, south facing roof exposed to th
Philip & Elizabeth Gauss circa 1913. Kelly and Matt bought the house from their daughter Gert who was born in th efront parlor in 1920. Gert's oldest brother Robert is in the perambulator in this photo.
Kelly & Matt Grocoff in front of their 110 Folk-Victorian home as they venture to create the oldest home in America to achieve net zero energy.
Circa 1913. The yard still has the original hydrangea beds on the left in this photo. We moved some of the flowers closer to the sidewalk and made room for an edible food garden.
Exterior after removal of asbestos tiles, restoration and painting with low-VOC Benjamin Moore Aura paint.
BEFORE: House with asbestos siding installed in 1947 by a traveling siding salesman. We found the original reciept for the installation in an old family photo album. It cost $700 to install this "fireproof" siding.
Matt and Kelly Grocoff in their newly refinished 1908 Kohler clawfoot tub. PHOTO CREDIT LEISA THOMPSON
Kelly and Matt Grocoff looking through some old photos of their historic house. Photo Credit: Cybelle Kodish
Dining Room a work in progress. Dining table made from salvaged teak. No new materials were used in the dining room except for the motion sensor lig
Cover photo Home Universe magazine (before completion of renovations)
AFTER: Upstairs bath - reclaimed or recycled materials, salvaged tub, dual flush Caroma toilet, motion sensored light switches and bath fan, lots of n
Upstairs bath shower with recycled content tile from American Olean.
Backyard Chicken Coop
Mirror made from reclaimed picture frame.
Upstairs bath sink fixture. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Lewinski
View into Parlor from stairs
Downstairs bath sink
Rough sketch of solar
BEFORE: Attic with zero insulation. One layer of newspaper date 1902 was on the attic floor covered in coal soot.
The single layer of newspaper dated 1902 - found in the attic. It was the only insulation in the house!!
Removing the wasteful 5 gallon per flush toilet with a Caroma dual flush .8 gallon high efficiency toilet.
BEFORE: Room before conversion to upstairs bathroom & bedroom.
Upstairs Bath addition: We split a large bedroom and saved space by using Jack & Jill barn door slides. We used as much reclaimed material as possible. We were able to keep the full bedroom and add a full bath with adding a single inch to the footprint of the house.
Salavaged doors from the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Rather than swinging doors, we put these on barn door slides to save space for the upstairs bath.
Salavaged doors from the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Rather than swinging doors, we put these on barn door slides to save space for the upstairs bath. They perfectly matched our existing doors and cost only $100 each!!
Testing out the barn door slides. We chose barn door slides to save room otherwise wasted by swinging doors.
Salvaged wood moldings for the new bathroom.
Reclaimed lumber for the new bathroom door frame.
Salvaged clawfoot 1908 tub we found on Craigslist. We had a restorer reglaze the tub for $350. We saved enough money to buy some nice replica plumbi
Refinished reglazed 1908 clawfoot tub.
Bricor 1.5 gallon per minute shower head will save 11,000 gallons of hot water every year and will reduce energy costs by $100 annually.
AFTER: Upstairs bath - reclaimed or recycled materials, salvaged tub, dual flush Caroma toilet, motion sensored light switches and bath fan, lots of natural lighting, and Safecoat zero-VOC non-toxic paint. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Lewinski
BEFORE: Original Mueller Climatrol gas furnace circa 1957. 40% effiiency, meaning 60¢ of every dollar was wasted - only 40¢ went for heat.
Geothermal bore holes being dug in the back yard on a frigid January morning. There are three vertical holes drilled 150 feet each. The stable ground temperature is used to heat & cool the house as well as heat our water.
Geothermal pipes being buried to create a closed loop to exchange heat with the ground
BEFORE: Downstairs bathtub with no shower. Pink decor circa 1965, faux marble and curtains made from old towels.
Downstairs bathroom under greenovation. Recycled content tiles on walls.
BEFORE: Downstairs bathtub with no shower. Pink decor circa 1965, faux marble counter top, water faucet used at least 2.5 gallons per minute!!
Downstair bathroom with restored original floor, FSC certified bead board trim, sink saved from builder's auction and recycled content tiles used in bath / shower. Sink has a high-efficiency 1 gpm faucet aerator from Kohler.
BEFORE: Downstairs bath with tub but no shower. It was the only bath in the house. Old toilet used 5 gallons per flush!!
Downstairs bath with dual flush Caroma toilet
Caroma dual flush toilet buttons. Flushes with as little as .8 gallons. We tested the toilet propped on a bucket and were able to flush 4 tennis balls with only .8 gallons!! This saves thousands of gallons every year.
High efficiency Panasonic bath fan with motion sensor. Compact fluorescent lights in sconce lighting.
We saved every piece of material that was removed. We salvaged floor boards, moldings and much more for use in other parts of the restoration.
Kelly repairing the ceiling after removing the acoustic ceiling tiles which were added in the 1970s.
Old wood floors revealed after carpet removal but before they were sanded and refinished with a natural non-toxic hard oil from Bioshield.
Repairing, rather than replacing, the original plaster walls helps avoid using new materials and is the enivronmentmentally friendly choice.
Repairing damaged floor boards with wood saved from the new bathroom.
A work in progress. Restoring old floors and walls for healthy use for another hundred years.
Dining Room a work in progress. Dining table made from salvaged teak. No new materials were used in the dining room except for the motion sensor light switches and the geothermal thermostat. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Lewinski
BEFORE: Parlor wall-to-wall carpet covering antique heart pine floors
BEFORE: Downstairs nook wall-to-wall carpet and acoustic ceiling tiles
BEFORE: Nook & dining room - curtains blocked natural daylight, carpet covered the antique heart pine floor, and acoustic ceiling tiles concealed the plaster
BEFORE: Dining room
DURING: Kelly removing the wall-to-wall carpet to reveal the antique heart-pine floors. We refinished them with a natural non-toxic hard oil from Bio
Kelly restoring the glory to the original heart-pine floors!! We used a natural non-toxic hard oil from Bioshield.
The restored antique heart pine floors!! Some of these boards came from trees that were growing before Columbus sailed for America over 500 years ago. They are worth saving and using for another hundred years!
Well deserved rest in the front parlor during floor restoration.
BEFORE: Hallway with carpet covering antique heart pine floors.
Removing carpet from stairs to reveal heart pine floors.
Matt Grocoff giving a tour of his home. Infrared imaging shows he's hot. Infrared photo by Janette Lutz.
We hope to purchase solar panels Made in the USA. So, by going net zero we also help our local economy as well as the planet.
Enphase mircoinverter will allow us to capture energy on each panel independently. So, in our northern climate we will make our panels even more efficient and allow us to get to net zero energy - producing more energy than we consume.
Our geothermal furnace provides us with heat, air conditioning and hot water. It is rated 5 COP (500%) efficient for heat, SEER 30 for a/c and provides 60% of our hot water. Our heating, cooling and hot water bills are under $550 for the entire year. When we install the solar panels, the home will produce more energy than we consume making this the oldest home in America to achieve net zero energy.