Thiel Butner wanted a single-family rental in downtown Frederick, Md. She was also eager to undergo her first green home remodeling project. As a green building verifier — not a builder — Butner was excited to see the other side of the process.
“I wanted to get a taste of what we put everyone else through,” she said with a laugh. She went for the Emerald Level NGBS green certification for this 500-square-foot home remodel.
She got a mouthful.
“Everything was challenging”said Thiel, who served as the general contractor. “We peeled back layers of the house and realized it needed a full gut.”
Without a list of subcontractors on speed dial, Thiel worked hard find people with whom she felt comfortable. She used referrals whenever possible and was pleased with their work overall.
It was also challenging to take on a green remodeling project in a historic area, Butner noted. There were a lot of parameters about changing the windows, doors and framing. At the same time, incorporating features from the original 150-year-old home added character.
“We blended elements like the old wood and brick,” she said. “This gave it a lot of texture.”
Other green updates included a garden with native and drought-tolerant plants; a ductless HVAC (heat pump mini splits); efficient appliances; a metal roof with insulation; and gutters to drain away water.
“Overall, I was excited for how it all came together,” Butner said. “The tenants are happy because their utility bills are low, and it’s a comfortable, easy place to live.”