The Woodka Remodel: The Beginning

Woodka Remodel Project
The Woodka: Before Renovation

Our Wooda Project journey began when we were approached by a couple residing in California with a summer vacation home on a lake in Western Michigan. The couple was looking to sell their California home and make their Michigan home their permanent residence. The main reason for this relocation was to be closer to their children and grandchildren; they wanted their lake home to be a place for the entire family to congregate and spend time together.

In preparation for their permanent move to their Michigan home, which we're calling 'The Woodka, the couple decided that the house needed some remodeling and expansion to make room for family and other visitors.

The Woodka Backstory

Woodka Remodel Project
The Woodka: Before Renovation
The Woodka home is a beautiful structure set back from the lake, situated on a wooded lot at the end of a secluded cul-de-sac. It was built in the early 1980s with a modern design, and with the exception of a few minor updates here and there, hadn't changed much over the years.

The homeowners knew they wanted to renovate the Woodka, and give both the interior and exterior a fresh makeover. They also realized that in order to have enough room for their entire family, as well as year-round living, they would need to expand it.

The owners of the Woodka are also very mindful of sustainability issues; they wanted to ensure that their new year-round home would be as energy-efficient as possible, which is yet another reason they decided to renovate. While the home was built to the most efficient standards in its day, times have changed, and much more emphasis goes into sustainability and efficiency today than it did three decades ago.

Here is where Green Home Source and its parent company, Gen1 Architectural Group, entered the picture. Since the owners wanted to make their home as 'green' as possible, they were referred to us by their builder, Rick Rotschaffer.

Working very closely with the owners and Rick over a period of months, we completely redesigned the home using the principles of our ETHOS Home Design (read about ETHOS here). The new and improved Woodka not only gives them the space they need to house and entertain family and friends, it does so with special attention paid to energy-efficiency and sustainable building practices at every step of the renovation process.

During this design phase, it became clear to our entire team that this was going to be a major project. The entire house was going to be stripped of its entire 1980s-era infrastructure right down to its frame, and given new life as a complete green home, using all of the latest green building practices and materials.

Given such a wide-ranging and extensive green makeover, and with supportive owners willing to go to great lengths (as well as expense) to redo their home as sustainably as possible in 2012, Green Home Source saw an opportunity to document this project as a showcase for green home building and remodeling. It is rare for an older home to be completely renovated, top to bottom, all at once. It's even rarer for such a complete renovation to be done with such detailed attention to sustainability and efficiency. The Woodka Project is our opportunity to showcase all the various aspects of green home design, as well as the materials and products that can be utilized in any home to make it much more energy-efficient.

Following the Woodka Renovation

Woodka Remodel Project
The Woodka: Preliminary Renovation Design

As the Woodka renovation begins in the summer of 2012, we will follow along. By tearing out the old walls, windows, sidings, and other materials, we will get a fist-hand glimpse into the building practices of the 1980s: just a few decades ago, but a lifetime in terms of energy-efficiency, as you will see. Once the newly renovated home has been lived in for awhile, we'll do some energy use comparisons to see how well the 'new' home is performing compared to before.

Our goal is to give other homeowners some ideas (and inspiration) for use in their own new home or renovation projects. While most of us will never undertake a renovation as major as the Woodka, there are literally hundreds of ways, big and small, expensive or inexpensive, to make any home more efficient and sustainable. We hope you'll follow on the Woodkas' journey!

The Woodka journey begins with planning. Lots and lots of planning. Learn about the process here.

Return to the main Woodka Page

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