What we are up to: Open House Invite… Y’all come on in!!!

Energy star rating of 5+ stars?

60% more efficient with utility bills than before?

Heated by solar heated hot water?

That old house!?


Come on in! Take a look!

Open Demonstration/Exposition House:

March 31 – April 1, 2012

10am to 5pm

 226 South Happy Hollow Road,  Fayetteville, 72701

You are cordially invited:

 The Green Pinkies, LLC, “Two Women and a House”, are holding the door open and inviting the general public to stop in and see this solar water heated house system which has generated (pun intended) so much interest in the remodeling community.

Winner of the Silver Award in the Moderate climate, remodel category of the 2012 Energy Value Housing competition at the National Home Builder’s Convention in Florida, this 30 year old, brick ranch style, 1478 square foot, flagship home, now boasts an energy star rating of 5+ stars and is 60% more efficient than before the remodel.

Can an older house be heated mostly by using Solar Heated water? Can this be done without the huge outlay of cash which Photo voltaic panels require? Heating water is far more basic and intuitive.

Can the average homeowner tackle these kinds of Energy Updates to their older home? Can they use only parts of the system as the budget allows?  We, an average mother and daughter living here in Fayetteville, Arkansas did it. We think anybody could with a little direction.

Stop by, look the house over and get some ideas for adding to your own energy efficient upgrades, whether they be small or large.

We are not selling anything or offering any services. (Well, maybe we’ll have cookies laid out).  This is simply an educational expo for the public. We are sharing our experience and our enthusiasm. Warning: we are bragging about our contractors. Plus, this is a great way to meet all of you who have so diligently followed the progress of the house over the year we worked on it.

See you soon,

Your, GreenPinkies

Oh, almost forgot: in case you missed the Channel 5 news report about this remodeled house project, which aired on Sept. 19th, here is the link:


How GreenPinkies, LLC came about:

Question: Can reasonable energy efficiency be engineered into an already existing house? What would be the most logical/cost effective system to upgrade in the 30+year old Ranch style houses found in large numbers, many of them on the market, in the communities of Fayetteville, Arkansas?

Answer:  Find one of those houses, take it apart entirely, then put it back together. Perhaps the answer will suggest itself in the process.

Rewind back to August 2010:    Here we go!

This blog is for education: How an average homeowner with average funds can put energy saving features in an existing house.  Where do you go for information?  Where do you start?  Questions like these and others will be answered here.  By all means if you do not see your question being answered, ask it and we’ll find the answer!

We are not ‘ditzy’ women, nor are we stupid.  We are simply unfamiliar with the new territory and are learning as we go… and blogging our findings.

From mid-August to, hopefully, the end of December, (Not, try: July 2011), two women in Northwest Arkansas are renovating a vacant house to be, not only livable, but green! Yup, that buzz word that everyone nowadays is using.  They are experimenting with different systems and gadgets that can be put into a house to make it more efficient.  Oh, and by the way, the house pictured above is NOT the house being renovated.  There is a less frightening, a little more plausible house we’re tackling…see the picture below.

Throughout the renovation, we’ll keep you updated on the progress, what’s involved, and the surprises along the way.  If you have any suggestions or “green” things you would like us to try.  Let us know and we might just try them.

Origination of Our Name:Green Pinkies” A ‘Green Thumb’ is a person who is an expert in the green house with plants. Being that we are not strong in our knowledge of being green, we chose the less strong finger, the pinkie, to depict us.  Thus, we are the ‘Green Pinkies’, in that we are not experts in the Environmentally Green House retrofit experience… but we’re about to be!

The Goal: Entry of our retrofitted Environmentally Green house into the 2012 EVHA National Competition for existing homes with a HERS index of 40 or lower.  (Update: July 2011: Official HERS Index of 51, Energy Star 5+ rating) (Update: February 2012, Silver Award in Moderate Climate Remodel category).

The Subject: 226 S. Happy Hollow Road, Fayetteville Arkansas 72701

This is a one story, brick, 1708 square foot home on half an acre. It is approximately 30 years old and was bank owned.  Perhaps it has not been lived in for several years? It is really not habitable now. Any other info you readers might have on this home would be greatly appreciated.

Inspection revealed most of the problems stem from a wet crawlspace and neglect and, possibly abuse. Possible animal urine staining. Interior humidity is too high, even for Arkansas.  There is evidence of recent whole house floor tile installation and new ceiling fans. There is evidence that the house was well constructed, 2×6 framing, 24″ on center.  From a scrap of wallpaper and what looks like an architectural feature in the bathroom, we also conclude this house was once loved.


August 18: cinderblock foundation is nearly flawless except for small crack in the SW (lowest)corner. This is reflected in a similar small crack in the brick veneer near the same corner. Crawlspace is not wet.(Seasonal?) Wood sill above the cinderblock is rotted on the NW  corner. Large crack in the Northface brick veneer.  Subfloor looks o.k. from the underneath except under the bathrooms where it has rotted clear through.

August 21: It was lived in within the last year. Two dogs lived there too.

October 29:  Tile was put down over heavily damaged, wet particle board subfloor. Extensive dog urine and dog hair were underneath.

November 1: Exact measurements reveal the square footage of the house to be, in reality, 1478 square feet.  We knew we shouldn’t have put it in the drier! (Buyers beware and measure your houses!)

May 2011: matted dog hair found in the motors of the ceiling fans and electrical outlets!?

July 2011:  Four dogs lived there.

The Time Frame: mid-August till 2010 shuts its eyes

December 13th: Schedule is now more like end of February.

April 10: Huge delays in the heating and cooling systems have pushed us back to mid-June for completion date.  However, the deadline for the EVHA application will be coming up in July. So, now we’re in the home stretch and starting to run hard.

July 1, 2011: House is 90% completed, competition entries are being filled out for the EVHA. It is now partially furnished.

July 29,2011: The house receives an Energy Star Rating of 5+ stars.

July 31, 2011  3pm: Full entry packet submitted to the EVHA competition, three hours before the cutoff deadline. (Yes, folks, this is how we get our adrenalin rushes!).

October 3, 2011: The house is selected by the EVHA as a finalist and will receive either a Silver or Gold award at the 2012 EVHA Banquet on Feb 8, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Peoples Choice Award and Remodeler of the Year Award will be announced at that time.

February 8, 2012: Winner of the Silver Award, Moderate Climate, remodel category at the EVHA awards presentation.

The People:
Lauren, (daughter #1) Mechanical Engineer and Ultimate-Decision-Maker
Kim, (mom) Project Manager and Focus-Maintainer
Carolyn, (daugher #2) Graphic Designer and Back-up
Wayne, (husband & dad) Will-be-sucked-into-the-project and Financial Advisor
Jon, (son) Lunch-provider, yes?

Project Motto: “Work smart, not hard”



  1. Everybody is looking to find ways to save money. Especially in this economically challenged climate. But if you think about it, what does the word Economy mean?? Here are some definitions: ‘Careful management of available resources’ ; ‘Sparing or careful use of something’; ‘A financial saving’, ‘ Offering the best value for the money’! So technically, if we applied that definition to our current market, then really the ‘Economy’ should actually be Good! By finding ways to ‘economize’ on fuel, ‘economize’ on utilities, housing, natural foods (it costs more to provide the chemicals for preservation, and treatment for non organic foods but why is organic food more expensive? But thats another blog!) and make them truly more Economical, then it would have a ripple affect for the whole Market and it would actually be better than it was before! Because savings= more $$$! When there is more $$ for the consumer where does it go? Back into the ECONOMY!! Something to think about! Good Job Green Pinkies!!

  2. It was really nice meeting you yesterday. We like what you are doing to the house. Let me know when you are ready for our Green Services and we will be there.

  3. Dear girls of all ages…

    Great to meet and talk with you at the home show about this project. Please call me (you have my card) when you’re ready to take a major step toward that HERS rating with spray foam insulation!!!


  4. Just saw info about your project on 5 News–way to go! My husband and I have been remodeling our old farm house for years, as we’ve had time and money so I can relate to all the hard work. We have also made things more energy efficient. The news interview said to vote for you in a national contest but I didn’t hear how to do this. Please let me know and keep up the good work!

  5. Enjoyed speaking with Lauren briefly about the solar hot water system in your beautiful home on Sunday at the open house. I really appreciate your teams work ethic and can do attitude. Great work! I would like to talk with you further about the sizing and tilt of solar space heating systems in our area and the formulas we use to determine collector and storage sizing based on heat loads and heated square footage. With the correct sizing these systems can provide up to 80% of a homes heating needs.

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