Posted by: greenpinkies | November 14, 2011

Cost Analysis (continuation of the blog Dec 3,”Trip around the Solar System" ) or “…and now for the rest of the story” –Paul Harvey

So, we have discussed some of the financial nitty gritty on the actual Energy Updates made to Happy Hollow and came to the conclusion that $31,191.42 was spent on the energy upgrades.

Do you recall?  Here’s how that first blog ended:

 “Ahhhh    but this is not the end of the story.  You see, the house was not habitable when we bought it.  Sooo….how much more money did it take?  Was it worth it?  Did we commit the unforgivable sin and overprice the house for the neighborhood?   Da Da Da Dah….Stay tuned….”

…and now for the rest of the story:

 We herewith post the summary of our total expenses in renovating the house at 226 S. Happy Hollow Road.

The good: The house was completely renovated from the ground up for $97 per square foot.  Plus, the  practical life experience gained.

The bad: The house is now worth $146,125.74, which is a figure we will not recover in the current housing market.  Also, practical life experience gained.

 The Ugly:  No wages for Lauren or myself for the duration. And…. the practical life experience gained.

Summary of expenses:     226 S. Happy Hollow

                                                Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701  

Energy Star Rating: 5+ Stars

Estimated Annual Utilities: $600/yr


August 2010 – November 2011


Purchase Price:   $74,000.00

Energy Updates: $31,191.42 (See blog, Dec 3,2011   Cost of Energy Efficient Improvements or “Trip around the Solar System without the budget of NASA”for that breakdown)

Sub-Total: $105,191.42


Permits and required:  $634.66

Permits were only about half this sum. This includes $300 in Port-a-Pot  rental  fees .  This  portable toilet  rental was a requirement of the demolition permit. (See blog dated Aug 21, 2010  Government Permits or “They want us to order a Port-a-potty!?”).

Demolition: $1,949.07

Includes: rental of dumpsters and subsequent removal and disposal/landfill charges.

We filled: 1-70 yard, 1-40 yard and two 6 yard dumpsters with the tear out. We have subsequently found that we are allowed to burn in the backyard and feel that we could have burned half of this mess and saved the landfill.

Roofing: $4,000

Includes: labor and installation.  Tear off we did ourselves.(See Blog dated Oct 3, 2010   Roofing or “Work Smart, Not Hard” does not Equal “Do it Yourself,                    Save Money)

Foundation and Drainage: $3,699.03

Includes:  Rim joist repair, termite protection, jacking up the house, French and curtain drains as well as gutters and downspouts. (See the blog dated, Sept 22,2010 The First Ugly Surprise “updated” or “Here Lies Jack”  )

Masonry:  $1,755.00

Includes: point tucking the cracks and opening two window openings to become sliding door openings.

Carpentry:  $9,187.26

Includes: all wood working supplies and two important subcontracts: ‘Drywall, mud and texture’ and ‘Trim out with door hanging’.  All other carpentry was done by ourselves.

Electrical:  $1,709.73

Includes only materials and lights and bulbs.

Plumbing: $427.27

Includes: misc parts

Why is this so low!!!  Because, the entire plumbing is covered under the “Energy Updates” since most of our system revolves around water circulation. That total :  $10,338.34

North Star Plumbing in Springdale was our most excellent contractor for this project.

Here is a commendation:  Rick and Ed at North Star were instrumental in encouraging donations or wholesale from Rinnai corporation and Uponor.  We believe the value of their efforts saved us $4662.92 in the plumbing department.

Finishing: $4,980.64

Includes:  The kitchen cabinets from Lowes (See blog,   The Value of Shopping or “Lowes Knows” dated  Nov. 30, 2011) and the countertops as well as paint, and light woodworking.

Floor Coverings: $3,871.68

Includes :    Laminate flooring, $1,524

Carpet,                        $1,114.00

Ceramic tile as well as the higher end, Schluter Ditra underlayment

Appliances:  $4,896.29

Includes: Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Range, Microwave, Clothes Washer and Drier, toilets, showers, vanities, etc.

Rebates:  (+$167.04)

Includes a rebate from the manufacturer of the dishwasher and miscellaneous metal recycling.

As mentioned in the blogs dated  June 4, The Catch 22 of  ”Going Green” Remodels or “Breaking Ground Can   Cause You to Fall Through the Cracks” and July 1 of 2011,  Update on the Rebates…”And for all else, there’s Mastercard”    we didn’t receive a penny from any other agency, Federal, State or Local, not SWEPCO, not  Source Gas. (We’re convinced that all that hot air could solve the energy crisis if you could tap into it).

Supplies: $3,990.73

Includes: Everything else we bought from saws to safety goggles.

Total: $146,125.74




What did we learn from this project?  We found and subsequently created a really good ‘recipe’ for tackling energy renovation on a budget, start to finish. While implementing  the ‘whole enchilada’ will cost you about $30K, we can break this down into manageable steps which can be spread out over many months, or years, to fit your budget.  Each step will build on the next.

We  believe that the implementation of the solar water heating/supplement gas water heating system, which could be done for about $15,000, could be the plausible core of an energy makeover, with the best payback in our Moderate climatic zone for many of these 30-40 year old, well built Ranch style houses on the market.

In about a week, after this blog has run its course and been digested, (or treated with antacids), we will post our step by step recommendations for how we would do this the second time around.  The steps are progressive and the process can be paused at any time to allow for budgets before continuing. With each step, we will try to analyse the cost of that step as compared to projected increase in energy efficiency gained by doing it.

Here’s  a taste to whet your appetite:

Step one:   Well, all you blog readers already instinctively knew this one. Our most all time popular blog was:  (March 14th,   Energy Efficient Lighting or “Trash the Cans?”).

Therefore: Replace the light bulbs with LED or CFLs.  (don’t let the simplicity of this step fool you, we were impressed at the difference).


Step two:  Don’t touch that dial, stay tuned.


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