Permies, Wife and I are working on our 5-acre homestead outside of Providence, RI, with most of the usual suspect - gardens, fruittrees, chickens, goats, pigs, steer, Jack Russell terrier. House is ca. 1720 farmhouse with 1990's addition. Not too many interior or exterior features that don't need attention or renovation. Would like to work in as many sustainable features as we can when doing the work. Would love to do it myself, but limited skill set and no luck finding a mentor. Is there a place at Permies to look for designers and craftsmen? Thanks.
So what kind of sustainable stuff are you talking about? Do you mean sustainable materials aka reusing? Or are you talking energy sustainability and such? I use a lot of pallets and crates and "junk" for the interior of my house. Mostly as decor or furniture though I've also planked a wall instead of drywalling. But for structural things, like when I build a new wall, I buy new. It may not be sustainable but I don't want rotten or warped wood making up the framing of my house. Oh but I have bought electrical supplies from the Re-Store so if reusing is your thing, easy to do it that way.
Anne - Thank you. I should know how to navigate a forum, but don't, so appreciate the assistance. Local designers and craftsmen are what I'm looking for.
Elle - Sustainable regarding systems would be rainwater harvesting, and I'd like to build a masonry stove in the walkout basement. The cost of solar is still prohibitive, so not that. If possible, I'd like to re-purpose old posts/beams to replace some existing ones. I'll need to see what's feasible.
Generic thoughts in case you're _really_ just starting out this kind of thing:
First: Get a waterproof roof on. If you can't decide or afford the stuff you want, at least patch problems or even install a tarp and get line-of-sight to all areas below the roof so you can check for problems. Very important. This include gutters if you house has them.
2) Almost as important: Fix all leaky windows (water leaky - air don't hurt the house).
3) Fix leaky (water) exterior walls.
4) Observe your foundation inside and outside with particular interest in any water, where it comes and goes.
5) Then go around with a notepad and get all hysterical and anal over anything you see that worries you. <g> And note down dreams and other "good ideas". It's surprising how spot on first impressions are and then... How quickly we lose track of them.