Thursday, May 20, 2010

Green Home at Entry Level Price?

Conventional wisdom suggests that a "green" home will cost about 5- to 10 percent more than a conventionally built home. Mike Kargar is putting that notion to rest in Daytona Beach, Fla. Karger, who used to build million-dollar homes, is now building starter homes that include several green features common in the most expensive new homes on Florida's Atlantic Coast.

Foam insulation and energy efficient furnaces assure low utility costs and BEAM Central Vacuum and HEPA Air Filtration systems improve the homes' indoor air quality. All are standard features in Kargar's Masters Glen subdivision in Daytona Beach's fashionable LPGA International golf course community.

The homes range in size from 1,500 to 2,500 square feet with prices starting at $169,900.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Men Don't Cry

My Dad was the epitome of stoicism. He almost never showed his emotions, unless I’d done something stupid. His mantra was, “Men don’t cry.” Well, he never suffered from allergies. But I do, and every spring, my eyes would look like I’d just watched the movie Rudy. Same thing happened with my 100-pound Labrador. The pollen outside had gotten inside every spring when I opened the windows to let in fresh air. Within a couple hours the eyes start to itch and tears begin streaming down my face.

Rather than face a life of daily allergy medications, I decided to try to manage my interior environment by getting the pollen and pet dander out of the house. I started being a lot more careful about opening windows – leaving windows closed on extremely windy days. I used to wait six months before replacing furnace filters. Now I change them every month. And my wife and I installed our Beam Serenity Central Vacuum System, and we use it at least twice per week.

Since then, I’ve managed to follow my Dad’s mantra, except for the time I watched the ending of The Bucket List.