The "Colonial Americana with a Twist of Rome" is our premier showcase model and the most practical and cost effective home plans we offer. Though it might be considered small by today's standards (1,250 sq. ft.), this home is very big on features and amenities and feels much larger than it is. It is also expandable. It is intended as a perfect starter home for young families with children (sleeps up to six), or the ideal home for anyone of any age for a lifetime of worry free low cost living, or a retirement cottage for mature couples who no longer want - or need - a large home and all of the expense and work required to maintain it.
Designed with comfort and leisure in mind, the flow-through central floor plan allows for ease of movement from the large, covered front porch through the living and dining area to the large, covered rear deck. The galley kitchen off to one side is ideally placed for entertaining guests or feeding your family, and has the space and capacity to accommodate large functions. Designed to be a "Package Deal", this complete solar home comes fully furnished with beds, sectional sofa, dining room set and all needed accessories, including plasma TV with surround-sound. The idea is to make a top-notch solar home affordable for everyone. One loan and one monthly payment gets you everything you need to live the rest of your life in the home of the future.
This home is built to the highest standards with the finest materials and workmanship and embellished with the best, name brand furniture and appliances available today. Though the cost per square foot is higher than the average home, there is nothing average about it. It is more than worth the added expense (up-front cost) because you will never have to spend additional funds "upgrading" this home. The price of Photo Voltaic cells has decreased to a point where the cost of producing electricity is 8 cents per KWH (kilowatt hour) which is the low end of the national average for producing electrical power using fossil fuels. And it continues to decrease. There is no longer any excuse for America to be dependent on fossil fuels.
The problem is that we are stuck in a rut where the majority of contractors are building dinosaurs instead of homes. These oversized homes cost a fortune to build and a fortune to heat and cool, making them practical only for the rich, some of who have little regard for the carbon footprint they are generating. "It's only money, let someone else worry about it", I was told by one particular rich developer that I know. This same man is currently building a 10,000 square foot 'addition' to his 7,000 square foot home, mostly to keep up with his rich neighbors, who also have obscenely large homes. There should be a law. But, this is America, right? Where a man or woman can get rich beyond their wildest dreams and do almost whatever they want because it is their money and no one can tell them what to do with it. What ever happened to being socially responsible?
Well, there are laws. There are codes and restrictions that must be adhered to while building homes, they just do not apply to enforcing energy efficiency. Congress has mandated that Detroit increase the average gas mileage of all cars to reach or exceed 35 MPG by 2012. This will benefit all of mankind, since the biggest offender to the environment is the automobile, followed by commercial production of electricity using fossil fuels. If we would have actually done something about this in the 1970's instead of just talking about it , we would not have this problem today. There are answers, many of them, they just aren't being implemented. The profit motive gets in the way. Why should a contractor cut his or her profits by building a socially responsible solar home when he or she can make a much greater profit by building a cheap, inefficient home? Have you ever seen a 'successful' contractor's house? Some of them are a prime examples of everything that is wrong with the industry. The average American could not afford the monthly utility bill, much less the mortgage on one of these behemoths.
If every home in America were energy self-sufficient, we would not need the giant fossil burning, toxin belching industrial power plants that we currently depend upon. Our biggest export would be low cost, totally clean energy and we would produce less carbon dioxide than third world nations who have not yet been industrialized, making America the "Best Friend" of the environment rather than it's "Worst Enemy". We would lead the rest of the world into a bright, clean future instead of lagging behind wallowing around in our own toxic waste. And now with the 'global' economy, we are spreading our filth to other developing nations where we can have our lead painted toys and toxic pet food produced at a fraction of the cost than if it were produced here in America. All the while, sacrificing good jobs at home and creating a climate of poisoning the rest of the world, and ourselves. Just take a good look at China. Their rivers and streams are more toxic than any in America ever were, and we're eating the imported, tainted seafood that they send to us for cheap.
See what other intelligent, responsible, forward thinking countries like Germany are doing while we sit around on our derrieres watching TV. Do some research while you are staring at your computer in the comfort of your inefficient home while the electric meter is spinning. Google 'Solar Power in Germany' to read and learn, if you dare. You will be jealous and ask yourself, "Why can't we do that?", "Why are we so far behind where we should be?"
Here's the good news: We CAN do it. In fact we can do it better than anybody else. Americans have an unmatchable ability to come together in times of crisis and to conquer any obstacle that stands in their way. We just need to be sufficiently motivated, which we currently are not. We have to think it all the way through, which we don't. We have to look into the future for our kids, our grand-kids, our pets, our wildlife, our fragile environment and our Mother Earth.
We challenge you, our fellow Americans, to show the rest of the world just how socially and environmentally responsible we can be. Here's an easy start. Replace every incandescent light bulb in your home with a compact florescent. It's painless and cheap. And when one does finally burn out, do the responsible thing. Bring it back to where you bought it. There is a system in place where vendors of these wonderful little devices take them back and dispose of them properly. It is a glimmer of hope, the "Light at the End of the Tunnel" so to speak. The impact of doing this one simple act is much greater than you may imagine. They use only one-third of the energy that a conventional light bulb uses, saving you a considerable amount of money and will jump start our trek to a brighter future. If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a compact florescent, it would save enough energy to power eight-million average homes for one year, or, the equivalent of taking six-million cars off the road. Just think what the impact would be if every home replaced ALL of their incandescent lights with ALL compact florescent bulbs. Do some research, then do the math...and then...change your light bulbs!
I replaced every light bulb in my home with compact florescent bulbs five-years ago. My electric bill dropped significantly. None of them have ever burned out. One in particular is ten-years old and still going strong. It's the first one I ever bought. I use it for a night light. It has NEVER been turned off. I will let you know if it ever fails.