Extremely ECO Renovation, Belmont, CA

Extremely ECO Renovation, Belmont, CA

David of MyEarthBoundHome.com introduced us to two of his clients, both have lived in their homes for about a year.

Yao and Chris, Belmont

Belmont Eco reno

Belmont Eco-Friendly renovation

When Yao and Chris found a great home, with a fantastic view overlooking a 200 acre park, they bought it knowing that some renovations were required to bring this sixties home up to date. They weren’t aware that the home would become almost a complete redo.

The bad news came when the contractor opened up a wall in the master bedroom, finding that the only thing holding up the floor and roof was the drywall (commonly called gypsum or sheet rock) on the walls. The framing and supports on this wall and the whole end of the home had rotted away. There was mold and water damage and all other things one doesn’t want to find! Not good. It turns out that the original builder cut corners and that moisture laden areas had been covered up and painted over for many years. There wasn’t much that the couple could do except open their wallets wider than originally intended.

Because this home was about 50 years old, they were required to bring the electrical, plumbing and structural improvements up to the current code requirements as well.

Belmont Eco reno view

The view from Yao and Chris's rear deck

Yao and Chris have 4 children and were concerned about their health. They appreciated the emphasis David’s company had on eliminating toxic and off-gassing chemicals during the construction. The walls, floors and ceiling were also insulated with a closed cell insulation; which in turn created a very tight seal; ensuring that the home is warm in the winter, cool in the summer.

The couple also took the opportunity to install a Solar Thermal hot water and 4.1 kW Solar PV system. These systems offset about 90% of their hot water and electrical use.

They put in a super efficient furnace and David’s company made sure that in addition to walls, the furnace area was also well insulated, thereby heating the home, not as my mother used to say “heating the whole neighbourhood“.

belmont Kid's Secret Area

The "secret" kids area in the top floor of the home

We all know that moving is very hard for children, and because Yao and Chris had moved more than once in the last few years, they put in some custom details for their children’s benefit. This included secret entrances between their rooms, accessed from their closets. Our favourite was the attic room, just above the kitchen, with look-outs to the living room below. They even had skylights in this ceiling, with a glass floor below. This allowed the light to come through the attic flooring and created an “I see you” space in the kitchen ceiling.

Chris told us that if we were to visit the home in a couple of days, we would see some of the many decorations the family put out for upcoming Halloween. Unfortunately, we are only in California for a couple more days. We enjoyed visiting with Yao and Chris but we had to move on to Cupertino, featured in the next post.

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