Former remodeler David Johnston anticipated homeowner interest in green remodeling more than a decade ago when he sold his company and began to write and consult about green-building practices. Today, that interest is so intense that he travels almost constantly to facilitate green-building programs. “I'm turning down two or three opportunities for every one I take,” he says.
From his base in Colorado, to Northern California to “places where you wouldn't expect it,” such as Iowa and Michigan, homeowners and government officials are concerned about energy prices, indoor air quality, and resource conservation, Johnston says.
All that's missing is enough remodelers to help them. “The homeowning public is way ahead of the industry,” which he says is hampered by old “myths” about green remodeling being expensive, elitist, or unwanted, and being more difficult to do.
One municipality hoping to debunk those myths is Arlington County, Va. In March, the county's Green Home Choice program kicked off an educational series with a Green Home Remodeling workshop led by Johnston. More than 100 homeowners and 30 contractors attended.
“I've found that for every contractor who is interested in green building, there are five or six homeowners who want to talk to them,” says Stella Tarnay, who manages Green Home Choice. She says that the workshop showed there's a lot of unmet demand for green homes and green remodels.
Visit www.greenbuiding.com or www.whatsworking.com for more information about Johnston, including his books and a four-DVD set that covers green-remodeling issues and how to market green building to homeowners.