Back in 1972, I was hired to finish a room over a garage attached to a recently purchased 100-year-old Vermont farmhouse. I insulated the floor, walls, and roof with fiberglass batts and used poly-ethylene as a vapor retarder. I remember carefully disassembling a small shed from a neighboring farm to salvage the posts, beams, and weathered siding to reuse in the new room. The shed's owner, a Vermont native, couldn't imagine why I'd go to such trouble for wood that was “plum wore out.”

At the time I didn't think of these practices as “green” or “sustainable.” They just made good sense in a harsh environment that quickly rewarded those who practiced both frugality and energy efficiency, and just as quickly punished those who didn't. Today, sustainable building products and practices are quickly becoming mainstream. If you haven't yet been asked about “green” remodeling by any clients, you soon will be, and how you respond may be the deciding factor in whether or not you win the work.

That's why we've put together this special supplement on green remodeling. Whether you want to save the earth or just save a buck, whether you're already going green or still trying to decide what it means, there's something here that will help you take the next step.

Sal Alfano
Editorial Director

Editor's note: This bound-in special section is unusual because some advertising for green products and services appears adjacent to editorial. Production of all articles, however— from concept, through research and writing, to final editing — was controlled by the editorial staff of REMODELING magazine.