Here are some photos of the Zero Energy Ready Home. Once the weather warms up a bit more we’ll paint the front porch columns white and install the landscaping.
Note the 24 inch overhangs to keep water away from the foundation. The stone beds under the eaves hide a french drain system that diverts water to the backyard area. This also eliminates the need for gutters, which means less maintenance for the owners. Also notice the slightly inclined sidewalk and roll-in entry door to make the home friendly to those with disabilities. Both the front and back doors on the home have this feature.
The view when you enter the home shows the open layout, where the kitchen, dining area, and living room blend as one space. This is a blank canvas for the homeowners to create a place for their family with lots of natural light. The flooring is a vinyl plank floor that is easily cleaned and does not off-gas chemical odors.
The cabinetry and counter tops for the home were built by inmates at a prison facility in Ionia, Michigan. This “Prison Build” program provides job training for inmates nearing the end of their sentences, and helps provide Habitat with affordable, high quality cabinetry. All of the cabinet boxes are plywood, not particleboard, and all stains and finishes are water-based, ensuring no toxic compounds enter the air of the home.
The appliances were provided by Whirlpool’s gift in kind program. Whirlpool donates a refrigerator and range for every Habitat home built in the U.S.
A look at the entrances to the laundry room and bath, and the three bedrooms. We paint all walls, ceilings, and trim with a high quality low-VOC primer and paint. The homeowners can add color if they wish once they move in.
The bath cabinets and counter, also made by the Prison Build program. The bathroom of this home is large enough to have a five foot diameter turning circle for a wheelchair, and although accessibility features like grab bars were not installed, wood blocking was installed in the walls to accommodate their installation later. The plumbing for the sink also comes out of the wall, not the floor, so that in the future a wall-mounted sink could be installed to make the bath ADA compliant.