What to Expect:
Responding to continued requests from homeowners for a more customized method for making improvements to their homes, Center on Sustainable Communities (COSC) has developed “Home Matters” to assist Iowa homeowners with reliable and straightforward information for making energy and resource efficiency improvements to their homes.
This step-by-step guide was developed by COSC’s key advisors in a strategic format explaining how to initially asses what you have in order to determine how best to move forward with improvements. Presented in an informal, conversational style that is easy to follow, homeowners will feel assured that COSC’s advisors are right there with them throughout the entire improvement process.
Have fun using this resource and give us your feedback as we continue to maintain and evolve the content.
We encourage you to send your project successes and pictures to us so that we can share them as case studies on this resource.
The following principles will be emphasized throughout these guides and are your ticket to success:
- Assessment: Each topic will address the essential step of better understanding your home’s specific circumstances before starting any project.
- Work with what You Have: Rather than advising big changes solution prioritize manageable steps for home improvements.
- Best Practices: Easy to understand benchmarks (goals) for taking the most effective action.
- House as a System: Considerations for the fact that changes to any aspect of a home frequently impacts others.
- Sustainability: Using methods or products that add benefit to well-being (comfort and health of homeowners and their neighborhood), the environment (conserves resources and does not add to pollution) and the economy (property value, jobs, and local businesses).
For each topic, we address three different housing eras (1940 & Earlier, 1940 to 1975, and 1975 to Present) to give insights on your particular type of home. Each subject will also include a questionnaire for you to fill out and start creating a valuable personalized owners manual for your home.
Before you dive into your home’s specific era, start with this general home questionnaire, so you can begin to assess your home and get an idea of where might be best to start. Download this PDF, and print it off so you can keep a physical copy.