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Archive for Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lawrence’s Fall Parade of Homes opens this weekend, featuring energy-efficient residences

September 20, 2011

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Up northwest of Free State High School, in a new home with five bedrooms and four bathrooms and a chef’s kitchen and two fireplaces and a finished walk-out basement with a home theater and 55-inch flatscreen LCD TV, Hubert Kettler knows he’s offering plenty of upscale living for his $549,000 list price.

Then consider the efficiencies recirculating throughout the 3,460-square-foot home in the Westwood Hills subdivision, a rancher fortified by Icynene foam wall insulation, R-50 attic insulation and high-performance windows.

“It totally seals the house,” said Kettler, president of Kettler Construction. “It makes for a very tight seal, cuts off air infiltration and has high soundproofing capabilities. …

“There’s a lot of big houses that people cannot afford to live in, because of the heating and cooling bills. But you don’t have to have a small house to save big on energy bills.”

Kettler’s energy-efficient home is among 19 properties in Lawrence that will be open for tours this weekend and next for the Fall Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Lawrence Home Builders Association.

Check it out

What: 2011 Fall Parade of Homes.

Who: Lawrence Home Builders Association and 10 of its member builders.

Where: Ten sites in Lawrence; see map of listings at LawrenceParade.com.

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and again Oct. 1 and 2.

How much: Admission is free.

This year’s entries come from 10 builders and range in price from Grand Builders’ $154,900 Craftsman-style home at 1618 W. 27th St. in southern Lawrence to Kettler’s top-of-the-price-range place at 251 Earhart Circle. Two are townhomes.

All of the residences were built in compliance with new energy standards included in the 2009 International Energy Efficiency Code. That means builders are installing better insulation, more efficient heating and cooling systems and other money-saving features throughout.

“They’re not just meeting the minimum,” said Bobbie Flory, executive director of the association. “They’re going beyond that because, frankly, that’s what the consumers want. …

“While it’s important to put the amenities in the house that people visually look at, they’re also putting amenities in the house that add to the durability and long-term wear of the house. It’s not something you see when you walk in, but they’re there and it’s important and it does add to the enjoyment of the home.”

Kettler’s goal is to provide a comfortable and quiet place to live. If the upgrades also help a homeowner save money on monthly bills, all the better.

“That’s only a piece of the puzzle,” Kettler said.

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