Rural Missouri - March 2012 - (Page 18)

ot many people who are in the intensive care unit of a hospital wake up one day and want to take on an enormous project. But in 2005, a recovering Doug Dale did just that. He and his wife, Rolanda, had recently purchased what is known to Bethany residents as the Slatten house located along Highway 136 in Grundy County. While Doug originally purchased the 1,000 acres for farming, he’d been lying in the hospital thinking about the ramshackle, paint-bare 1850s house that sat on the property. “I woke up in the hospital and said, ‘Let’s redo the house,’” recalls Doug. He knew if they restored the structure to its original splendor, it would also mean doing whatever it took to bring the residence up to energy-efficiency standards, too. Most people would have dozed down the home. When the Dales purchased the property, the home had been empty since the early 1950s, and through the years, it had suffered from decades of weather, vandalism and neglect. “Honestly, the only thing keeping the home standing was the fact that the Slatten family was proud enough of the place to always keep a good When Doug and Rolanda Dale purchased 1,000 acres of land near Bethany, they also decided to completely restore the 1850s roof on the home,” says Doug. Italianate home that sat on the property. A major part of that renovation included an energy-efficiency makeover. The land was homesteaded by the Slattens before the Civil War. “The Eagleville family had heard there were springs on a property near Bethany,” says Doug. “Once they realized there were three springs here, the family sent a cousin to Plattsburg to register their claim. A dependable water supply was a valuable thing to have back then.” A farmer since the 1970s, Doug purchased the acreage Doug, who estimates the threewithout thinking much • story home, breezeway and carabout the house that Bethany riage house at about 5,200 sat on the land. The square feet. couple already had an So the couple enlisted older home they’d redone the help of Grundy Elecin Ridgeway, about 10 miles tric Cooperative’s enerfrom Bethany, which they gy consultant, loved. So it was a surprise to Randy Kinnison. Rolanda when Doug said he “Since the house was wanted to restore what used to be a stripped down to the studs, I recombeautiful Italianate-style home. mended they put in foam insulation In 2007, the couple began renovaeverywhere,” says Randy. “Then I tions, hiring a historian to help them recommended installing two groundkeep the structure as close as possible source heat pumps. to the original. But first on the to-do “Most people hear ‘heat pump’ and list was to put a basement under the think they can’t afford it, but it will home. So they raised the house 3 feet photo courtesy of Doug and Rolanda Dale pay for itself in five to seven years,” he and did just that. As they completely adds. “Right now, with co-op rebates renovated the interior and exterior of The Slatten home as it looked when the Dales purchased the property in 2005. and the current tax credits for energy the home, Doug and Rolanda realized make the most difference. Energy can upgrades, there’s not much difference how structurally sound the home was, owners where energy is being lost. easily escape the home because those between installing a conventional syswith its thick beams, pegged woodEnergy-efficiency recommendations areas aren’t properly insulated or simtem and a geothermal heat pump.” work and square-headed nails. While can then be given to the members. ply forgotten and not insulated at all. Randy says when someone is totalthe windows and exterior doors had to According to Randy, the Dales did “Caulking, insulation, energyly renovating a home, as in this case, be replaced, the roof had once again everything possible to make their hisefficient lighting and appliances, as he recommends upgrading the insulacome through, saving all the interior toric home energy efficient. And since well as setting back your thermostat — tion in the attic and the walls with woodwork, which the Dales restored. moving into the home in 2009, Doug these are some of the lower-hanging stabilized cellulose or sprayed foam Keeping the renovations true to and Rolanda feel it’s paying off. fruit options owners can do on their insulation. the original time period was a major “It’s 28 degrees outside and the own before tackling the more costly While energy-efficient windows are task, but there was another project wind is blowing 40 mph today,” says upgrades,” says Randy. important, Randy says they’re usually that needed to go hand in hand with Rolanda, with a smile. “But you don’t For a fee, Grundy, like many of way down the list of things he recomthe restoration: an energy-efficiency feel or hear a thing. It’s a toasty 70 Missouri’s electric co-ops, will go to a mends to homeowners. He says it’s makeover starting from scratch. degrees inside.” home and conduct an energy audit. things such as sealing gaps around “The owners couldn’t have heated Co-op personnel use an infrared camwindows and doors, unsealed duct this entire place. Any heat would have For home energy-efficiency advice, conera to show energy “hot spots” and accesses, can lights, wiring, plumbing gone out through the walls since the tact your local electric cooperative or visit conduct a blower door test to show and insulating attic knee walls that house wasn’t insulated at all,” says N by Heather Berry $pending to $ave Historic Slatten house gets an energy makeover 18 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2012

Rural Missouri - March 2012
Stickin’ to it
Out of the Way Eats
Spending to save
Just vault
Guarding the honeybee
Hearth and Home
Callaway’s kingdom dinner
News Briefs
Around Missouri
The comical curator

Rural Missouri - March 2012