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Community and Q&A

How can I get help to upgrade my home to LEED standards?

GBA Editor | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

My wife and I are disabled and would like to update our 1920 home to something livable, and be able to share with our family. We have spent lots of time and wasted money, only to have to fix or redo projects over & over due to poor quality.
Thank you,
Walter Moss.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    The USGBC LEED for Homes rating system includes gut rehabs but not other remodeling projects that involve less than the whole home. To learn more, check out this page:

    You might also be interested in reading the answers to a similar question posted on this Web site a while ago:

  2. Riversong | | #2


    LEED standards promote environmentally and socially responsible building practices, but they do not guarantee quality work or durable construction let alone what many would consider truly green and earth-friendly materials and methods.

    What you want is quality work that improves the livability of your home. That's a matter of finding a reliable and experienced designer and contractor who can and will meet your needs and goals. Word of mouth is often the best advertising. Ask around.

  3. walter moss | | #3

    Thank you, Mr. Holliday and I have gave thought to a complete rehab but don't know the cost or time invoeved in doing that project, Mr. Riversong, thank you also for the advice. I AM looking for leeds in that direction on line to no end. I am asking if their would be a full service co. that might take on this project? either way thank you again for being so helpful.
    Walter Moss, 201-865-0092

  4. Danny Kelly | | #4

    If you are having a hard time finding a contractor - check with your local NARI chapter or local Home Builder's Association. They also have Green Building Councils and Remodelor's Council that you should be able to find some competent contractors. Good Luck

  5. Doug McEvers | | #5

    Mr. Moss,

    Describe the house in a bit more detail along with the location and some of the improvements needed. There is a helpful community here even though we appear a bit scrappy at times. We might be able to do an online review of the project with the idea of finding a qualified local contractor to take a look.

  6. walter moss | | #6

    WE,own a small 2family,3.5 rooms ,3rooms down.wrap around porch,2car garage ,wooden fence around yard,full attic,half finished basement...we to replace the porch,re roof house&garage,we have cement asbestoes sgingles around the house,that can b covered over,plus garage siding.demo kitchen first floor,replace new kitchen.up date heating system to high efficency units,remodel basement.We are still trying to fit this all togeather.we would like to have aFULL SERVICE CO.for this project. Thankyou,walter moss

  7. user-659915 | | #7

    Mr. Moss, I suspect that you are looking for a reliable national "brand" organization to help you achieve your goals and I have to tell you that there is none. You need to find a local Licensed General Contractor, architect or residential designer who has extensive experience in energy renovation work and who has impeccable references from previous local clients for such work. There is no short cut to verifying credentials. A reverse look-up on your phone number indicates that you live in Union City NJ. Anyone have suggestions or reliable contacts in that area?

  8. Doug McEvers | | #8

    James Morgan has it right, there will be but a handful of experienced and qualified professionals to choose from. Beware of the "newly green" contractors who recently joined the green movement when the economy slumped in July, 2006. Ask for a client list and talk firsthand with those on the list, if NJ requires contractors to have a license, verify they are in good standing.

    By oversiding the asbestos shingles you may be somewhat limiting your options for improving the efficiency and airtightness of the walls. I did a project several years ago with the same type siding and it just has to be sent to an approved facility, typically double bagged and marked.

    To take an existing building of this vintage and make it efficient, healthy to live in and durable is no small task. It will take a committed company to carry this out with a lot of help from you, the owner.
    Check on available funding in your area for such projects, there may be some programs either at the local, state or national level that work for you.

  9. walter moss | | #9

    Mr.Mcevers,thankyou for you input ,I INTEND to check anyone applying for their sheepskin to secure their id as well as there insurance and state id along with a clear understanding of their previous completed work and evualated,prior to any signing of any final commitment as the work being done,quality of workminship,and a timeline for payment &completion of work.THE shingles present their own problems,epa,hmdc ,they have to be handled with secure barrels or cartons&sealed to prevent any damages.thankyou again,walter moss.

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