You rebuild, of course. Dave Premer, of Huntington NY, rebuilt his 1830s farmhouse - leveled by a gas explosion and fire caused by a contractor who severed a gas line - as a very attractive Craftsman bungalow. Energy efficiency and other modern touches were important to Premer, whose 4 bed / 3 bath home should be ready next month, just about one month after the blast.
The story itself is not especially noteworthy, although we certainly wish Mr. Premer the best. It is interesting to note, though, that he was able to cut the energy footprint of this rather large house - at 2,600 square feet, it's almost double the side of my perfectly livable Mission Revival bungalow here in Sacramento - by half, without going over budget. You can indeed build "green" - as long as you have some sort of focus - without breaking the bank.
The bungalow concept with energy-saving features began to take shape in late February, after his insurance company, Allstate, referred several contractors for the project. Armed with a set of plans from a local architect, Premer selected a project bid from a national firm with a franchise in Brentwood. Mark Gunthner, owner of Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling of Long Island, Huntington architect Pete Smith and Premer worked together to revise the original house plans.
The result will be a residence using about 50 percent less energy than a traditional home its size, about 2,600 square feet.