Here are some of our 2013 Highlights and what we are looking forward to in 2014. 2013 Home Tours – Both Finished and Unfinished! We had lots to show off in 2013! We put four finished homes on tour in the Spring, Summer and Fall, and then finished up the year with two back-to-back Behind the Drywall® tours in November and December. The highlight was the Builders and Remodelers Association of Great Ann Arbor’s Remodelers Home Tour in September. We showcased a two-phase Meadowlark remodel of a home designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn for Nina Burton, widow of U of M President Marion Burton and Burton Tower namesake. After slow attendance for a couple of years during the downturn, it was wonderful to see the crowds come and enjoy our work on the tour. In The News! We are pretty excited about the January 2014 Ann Arbor Observer article about “Ann Arborites” who are using alternative energy to heat and cool their homes. The focus was on Geothermal heating and cooling – something that is near and dear to our hearts here at Meadowlark. We were pleased with the editorial mention, but even more importantly, we love getting the word out about alternatives to burning fossil fuels for heating and cooling homes. We also got a great “thumbs up” from the Daily5 Remodel on our Behind the Drywall® Tours. This was the second time the tour was mentioned by this publication and the author noted that Meadowlark Builders was “Ahead of the Curve” when it comes to green building. You can read the article here. Product Showcase – BioPCmat™ The “PC” stands for Phase Change and this new material works in the daytime by absorbing heat from solar and internal gains and then releasing that heat during the night in order to reduce cooling and heating loads. Meadowlark is utilizing this product in one of our current projects to dramatically reduce the cooling load in the summer and also to help channel heat away from the solar shingles on the roof. The homeowners are hopeful that this product used in conjunction with Earth Tubes will help to eliminate the need for air conditioning in the summer. For more info go to: PhaseChange.com. Here’s What’s Coming Up at Meadowlark Novi Home Improvement Show: January 24 – 26, 2014 at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 4100 Grand River Avenue, Novi, MI 48374. Meadowlark Smarter Home Seminar: February 8, 2014 at the Meadowlark Schoolroom, 3250 W. Liberty Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. BRAG Home Garden and Lifestyle Show: March 14 – 16, 2014 at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor saline Road, Ann Arbor, MI. The next Behind the Drywall® Tour: Stay tuned for the latest info as we finalize dates this spring to showcase another amazing Meadowlark project. And last but not least….Homeowner DOs and DON’Ts! Ice Dams – ‘Tis the season! Not enough insulation in your attic or roof deck combined with improper attic ventilation can cause ice dams to form at the edge of the roof line. DO remove snow from the edge of the roof with a roof rake, if possible, to help prevent the ice from forming. DON’T try to chip or break up the ice dam as this can damage your roof shingles and gutters. 2013/2014 Featured image courtesy of The Times of Israel.