When my wife and I bought our first home together, we had the audacious goal of renovating our fixer-upper just in time for our first daughter, Audrey, to be born. While I still cringe at the fact that Mallory was up on ladders painting at 8 months pregnant, we got enough of the home completed to move in and be ready for our baby’s arrival.
This was an important time for me, because it (a) triggered in me a desire to think more seriously about our future and give my daughter the best world she deserved, and (b) made me realize just how tough it was to have a home that reflected our values.
See, in my eyes, despite having a beautiful home, I still felt like we failed at renovating our home. I mostly came to this conclusion after I picked up our new power bill and noticed that it hadn’t changed. Despite investing over six figures into the home, we weren’t saving on the cost of running it, in any way. We had built a home that reflected our aesthetic values and style, but not our core values as a family.
What do I mean by that? Like most people, we value our family’s health first and foremost. We also value our own hard-earned money, and like to spend money on things that benefit our lives (as opposed to on utility bills). And, we value the natural resources our planet provides us: nutritious food, clean water, and clean air—so we want to support an economy that enhances, rather than damages, our planet.
It’s pretty overwhelming to try to figure out how to do that, but our homes are one thing over which we do have control and can make a difference. And, as I’ve been learning, the more we invest in a healthy, efficient, and durable home, the more benefits we get out of it—from a financial perspective (lower operating costs, higher resale value) as well as a from a comfort and health perspective.
So, as we invested more money into our home, we wanted the final product to be one that matches our values. That fuelled me to relentlessly research home improvement alternatives—the so-called “green building” market. Pretty soon, though, I realized how difficult it is to try to have a home that is more sustainable. Why? It required research, analysis, asking for alternative bids, and sometimes it cost more—which I was willing to pay for if there is a good reason. But it should not be so hard to make smart choices for ourselves and our families.
This is why I started Rise—selfishly or not, trying to solve my own problem, so that we could have a home that is true to our family’s values, pocketbook, while respecting our planet and being mindful of our future along the way.