A tri-level home in Edgebrook

Analysts are saying that home remodeling should pick up this year, and with rising energy prices a constant concern, it’s smart to factor resource savings into any rehab. At two Chicago homes, green was the key in nearly all aspects of their recent renovations.

In Edgebrook, near the city’s border with Niles and Lincolnwood, Jacek and Marta Helenowski transformed a modest tri-level house next door to Jacek’s childhood home using recycled and salvaged materials, solar panels, a wind turbine, and other touches. It’s now energy-neutral or better, meaning it generates enough power to meet its own needs and to sell excess into the power grid.

And in Grand Crossing on the Southeast Side, a 108-year-old home got an extensive green redo by Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS), with a focus on energy savings as an elemental part of affordability. “We wanted to demonstrate that green homes don’t have to be expensive,” says Bryan Eisenberg, the manager of NHS’s NeighborHomes program. With a new subsidy, NHS last month cut the asking price on the three-bedroom home from $199,000 to $149,900.

For details on both projects, click through the photo tour.