From Margaret Everton on November 1, 2010 in Kansas City
From the looks of Paul and Ruthann Atchley’s Kansas home, it’s clear that they aren’t the most conventional couple. But who needs conventional when out-of-the-box ideas result in a spectacular green remodel and two free tickets to South America?
When the Atchleys began making plans for their remodel, they knew they would need quite a bit of money to finance all of the cost of materials and labor. So in an effort to get the most bang for their buck, they applied for a credit card that offered airline miles—a move that ended up paying for their trip to South America.
How did it work, exactly? First and foremost, they had to act as their own contractors, purchasing everything from cabinets to flooring with their credit card capped at $20,000. They would then pay off the bill each month with a construction loan that would give them funds after seeing the credit card receipts.
In the end, the $100,000 the couple spent completely revamped their 2,600-square-foot home. Hoping to create a sustainable abode, they decided to add interior and exterior load-bearing concrete walls that could support 13 domed bays. Since the home was situated underground approximately six feet, they took advantage of the insulating effects of the earth. In addition, the south-facing concrete wall keeps the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
While some contractors may be against the idea of homeowners purchasing their own construction supplies, for the Atchleys’ remodeling job it seemed to work just fine. And of course, they have some spectacular trip photos to show for it.