Category: Uncategorized

Clear(ish) Advice About Window Replacements

by Rachel White When homeowners get in touch about improving their home’s performance, cold and drafty windows are often high on their list of complaints. And even if they love their window’s historic character, they are eager to address this weakness in their home’s thermal envelope, especially if they have already done everything you can… Read more »

Where Byggmeister Gives Back & Why

by Rachel White When Byggmeister converted to worker-ownership we committed to donate 5-10% of our annual net profit to organizations working to address climate change, create affordable housing, develop the design and construction workforce, and advance justice and equity. In May 2023, we made our first donations, giving $21,000 to 9 non-profits in the Greater… Read more »

Becoming More Just

by Rachel White Byggmeister recently received a Just Label from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), a nonprofit working to create a society that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.  The Just Label is a “nutrition label for socially just and responsible organizations.”  For over a year, Byggmeister’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion… Read more »

Frequently Asked Budget Questions

Frequently asked questions about budgets for home renovations

by Rachel White This post is a companion piece to Early and Often: Our Approach to Budgeting. We hope that these FAQs will be a helpful resource for folks we haven’t met yet as well as for our current clients. If you think of other questions we should considering adding to this list, please drop… Read more »

Early and Often: Our Approach to Talking About Budgeting

Couple discussing renovation budget

by Rachel White A renovation project is typically one of the largest investments that a homeowner will ever make, other than purchasing the home they renovate. So, it’s essential that we discuss budget before we start planning the project.   The trouble is, it’s hard to have a meaningful budget discussion at a first meeting…. Read more »

Common Myths About Green Building

Embodied Carbon Bar Graph

by Paul Eldrenkamp We posted a version of this post in 2015. Since then, we’ve learned a lot more about the impact of our building practices and the speed with which the climate is changing. It’s even more important now that we acknowledge and move beyond entrenched myths about what truly sustainable construction is and… Read more »

Founder Paul Eldrenkamp on Worker Ownership

by Rachel White After nearly forty years as the owner of Byggmeister, Founder Paul Eldrenkamp sold the company to us, its employees. The sale capped off a seven-year planning process including a leadership transition in 2018.  During the transition process, Paul started on his next chapter as a business consultant and coach with HELM Construction Solutions…. Read more »

From Workers to Owners

by Rachel White This is the first in a two-part series on Byggmeister’s conversion to worker ownership. This post shares the perspective of the company’s new owners. The second shares Founder Paul Eldrenkamp’s perspective. On October 8, 2021, Byggmeister’s employees purchased the company from Founder Paul Eldrenkamp and incorporated as a worker cooperative. According to… Read more »

Getting Spray Foam Right

by Rachel White This blog post was originally posted in January 2016, before we fully understood the issues of embodied carbon in construction. That research has led us to reduce but not eliminate our use of spray foam. In some cases – old basement walls, for instance – spray foam is so superior to any… Read more »

Two Carbon Smart Ideas in the Attic

unfinished attic interior

by Rachel White A wide-open attic with no storage and no mechanical equipment. I can’t remember the last time we worked in an attic like this. Most of the attics Byggmeister retrofits already house an air handler. Or they will soon, as the majority of our projects include at least partial electrification, and attic space… Read more »