The “Castle,” as it’s locally known in Hopewell, New Jersey, took six years to build before it was finished in approximately 1900. Imposing and grand at 9,000 square feet, it’s a place Hope Cotter and her husband, Kevin, open to various nonprofit organizations for events, everything from a local musical ensemble to an anti-bullying group to Princeton where Kevin works in annual giving.
“This is a way of life to open our home because we have something special – this space – to share,” she said.
Before they bought the house in 2009, previous owners had nursed it back to health, repointing the bricks as well as refinishing the floors and buying new appliances. But Hope wanted to make it more energy efficient and sustainable. The trees made solar power difficult and the landscape didn’t work for geothermal. But they knew they could do something about insulating the home’s 54, old, historic windows, some of which were exceptionally large and drafty.
The windows would rattle and you would see money pouring out of them.
Replacing the windows with new double-panes would have been prohibitively expensive – and changed the character of the house. But then an architect at their home for a charitable event told the couple about Indow window inserts. A pilot test in their kitchen starting in May made it clear they worked to keep the summer heat at bay. Once the small air conditioning unit in their kitchen gets the room cold, it now stays cold.
So they decided to buy Indow inserts for the rest of the house. On the west facing side they bought Museum Grade to protect their artwork including pieces from students and faculty at the New York Academy of Art where Hope used to work. Since they didn’t live in a dealer territory, they had to do Indow’s self-measure process. Hope was sure with 54 windows, they would mismeasure a window. But every single one was accurate.
Already she has noticed that the house is quieter with the inserts. But she’s really looking forward to seeing how they block freezing drafts this coming winter.
“That’s where we’ll see the difference.”
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