An inspiring example of how an old home was reinvented into a thing of beauty with sustainable and energy efficient products and technologies.

This week’s unveiling of The New American Remodel 2021 (TNAR) is an inspiring reminder that homeowners do not need to feel trapped by outdated construction methods and materials, inflexible designs, or poor workmanship performed by the original builders. We can all find comfort in knowing that it is never too late to introduce natural light, energy efficiency, sustainable materials, or air quality systems into an existing home.

At the end of this article is a spectacular video tour created by NAHB, SGC Horizon LLC and Structure Productions, which goes into detail on all aspects of the remodel, construction and final results.

We strongly recommend visiting the TNAR website, as well, as everything you could imagine is documented to learn more on all products, suppliers, and technolgoies used.

Also, don’t forget to see our coverage of The New American Home 2021Enjoy!

Table of Contents


TNAR 2021’s Design Challenges

The 2021 TNAR property, built in 1973, is located at 3260 Lake Shore Drive in Orlando, Florida and was purchased in 2019 for $1.43M with 4,081 square feet of living space, sitting on a .39 acre lot.

The original design was conceived by architect Roger Allen, who trained and worked with two protégés of Frank Lloyd Wright. Built as a 5-level home with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and views of Lake Sue, the property had become dated, both aesthetically and functionally.

TNAR 2021’s Before Photo

TNAR 2021 Before Photo

Video image courtesy of NAHB, SGC Horizon LLC and Structure Productions.

The home presented the following challenges:

  • Dark Spaces
  • Low Ceilings
  • Blocked Views
  • Structural Issues
  • Recurring Water Intrusion
  • Limited Outdoor Access
  • Poor Energy Efficiency


TNAR 2021’s Energy Efficiency Challenges

To get an initial read on the home’s existing energy efficiency, green energy consultants performed an assessment using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. This is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured based on performance characteristics of how “leaky” or inefficient a home’s doors, windows, duct and ventilation systems may be.

Though the home was not expected to score well, it was surprising just how poorly it scored. With a score of 147, or 47% less efficient than a basic code-built house, this project was clearly going to be a challenge for this year’s remodeler. In fact, this was the worst initial score of any home in the history of TNAR.

HERS Index

Image courtesy of Home Energy Raters, LLC,

Enter green builder Rob Smith of E2 Homes, his extended team, and strategic suppliers, partners and experts. TNAR 2021 home was magically transformed into a showcase of pervasive indoor-outdoor living, with ample natural light that would gain Frank Lloyd Wright’s enthusiastic approval – all within a highly efficient envelope.


TNAR 2021: An Old Home Reinvented

The resulting remodeled property has 5,474 square feet of living space with 6 bedrooms, 6 full baths and 2 half-baths, with seamless indoor-outdoor transitions, the result of opening up views and spaces within the home’s many levels.

TNAR 2021 LaCantina Doors

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey A. Davis and Pro Remodeler Media.

The outdoor areas and features are an entertainer’s paradise. The lanai, outfitted with a gourmet summer kitchen, can be enclosed in shade and pest-proof screens and is equipped with two ceiling fans. The full-size pool has a spa, splash pad, and modern pergola-covered lounge area. The property also has a modern lakefront dock with outdoor storage and refrigeration.

A separate 1,000 sq. ft. 1BR/2BA cabana ADU also resides in the backyard and can be used for full-time independent living, extended visits for family and guests, as well as for a home office and fitness studio.

TNAR 2021 Cabana ADU

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey A. Davis and Pro Remodeler Media.


Tips on Approaching Energy Efficiency Projects

When asked by homeowners if they should get their home rated and certified, Smith always recommends that they do. Quantifiable data is necessary to get to your desired efficiency level and can confirm progress along the way. A tremendous benefit of certification is that an accredited, independent person will audit and test the construction work to make sure that everything is performing properly. This process would include conducting inspections before the dry wall is installed.

Opening up walls is an invaluable opportunity to make long term investment decisions in your home’s overall performance capabilities and safety infrastructure., This includes better insulation; a more intelligent & efficient HVAC system; reliable plumbing; safer wiring; and various sensors that interact with these systems.

Pre-wiring for solar panels, should also be considered, as they can be connected more easily if you should so choose, later in the future or when the timing is right.


Certifications & Badges Earned

As a testament of what is possible, Smith’s extended team was able to score an amazing -10 HERS score and received the following impressive certifications and badges for this project:

  • National Green Building Standard (NGBS) Emerald Certification
    • Indicates that a home meets the NGBS ICC-700 building standard
    • Is the only green building rating system for homes and apartments approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
    • Emerald is the highest level of certification, and is required across all six categories of scoring:
      • Energy Efficiency
      • Water Efficiency
      • Resource Efficiency
      • Lot Development
      • Operation & Maintenance
      • Indoor Environmental Quality
    • Home on average is 20% to 30% more energy efficient
    • Home is more durable and requires less maintenance
    • Home will have higher resale value
    • Net Zero Badge
      • Home combines energy efficiency & renewable energy generation to consume only as much energy as can be produced onsite through renewable resources
      • Home offers residents independence from energy bills and increased resilience during events that affect the energy infrastructure
    • Wellness Badge
      • Home scored high across multiple NGBS practice categories that influence human health, including: Air; Movement; Moisture Management; Humidity Control/Comfort; Nourishment; Light; Sound; Materials; and Access to Nature
  • Energy Star Certification
    • Signifies better quality, comfort, durability, utility & maintenance costs
    • At least 10% more energy efficient than homes built to code
    • Better resale value
  • Indoor airPLUS Certification
    • All airPLUS certified homes must be Energy Star certified first
    • Indicates home has healthier air quality and comfort
    • Home has features that reduce contaminants, including: mold, moisture, radon, carbon monoxide, and toxic chemicals
    • Home provides protection against combustion pollutants, like gas
    • Homes come with a manual for maintaining air quality
  • Zero Energy Ready Home Certification
    • Represents outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, wellness and durability


TNAR 2021 Products that Helped Make this Remodel be Remarkable

Presented below are just a few of the products that made this amazing transformation possible in the following areas:

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Sustainability
  • Wellness
  • Functionality
  • Convenience

Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors

One of the main challenges for the builder was to give the home tasteful, modern curb appeal, while opening up the previously dark interior to natural light. Both of Mr. Smith’s objectives were achieved by adding glass windows and doors, where none existed, while simultaneously fixing water intrusion issues caused by poorly fitting or lower quality windows and doors.

Jeld-Wen, with its reputation for craftsmanship, performance, variety and aesthetic appeal, was chosen as TNAR’s window and door supplier. Forty-five Siteline aluminum clad, fixed, casement and awning windows can be found through the property, which instantly transformed the former aged, cladded exterior into a showpiece.

Jeld-Wen windows are treated with the company’s patented AuraLast surface-to-core treatment process which guards against rot, water damage and termites backed by a 20-year warranty. The performance glass is thermally controlled with an internal thermal break that slows the transfer of solar heat and provides energy efficiency.

TNAR 2021 Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey A. Davis and Pro Remodeler Media.


LaCantina Doors

LaCantina, a Jeld-Wen brand, has become synonymous with large-opening door systems for enhanced indoor-outdoor living. TNAR has four custom clad-hinged patio doors, nine sliding patio doors, and five folding doors with the accordion-like fold feature that has become the LaCantina “trademark”.

Although the largest width used in the home is sixteen feet, LaCantina makes doors with up to sixty-five feet of outdoor viewing pleasure. Like the Jeld-Wen windows, the LaCantina patio doors come with thermally controlled glass, with an internal thermal break that slows the conductive thermal energy from passing through the glass.

TNAR 2021 LaCantina Folding Doors

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey A. Davis and Pro Remodeler Media.

Live The LaCantina Life Commercial Series - Summer 2017 - 30 Sec


LG NeON® 2 Black Solar Panels

Though most consumers know LG as a leading consumer electronics and appliance brand, they are also a leader in renewable energy, in the US residential market. Forty LG solar panels were installed on the remodeled home, which played a significant role in helping the home to exceed the net zero certification. Designed with aesthetics in mind, the LG NeON® 2 panels use a thin circular shape of wires, for a minimalistic appearance, that leverages their award-winning cello technology to mitigate long-term degradation of performance.

LG solar modules have become a popular choice within the US residential market for several impressive reasons: LG’s panel technology can absorb more light that provides more power output and reliability, while requiring less space; panels are durable within a variety of environments and weather conditions; and the panel modules offer flexibility with a variety of configurations that can unobtrusively blend into the structural design of your home. Additionally, LG offers a 25-year limited-warranty for performance, product and labor and will pay up to $450 to have a panel replaced.

TNAR 2021 LG Neon 2 Solar Panels

Video image courtesy of NAHB, SGC Horizon LLC and Structure Productions.

LG Solar Product Video


Eaton WiFi Switches, Dimmers & Receptacles

Eaton’s WiFi switches, dimmers and receptacles were well-received by the remodeling team, as this was their first time using the WiFi versions. Given that Smith’s approach to technology is to keep it simple and easy to use, it was important that Eaton’s solution met this need, as the homeowners would be using them on a daily basis. Smith was pleased to confirm that the devices are easy to program, even for homeowners, and seamlessly integrate with Alexa.

The builder also confirmed that the Eaton devices were easy to use for an important usage scenario: adjusting lighting while away from home, to make the house appear to be inhabited. He also stated that they would be a perfect addition to any renovation. Eaton’s seamless wallplates added a clean, elegant look to the switches and dimmers, and were easy and fast to install.


Phantom Screens Motorized Outdoor Screens

Phantom’s Motorized Outdoor Screens are ideal for addressing the popular trend of homeowners desiring seamless indoor-outdoor living and accessibility. Phantom screens were used not only to keep out pests, but, more importantly, to shade the home, reduce the solar heat gained on the windows, and provide privacy. Though Phantom also provides indoor retractable screens, their outdoor motorized screens are being especially well-received as new creative ways are continuing to be discovered, including using vinyl to enclose outdoor rooms in colder climates. While the screen are all controllable via handheld remote, keypads or smart devices, smart sensor technology makes it possible for the screens to automatically retract during windy conditions to prevent screen damage.

We also featured Phantom Screens in 10 Exceptional Products of The New American Home 2021 and gave them expanded coverage in: The 411 on Phantom Screens: A Profile in Innovation.

TNAR 2021 Phantom Screens Lanai

Video image courtesy of NAHB, SGC Horizon LLC and Structure Productions.


LG Signature TurboWash Series

LG’s Signature TurboWash Series is a combo wash and dryer, comprised of an advanced TurboWash, with large capacity capability and intuitive controls. With built in intelligence, the appliances take the guesswork out of deciding how long or on which settings you should wash or dry your fabrics. The washer delivers the right amount of power and water for delicates, as well as denim, based on its ability to automatically sense the fabric’s weight and softness.

Packed with smart features such as notifications for remaining cycle time and completion, the TurboWash takes the guess work and mental drudgery out of laundry day and actually makes it fun! Though making great advances in smart technology, LG is more importantly excelling in terms of customer satisfaction, having been ranked number for laundry appliances in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for three years in a row.

LG Signature TurboWash Series and LG Styler

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey A. Davis and Pro Remodeler Media.

LG SIGNATURE Washer and Dryer


LG Styler Steam Clothing Care System

LG’s Steam Clothing Care System reduces allergens in clothing and other household materials by up to 99%. Proof of the system’s effectiveness is its certification as being asthma- and allergy-friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). We think this could become a wildly popular appliance for just the benefit of not having to go to the drycleaner as frequently, allowing you to save money, time and reduce another inconvenient errand! The system works on over 15 types of fabrics, is WiFi-enabled, and can refresh items via pure steam in just 20 minutes.

We also featured the LG Styler in 10 Exceptional Products of The New American Home 2021.

Meet the LG Styler Steam Clothing Care System Influencer Video


VintageView Niche Wine Room

VintageView, the makers of the original “label forward” wine rack, provides highly flexible design options, with configurations that can even serve as a room divider. For TNAR 2021, the wine niche was actually an afterthought in the design of the interior which became a centerpiece of the home. Designed to make use of a non-functional space, the wine niche in TNAR can accommodate up to 465 bottles and fits both standard and magnum size bottles.

We also featured VintageView’s Vino Series in 10 Exceptional Products of The New American Home 2021.

TNAR 2021 VintageView Niche Wine Room

Video image courtesy of NAHB, SGC Horizon LLC and Structure Productions.


Video Tour of The New American Remodel® 2021

Video courtesy of NAHB, SGC Horizon LLC and Structure Productions.


Additional TNAR 2021 Resources


Recommended Reading


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