Sarasota Window Film Dealer Helps Habitat Homeowners Save Energy

January 21st, 2010 | Category: Featured Content

Solar-X of Sarasota, Fla., an American Society of Interior Design (ASID) industry partner, recently completed the first of what company officials hope to be many donated installations of Panorama® window film on a home rehabilitated by Habitat for Humanity in Sarasota. Lyman G. MacNutt, president of Solar-X of Sarasota, tells WINDOW FILM magazine that his company got involved with the project by volunteering their products and services to Habitat as a philanthropic project, and because of their close association with ASID as an industry partner.

“Our local ASID chapter donates a great deal of members’ time and talents helping homeowners with interior design, and many of their wealthier clients’ ‘cast-offs’ from remodeling projects. I had no particular home in mind; in fact my thoughts were then, as they are now, to make it an ongoing commitment to provide free film and labor to Habitat as it is needed for their rehab homes,” says MacNutt. “Habitat not only helps people build new homes using sweat equity, volunteers, etc., but they also rehabilitate existing homes as part of a neighborhood stabilization project–cleaning up neighborhoods, and adding value to surrounding homes by cleaning up the target homes.”

He explains that new homes typically get insulating glass, but rehab homes might have perfectly serviceable windows that don’t need replacement.

“However, it would be nice to save energy and money for the people who own them. Any money that Habitat saves by not replacing existing windows and getting free window film can be put toward other improvements in the home renovation,” says MacNutt, who adds that when he approached his film manufacturer, Bekaert Specialty Films, about the Habitat project, they were enthusiastic and generous.

“They have made an ongoing commitment to provide us the film – we will provide the labor – free of charge, so that we might help Habitat homeowners to lower their energy bills.”

MacNutt adds that his company’s involvement in the project was important because it was a way for them to give back to the community.

“I got together with Bekaert, and they committed to donating a continuing amount of film (we will use only one kind, which keeps costs down), and we will provide the donated labor. Each home only needs about 80 to 100 square feet of film, so it’s not like they are big homes, and Habitat only wants to put film on the ‘necessary’ windows (mostly west-facing) and not abuse the situation,” says MacNutt, who adds that Dean Shelton, Habitat’s director of construction and field operations, “was great to work with, and equally enthusiastic.”

MacNutt says the opportunity to be a part of the Habitat project was a very rewarding experience, “if only to know that you are helping someone who very much needs it, and can help them in a positive and ongoing way. Many of these homeowners cannot afford to keep their homes up, hence, the home falls into disrepair and decay and the neighborhood goes downhill with it. A film installation will make it possible for them to better afford their utility bill, and make the home more energy efficient.”

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