My dad visited recently and, given his proclivity toward puttering, volunteered to replace our wall phone in the kitchen.
He did, and in the process, noticed that the insulation blown into the walls of our 203-year-old Cape had settled. A lot.
"You basically have no insulation from about here up," he said, gesturing to his collarbone.
Great. One more thing to add to the domestic to-do list.
So insulation R-values were on my mind as I read Staff Writer Matt Dodge's piece, "Window gains," starting on page 18, on the collaboration between Belfast window maker Mathews Brothers and a collection of companies working on an energy project with the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority. They are rehabbing an old veterinary clinic on the former Brunswick Navy base into a demonstration model for high-efficiency building materials, including a window from Mathews Brothers that has an R5 rating versus the R2 or R3 windows typically found in American homes.
Matt's story is part of this issue's focus on real estate, construction and design, an industry that is enjoying a bit of a resurgence, according to Drew Sigfridson, the new president of the Maine Real Estate and Development Association. Drew shares his insights in "Movement afoot," on page 22, while regular columnist Justin Lamontagne lays out the advantages of professional property managers in "Simple advice," on page 24. We also check out the burgeoning sector of metal roofs, in "Pitching roofs," starting on the cover (also under consideration on my to-do list at home.) Who knew that competition has really crowded the field in what used to be a pretty limited market in Maine?
Dominating the cover is Senior Writer Jim McCarthy's exploration of the impact on Maine business of the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, in "What's next?" Jim lays out a timeline for implementation, as well as specific effects on the hospital industry and a roundup of what every HR manager in Maine should know. There's also a handy list of resources.
We realize this is a complicated and dense topic, but we also know that health care costs are nearly always No. 1 or No. 2 among executives' top complaints about doing business in Maine. So we're committed to lifting the shroud of fog around it as best we can. You can check out upcoming stories about the impact of the ACA by looking for our logo, "Continuing care," as we cover this issue. We're not placing any bets on where it will go politically, though. Our crystal ball has been in moth balls since we asked for predictions on when Maine will emerge from the recession.
I'd just as soon guess about when the insulation will be replaced in my kitchen walls.