I love to hear from homeowners on the internet, although it's not always a homeowner from a publication that had work done on the subject of their publication. I always learn something about the homeowners expectations, grievances and the message they want to send about the company. People who share ideas are genius, people who share accomplishments are smart, and people who talk about people are ignorant.
Because this is relatively a new field for a lot of people I'm prone to remind folks that it is still construction renovation.
The type of construction company and the years of experience are important when hiring someone. Check their work and references.
Personally, I don't do cheap energy retrofits, this is a specialized field and I'm not going to do it cheap, fortunately I have other types of construction and real estate functions I perform. I would never hire a weatherization crew to work on my house. I would encourage construction general contractors to get into energy efficiency as a part of their business, I think they can do a better job, knowing how the business works than someone who doesn't know the difference between a left handed hammer than a right handed hammer.
Granite counter tops were popular with homeowners at one time but is now typical in homes of a certain value, therefore, it does not warrant an adjustment. Value was there at one time only because of it's popularity with homeowners - if only that were true of energy efficiency - maybe someday it will be once we educate the masses but I think it will only happen with higher energy costs which, aren't far away at the inflation rate we're experiencing; pain is a larger motivator than style unless.....there are several options.....we won't go there.
Homes that typically have doors and windows, insulation and HVAC systems are typical and do not warrant a much higher dollar for dollar replacement value due to the reality of necessity and maintenance. It may change the effective age of the home overall but not significantly unless it is a total remodel. A whole house energy system make over would warrant an adjustment in my opinion. The homeowner would have to produce the total cost in copies of contracts for the address. The total cost for the job would be depreciated to the difference between what is typical and what is above average quality & efficiency within the boundaries of the marekt. The value in use, i.e., energy savings, comfort & health, have to be weighted over the effective life and quality of the improvements and energy costs. The behavior factor of the owner/tenant would be extremely hard to quantify and maybe we'll come up with a mathmatical stupidity factor for that someday. New Energy Building codes are going to hurt the itemized value of energy improvements for a time as they become typicall in the market place, however, the cost and/or sale of the building should reflect the higher building standard, this would also allow for a better analysis for value between homes below the new builiding standard.