Family Makes Future Dream a Present Reality

Family of five sitting on the couch reading a book

When Steve and Laura McMullen moved their family into their 1950s house in Grand Rapids, they knew windows could be a barrier to a healthy home.

The windows of their new house were old and leaky; some of them were even cracked and refused to open. This created as many problems with ventilation of the house as it did for the health and wellbeing of the family themselves.

“We knew we wanted to get new windows,” Steve reflects, “but it might have taken five years or so for us to save up and get motivated to do it.”

As a family settles into a new house, securing the means for improvements in quality and safety can prove to be a difficult endeavor.

“We hear from a lot of homeowners looking for affordable options to improve their homes,” says Michigan Saves’ Todd Parker. “We’re able to present them with a variety of options to proceed in accomplishing their goals.”

When the McMullens heard about the opportunity to get an assessment of their home’s energy use, they jumped at the chance.
Contractors examined the home and helped the McMullens develop a course of action. They oversaw the installation of new, energy-efficient windows, and even helped the McMullens obtain over $500 in rebates.  With access to knowledgeable contractors, the McMullens knew they could improve their home with affordable security.

When installing the new windows, the contractors took into account how much the home was “breathing.” Homes need to allow a certain amount of fresh air in to keep indoor air quality safe and healthy. Some homes breathe too much, and some breathe too little.

In the process of home improvement planning, the contractors found that the McMullen’s house wasn’t breathing enough. So they installed a bathroom fan for healthy ventilation.

Michigan Saves provided the financing to make funding this work possible sooner rather than later, producing a present environment to foster a safe living space for a family.

“It was a really good deal,” Steve said. As an economist at Calvin College, Steve knows a deal when he sees one. “It made sense. It was a very low interest loan for a project we really wanted to do.”

With the help of Michigan Saves, the McMullens were able to turn their dreams for their family home into a present reality by enlisting the knowledge and experience of skilled contractors. This created a healthy home with efficiency that will have a lasting effect for their quality of life.

Though the windows to their new home initially presented unwanted barriers, the McMullens were able to transform these windows to something they could enjoy as part of their new nurturing environment.

“We love our new windows,” Steve reports. “They open easily and have screens – they’re a big improvement over what we had before.”