When asked what it takes to be a contractor, Rob Carlisle says you need a truck, a dog, and a circular saw. While Denali – the charismatic Tibetan Mastiff PAWS rescue – is certainly part of Carlisle’s crew, the dogs he’s referring to are actually the team of University of Washington “Dawgs” that make up the Carlisle Classic Homes pack.
“I didn’t plan it that way,” says UW alumnus Carlisle. “There is one (Washington State University) Cougar in our midst, but he has to take a lot of grief for it.” While Carlisle Classic Homes employees were not hired specifically for their academic (or animal) affiliations, or even their in-depth knowledge of construction, they were chosen, Carlisle said, “because they are bright, talented people who are passionate about the industry and the environment.”
Carlisle’s pack mentality and concern for the environment extend from his wife and two small children to the global community. “Having kids changes your perspective,” he said. “I want to help make a world that they will be happy to inherit, and for them to enjoy the same things that we had growing up.”
Concerned with toxic threats to children, like poor indoor air quality, Carlisle encourages his clients to incorporate upgrade measures into their renovation projects. “Renovations and energy upgrades go hand in hand,” he said. Upgrades allow for a healthier, more efficient finished product, he said, and often create more living space in homes from removing duct work or chimneys in favor of cleaner, more innovative solutions. Also, choosing to make energy upgrades during the renovation process helps to reduce both ongoing and immediate costs, particularly with the current incentives available through Community Power Works.
Energy upgrades tend to be an easy sell for Carlisle, and are clearly a win-win situation with the added benefits from Community Power Works. “Most of our clients have a concern for the environment, but don’t know how to address it through their homes,” Carlisle said. “Through the $95 energy audit, CPW gives a no-strings-attached approach where people can choose what they want to do. Making smart improvements to their homes is a chance for their beliefs to line up with their pocketbooks.”