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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Franzoso Contracting Offers Eco-Friendly Home Services

For 38 years, Franzoso Contracting has been a trusted name for home improvement and construction in New York and Connecticut. A fully insured home contracting business, it was founded in 1980 by Mark Franzoso and quickly earned a reputation for quality and reliability. As Franzoso Contracting sponsors our Natural Awakenings Nature Page (see next page), we sat down with Sales Manager Mark Sackerson to talk about remodeling for energy efficiency and Franzoso’s other ecofriendly services.

You use a “whole-house approach” to reducing heating and cooling costs. What’s involved with that?

You lose money when heated or cooled air escapes your house by conduction, convection or radiation. Our whole-house approach looks at all three ways to save that money. We plug any holes and improve insulation. Then we look at replacing money wasters like leaky windows or inefficient heating systems, or installing solar panels. When we analyze a house, we look at it as an envelope that separates the “conditioned” areas, where there’s heating or cooling, from the outdoors and any “unconditioned” areas of the home. You need some holes for a healthy indoor space, but too many allows conditioned air to escape.

That wastes money, plus you end up with cold drafts in the winter and a hot upstairs in the summer. While you may only notice problems in certain rooms, the holes are everywhere. Closing the most noticeable ones only helps with some of the problem. We have to address every hole we can get to in order to deliver complete energy savings.

Why it is important to plug the holes, rather than just insulating?

If you just add insulation, air still blows through it and keeps it from insulating properly. Traditional fiberglass insulation works by trapping air in the fibers. If it’s not protected from wind or moving air, the trapped heated air blows out, making the insulation less effective. The most noticeable result is icicles and ice dams, which can lead to interior leaks.

Now is the time to get homes ready for spring and summer. You offer gutter cleaning and roof inspections, as well as a gentle, ecofriendly way to clean roofs. How does that work?

The typical contractor uses a power washer and harsh chemicals mixed with bleach to blow algae, lichen and moss off a roof. The high-pressure spray reduces roof life by taking off the protective surface granules, exposing the asphalt base to UV rays. Additionally, the chemicals have been known to kill landscaping and damage siding or painted surfaces.

We use an exclusive, time-tested system that combines an ecofriendly solution and specially calibrated equipment to ensure minimal impact and increase roof life. We simply apply the solution, which kills algae without harmful chemicals, and then rinse it off at low pressure with a rotary disc.

What else should homeowners do in the spring?

This is the time of year we see an influx of demand for all our services—repairing roofs or siding; upgrading or building decks; replacing old or poor-quality windows to improve comfort and safety; and replacing siding and entry doors to improve a home’s value, energy efficiency and curb appeal. According to Remodeling Magazine, new siding and doors have one of the highest returns of all home improvements, at 80 percent. Improving a home’s energy efficiency has a 121 percent payback.

How should homeowners choose a contractor?

Homeowners hear “licensed and insured” and believe they are protected in case the contractor or a subcontractor gets injured on their property. The truth is, most contractors reduce costs by getting insurance that only covers them for work performed on the ground, or at most no more than four feet off the ground. Homeowners would have to read the policy, looking for exclusions, to know whether they could be sued for the injury or death of someone working on their property.

The best plan is to read reviews, and then ask for references and interview them. Did previous customers receive good value for their investment? Were the crews professional, respectful and reliable? Did they prioritize the safety and care of the homeowner and property? Was the company responsive after the job was completed—a month, a year or 10 years later—when they had questions or needed help fixing something? Hiring the right professional is important. It’s about the value, not the price, of a project.

To contact Franzoso Contracting or Franzoso Energy Solutions, call 914.271.4572 or visit