Shelly's Story 

Shelly Shea is chemically sensitive. 
She recently built a package homethat she amended to suit her needs.

UPddate Fall 2001

Due to limited resources, I had to make choices.  I couldn't make all the changes I would have liked.  My priority was to have hardwood floors and stairs with a bit of ceramic tile instead of plywood, carpet and vinyl, which is what they assume you will want. I chose pre-finished hardwood with a 25 year guarantee. I also paid extra for single hung windows instead of casements, to make sure I could get good ventilation.  I couldn't afford solid wood cabinets so I got laminated ones and sealed the unfinished edges and joins myself with foil tape. 

Some products which were different from the usual ones didn't cost extra.  I chose a low toxicity paint, Glidden Lifemaster 2000, and made sure that the caulking that was used was free of fungicides. I used yellow Johns Manville insulation without paper backing to avoid the dye in the pink insulation and possible chemicals in the paper.  I made sure that the drywall was free of fungicides and formaldehyde. In my search for drywall I found out that some factories use fungicides and other don't, even within the same company.  The building lot I chose was one where the windows would catch the prevailing winds.  I put the air intake for the air exchange system at the back of the house instead of the side to keep it as far as possible from neighbours' dryer vents. 

I asked lots of questions of manufacturers about their products, and I asked other people with sensitivities what products they had used successfully. Before I moved in I made sure that the house was well aired out and gassed off.   I moved in August 17 and so far I'm doing well.