We purchased salvaged cabinetry and granite counters for our laundry room. We found most of the interior doors that we need at a non-profit organization that accepts donations of salvaged and left-over building materials. We also acquired some old cedar barn siding and salvaged red oak flooring that we are going to use as wainscoting in several rooms. We found a black marble bathroom vanity counter with attached, undermount double sinks that was a reject from a high end home in Avon, CT. We're constantly scouring websites and the newspaper for opportunities to find interesting materials that we can recycle. A little creativity goes a long way. And to us, hunting for the stuff is way more fun than buying something new...imagining how and where you can use something...the feeling you get when you get a great deal while recycling something that would otherwise end up in the dump.
Like the Porters, we're also using SIPs for the shell, however, our heating system is very different (and less expensive). We're relying on solar generated hot water to supply heat through radiant tubing. We're also fortunate to live in a state that has great rebates and a leasing program for photovoltaic installation so we can start producing our own energy right away without spending $40,000 for the system.