IF I were in your shoes, here's what I'd do.
#1- Go to www.bmyers.com
and sign up, for the year if you can, but if not, become a month by month member, it's 10 bux a month.
#2 Spend a week and go through Bill's archives, especially read the articles about 'complicated' projects vs. simple ones. (He's got a series posted called "Your $300,000.00 a Year Business Plan" -- a Great place for you to start).
You are putting your cart in front of your horse. Why not get started and VIDEO everything you do? Do a month. What is your goal (save energy) and how you plan to do it.
Then DO IT. And video everything you do, save all receipts, show how much time and what tools are needed. DO this for a month BEFORE you start planning or choosing a Product to market.
During this month, join all the DIY (Do It yourself) forums and home repair, and remodeling and energy saving forums and web sites you can find. See how they are doing things.
You need to learn about your market first. Who will you be selling your products to? Joe Everyman is NO ONE. Now Joe the Plumber, that's a target market.
No one thinks of themselves as the "common man". And especially the DIY crowd. So you have to carefully choose your market and find out who is best suited. Off the top of my head, I'd bet you'd find single women home owners to be a very good market. AND they are already being served by several women DIY types too.
You need some proof, so it may be through the Winter, where you show and compare your gas/electric bills from a year ago (the before) with your new savings (the after)...and all caught on VIDEO too.
Gary, you say you've always wanted to write, but committing to a newsletter is not a good idea, at this time. Maybe an ezine a couple of times a month, or best, an autoresponder series. I don't think you're ready for that yet based on what you posted.
By using VIDEO, from start to finish and narration, you can create several products once you get started.
Spend the next MONTH setting things up, you are too focused on the PRODUCT end, and all those questions you ask will be answered as you DO IT. Since you are going to do it anyhow, start with a video of the house, your plans, your "blueprint" and then get started. Get a month or two of projects done and captured, then you can set up your web site and figure out how best to develop your products based on what your MARKET wants and is willing to pay for.
It sounds like a good idea, and could be a winner, but you have to lay out a plan of action and then follow it. Go read the Bill Myers archives about starting projects like this, it is worth many times the cost of the membership.
Gordon Jay Alexander