New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

Learn How to Save 30-50% on Energy Costs | Green Building Techniques

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 @ 11:04 AM

How Much Energy (and Money) Can Spray Foam Insulation Save?

How Much Does Icynene® Insulation Cost?

Icynene® insulation is one of the most effective insulation products on the market today. Icynene® is touted as saving homeowners 30-50% on energy costs - but also has a much higher price tag than standard fiberglass insulation.

Here are the benefits and costs of Icynene insulation, to help you decide whether you'd like to invest in this type of insulation in your Raleigh new home.

Learn How to Save 30-50% on Energy Costs | Green Building Techniques

What, Exactly, is Icynene® Insulation?

Icynene® is a low-density, open-cell, semi-flexible foam insulation. So what does that mean?

Low-Density: Icynene® insulation is very light weight. It is installed by spray, and expands up to 100 times it's original size before drying.

Open-Cell: Icynene® foam insulation is described as having a consistency similar to angel food cake or meringue. It is composed of many small "cells" that make it possible for the material to breathe.

Semi-Flexible: Icynene® foam insulation will not lose it's seal with the natural small movements within a structure. It is not rigid, and is designed to make small movements if necessary.

How is Icynene® Spray Foam Insulation Installed?Learn How to Save 30-50% on Energy Costs | Green Building Techniques

Icynene® is installed only by trained and licensed dealers. Liquid components are sprayed onto open walls, crawl spaces, or ceilings. The components expand within seconds to fill in all building cavities while sealing any cracks or crevices.

Icynene® is completely cured within just a few minutes.

Excess material is trimmed off so that drywall or other materials can be applied.

When Do I Need to Decide To Install Icynene® or Foam Insulation?

Before the framing stage.

Because Icynene® offers a very tight seal, some additional venting systems will usually be required, and need to be installed before the foam insulation.

Icynene® or other foam insulation is applied just before drywall stage, after framing. All plumbing, electrical, and HVAC rough ins should be complete, as well as all inspections.

How Effective is Icynene® Spray Foam Insulation?

Foam insulations generally offer twice the R value per inch thickness as standard fiberglass batt insulation. Manufacturers and installers say that installing Icynene will save 30-50% on energy costs. Not only that, the tight seal may mean that a smaller or less expensive heating and cooling system can be used.

Installing Icynene® insulation will also go very far towards getting ENERGY STAR or Green Building LEED certification.

Learn How to Save 30-50% on Energy Costs | Green Building TechniquesWhat About Sound and Water Barriers?

Icynene is touted as being an effective sound barrier, and noted as greatly reducing noises from outside the building while reducing echoes within it, particularly those of voices or stereo/tv.

Insulation is not normally installed in interior walls, but could be installed in a particular room for further sound reduction. For instance, installing insulation in the interior walls of the master suite could allow better sleep for a spouse who works night shifts and sleeps during the day.

Are there any harmful fumes or vapors?

Icynene® is safe for both the homeowner and the environment. It has been extensively tested in both Canada and the United States, and no VOCs were detected after 30 days. Icynene® is water-based, and does not produce formaldehyde, CFCs or HCFCs.

Not only that, Icynene is recommended for use in homes for many environmentally concerned or sensitive people. The Icynene Insulation System® has been selected as a product for use in American Lung Association Health House projects.

How Much Does Icynene Spray Foam Insulation Cost?Learn How to Save 30-50% on Energy Costs | Green Building Techniques

The total dollar amount will vary greatly depending on the square footage and footprint of the home. In general, this type of insulation costs 3-4 times a standard fiberglass batt insulation.

Another option? Some homeowners opt to install Icynene in just a few locations, like underneath the roof in the attic and around doors.

Who Installs Icynene Insulation in the Raleigh Area?

If you're completing a remodel project and would like to install Icynene foam insulation, there are a variety of local insulation businesses that offer their services. If you're building or buying a new home, talk to your builder directly about installing Icynene insulation.

Healthy Home Insulation, LLC.

Insulating Inc. 

ecoSelect Third Party Energy Certification –

The ecoSelect certification in your new home indicates that the construction is designed to provide higher levels of energy efficiency, per the national HERS index, with better indoor air quality and water efficiency than standard new homes.  We're not afraid to have third party inspectors check our homes carefully, for your piece of mind and long term value.  Learn more about new homes with lower energy costs, here.

     

Tags: certified green home builders, green home building, spray foam insulation, energy efficient homes

Recycled Glass Countertops | Photos of NC Green Home Features

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 @ 09:03 AM

Green Home Photos

Certified Green Home with Recycled Glass Countertops

This version of the "Almodovar" certified Green home includes:

 - 3003 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathroomsNC Green Homes | Certified Green Home Builders

 - One story floor plan with vaulted great room

 - Bamboo hardwood flooring throughout

 - Kitchen with arched opening to great room

 - Master suite with vaulted trey ceiling, walk-in closet, luxurious bathroom with soaking tub, large tile shower, plenty of storage

Recycled Glass Countertops | NC Green Homes

 

One green home feature that makes this custom design stand out is the recycled glass kitchen countertops - in "Crystal Sand" color.

Recycled glass countertops rate above granite in cost per sq ft, but offer a unique appeal and very hard surface. 

Recycled glass countertops are:

  • non-porous
  • resistant to stains and bacteria
  • sustainable

ecoSelect Third Party Energy Certification –

The ecoSelect certification in your new home indicates that the construction is designed to provide higher levels of energy efficiency, per the national HERS index, with better indoor air quality and water efficiency than standard new homes.  We're not afraid to have third party inspectors check our homes carefully, for your piece of mind and long term value.  Learn more about new homes with lower energy costs, here.

Certified Green Homes Raleigh

Tags: green kitchen trends, certified green home builders, green home builders raleigh, certified green homes

Why Build an ENERGY STAR Home? Sell Faster, Recoup Investment

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 @ 13:12 PM

ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes Sell Faster, at a Higher Price

North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance - ENERGY STAR Qualified Home Study Results

Third Party Energy Certification

Homebuyers may be hesitant to build an ENERGY STAR home - the initial cost is about 1% more than a standard home.

But the monthly energy cost savings (through reduced energy needs, government incentives, and energy company discounts), increases in comfort, benefits to the environment, and home loan incentives are helping homebuyers across the nation make the decision to go ENERGY STAR.

Now, you have a new reason to build ENERGY STAR: statistically significant market advantages.

The North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance (NCEEA) recentlly completed a study investigating the market advantages of ENERGY STAR qualification for new homes around the greater Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.

The study analyzed Triangle MLS homes, including:

  • A random sample of ENERGY STAR Homes
  • A random sample of homes with no building certifications (with similar third party appraisal values)

ENERGY STAR Homes were found to have a significant market advantage, compared to similar code-built, uncertified homes, in each of these categories:

  • Selling for a higher sale price
  • Selling for a higher price per square foot, or
  • Having spent fewer days on the market prior to sale. 

While ENERGY STAR homes also sold for a greater proportion of their list price, these results of the study were not found to be statistically significant.

No matter when you're planning to move again, having a home that's easy to sell when the time comes will make a big difference.

The Benefits of an ENERGY STAR Qualified Home

Here is a summary of the study's results:

Third Party Energy Certification

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stanton Homes is an ENERGY STAR Qualified custom home builder, and will work with you to incorporate all of the energy saving features you’re looking for.

Read the entire NCEEA ENERGY STAR Home study here.

ecoSelect Third Party Energy Certification –

The ecoSelect certification in your new home indicates that the construction is designed to provide higher levels of energy efficiency, per the national HERS index, with better indoor air quality and water efficiency than standard new homes.  We're not afraid to have third party inspectors check our homes carefully, for your piece of mind and long term value.  Learn more about new homes with lower energy costs, here.

Third Party Energy Certification
 

Tags: certified green home builders, green homes raleigh, certified green homes, energy efficient homes

Fireplace Trends in New Homes: Disappearing Act

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 @ 10:02 AM

New Home Trends - Are Fireplaces Disappearing?

Number of New Homes with Fireplaces Hits 23 Year Low

Wondering if fireplaces are going the way of the formal dining room?

The number of new homes that include fireplaces is decreasing.   According to the Census Bureau, the number of new homes built without a fireplace reached 49% in 2009, the highest percentage since 1975. 

NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

According to data from the Census Bureau, the number of new homes built without a fireplace in 2009 hit 49%, following a steady trend over the past 15 years.NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

The year 1990 saw the most new homes with fireplaces since the Census Bureau started tracking in 1973 - only 34% of new homes built in 1990 did not include a fireplace.  Since then, the number of homes with fireplaces has been on the decline. 

The years 1980-1983 saw another increase in the number of homes without fireplaces, after which the number homes with  fireplaces steadily grew until to their peak in 1990.

NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

What could be causing the decline in the number of fireplaces?

Just a few factors that could be impacting the "fireplace decision" could include:

- Cost effectiveness

- Fireplaces no longer used as a heat source

- Entertainment centers as focal points instead of fireplace

- Changing restrictions on woodburning fireplaces

- Low maintanence lifestyle choices

Will your new home include a fireplace? 

As an NC custom home builder, we'll work with you to make the decision that's right for you, and can design a home that includes the features that will make your lifestyle exceptional. 

Want to get started?

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More Custom Home Tips and Trends:

NC Custom Home Builders | Build on Your Lot | How Many Bathrooms

Fireplace Surround Ideas

Craftsman Floor Plans: Our Favorite Craftsman Architects

Small Changes Make Big Differences - Floor Plan Modifications

Tile Tub Surround Design Trends and Ideas

Cabinet Wood Types: Compare and Contrast

 

Tags: fireplace trends, nc custom homes, building a home, certified green home builders, nc custom homebuilders, build on your lot, custom home builder

Why Certified Green Homes Use Fewer Resources - Designing Your Home

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 @ 12:01 PM
 

Designing Your New Green Home Floorplan for Maximum Efficiency

Easy Ways to Make Any Home More Efficient

If you're considering building or buying a new green certified home in the Raleigh area, you'll want to know what, exactly,Raleigh Green Homes | NC Green Home Builders a "certified green home" means!

To make the grade, your new Raleigh green home must be evaluated in six different aspects of construction: Lot Design, Resource Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Operation/Maintanence. 

How Does Resource Efficiency work, when designing your floor plan?

Every home is just a little different, but with a little effort, nearly any home can be certified green built.  A home is certified green when a minimum number of points are earned in each of the six categories.  The "green points" earned by your Raleigh green home builder will vary, depending on the type of site, location, type of home, budget, and your own priorities. 

Here's how resource efficiency can affect the design of your new certified green home.

Size of Home -

The NAHB Research Center national survey has determined average home size, broken down by number of bedrooms.

  • 2 Bedrooms = 1,382 sq ft
  • 3 Bedrooms = 1,890 sq ft
  • 4 Bedrooms = 2,648 sq ft
  • 5+ Bedrooms = 3,424 sq ft

Your new green home will earn points towards green home certification if the total heated square footage is below these averages. 

For example, a 4 bedroom home at 2555 sq ft earns 1 point, while a 2267 sq ft four bedroom home earns 4 points towards green home certification.

Layout of Home:

There are many ways a home can be designed for better efficiency.  Here are some of the methods your builder can use to maximize the use of resources without changing the overall size of the home.

  • One side of a window or door opening is at a regular 16" or 24" stud position.
  • Modular (standard) window sizes are used, with both side studs located at normal 16" or 24" stud positions.
  • The building width is evenly divisible by four feet in the direction parallel to the primary joist span.
  • The building length is evenly divisible by two feet in the direction perpendicular to the primary joist span.

These are just a few of the ways any home can be designed and built in a more efficient manner.

Certified green homes must meet specific guidelines, and must be inspected by third party verifiers.  However, the attributes for each green home will vary, due to site conditions, budget, and level of green certification desired.

There are four basic levels of certification through the NAHB Green Building program: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald.

Buying a Raleigh Green Home?

Ask the seller or builder to provide you with the green home certificate.  This certificate is issued upon completion of the home, and will specify the level of the certification.

Building a Raleigh Green Home?

Discuss your green building priorities with your NC green home builder.  They will help you determine which level of green building certification best meets your budget and desires.  If you opt for a certified green home, you'll receive an official certificate from a third party verifier like the NAHB upon completion of your new Raleigh NC green home.

ecoSelect Third Party Energy Certification –

The ecoSelect certification in your new home indicates that the construction is designed to provide higher levels of energy efficiency, per the national HERS index, with better indoor air quality and water efficiency than standard new homes.  We're not afraid to have third party inspectors check our homes carefully, for your piece of mind and long term value.  Learn more about new homes with lower energy costs, here.

Tags: nc green building, certified green home builders, green builders raleigh, green home builders raleigh, green homes, green homes raleigh, certified green homes