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

How Much Does a Solar Home Cost?

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Aug 01, 2011 @ 13:08 PM

How Much does a Home with Solar PV Power Cost in Raleigh?

NC Green Home Builder Tips and Ideas

What’s it cost to include solar photovoltaic power in a new green certified home in the Raleigh area?  

The total cost of your new solar home will depend on what you want to accomplish.

The total cost of a residential solar panel system for your new green home will vary depending on things like:

  • where is your home located?
  • how big is your home?
  • what kind of design does your home have?
  • what are the conditions of your home site?

This solar calculator can give you an idea of what to expect, pending a residential solar panel evaluation.*

Residential Solar Panels | Raleigh Green Home Builders

These examples were generated from the online solar calculator at FindSolar.com.

Does Raleigh have Residential Solar Energy rebates and savings incentives?

The Raleigh area has some of the nation's most notable solar energy providers, like Southern Energy Management.  Check with a solar energy provider for information specific to your solar project.

Some of the NC green home solar energy incentives available right now include:

  • Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credit (30%)
  • NC Renewable Energy Tax Credit (35%, cap of $10,500)
  • NC GreenPower Production Initiative ($0.13/kWh)

Your energy provider can walk you through the structure of these credits.

Solar energy is typically seen as a long-term investment, for a green home you intend to live in over a long period. But even though the amount paid upfront is still significant, these rebates and incentives can reduce the overall cost for residential solar power systems to the lowest it's ever been. 

Planning ahead for Residential Solar Power Systems

When you’re building a new green home in Raleigh, ask about "solar ready" - adding future solar power capabilities during the construction stage.

Your NC green home builder can pre-wire and pre-plumb the home for either a solar electric (PV) system or a solar water heater, or both.

"Solar Ready" won’t cost very much, and the pre-planning will save a lot of money when you’re ready to install a future solar PV system or solar water heater.

*All figures provided by solar calculator at www.findsolar.com, for Raleigh 27613, $200/month electric costs, Progress Energy.  Consult with a solar provider for specific estimate for your project, and consult with a tax advisor for more information on tax credits.

Learn More About Building a Green Home in NC:

Guaranteed Energy Savings by Bayer

Raleigh Green Home Builders | New Homes with SolarBuilding a Green Home - Top Requested Features

Green Home Certification Levels - How does Green Certification Work?

WaterSense Toilets - How Much Water Do They Save, and How do They Work?

Tankless Water Heaters

Solar Water Heaters - How Do They Work, and How Much Do They Cost?

How Green Homes Get Cleaner Indoor Air | Green Home Builder Tips

Browse Floor Plans by Green Home Builders:


Whether you choose a plan from our gallery of favorite floor plans, or from any architect, Stanton Homes can add special features you won’t find in the house next door.

Browse through some of our favorite available floor plans here. Ask us about thousands of additional options, or even design/build ideas.

One Story Homes

Main Floor Master Homes

Mother in Law Homes


Here’s a look inside our featured custom homes, to give you an idea of how we build.

Ask us how many Signature features come standard. You may be surprised!

Tags: solar cost, green home builders raleigh, green homes, residential solar panels

What is a HERS Score? How Energy Efficient is Your New Home?

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Apr 22, 2011 @ 08:04 AM

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?

How Energy Efficient is Your New Home?


Any home can be "rated" for energy efficiency by a certified third party Home Energy Rater, such as Southern Energy Management.

Whether you're building a new home or buying an older home, a HERS score will help you understand how much energy will be required throughout the year.

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?  

The home energy rater will provide an analysis of the home, including:

  • Review of floor plans
  • Onsite inspections
  • Blower door test: to test the leakiness of the house
  • Duct test: to test the leakiness of the ducts
  • Thermal bypass checklist: to discover areas where air can bypass insulation

A complex software program analyzes all the data, and provides a HERS Index score for the home.

 

Various aspects of the home can affect energy efficiency, such as:

  • Insulation: is it properly installed and sealed?
  • Windows: are they coated for all types of weather?
  • Ducts: are they sealed from moisture, pollen, and dust?
  • Appliances: are they designed to conserve water and energy?
  • HVAC systems: are they designed to conserve energy?

 

What is a HERS point?

Each 1 point reduction implies a 1% energy savings versus standard construction.

A new home built to standard construction guidelines generally has a HERS (Home Energy Rating Score) of 100.


In comparison, a home with a HERS Index score of 150 will most likely require 50% more energy than a home built to today's standards of a 100 HERS score.
A home with a HERS Index score of 75 will require 25% less energy than a home built to today's standards.

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?


What are other common HERS scores?

ENERGY STAR Construction = 85

A new home built to ENERGY STAR guidelines generally has a HERS of 85 or below.

Yearly energy costs in an ENERGY STAR qualified home are planned to be 15% lower than in a home built to standard construction.

20 Year Old Home = 120 to 150

In general, older homes have higher energy requirements.  This can vary greatly depending on the home and any improvements made, such as adding higher quality insulation, windows, or appliances, so it is a very good idea to have an older home rated before purchase.

70 Year Old Home = 250???

Homes that are 70 years old or older have the lowest energy efficiency.  But energy requirements will still vary significantly depending on the improvements made to the home.

A score of 200 means that yearly energy costs will be 100% higher than in a home built to today's standard construction.

What Should I Consider Before Buying My New Home?

It's wise to consider not just the price tag of the home, but also the price tag of the monthly energy costs.

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.

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?

 

Tags: green builders raleigh, green homes, green homes raleigh

Green Homes in NC | Simple Ways to Save Water with your new Green Home

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Apr 18, 2011 @ 13:04 PM

Choosing a Green Home in NC

5 Simple Ways a Green Certified Home can Save Water

Just one way a green certified new home can make a positive impact on the environment is by reducing the amount of water used.

Green Homes NC | Ways to Save Water at Home

Your new green certified home may include some of these water-saving features:

- Water heater located within 30 feet of pipe run of all bathrooms and kitchen.

Carefully planning the location of the bathrooms, kitchen, and water heater can result in less water wasted while waiting for hot water to travel from the water heater to your shower.

- ENERGY STAR water-conserving dishwasher and washing machine.

Before choosing your appliances, take a few extra minutes and compare not only the energy usage, but also the water usage.  A typical washing machine uses 41 gallons of water per load, but a high-efficiency washing machine uses only 28 gallons of water per load.   At 4 loads per week, you'll be saving an impressive 2700 gallons of water per year!

- Water efficient showerheads

Choosing WaterSense labeled showerheads can save a family of 4 about 3600 gallons of water per year. 

- Water efficient sink faucets

WaterSense labeled sink faucets will save a family of 4 about 900 gallons of water per year.

- Ultra low flow toilets

An ultra low flow toilet uses less than 1.6 gallons per flush.  Choosing a WaterSense labeled toilet will help a family of 4 reduce their water consumption by about 2400 gallons of water per year. 

Green Homes NC | Ways to Save Water at Home

Your new green certified home can help save nearly 10,000 gallons of water each year!

That's enough water for 660 more showers, or 357 more loads of laundry (using that high-efficiency washer!). 

*All calculations per EPA WaterSense calculator.

Choosing a Green Built Home

At Stanton Homes, we include WaterSense fixtures in every home, but not every green certified home built in the Raleigh area includes the same features.  Your green home builder will work with you to select the water saving features that work best for you.  

How Does a Green Home Get Qualified?

There are six different "systems" that a green home builder must incorporate in a Raleigh new green home.  The green home builder must address Lot Design, Resources, Energy, Water, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Operation/Maintanence in order for a Raleigh green home to be certified.

There are four different "levels" of green home certification.  For each level, the green home builder must incorporate an increasing number of indoor air quality factors. 

The features included in the green home will vary based on the floor plan, desires of the homebuyer, and budget.

Why Build Green?

Why should you consider a green home in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area?

   - Lower energy bills.
   - Less carbon footprint.
   - Healthier indoor air.
   - Reduced warranty claims.
   - Improved durability and lower maintenance.
   - Better resale value.

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: water saving, watersense, nc green homes, green builders raleigh, green home builders raleigh, green homes, green homes raleigh

Going for Green: High Performance Homes Outperform the Competition

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Apr 08, 2011 @ 13:04 PM

Are homebuyers gravitating towards high performance homes with “Green” certifications?

There is evidence in the Triangle MLS listings to suggest so.

According to Raleigh Quick Appraisals's review of the Triangle MLS,  2010 new construction sales showed that certified homes sold for over 10% more per square foot and in nearly 1/3 less time

Certified high performance homes can be defined by any of the following:

So far in 2011, over 30% of Triangle MLS listings for new construction homes have at least one of these certifications, with ENERGY STAR as the dominant certification.

Here are Raleigh Quick Appraisals's findings for 2010 new construction homes:

New Home Construction 2010

 

In 2009, less than 20% of new construction homes had at least one certification.

 

The results show that new homebuyers are shifting towards high performance homes with energy efficiency and "Green" certification, whether to save money with lower utility bills, increase home comfort and durability, or help sustain the environment.  

 ENERGY STAR New Home

 

 

Read the full Raleigh Quick Appraisals article 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.

 

Tags: green builders raleigh, green home builders raleigh, green homes, Raleigh green home builders, green mortgage, green homes raleigh

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

"Most Wanted" Green Home Building Tips from Raleigh's Green Builders

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Dec 07, 2010 @ 06:12 AM

Top 5 Hottest Green Home Building Topics

Green Builders in Raleigh Share Most Requested Green Trends

If you're considering a home with green or energy saving features, you won't want to miss these articles. 

Learn about solar power cost, indoor air quality, rainwater collection and more - these are the questions that Raleigh's green home builders are answering most often.

Green Home Builders Raleigh1.  How Much Does it Cost to Add Solar to My Home?

What’s it cost to include solar power in a new green built home in the Raleigh area?  

Like everything you build into a Raleigh green home, it depends on how much you’re asking it to accomplish.

2.  How can a green home have cleaner, higher quality indoor air?

On average, people in our nation spend about 90% of their time indoors, with the majority of that time spent in the home. 

Here's how green home builders in Raleigh can make sure your home is healthier

3.  What's the difference between Bronze, Silver, and Gold certifications?

If you're considering a certified green home, your green builders in Raleigh will provide you with a certificate.  But what does Bronze, Silver, or Gold really mean, and which is best for you? 

4.  How do rainwater collection systems work?

Check out this video from the experts at Rainwater Solutions. 

Rainwater collection is not required for a green built home, but can be a great way to irrigate while reducing runoff.

5. What green home features are requested most often?

Everywhere you look, someone is touting "green" these days.  But what green features are homebuyers really after, and which pay off?

Learn about the green home features that Raleigh's green builders are working with most often, and decide if they're right for you.

 

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: new home trends, green builders raleigh, green homes, certified green homes

How Green Homes Get Cleaner Indoor Air | Green Home Builder Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

Indoor Air Quality - Green Home Builder Tips

Cleaner Indoor Air is Part of a Green Home

Why should a certified green home address indoor air quality?  Indoor air quality is very important.

On average, people in our nation spend about 90% of their time indoors, with the majority of that time spent in the home. 

In addition, the EPA estimates that almost 20 million people in America suffer from asthma, and require better indoor air quality to help ease their symptoms.

Here's how building a green home can help.

There are six different "systems" that a green home builder must incorporate in a Raleigh new green home.  The green home builder must address Lot Design, Resources, Energy, Water, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Operation/Maintanence in order for a Raleigh green home to be certified.

Today we'll discuss some of the ways a green home can address indoor air quality.

Green Building - Indoor Air Quality

There are four different "levels" of green home certification.  For each level, the green home builder must incorporate an increasing number of indoor air quality factors. 

The features included in the green home will vary based on the floor plan, desires of the homebuyer, and budget.

Indoor Air Quality Common Features:

NC Green Home Builders | Raleigh Green HomesNot all of these features will be found in every Raleigh green home.   Your green home builder will work with you to select the indoor air quality features that work best for you.

- Natural Gas Fireplace with permanently fixed glass doors.

- Wood burning fireplace equipped with gasket doors and able to be operated while doors are closed.

- Door between garage and living space tightly sealed and gasketed.

- Detached garage or carport selected instead of attached garage.

- Wood products chosen with no added urea-formaldehyde.

- "Green Label" carpeting installed.

- Low or no VOC paints selected

- Low or no VOC floor finishes selected.

- Cabinets constructed to KCMA standards.

- Insulation chosen with low formaldehyde emissions.

- Carbon monoxide alarms installed.

- Kitchen exhaust fans are vented to outdoors.

- Bathroom exhaust fans installed with an automatic timer.

- HVAC supply registers covered/vacuumed before occupancy.

- Crawlspace is sealed/conditioned.

A Bronze Level green certified home (NGBS) must earn at least 36 points in the indoor air quality category, and a Silver Level green certified home must earn at least 65 points in the indoor air quality category.  Points will vary.

For example, one of our most recent certified green home projects under way has earned 70 points in the indoor air quality category, through application of a variety of different air quality control measures.

Raleigh Green Homes Offer Cleaner Indoor Air

Why should you consider a green home in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area?

   - Lower energy bills.
   - Less carbon footprint.
   - Healthier indoor air.
   - Reduced warranty claims.
   - Improved durability and lower maintenance.
   - Better resale value.

A “certified green home” is independently verified across seven categories, to ensure all standards are met for increased efficiency, better health, and reduced negative environmental impact.

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, green homes

How Many Green Points Do You Need? | Green Home Builders Raleigh

Posted by Penn Hull on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 @ 08:11 AM

How does Green Home Certification Work?

Green Home Builders Raleigh

If you're considering building or buying a new green certified home in the Raleigh area, you'll want to have a basic understanding of what, exactly, a "certified green home" means!

Certified green homes must meet specific guidelines, and must be inspected by third party verifiers. 

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

If you choose to have a certified green home, your green home builder will be able to provide a physical certificate showing which level your new Raleigh green home has been certified at.

Green Homes Raleigh NC

Green Home Certificate Basics:

Each certified green home must meet minimum standards in six different aspects of construction: Lot Design, Resource Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Operation/Maintanence. 

Green Home Certification - What Color is Your Home?

Your new NAHB certified green home should meet one of the following standards:

Bronze Level - this is the most basic green home certification through the NAHB Green Building program.  A total of 222 points are required.

Silver Level - a Silver Level home must "earn" an additional 184 points to meet this higher certification level.  A Silver Level green certified home has significantly more features throughout the home that meet higher standards.

Gold Level - a Gold Level green certified home must earn nearly 2.5 times the number of points that a Bronze Level green certified home is required to earn.   Gold Level green certified homes are very rare, and are usually at the very high end of the budget.

Emerald Level - an Emerald Level green certified home has maximum green technology.  An Emerald Level home requires very specific planning throughout every step of the process, and this certification can only be obtained on certain sites, depending on the site requirements.

Buying a Raleigh Green Home?

Ask the seller 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 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 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: custom homes, green home builders raleigh, green homes, custom home builder, green homes raleigh, certified green homes