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

2017 Triangle Green Home Tour

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Apr 21, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

It's almost here - the 2017 Triangle Green Home Tour:

The Green Home Tour lasts two weekends this Spring,

April 29-30 and May 6-7

Open Hours Noon to 5 PM each day

 

We can't wait for the Triangle Green Home Tour, sponsored by the Home Builder's Association of Durham Orange and Chatham County.

Every Stanton Home, including our entry into the 2017 Triangle Green Home Tour, includes ecoSelect third party High Performance Home certification, standard. Read about our committment to energy efficient, 3rd party certified new homes - here.

 


Take a look inside our Green Home this year - and come see the craftsmanship and customer detail in person starting next weekend!

 

2017 Triangle Green Home Tour | Energy Efficient Home Builders

2017 Triangle Green Home Tour | Energy Efficient Home Builders

2017 Triangle Green Home Tour | Energy Efficient Home Builders

What is an eco-Select home certification?

ecoSelect is a Third Party Energy Certification that demonstrates energy efficiency in new homes.

The ecoSelect certification 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.

With ecoSelect, energy efficient technological and scientific advancements will be built-in, inspected, and qualified to make your home more comfortable, while lowering your energy costs.

It takes a lot to earn the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) designation held by ecoSelect certification: There are only six programs in the nation that qualify.

The certification includes:

Quality Assurance

High Performance Windows

Programmable Thermostats

High Efficiency HVAC

Advanced Air Sealing

Reduced Water Usage (Watersense Fixtures)

Energy Efficient Lighting


Energy Efficiency Features built in to each new High Performance Stanton Home include:

- LED Lighting

- Radiant barrier

- Advanced air sealing

- High Efficiency HVAC with premium MERV 8 Filters

- HERS Score and Certificate

 

According to the Home Builder's Association of Raleigh - Wake County,

"Featured homes on the Annual Green Home Tour, located throughout the Triangle, have the latest energy efficiency materials and green building trends.

The Annual Green Home Tour is held every spring. This tour is the premier annual event for people interested in Green building science, energy efficiency or the latest in green technologies in a new home or existing homes." Read more here.

 

Looking for New Home Builders in Raleigh NC? Get started with these resources:


 

Tags: Triangle Green Home Tour 2017, certified green home builders, green builders raleigh, energy efficient homes, NC energy efficient homebuilders

How much energy does an average home use? | Raleigh Green Home Builder Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 @ 08:04 AM

How much energy does an average American home use?

How Much Will I Spend on Electricity in North Carolina?

According to the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy:

In 2010, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 11,496 kWh, an average of 958 kilowatthours (kWh) per month.

Energy Efficient Homes | Energy Efficient Home Builders

What does that mean, in practical terms?

North Carolina residents had an average monthly bill of $125.20, based on the 2010 census data and calculated as of November 2011. Read these facts on the EIA website, here.

For many homes, this may not factor in the cost of heating the home, as gas or propane run furnaces have been common for many years.

This also averages the cost for small apartments and large homes together, so may not be a full picture of the cost for a typical single family home. 

What Affects the Cost of Energy in a North Carolina Home?

 - A home's energy efficiency rating (efficient heating/cooling equipment, tight construction/ducts, high-performance windows, etc): new homes certified by programs like ENERGY STAR have guarenteed lower energy costs.

 - The size of a home: more square footage = more space to heat, cool, and seal.

 - The price of oil: oil prices not only affect the cost of heating your home if you have a gas furnace, but it also affects the cost of generating electricity.

 - State or Federal tax credits

 - Energy provider costs: Duke Energy and Progress Energy are two of the largest energy providers in North Carolina.

How can I save money on electricity in my new NC home?

Consider homes with energy saving measures like:

- Better construction practices (even a home that's 5 years old has been built to a much lower energy code than today's new homes, but overall efficiency still depends on the expertise of the home builder)

- Tankless or solar water heaters

- Spray foam insulation

- Superior Wall insulated wall panels in basements

- Energy Star rated lighting, light bulbs, and appliances

- Sealed Crawlspace

and many other ideas.

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.

Energy Efficient New Homes | Energy Efficient Home Builders

Tags: green builders raleigh, solar cost, green home builders triangle, energy efficient homes

Green Home Building - How to Create a Green Kitchen

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 @ 11:09 AM

How to Build a Sustainably Green Kitchen

Green Ideas for your Raleigh New Home

The following article is a guest column, courtesy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate Agency, supplying premium Brooklyn Apartments.

Everyone is jumping on the environmental bandwagon, wanting to find ways to reduce his or her carbon footprint and help make the planet healthy for future generations. If you own a home it can be difficult to decide where to begin.

Most families live in the kitchen, and most of your energy costs are generated there, too. It only makes sense to begin “greening” your home in the most popular room in the house.


Appliances

The refrigerator is the biggest energy consumer in your home. It runs and cycles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When it’s time to replace your refrigerator, consider downsizing. Many of us have much larger refrigerator/freezers than we really need. A smaller unit will save you money.

Also look into energy-rated appliances. They may cost more initially, but the energy savings will pay for them in the long run.

Energy Efficient Gas Stove

While you’re at it, get rid of the extra machine in the garage.

Make sure your fridge is in good working order. If you notice unusual ice buildup in the freezer or you have to crank the dial to keep it cold, have it looked at and repaired or replaced.

Improperly working machines must work harder to cool, increasing energy usage and costs.

Gas stoves and ovens are efficient, easy to use and less expensive to operate than electric. If you love the clean look of an electric cook top, make sure to buy an energy efficient induction model.

Cabinets, Countertops and Floors

If your home has been around a few years, you may have solid wood cabinetry in the kitchen that has been obscured by years of varnish or paint. Instead of gutting the entire kitchen, consider refinishing your cabinets. Sanding and re-staining your cabinet doors and adding new hardware can modernize your kitchen with minimal waste.

If you really hate the look of your cabinets, conTimberlake Cabinetrysider replacing only the doors and facings.

Incorporating dedicated bins for composting and recycling into your new cabinets will make it convenient to reduce waste.

Environmentally friendly composite countertops are available that mimic the look of stone – for a fraction of the price.

Sustainable woods like bamboo, high-quality laminates and recycled brick, tile or hardwoods are all earth-friendly choices when replacing floors.

Finally, if your current cabinets must go, consider purchasing certified green products (through the National Green Building Program), such as Timberlake Cabinetry

Water

Low Flow Faucet

The easiest thing you can do to conserve water is to install a low-flow faucet in your kitchen sink. It may take a little getting used to, but in time it will more than pay for itself.

Investing in a new dishwasher is another way to “green” your kitchen. Modern dishwashers heat the water instead of relying on water from the household heater, reducing energy loss through the pipes.

Manufacturer’s tests have shown that even the most frugal hand washers can’t beat new energy-rated appliances, which typically use less than ten gallons of water per cycle.

A few tips: Don’t rinse dishes before loading, only run the machine when it’s fully loaded and skip the dry cycle whenever possible. The water is heated to a high enough temperature to dry the dishes through evaporation if the door is left open after running.

Lighting

Replacing incandescent bulbs can reduce energy costs. The problem is that many older kitchens are equipped with tube fluorescents in large fixtures.

You may have to spend a little money to save money.

Can Lights

Have an electrician remove old fixtures and replace them with recessed lighting and LED lamps.

While that work is being done, you can also have your kitchen rewired into lighting “zones” with spotlights over work areas including the sink, the stove and the table.

You can reduce energy usage by only lighting the areas where you are working instead of the entire kitchen.

By incorporating these types of “green” features and fixtures into a sustainable kitchen design, you can do something nice for the planet and save money at the same time.

 

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: raleigh green homes, green home builders, green home building, green builders raleigh, green home builders triangle, green home builders raleigh, green homes raleigh

How to Choose Your Fence: Raleigh New Home Fence Ideas

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Aug 03, 2011 @ 06:08 AM

What type of fence should you choose for your new home?

Want to know which type of fence can meet your aesthetic and practical needs for your new custom home in the Raleigh area?

There are 5 common types of fences in the Raleigh area: wood, vinyl, metalcomposite, and wrought iron.

Each of these fence types has varying costs and benefits. When deciding which fence will best suite your needs, first ask yourself a few questions:

1: How much do you want to pay?

2: What is the purpose of the fence?

3: How much time are you willing to invest in the maintenance of your fence?

Here are the top 5 most common fence types in Raleigh, in order of least expensive to most expensive.

Types of Fences

 

1. Wood

Typical wood fences are generally the most cost effective and the most common in the Raleigh area.

Wood fences can be low maintenance overall, with routine scraping, painting (or staining), and sealing.

 

Raleigh New Home Builder

 

 

2. Vinyl Panel

Vinyl fences also popular among new homebuyers because they require little to no maintenance.

Vinyl fences can come in a variety of colors and styles, and are known for their durability and resilience.

A vinyl fence generally costs more than a wood or aluminum fence.

 

3. Metal/AluminumNew Home Aluminum Fence

Metal fences can also be found throughout the Raleigh area.

Metal fences are low-maintenance and easy to customize (by adding color, scrolls, finials, ball caps, or rails).

An alternative to regular metal fencing is wrought iron, which costs much more and requires yearly maintenance.  

 

4. Composite Pieced

Composite fences usually consist of wood and plastic materials.

Composite fences are generally low maintenance and can be more durable than vinyl.

Some composite fences are made of recycled plastic and wood pulp materials

 

5. Wrought Iron

Wrought iron fences are generally more expensive, and require more yearly maintenance (especially due to rust).

But, they can be a beautiful addition to any new home. Wrought iron fences are commonly found in historic districts because of their rustic appeal and durable appearance.

  

Tags: raleigh new home, raleigh custom homes, green builders raleigh, Raleigh green home builders, exterior ideas

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