Where Can You Find Eco Friendly Home Builders?
Eco friendly builders are becoming easier to find throughout the country. Ten years ago it was difficult to find a home builder who understood who to construct eco friendly and energy efficient homes.
You would need to hire an architect with environmental training to draw up your plans and then would need to search for a builder with the knowledge to turn the blueprint into reality.
Eco friendly homes were expensive and this was counter intuitive as the goal of an energy efficient home is to save money and use less power.
It was a difficult move for builders who had years of experience with wood framed stick built homes. They were accustomed to building homes that focused on appearance and square footage and perhaps some luxury features.
Eco friendly home builders had to rethink the building process, the building supplies and the end result. Adding to their frustration were increasingly frequent changes in rules and
regulations about materials that could be used in home building and changing building codes in areas where natural disasters were common.
Public demand for passive solar homes and energy efficient homes were joined by consumers who wanted to build homes without have a negative impact on the environment or using materials that were non-renewable resources. For many builders, it was time to go back to the classroom.
Perhaps the biggest change is in the size and design of a new eco friendly home. Air flow is critical to energy efficiency and this has led to open floor plans that replace previous styles where each room was carefully enclosed by four interior walls.
It's a less formal design where the kitchen is not a separate room but an attractive area at one of the family's living space. Ceilings have gotten higher while rooms are a bit smaller. Wasted square footage previously found in large foyers and hallways is a thing of the past for eco friendly builders.
Home designs today are more flexible with rooms that have more than one purpose and homes where every inch of square footage has a reason to exist. In the north and the Midwest, mud rooms were common for back entry areas.
These hard floored rooms allowed family members to enter the home and remove muddy boots and wet clothing before moving into the living area. Today you will still find mud rooms but they are now often multi-purpose rooms that include the laundry area and perhaps pantry shelving.
Eco friendly builders focus on every aspect of the environment when building a new home. Energy efficient dual pane windows and insulated exterior doors are standard in eco friend homes.
HVAC systems are carefully matched to the square footage of the home and dual systems are not used as frequently as in the past. When possible, recycled and renewable materials are used for surfaces in eco friendly homes.
An eco friendly builder will use bamboo on floors rather than hard woods. He may use manufactured hardwoods that require less forest products or may use laminates made of recycled materials designed to look like wood but with a long usable life.
Counter tops may be poured concrete or natural granite rather than plastics manufactured for the purpose. All home systems and appliances will be EnergyStar rated. There is even a home built rating a built can qualify for that rates an entire new home as an EnergyStar home.
Thermostats are programmable and insulated is increased to R-15 in walls and R-38 for attics. A home energy monitor often is installed to link the home systems and provide an accurate view how much energy is being used at any given time. Air barriers and seals are added to advanced framing techniques and compact fluorescent light bulbs are used for all light fixtures.
To find eco friendly builders you can start online as many companies now feature energy efficient construction techniques. Local building associations are another valuable source of energy efficient home builders.
Before choosing a builder ask to see or drive by some of the eco friendly homes he has already built. If possible, talk to the homeowners to see what features they like most in their homes and where improvements could be made.
If you wonder where to find eco friendly home builders there is no better recommendation that that of a satisfied customer who is living a home he loves. Always check references and qualifications to find builders who have the knowledge and experience required to build eco friendly homes.