Building green is becoming more and more popular, to the point that 40% of home remodeling projects use renewable materials. But is building green homes the right option for you?
To answer that question, consider the pros and cons of building green homes:
Pros of Green Custom Homes
Green home designs often cost the same to construct as regular homes, and over time, they can be even cheaper to maintain. Workers also much less energy when building a green home and cut down on waste, so you can end up spending less in overhead costs.
Green homes are also more energy efficient. Often, builders use extra insulation, solar energy and high performance windows to cut down on utility usage. This will also ensure that temperatures in your home are more well regulated. Builders may also use wind or hydro power to cut down on damage to the environment.
Custom built homes also use less water. Some green built homes use rainwater to flush toilets, and others use water-saving shower heads and other green design features.
Most green homes are built from renewable, recyclable and non-toxic materials like bamboo, recyled metal/stone, lumber, earth blocks and concrete, among other things. This means that harmful chemicals won’t seep out of your home and into the environment, and if you ever need to remodel or demolish your home, the materials can be used again.
Building green homes can also improve indoor air quality, reduce taxes and increase property values.
Cons of Green Custom Homes
Natural ventilation is hard to regulate even in modern green homes, so air might not cool in the summer as quickly as you’d like. You may also be limited to a certain building orientation to optimize sun exposure.
Green building materials are often hard to come by in the US, so transportation fees for supplies may drive up the cost of your new custom home. The building process may take longer as well, as builders wait for materials.
Though this isn’t true in all cases, green homes can cost a little more, but most owners assume the benefits outweigh the costs, and get back their investment in energy savings.
In spite of these drawbacks, U.S. homebuyers are willing to pay 11-25% more for green custom homes, according to recent research. For many homebuyers, the energy efficiency and environmental benefits outweigh the negatives.
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