The Benefits of Building Green Homes

In the past, green homes meant constructing structures that do not go well with traditional architecture. Thankfully, many home builders can find a wide range of green, energy efficient home plans in various styles. Building green homes have become easier and more possible. For this reason, more and more home buyers are looking into green home construction. There are many benefits to getting an eco-friendly home, here are some of them.

Create A Healthier Home

Green building means using toxic-free construction materials that can help provide a higher quality of indoor air and combat pollution. Green homes also reduce your and your family’s exposure to mold, mildew, and other indoor toxins and allergens. This is very beneficial for those who have asthma and other respiratory disorders.

When constructing a green home, you can consider using products and materials, such as wheat-derived strawboard, natural linoleum made from linseed oil and jute, and paints with no VOCs or volatile organic compounds. You can also ensure that you and your family will keep breathing fresher air by installing a natural ventilation system that filters the air; thus bringing fresh air inside.

Tax Benefits

You might find energy-efficient appliances and products more expensive; however, federal tax credits can make green living more affordable. Last 2006, the Treasury Department along with the IRS issues guidance which allowed the people who are buying energy-efficient appliances to be qualified for tax benefits. Although you can get all your money back, you can still get some form of tax returns from the government. Some of the energy-efficient items eligible for these benefits are:

  • Exterior windows and doors, and skylights
  • Metal roofs that meets the Energy Star requirements
  • Insulation systems that can help lessen the heat loss or gained

The federal law can give you credits for the costs associated with the energy property expenses. To qualify for the tax benefits, your home must first meet the certification required by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Reduced Monthly Utility and Maintenance Costs

When you choose to build a green home, you will be able to reduce energy costs by around 20-30%, and reduce your water usage by around 40-50% through the use of faucets and plumbing fixtures that help lessen water consumption. These will eventually add up to huge savings.

Additionally, green homebuilders know how to properly construct green buildings. They can provide you with a more durable home using high-quality building materials and better construction techniques. With that said, the resale value of your property will also be higher than standard homes. The demand for green homes in the real estate market is continuously rising; thus, you don’t have to worry about rising energy costs.

Building Green With Straw: Do Your Research

Building Green with Straw is much like building with many other construction materials in that you have multiple ways to do the same thing and green home building is no different. It really pays dividends to do your research up front; this will save time and headaches as your green home building project progresses and will ensure that your project sails through all the check points along the way.

Which Construction Methods?

When planning to construct a home using alternative building materials it pays to do a little research about what construction method is most commonly used in your area. This may make it easier to get approval through your local authority and find tradespeople with experience in your chosen method.

Lending and Finance for Building Green with Straw

It may also be prudent to contact your bank or lending institution to find out whether or not they lend to people building green homes. Some institutions put extra clauses in their agreements or set additional lending criteria or limits on loans that are to be used for building green with straw.

Insurance Considerations

If you are planning building your green home yourself you will need to take out additional owner builder construction insurance – many insurance companies do not cover construction or major renovations in their usual home insurance policies so you may need to seek out a company that specialises in what you need.

Trades and Licenses

When talking to local tradespeople about assisting with elements of your green home building project (plumbers, electricians etc.) it is essential that you find out what work they are licensed to carry out. Be sure to sight their certificates and insurances prior to engaging them.

Contracts

Additionally it may be necessary to enter into formal agreements if work carried out is above a certain cost. In some areas any work quoted above a set amount must have a formal contract drawn up, so check your local/state regulations to find this out.

Professional Services for Building Green with Straw

Finding local professionals to draw up your plans who have experience with green home building and in particular building green with straw may be difficult depending where you live. Once again it is worth researching your options, asking questions and even getting online to ask for referrals to experienced professionals.

Green Home Building but How Green?

Building Green with Straw uses many other materials and it pays to research your options as many very common materials are not particularly eco-friendly (such as those treated for termites) or people friendly (such as those containing harmful chemicals and glues).

Building Green with Straw – Take Your Time:

With any building project and especially green home building, because you are more likely to be heavily involved with the process (even if you are not planning to DIY) it is important to take your time. Don’t rush through the process and make sure you are really happy with all the elements you have selected.

Finding Your Straw:

There are such things as straw merchants out there who supply straw to industry, agriculture, gardening centres etc. The straw bales for your home need to be dry, uniform and tightly packed. Find a reputable supplier who understands what you need. This will make construction much easier in the long run.

Choosing Render and Finishes:

Research the different types of finishes for the walls of your home. There is a lot of information about render types and finishes and it will be well worth seeking out examples of each to see which you prefer for your green home building project.

These are just a few key points for you to consider as you begin to research your green home building project. Building green with straw can be a very rewarding experience, but it can also be quite stressful if you’ve not done your research well. With this guide to hand, you are well on your way to make great choices and ensuring your building green with straw program runs smoothly and that your home will give you joy for may years to come.

The Green Home Wave is Coming!

Many homeowners are aware of the major benefits of green homes but there is another spectrum of benefits most will never be aware of. It is estimated that approximately 10% of the new homes built in the coming years will be green homes so I hope you feel the importance of learning about them.

First, what exactly is a “green” home? It is actually quite simply. A green home is just a home that much consideration has went into regarding materials and construction methods. The emphasis tends to lie with materials that are free of residual toxins and are sustainable. The logic behind this is that most people have dirtier air inside their homes than that which is outside. Cleaning up the chemicals that go into creating the materials goes along way in preventing pollution inside the home.

Another focus of a green home is to design a home that uses less energy or relies on renewable energy. Frequently green homes are at least partially powered by solar energy and typically use sun light for heating and lighting the home as much as possible. Not only can sunlight be used for heat and light sources but can also be used to heat water for domestic use as well.

Green home construction does not stop at the previously listed benefits. Many insurance companies are falling in line to encourage green construction as much as they possibly can. You can now receive discounts from your homeowners insurance to your mortgage fees to add incentive to green construction. As more people start to look toward green construction, businesses will continually add programs that are green construction focused.

For the previously listed reasons, green homes typically sell for more money when they hit the market. Many homeowners prefer to live in green homes and would rather not have to pay additional energy fees if they know they have a choice. Since the government has introduced legislation that would encourage green construction in the way of tax credits and other incentives, more home buyers are being pointed to choose green construction.

As far as features go, green homes offer higher efficiency appliances, including plumbing and electrical systems, as well as drought resistance landscaping to reduce water consumption. They also use materials that are renewable meaning that glass that is collected at recycling points are used again, instead of filling our land fills. Insulation that is either organic or recycled is used along with paints and finishing compounds that do not emit polluting chemicals.

In fact, the way they are building green homes today frequently meets ADA requirements for handicap accessible homes. Green homes typically feature a flat entry way, no stairs, wider doors and other features that allow people with differing abilities and the elderly to easily negotiate their energy efficient home.