June 13, 2016
The benefits of building a new home are many and myriad, with advantages that go beyond the obvious
Who hasn’t dreamed of building a new home? The allure of it fires the imagination and ignites the spirit. We all love visualizing our own versions of the perfect gourmet kitchen, the ideally-appointed office, the most luxurious owners suite. Having everything exactly the way we want it is reason enough for most people to consider a new home over an existing property.
But the benefits of building new go beyond the obvious: new, high-performance homes — especially those built to rigorous standards such as the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home program — offer advantages that exceed aesthetics. These hidden benefits are as crucial to the homeowners’ ultimate happiness as the design, if not more so.
Many of these benefits of building new are the happy offspring of the drive to save energy. It’s a well-known fact that thick wall and attic insulation, careful air sealing and better heating/cooling equipment all work together to make new homes very energy-efficient. But what some homeowners don’t realize is that these details do more than reduce monthly heating and cooling bills — they also make the home healthier, quieter and more comfortable.
Energy-efficient details are mandated by many building codes, a fact that has raised the quality baseline for all new construction. But professional builders at the forefront of the industry go well beyond this baseline. We work with designers and use the latest software to analyze how the thousands of items that go into a home will impact its performance – and we hire employees and trade partners who will do the job right.
The result is a new home that offers superior performance in more ways than one. Consider:
COMFORT. Properly detailed insulation — along with careful sealing of the building shell and the HVAC ductwork — minimizes drafts and helps keep temperatures even throughout the home. Comfort is further enhanced by optimizing the home’s space design and windows to the local climate. High-performance windows can even be ordered with coatings that protect furnishings from ultraviolet light.
HEALTH. Those comfort-enhancing, air-sealing details also help keep pollen and dust out of the home. High-performance windows resist condensation that can lead to mold. Today’s efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems are very good at removing unwanted humidity and pollutants from the home, while bringing in fresh filtered air. Sealed-combustion heating equipment makes everyone safe by keeping carbon monoxide out of the indoor air.
QUIET. Double- or triple-pane windows, quality doors with good weather-stripping and, of course, the air sealing and insulation already mentioned, make a new home naturally better at blocking outside noise. If there’s a busy street nearby, sound-deadening windows can be installed to further muffle traffic noise. Inside, if there’s a home theater or a bedroom with a teenage musician, sealing gaps in those particular rooms’ walls and using sound-dampened drywall can give everyone what they want for less effort and cost than it would take to retrofit an existing home.
A new home also provides a certain peace of mind and confidence that everything in the home will work the way it’s supposed to for years to come. That’s why professional builders use proven products with good warranties, along with highly skilled installers.
In fact, one of the benefits of building a new home is analogous to the benefits of buying a new car: the assurance of avoiding unexpected, costly repairs. The big difference is that while buyers can add options to a new car, they have to choose from one of the dealer’s stock models. With a custom home, on the other hand, the owners get a finished product that reflects their own personalized vision. And the skillful use of energy detailing eliminates annoyances that could get between them and their enjoyment of that home. This superior performance is something an old house simply can’t offer.
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