Green builders can be hard to find, and then choosing from among green home builders can be the most difficult part of building a new home.
While there is increased interest from the public, the contractors who actually build new homes are lagging behind.
Even experienced builders may not have had the opportunity to use new technologies or build a home using green building materials.
The good news is that, as consumers put pressure on builders to learn these new methods, we will see more and more builders who are willing to take the time to learn how to give us sustainable homes.
In general, smaller companies have more flexibility to help you customize your new log or timber home to include eco-friendly features.
And there are some ways to determine if your builder, a very important person in your life, is your guy…
Using Green Home Builders When Building a Green House
The most important person in your home building project is your builder. You are entrusting this person with an extremely important job, and you want it to be done right. The way you want it.
So, how do you go about choosing the right person for the job? Of course you can ask for references and check them out (and I suggest that you do this).
And, in addition, you should ask a number of questions and include any items that you consider to be important, in your written contract.
- Check independent sources – Your local Home Builders’ Association will have a list of all of its members. They probably won’t give you a recommendation, but it’s a good way to start. If you’re lucky, they might even list certified green home builders.
- Knowledge about sustainable building – If you find a builder that you like but he is not familiar with green construction, buy a copy of Green from the Ground Up and give it to him. It’s a Builder’s Guide to green construction, and it can help him with your home—and be an invaluable resource to him for years to come. In fact, buying this for your builder could be the best small investment in your future, that you’ll ever make!Perhaps the most important factor in choosing your builder is your ability to work well together. If you find someone that you really like, he may be willing to learn from you.
- Energy efficiency – Does the builder meet minimal energy code requirements or does he do extra things to improve efficiency. Consider extra insulation, sealing with foam around windows and doors, high efficiency HVAC systems, etc.
- Air quality – Does your potential builder consider air quality when choosing materials, equipment and paints or finishes?
- Appliances – Will you be able to choose Energy Star appliances or does the builder just install basic low end appliances? Can you upgrade them?
This is just a place to start. You will have to weed out the most important features for your family and then you can focus on them, when choosing green builders.
Ask all the questions that are important to you, and then choose the best person to do the job.
When considering the green home builders in your area (or those who are willing to learn how), you need someone who is flexible enough to meet your family’s needs.
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