Posted: 8.29

How New Custom Green Homes Can Benefit Your Health and Wallet

building green homesGreen custom homes are becoming more and more popular with families across the U.S., and it’s not hard to see why. Building green homes doesn’t cost much more upfront than building their non-environmental counterparts, and the long list of benefits makes green built homes more than worth it.

Building green homes can actually have a positive effect on your heath, both physical and financial. Though homes with features like high-efficiency equipment and other green measures will cost more at first, it will cost less in utilities and maintenance over time. In fact, eco-friendly buildings generally pay 30% less in utility expenses. A green home is also likely to sell faster and for a much higher price than a comparable non-green home.

Eco friendly custom homes are built with fewer products containing formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds. In some non-green custom luxury homes, these heavy chemicals can be found in everything from paints and cabinets to carpets and millwork. The gasses they produce over time can contaminate the air in your home even before you move in, and will continue to contaminate it years later.

If you have any family members with breathing or respiratory issues, having good air quality is an absolute must for healthy living. When building green homes, builders cut down on these damaging and unhealthy chemicals, and they also seal the ductwork of your high-end air filtration systems tightly to keep air from escaping in a way that disrupts the natural flow of the house.

Most green homes are also constructed with a breathable, waterproof air sealing membrane, allowing you to cut down on HVAC leaks and get the most out of your monthly utility bill. The heat-recovery ventilation systems that usually go hand-in-hand with green homes also allow a regular supply of fresh air into your home without losing heat. Recent building codes also ensure that new custom homes are up to 17% more energy efficient than older ones.

Your community will be healthier as well, especially since many of the materials leftover from your construction job will be recycled rather than sent to landfills.

Experts effect green home demand to rise 900% in the next five years, so don’t wait until everyone else has one! Contact a custom home builder near you and see if a green home is right for your family.

Posted: 8.22

Pet-Friendly Areas Trending in Custom Home Design

custom designed homesThere’s a new trend in custom designed homes, and it’s all about those furry friends.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans own pets, and this year those pet owners are expected to spend a total of 60 billion dollars on their animal companions. Designers are cashing in on their customers’ need to pamper their pets by creating custom luxury homes with pets in mind.

Many dog owners, for instance, are beginning to consider their pets’ needs when they design or remodel their homes. Some request whole spaces for their pets like playrooms, showers and baths, and others install cabinets specifically for pet bowls and food.

Pets want to feel safe and peaceful, and a good home design can contribute to their emotional well-being, especially if they have a place to retreat to when they get overwhelmed. Many people requesting these new homes consider this just as important as creating spaces for children.

Several custom luxury home builders will debut homes featuring luxury pet-suite additions in early 2015. The homes range from 3,000 to 7,000 square feet, with up to 170 square feet dedicated to the animal of the house.

These additions include baths with paw-friendly steps, hand-held sprayers and leash hooks, as well as comfortable beds and plenty of cabinets for pet toys, treats and care supplies.

Some of these pet-friendly custom built homes even have French doors that open into puppy runs equipped with outdoor cleaning stations.

In 2008, a different design firm constructed Pacific Palisades resident Pam Fillo’s vision for a pet friendly breakfast nook. The room featured custom window seats with three separate nooks for her dogs, equipped with comfortable dog beds.

But for many people, these changes to their custom designed homes aren’t just cute ways to make pets happy. They can actually save pet owners a lot of money and trouble, especially since designing a home for your specific needs can reduce wear and tear. For instance, pet owners who don’t want to trip over their dog bowls all the time can install custom feeding stations in their cabinets.

One such cabinet designed by Shannon Ggem includes a water spigot that feeds down to a waterproof shelf. It also includes a charging station for electronics and a drawer specifically sized for a 15-pound bag of dog food. Before plumbing and counter top installation, the cabinet costs about $500.

Other designers are using creative new techniques to disguise pet doors. A Los Angeles architect actually installed a dog door in a laundry room so that dogs could pass through an exterior door hidden under an ironing cabinet. Homeowners can also consider electronic pet doors, which unlock with a microchip on their pet’s collar. These usually cost about $250 to wire into custom designed homes.

These costs may seem high, but custom homes built to modern codes are actually up to 17% more energy efficient, and eco-friendly green buildings pay 30% less in utility expenses, so you could always build a green custom home and put the money you’re not spending on utilities toward your pet’s happiness.

Talk to custom homes builders in your area if you’d like to build a custom home with your own pet in mind.