There is no question that our environment is in a fragile state, and that we all need to be doing as much as we can to protect it. To that end, L. Patten & Sons has complied a list of 8 tips to help you plan and build your environmentally friendly custom home. Contact us today if you're interested in working together!
Top 8 Tips for Building an Environmentally Friendly Custom Home
Before you build, consider implementing the following suggestions in order to make sure your new home is environmentally friendly. Also be sure to visit the Ontario's Energy-Efficiency Home Incentives & Programs to see if you'll be eligible for incentives and rebates.
1. Optimize House Placement
If you are able, place the house where trees can provide shade and block wind. This will be helpful in all seasons, and will add to the beauty of the setting. Remember also to consider that the portion of the house facing west will get the most sunlight, so manage the window and door openings accordingly.
2. Keep the House Small
This seems like an obvious one, but it’s easy when designing a home to grow the footprint in small increments until you’ve added significantly more space than originally intended. Be conscious of the creep, and be disciplined to keep to the space you really need.
3. Consider Solar
Installing solar panels (either rooftop or free-standing) is an excellent option, and one that is becoming more feasible as the costs come down and the local utilities work to develop partnerships with homeowners. That means you can still stay on the grid, but use the solar you produce to offset your energy costs. Read more about residential solar here.
4. Make Energy Efficiency a Top Priority
Commit to building a home with superior insulation and an efficient heat exchange system. Ensure that all appliances are energy star rated, and invest in high quality windows and doors. While this may cost more initially, you will be saving in the long run. See more about energy efficient houses here.
5. Control Water Consumption
Reducing water use in the house can be simple; install low-flow showerheads and faucets, dual-flush toilets, and a hot water recirculating pump. Ensure that all plumbing is tightly sealed so that there are no leaks. Consider adding a cistern to collect rainwater for watering gardens and grass.
6. Improve Air Quality
We know that certain paints and carpets give off volatile organic compounds, which linger in the air and can cause respiratory problems and headaches. Choose low VOC paint, and opt for natural floor finishes (wood, stone) wherever possible.
7. Use Natural Light Where Possible
In addition to choosing energy efficient light fixtures, make use of natural light as often as you can. Plan your window design with this in mind, and install skylights in select locations as well.
8. Use Recycled Materials
It has become so much easier to find materials to use in your home that have had a previous life; hardwood from old factories or barns, counters made from recycled plastic and glass, floors and walls made with partially recycled concrete. Be creative, and open-minded concerning the possibilities.
Trust L. Patten & Sons
These are all simple steps that are easy to incorporate if you plan ahead, and all will make your home a little gentler on our planet. If you are thinking of building in the Collingwood area, please feel free to reach out to us at L. Patten and Sons and we can help you achieve your goal of an environmentally friendly custom home.
We specialize in developing properties in the Blue Mountain and Collingwood area. We're so focused on your satisfaction that you can expect a call back from us to ensure everything is in tip-top shape. We don't just build a big property, we focus on the small details that you'll appreciate for decades to come. Contact us today to set up your consultation.