With all of the improved energy efficient and green home products out there today – is it possible to build green while keeping your budget lean?

Let’s start by taking a look at “Green” products.  Many of the green products today are energy efficient. It is known that some of these products may come with a higher price.  Most of these products are manufactured here within the USA, and as a result of the labor cost being higher the end retail price is typically higher.  You may have heard the saying “with higher cost comes a better quality product.” This may be the case with some products, however it is not a blanket reality covering the span of each and every product within the building marketplace.

For the earth conscious person there are so many benefits these days and some beautiful products available.  Finding the right products may depend on your budget and your overall concern for which type of “green” products you are looking to install within your new custom home. Let’s look at some of the options.

Towards the beginning stages of construction items you may need to consider have to do with insulation, energy efficient water heaters, filtering systems or windows offering a potential reduction in UV exposure and radiant heat within the home. When you think about purchasing a green building product determine your basis for the decision.  Are you choosing these options because you want to save money over time, do you want to do your part with recycling or other reasons?  Knowing the reasons why you are choosing these products may help you to determine which options will bring the results you are looking to gain.

For example, if you are looking to save money over time and it is a net cost savings you are looking for, you cannot only consider the cost of the option at the front end, but also the value over time as well as the perceived value to any potential consumers in the event you resale your property.  High Energy Efficient HVAC units have the ability to lower your monthly utility bills while at the same time provide better air quality and filtration throughout your home.  The savings on the utility bill can be an excellent source of gained revenue on your monthly budget and the added potential health benefits by adding this option within your home may have the ability to offer a better living environment for your family, which in turn may offer a financial savings.  These systems are great for families with allergies or other health issues which may benefit from cleaner air purity.

Insulation is another item that has many “earth friendly” products available.  From foam insulation Systems to recycled denim insulation – the choices are quite broad and the margins for cost are in line with the overall benefits to the addition of the products within your new home.  Let’s take a glance at foam insulation systems.  This is a type of application that reduces the pockets of air that can allow for air/heat exchange.  This type of insulation product itself is likely to be the aristocracy of insulation in regards to the overall cost savings in the long run.  For many people in the south you understand how hot the attic can be during the mid-summer months, on a similar day in an attic that has foam insulation the temperature may be 10 – 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature.

So what benefit does this have for your home?  The overall insulation product has a huge impact on your utility bill as well as increases the functionality of your home in some areas.  An example of this may be an over the garage bonus room or bedroom.  Many homes are constructed with these types of rooms and on some occasions homeowners are unaware of the temperature differences in a room over a garage versus a room surrounded by other heated footage.  Typically these rooms have more heat exposure due to being surrounded by attic area such as knee walls or vaults. Additionally, garages are not as well insulated as heated footage and these bonus areas are sometimes located directly over this unheated square footage of your home.  This can sometimes cause temperature variances.  A home using the foam insulation system will potentially offset these variables, making your living space more comfortable and also making the utility bills lower in some instances.

Now if you are more concerned with the aesthetic look and application of “green” products – you are entering into a plethora of options!  There are several products that come to mind offering a great look and are similar in price to some of the other available popular upgraded options.  One product that comes to mind is the Alkemi countertop displaying recycled aluminum shavings.  The color selections are modern and appearance has a traditional or contemporary look depending on the rest of your surrounding products.  Another product that may be considered would be on your deck application.  If you consider the cost of a standard deck and compare the lifetime expense of upkeep to maintain the desired look of the deck and compare this with a composite decking you will likely see that over time your net cost savings will be pleasing, all while having a net savings of time and maintenance as well.

There are certainly benefits to making decisions to use products offering sustainable design. From cost savings to earth-friendly products the benefits have the potential of offering longer wear, reduced utility savings and potentially provide and promote an overall sustainable lifestyle for your family and the environment. Make sure to know which types of products you may be interested in and invite your building consultant to assist you with these products during your selections appointment.

For more information about sustainable design products and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at