Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
Investing in the energy efficiency of your home will most certainly pay itself off over time. There are a number of things you can do to now and during your custom home project to make your home more “green.”
- Install windows with a good U-Rating (measurement of the rate of heat transfer). Low-E coating on the glass means low emissivity, which reduces the amount of heat transfer. One of the best things you can do for your Florida home is to invest in upgrading your windows to prevent energy loss.
- Ensure your home is well insulated to prevent the loss of heat or air conditioning.
- Reduce water loss by installing aerators on your faucets, selecting dual-flush toilets, and changing to low-flow shower heads.
- Install programmable thermostats, which allow you to program a variety of settings depending on your lifestyle. Why leave the A/C running full-blast all day when you’re not home? With programmable thermostats, you don’t have to think about it – your thermostat will go with your flow.
- Select energy-efficient appliances, which can save you money on your energy bill.
Removing Toxic Materials
There are a number of materials which we handle with care and encourage homeowners to watch out for:
- Asbestos is a highly toxic, natural material containing microscopic fibers which are known to cause lung disease and cancer. This material can be found in homes that were built between the 1930’s and 1970’s, as it was a common building material before its health dangers were known. It was used as an insulating material around pipes, in old floor tiles, roof shingles, siding, and around fireplaces. We train our employees to recognize and safely handle asbestos, and if asbestos is found, proper abatement is always done to ensure the safety of both our workers and our clients.
- Volatile Organic Compounds, also known as VOC’s, are substances that have been found to cause headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, and irritation to the eyes and skin. We always recommend using materials with no or low-VOC’s, which are becoming more and more common.
- Pesticides can pose a health risk if not handled properly. Whenever possible, we opt for more natural materials to prevent infestations in your home. For instance, we routinely apply a product called Timbor on all our new lumber, which is used to prevent termites. Timbor is completely non-toxic (it is a proprietary mixture of salt and water) and has a lifetime warranty against termites.
Green Building Initiative with Venetian Plaster
Another Green Building practice we can use is the art of authentic Venetian Plaster as final wall finishes. It is an old world technique that belongs in the new world as it does not mold or mildew. This is because real authentic Venetian plaster is basically lime.
Mold cannot grow in an environment of lime. Drywall is breathable until you seal it with primer and paint. With authentic lime plasters, organic pigments are added to the various textures of authentic lime, which is completely white in its natural form. Then, by use of a special trowel, multiple translucent layers are applied with learned techniques to create wall finishes that define luxury. Finishes range from glass smooth to rustic leather and in many colors and designs.
Contact us today for a complementary consultation.