One of the first questions I almost always get asked about green homes is “doesn’t it cost more?” It comes as a surprise to most people that not only does a green or greener home often not cost more than a traditional built, remodeled or upgraded home, it will usually save money over time and does not have to cost more than a traditional code-built home.
Green or greener homes are built to last and for easier maintenance and operations. That usually means less money, time and hassle spent taking care of a home and freeing us up to enjoy our homes more. I love the idea of the things in my life supporting me rather than me taking care of them. Yay!
With the growing emphasis on many aspects of green and greener homes, there is also a recognition of the bigger benefits these homes offer homeowners and communities. There are often many financial benefits from the providers of services and products which help make a home green or greener. These financial benefits often mean rebates, financial incentives and tax benefits may be available for various components and even certification of your green or greener home.
Deciding to build or remodel green means you have made a commitment to having a home that serves you and takes into consideration your needs and wants with the extra attention to how the home performs and how it impacts the health, safety and comfort of its occupants. Building or remodeling green does mean paying attention to the systems of a home and how they all work together. Once these systems are fine tuned to work together in harmony, they end up performing better.
My perception is that the idea of green and greener homes being more expensive may come from what we see in the media and hear about. In my experience these are the beautiful show homes with every bell and whistle – designed to be jaw-dropping stunning and get our attention. I love seeing a beautiful home and each one I visit gives me inspiration for ideas in my own home as well as ideas for what I share with the Green Home Coach community. These beautiful, high performing homes do serve that purpose, at least for me.
In reality, any size, type, shape and cost bracket of a home can be a green home. It simply comes down to choices – of design, systems, fixtures and finishes and the installation of each – all the choices that already need to be made in a home build or remodel. Choosing differently allows you to improve the home, easily. Yes, more attention to detail is needed and that means quality. In my book, quality rules and something I always want. A quality-built home with quality components adds up to a home which performs better, lasts longer and requires less maintenance. Who doesn’t want a more carefree life where taking care of our homes does not require as much time and work?
Once you have decided to build or remodel green, ask your builder or home pro to help you identify financial tools to help you get the home you dream of. Financial tools include energy-efficient loans, rebates and incentives on equipment, insulation, windows and more. To find rebates, incentives and programs available in your community and your state, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency® – dsireusa.org.
Working with a National Association of Realtors Green designee or Eco Broker may be another avenue for uncovering resources for green and greener homes in your community. Your local Home Builders Association or Building Industry Association is another good resource. In many communities, these associations have Green Councils or other Building Science advisors they can help direct you to.
It is important to be sure the builder or remodeler you work with is trained in Building Science and green building. There are quite a few green home and energy-efficient home programs and certifications, and I’d welcome an opportunity to help you learn more about one or two in your community. Just comment below or send me an email.
To learn more about Green Financing options and how it can help you fund your green home or remodel, read more and listen to the podcast Financing Your Green Dream Home with Trisha McConkey of Associated Bank.
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Get Marla’s award winning book Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home, now available on Kindle!
Thank you and have a blessed day.