While “going green” may be trending lately, it’s more than just a buzzword. Green building initiatives that encourage builders to be eco-friendly and energy efficient are cropping up everywhere, and home buyers are eager to cash in on the cost savings that a green home can provide.
However, homebuyers can easily get lost when attempting to find a home builder who can provide them with a quality, environmentally-friendly home build. To combat the confusion, homebuyers should begin their home building project by asking trusted friends and family for references. Finding which builders hold specific certifications can be discerned easily from a quick internet search. However, for the best outcome, homebuyers need to learn which questions they should ask before settling on a contractor for their home.
Here are 10 questions homebuyers should ask to find the right green contractor for their next home.
1. What are the benefits of going green?
Anyone can label themselves a green contractor, but the best eco-friendly providers will be able to easily and clearly articulate the numerous benefits of going green when building a home. They should be able to tell you specifics on long and short-term cost savings and outline how the environment will be impacted or preserved during the homebuilding process.
2. What materials do you use?
The green contractor and their subcontractors should be able to tell you exactly which materials they’re using and how they are eco-friendly and energy efficient. Green builders often limit the number of materials with plastic byproducts and use eco-friendly or recyclable materials in their design and construction. From large appliances to windows and insulation, the contractor should be able to articulate how the materials used will result in cost savings and a lower environmental footprint.
3. How much experience do you have with green building?
Homeowners will want to make sure the green builder they choose has enough experience with sustainable construction. Although many contractors can throw out buzzwords like “tankless water heater” and “radiant heat,” it’s smart to see exactly how much the prospective builder truly knows about eco-friendly building by evaluating their hands-on experience with green building.
4. How many green projects do you have in your portfolio?
Samples of previous work can go a long way in showing prospective homeowners if their builder’s style and expertise align with the overall vision for the home build. Finding a home builder with a diverse set of examples in their portfolio is a good sign that the contractor will be able to follow the overall vision for the project while still offering high-performing, sustainable materials.
5. Do you have a whole-home approach?
Piecemeal alterations or changes to the home plan in the name of eco-friendliness can sometimes backfire. With that in mind, it’s critical that builders have a whole-home approach to avoid exacerbating existing problems or creating new ones for a new home.
6. What technologies do you use to support green initiatives?
Alongside materials used, it’s important that the builder is able to pinpoint specific technologies they’ll utilize during the build. As a cornerstone of green building is to increase efficiencies as well as reducing the impact on natural resources (like coal), homeowners will want to know how the technologies used will also ultimately impact the environment around their build and preserve the environment.
7. How will green construction impact my energy savings?
A major attraction to green building lies in the ultimate cost savings due to the energy efficient materials and components used in construction. The ideal green contractor will be able to provide the homebuyer with estimates on how much they can expect in savings from each of the materials used.
8. What’s your approach to accounting for climate in the build design?
If the proposed home is in an extreme climate, proficient green builders will propose a design that accounts for climate, so the build works with nature, rather than against it. For instance, builders may suggest that the house be positioned to best gain the most daylight through windows, so that the lighting costs are lower and more efficient.
9. How green are your subcontractors or partners?
Green contractors should have a ready list of equally green subcontractors such as plumbers, HVAC and electrical professionals in their network who they can consult or use to assist with the build. By vetting their subcontractors and then providing the homebuyer with this list helps the homebuyer know that from top to bottom their home will be fully green and efficient.
10. How green are you?
Homeowners may feel comfort in knowing their green contractor truly walks the walk in their business. Homeowners should glean how invested the contractor is about green living by inquiring about the homebuilder’s actual green practices. This will help the homebuyer to learn which elements of green design and construction are integrated into the contractor’s office.
Before settling on a contractor, it’s important to ask questions to learn more about their practices, materials used, and their experience with green building. To begin your dream of green living, contact Belman Homes for more information regarding your dream home journey.