Building a new home is exciting. Whether you're involved from the initial design phase or just choosing the final finishes, there are so many decisions to make along the way that make a house a home. And as much as we'd all like to build with an unlimited budget, the process usually requires an occasional compromise. So the question becomes, where do I compromise?
Now I wouldn't try to tell you where to compromise on your new home. But I can tell you where I wouldn't compromise - the exterior wall. You probably saw that coming.
The logic here is rather simple. First, the exterior wall is easily the largest and most important component of any building. It's what keeps you safe and warm. The exterior wall is subjected to the destructive effects of rain, freeze, sun and insects. This justifies using materials that stand up to these elements. Building the exterior wall which is constantly subjected to rain and humidity, from a material that rots, well let's just say there are better solutions than wood. It's also difficult and expensive to replace an exterior wall. While you have the ability to change out many features of a home in the future, you only have one opportunity to build the exterior wall. A properly constructed exterior wall makes the indoor climate more comfortable and improves indoor air quality every day you live in the home. And the favorite feature for many new home buyers is that a high-performance exterior wall pays for itself many times over in reduced energy bills, lower insurance premiums and reduced maintenance expense. Homes built with RASTRA could also qualify for lower interest rates and financial rewards by satisfying energy saving goals.
If you do need to make compromises to your project to afford the upgrade to a high-performance wall, hopefully you now agree that it's worth the effort. Earlier in this post I said I wasn't going to attempt to tell you where to compromise - every project is different. But there are plenty of ways to offset the cost that you can easily add in the future. Crown molding, landscaping, deck, garage drywall, upgraded countertops are just a few areas to consider. Offer to paint the interior yourselves if it allows you to upgrade to a wall that saves you money every month you own the home.
Think of it as an investment. If you have money to invest are you going invest in a product that offers no return on investment, or one that grows in value. Not only does a high-performance wall system save you money each month in energy savings, according to the National Association of Realtors, resale value increases $20 for every $1 you save per year in energy costs. You can't say that about a jacuzzi tub.
One way to help the product selection process is to ask yourself these four simple questions. . . 1). Will this product save me money each month? 2). Will it appreciate in value? 3). Can I easily add this product in the future? 4). Does using this product help the environment?
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