Custom homes are all about choosing unique features that exemplify the owner’s taste and personality. Certain trends come and go over time though. One popular trend that has been around for a few years is “going green”. In building custom homes, this can mean anything from the use of sustainable woods for flooring to adding solar panels. Custom home building trends in Fort Worth, TX include out-of-the-box concepts.
Green Flooring Choices
Bamboo is quite popular at the moment. This is a highly sustainable choice. It is now available in a wide range of colors and styles from a dark oak appearance to a washed gray. Not all bamboo is created equal. Some brands are much more durable and in fact, they undergo a process that makes them one of the most durable wood floors on the market. Varieties include an antique finish, hand-scraped and distressed.
Cork flooring is popular as well. It is non-toxic and moisture resistant. It is lightweight and has excellent acoustical and thermal properties. Cork is naturally insect and fire resistant. Many manufacturers offer engineered panels that snap together and can be installed over plywood, concrete or old flooring.
And don’t forget stained concrete flooring. This is a beautiful, durable, and inexpensive flooring choice that has gained much popularity over the last decade.
Solar panels have gone from being a novelty to a must for some of our homeowners. They provide enough electricity to power most common appliances and this equates to a substantial savings on the electric bill. Solar power is clean energy, but there are some important considerations, such as how to place the house on the property so that the panels get a southern exposure.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
This extremely efficient alternative to air source heat pumps or gas-fired furnaces has also gained popularity over the last decade. Basically, this method uses the constant temperature found underground to either gain or deposit heat according to the desired inside temperature. While more expensive than a traditional, or air-source, heat pump or gas furnace, energy bills are drastically reduced since heating and cooling account for a large majority of electricity or gas used in a home. Geothermal heating can also use excess heat to provide hot water for use inside the home.
Although alternative energy sources are still quite expensive up-front when compared to their counterparts, they are gradually coming down in price as the technology gets better, faster, and cheaper. Many of these alternatives come with rebates from the government or the local power provider. Some energy efficient products have a longer pay-back period due to the larger up-front costs, but some, such as tankless water heaters, can have a very quick pay back.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when building a new home is skimping on the insulation. All builders will install according the U.S. minimum energy codes, but in order to really prevent heat loss via walls and windows, consider increasing this. A well-insulated home will be more comfortable and give you cheaper electric bills for the life of the home.
Overall, today’s custom homes have clean lines and plenty of open spaces. Most consumers are looking for bargains but will not compromise on quality – recognizing that a beautiful, well-constructed home is their best investment. For more info on custom home building trends in Fort Worth TX, contact us at Will Steed Homes.