“Green building” can mean many different things, but at its heart the term simply means building a home that is efficient and environmentally-friendly. Some homeowners take this to the extreme — building their homes out of glass bottles or recycling water from kitchen to shower to toilet to garden — but the truth is there are many ways to “go green” when building your custom home.
Simpler tips for a greener home
Consider your home’s location on the lot
Orient your home’s location on your lot so that it catches sun in the winter and is shaded in the summer. A deep porch with lots of shading can do wonders when trying to keep your home cool during the hot Hill Country summers.
Install high-efficiency windows
Energy-efficient windows are all the rage; using double-paned and/or low-emissivity glass keeps your house cooler in summer and warmer in winter, and keep your bills more manageable.
Use proper insulation
That pink, itchy roll of insulation has come a long way in recent years — there are many spray foam insulation products that work more efficiently than the traditional materials.
Don’t forget the little things
Energy-efficient air conditioning and heating equipment, appliances, and lighting can lower your usage — and bills — and pay for themselves quickly. This is often the first step toward a green home that homeowners take.
Going green, one step at a time
For more information on simple steps you can take to have a greener home, check out Energy Star’s tips on heating and cooling efficiently, and consider buying energy-efficient appliances the next time you’re ready to update.