Raising the Bar to Build You a Better Home

RESNET Designates Scott Homes Inc. as a Smart Homes Contractor for Ensuring Every Home is Energy Efficient Using the HERS Index Scores

RESNET_EnergySmart_Builder_Vertical_Logo_6-13Scott Homes Inc. and RESNET have entered into an agreement that builds and promotes building highly efficient homes using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). What does this mean for you?

Well, the goal of this partnership is to build beautiful homes that are proven through industry standards to be of the highest efficiency available by science. By utilizing this science, you as a homeowner will not only save money and stay comfortable year round, but you will also lower your carbon footprint and have the highest quality home.

And it won’t cost you anything extra. Energy efficiency is something we believe in and practice. We want to give you the most efficient home because it just makes sense.

A Track Record of Energy Efficiency and Excellence

From the beginning, since Scott Homes Inc. first opened its doors over 30 years ago, Scott wanted to build quality, high efficiency houses that had as minimal impact on the environment as possible. Through our continued study of building science, we are constantly striving to improve our standards of efficiency and excellence. HERS testing helps us do that. We conduct the HERS test on every home we build. And our homes consistently score above industry standards.

What is HERS?

Around that same time another organization was taking shape that wanted to set standards for builders and connect people, resources, and knowledge. HERS is an industry standard, and the best way to actually see how efficient a home is. This makes it easier for you to qualify for lower mortgage rates, save money every year by having the smallest energy bill possible. It also helps the environment, too, by minimizing the impact of housing and related energy demands. Here’s more information on energy ratings.

How Does HERS Make Your Life Better?

So how good are the scores and what can they do for you, the homeowner? A HERS report breaks down estimates of what yearly energy cost will look like for the owner. The lower the score, the better. Olympia Federal Bank gives a ½ point reduction in closing cost for houses that score below 70. Not only do our homes rate below 70, most rate below 60! That means you can expect annual heating bills to be around $200 for most homes. (Yes, that’s $200 for the entire year.)

All of these things add up. With the help of RESNET, Scott and our crew are building homes more efficient than ever. And in the rainy Pacific Northwest, this gives you the benefit of a warmer home and lower utility bills. In an area where we can tell which way is north by the direction the moss is growing on power poles, it keeps your home comfortable and warm without emptying your pocketbook.

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3 Tips to Prevent Mold In Your Home

3 tips to prevent mold blogMost people don’t spend much time thinking about ventilation in their homes. But it turns out that a properly ventilated home is an easy way to prevent mold and mildew from growing.

An airtight home can become the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew without proper ventilation.

In addition to our marine climate in the Pacific Northwest, just living in your home increases humidity: breathing, cooking and other daily activities bring more moisture into the home. Humidity naturally tries to escape the house to get to the cooler air outside. Often the moisture will get trapped inside the wall and won’t be able to evaporate.

Living in a poorly ventilated home where mold is growing in bathrooms, windowsills and other damp nooks and crannies can impair your health. Living with mold is known to cause health issues such as nasal stuffiness, sore throats, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation and asthma. Not a fun way to live!

After spending hours and hours researching building science, building codes and ASHRAE standards to understand how all the parts of a home work together, we’ve made it a standard practice to properly ventilate our homes.

Based on what our team has learned about the importance of ventilation, here are 3 tips to reduce risk of mold in your home:

  1. Install an exhaust fan. We install Panasonic WhisperGreen fans when we build new homes. They are ENERGY STAR® rated, energy efficient and quiet.
  2. Run your exhaust fan 24/7. Mold doesn’t grow until the air reaches about 50% humidity. Running your exhaust fan continuously is an important part of keeping humidity levels at an optimal level for you, but not for mold.
  3. Install a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). This is a unit that recirculates the air in your home, drawing the damp air from bathrooms and laundry rooms. This helps maintain a good mix of fresh, filtered air throughout your house.

Bottom line, a well-ventilated home will have better indoor air quality and will be less likely to develop mold or dry rot. And you and your family will get the benefits of breathing cleaner, healthier air.

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Green & Energy Efficient: Two Smart Distinctions to Building a Better Home

Green vs. Energy Efficient: What’s the Difference?

Green and Energy Efficient

There’s a difference between a green home and an energy efficient home.

A good house with a handful of good products doesn’t make your house both green and energy efficient. To help you wade through the potential greenwash, let me explain what makes a home both green and energy efficient.

Energy Efficient Home

An energy efficient home reduces energy consumption by building a super insulated, well-ventilated, airtight home that stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Green Home

A green home also reduces energy, but also has added features that protect the environment and enhance the quality of earth friendly living.

Examples are reduced water usage, incorporating reclaimed or recycled materials, minimizing and recycling construction waste, using nontoxic interior finishes, collecting rainwater, landscaping with water resistant native plants, careful placement of trees and minimizing disruption to natural vegetation.

It’s important to note that required energy efficiency levels are not one static measurement—energy efficiency is continually changing. That’s because building codes are updated every three years. An Energy Star Certified home built in 2009 is different from an Energy Star Certified home built by the same builder in 2012. This is good for you as a homeowner. It means homes keep getting better.

Benefits of Both Green and Energy Efficient

When you build a home that is both green and energy efficient you get the best of both energy efficiency and green building standards.

When you build a home that is both green and energy efficient, you will enjoy…

  1. Savings and value. A green, energy efficient home is a cost-effective investment that will use less energy and water, saving you money every month.  The home is better quality and has lower maintenance issues.  Green and Energy Efficient certified homes usually command a higher resale value.

  2. Comfort. Building science allows us to build smarter. Building smarter creates a home that fits your unique needs and that is more comfortable. And that just makes sense.

  3. Health. Improving air quality is good for you. Many of our customers with allergies and chemical sensitivities have enjoyed better health after moving into their new homes built to meet the highest green and energy efficiency standards.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to build a green, energy efficient home. You can get a very nice home on a budget that will be better for the environment, better for your pocketbook and better for you and your family.

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5 Tips to Building Extreme Green on a Tight Budget

5 tips to building extreme green on a budgetNot everyone building an energy efficient home has a “spare no expense” attitude toward the costs of green upgrades. Quite the opposite.

Many of my clients are working with a set budget.  They want to invest in a few green upgrades that will give them the best value for their dollar.

I assure all of my clients that you don’t have to spend a fortune to build extreme green. In fact, green can be quite affordable.

Here are 5 tips to get the benefits of an extreme green home while staying within your budget:

  1. Build with Structured Insulated Panels (SIPs). For only about $1,000 more total on a typical $250,000 home, you can build with SIPs. This product alone will get you to 50% savings on energy because it addresses all three important issues in building sciences for attaining energy efficiency, air tightness, no thermal bridging, and higher R-values for the insulation.

  2. Hire a builder who knows how to build an airtight home. If you can’t control the air movement in and out of your home, then you will substantially reduce the effectiveness of all your other energy saving investments. An airtight envelope is critical to saving on utility bills and keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Bottom line: your home will be more comfortable. Hire a builder who pays attention to detail and who knows the value of caulk, tape, foam and air barriers of all shapes and sizes.

  3. Install a ductless heat pump or geothermal (radiant) heat. Forced air furnaces are shockingly inefficient–even the highest rated Energy Star furnaces waste energy and money. A ductless heat pump can heat and cool your entire home significantly less than a forced air furnace. Because a ductless heat pump is 400% efficient, for every $50 worth of electricity, you will get about $200 worth of heat.  Smart heating technology is one of the best investments in an energy efficient home.

    Ductless Heat Pumps

  4. Triple pane windows. For about $25 more per window, you can get triple paned windows with significantly better performance for energy efficiency!

  5. An efficient exhaust fan. For about $100 more you can have a very quiet Panasonic exhaust fan that runs on 1/3 the energy. Having a good exhaust fan that quietly works 24/7 will ensure good indoor air supply constantly.

Ecological continues to become more economical as building technology continues to improve. Take advantage of the benefits of building extreme green. It’s easier and more affordable than you might think.

Do you have any questions about the costs of building green? Just type in your question below and we’ll help you find answers.

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1.9 Acre, Quiet Lot Ready for Your Dream Home

Are You Ready to Build?

Build your custom dream home on this quiet, private 1.9 acre lot. Nestled up to forested wetland area on a dead end street, the lot is centrally located between the heart of downtown Olympia, convenient shopping centers in Lacey, and the pristine Olympia waterfront–just a short drive away.

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Lot features:

  • 1.9 acres
  • Located at the end of a quiet, dead-end street
  • Close to shopping and downtown Olympia
  • Close to waterfront
  • Only 1.5 miles from St. Peter’s hospital and medical facilities
  • Existing 24×30′ garage/shop
  • Large 4-bay pole building storage shed
  • Good soil quality
  • Will be easy to get septic design approved
  • Well levels should be under 100′ (neighboring wells are all under 100′ depth)

This lot is priced to sell and will move fast. If you’re ready to build your dream home, give us a call. 360.357.9167

 

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5 Reasons Why Building Green Will Make Your Winter Better

Benefits of Building Green

Save Money and Keep Warmer

Just because the weather is getting colder outside doesn’t mean it has to be colder inside your home.

If you’re looking to build a new home, a tract, stick-built home will keep the rain off your head. But you don’t have to settle for drafty and inefficient. It’s actually more cost effective to go green, and it can be done on any budget.

Here are 5 reasons why building green will make your winter better:

  1. Better heating and cooling. Most people don’t realize they don’t have to tolerate being too hot or too cold throughout the year. My wife and I discovered this when we finally upgraded our old wood-burning stove to an energy efficient ductless heat pump.  Suffering in silence actually costs more in the long run than the one-time costs of few green upgrades.
  2. Better quality. A solid, well-built house will withstand the elements and last for generations to come.  There is very little maintenance on a well-built home.
  3. Better for your pocket book. Our typical home averages around $200-$300/year heating costs.  Green homes mean better insulation, sealed doors and triple pane windows, efficient heating and cooling, efficient lighting and appliances. An energy efficient home will actually save you money in the long run by reducing the amount you will spend on your monthly utility bills.
  4. Better for the environment. When you use less energy to heat your home, you decrease carbon dioxide emissions—the stuff that contributes to global climate change.  A well-built green home (like we build) requires 60-70% less fuel consumption compared to a standard home. This means a healthier environment for you and for the rest of the world.
  5. Better for you.  A green home makes life better for allergy sufferers by reducing mold and other common allergens. At Scott Homes, we are sensitive to the needs of allergy sufferers. That’s why in addition to reducing mold and dust, we use low emission paint, cabinets, carpet etc. to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. Your entire family will breath easier with healthier indoor air from a green home.

I’ve spent more than 30 years building high quality, energy efficient homes for families in the Puget Sound area. I have a reputation for being a bit of a stickler for details and workmanship, but I want to make sure my customers have solid, safe and healthy homes. It’s what I love doing.

So stop heating the outdoors. Go green. Your family and the planet will thank you.

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South Sound Solar Joins Us at the Inspiration Home

20120811_ScottHomes_0332

Kirk Haffner of South Sound Solar will be at the Inspiration Home this Sunday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Scott Homes and Northwest Energy Team Spring 2013 Tour of Homes.  The Inspiration Home is one of four homes featured this on the tour.

The Inspiration Home was built to show how an extremely energy efficient home can be attractive and affordable. South Sound Solar worked closely with Scott Homes and the homeowners to engineer and install a “starter solar array” and a solar hot water system that would match the owner’s budget and energy needs. The PV (electric system) is designed to be expandable so the owners can add to the system’s size in the future. 

Kirk will be at the Inspiration Home all day Sunday to answer questions about how solar works, how you can track its production, and any other questions you may have about solar power. This is a great chance to see what a starter solar array has produced since August 2012.

By the bye, the Inspiration Home was awarded ENERGY STAR’s Home of the Year “Best Demonstration Project.” And award winning home plus a chance to hang out with solar smartypants Kirk Haffner … I don’t know why you’d stay home.

For more details (like a map), sign up for an information email. You will only get emails about this tour of homes. When the tour is over, no one will send you anymore emails. Promise.

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