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New technology and innovations can help make your next house better (and cheaper)!

Six amazing ideas for your new home design.

Geothermal HVAC

Geothermal HVAC is designed to utilize the natural temperatures four to six feet below the ground to heat and cool homes.  Pipes are run below the ground to form a loop that circulates air up into the house.  Since the Earth’s surface features tremendous insulating properties, the ground remains at relatively consistent temperature.  By using fluid running through the system’s underground loop, it’s able to absorb stored heat from the ground and bring it into the house.  Using an indoor unit to compress the heat to a higher temperature, the warm air is then dispersed through the house.   In the summer, the system pulls heat from the home and carries it through the loop to a reinjection well.  All of this is done while using far less electricity than traditional furnace and compression air conditioning, and also emits no greenhouse gases.

Steel frame construction

Many houses are now utilizing steel framing that is built in a factory, then delivered and assembled at the building site.  Factory fabricated house frames can increase speed of construction, reduce waste, and lower labor costs.  Most systems utilize a steel that is galvanized as to resist rust and corrosion.  The steel frames are precisely engineered and will not warp or bloat like traditional wood construction.  Another advantage of steel frame house construction is that it is extremely strong, allowing for larger interior spaces than wood framing, and is more resistant to earthquakes.

High efficiency insulation

As technology has improved so has the quality of insulation for houses.  A new trend is moving the insulation from between the wall studs and putting all of the insulation outside of the wall and roof sheathing.  A peel-and-stick rubberized material is used that is wrapped from the roof all the way down to the foundation.  While the cost is higher, this greatly reduces leaking heat and that will save money on energy bills.

Residential solar panels

As energy costs continue to rise, so does the use of solar panels in residential neighborhoods.  The initial cost of solar panels can be high, but an average 20-year savings can be between $20,000 to $30,000 depending on where you live and as high as $65,000 in Hawaii!  Getting them installed while your house is being built can help save money compared to adding them after the home is complete.  Saving money while helping to reduce the dependence on valuable resources makes for a great addition to any home.

Secret room behind a bookcase

Have you ever seen a house with a room hidden by a moving wall that looks like a bookcase?  You could have one in your own home.  These rooms work great as offices, classrooms, or kids play areas you can hide quickly.  Another option is if there is doorway in a prominent wall you can build the bookcase on the wall and make the door look as though it’s part of the bookcase.  These are great features for a home that are functional, improve value, and get the attention of your neighbors.

Smart home system

Technology is improving every day, so why live in a house that uses technology from 20 years ago?  With smart home systems, you can control anything you want.  Have kids that always leave lights on?  You can get system that allows access from anywhere to turn lights on and off.  That’s just the start.  New smart systems will analyze your living trends and adjust accordingly.  They will adjust your thermostat based on when you are and aren’t home.  Every system will help you manage your house while saving you money.