Top Tips for Building Zero Energy Homes On A Budget

Working on alternative energy project in the office

You are building your own home, and just as purchasing it has been a huge milestone, building it is also among the most important times you will ever encounter. However, building a brand new, sustainable home is an entirely different deal. Every detail from planning to execution needs to be strategic and well-thought, otherwise, it will cost you a lot of money and time. Taking enough time to plan the whole thing out while picking the best possible building materials on the budget is certainly the best thing you can do. By bearing this in mind, we have compiled a shortlist of valuable tips for building your zero-energy home without spending your whole fortune.

Pick the Right Materials

Building a zero-energy home can be quite an expensive project. When building this type of house, you need to know that affordable does not necessarily mean cheap. The same goes for the materials, so first things first, you need to prioritize quality before anything else and prioritize the exterior in the same way as the interior. Bearing in mind that people do not secure houses from the outside, this influences the entire structure and causes its decay. Since zero-energy homes use special technology and natural materials, you need to be careful what you are putting on them. Speaking of the outer coloring, the various available colors of Hardie board siding ensure durability, sustainability, and curb appeal, and are climate customized. The hardest part of coloring would be choosing the right color. The same goes for the rest of the materials. Stone, mud mixtures, and wood can be good building materials if used properly. However, you need to consult an architect and make sure the structure is strong enough.

Make the Budget

This one is a no-brainer, but this is step number one, especially when building zero-energy homes, which will happen to be one of the greatest investments you will probably ever make. You really need to save up your funds. Just as with any other project, home building, especially grid-free houses, can turn into a real nightmare if you stray away from your budget which makes one of the most common mistakes of the people taking this step. Planning, planning, planning… Cannot be stressed enough. You would like to take your time and plan all of it out. Energy-free homes strive to be energy independent and to produce energy on-site, which is a serious thing, meaning you will need to discuss energy sources in detail and see what is the most cost-effective solution. This also makes a crucial move as it will help you with further budget structuring.

House roof covered with solar panels in winter with snow on top. Energy efficiency and maintenance

Good Grounds

You will need a place to build your green home, so finding the right building lot is already half the job done. We doubted whether to put this as the top reason, as without the proper building, there is no green project and certainly the construction will not happen on a budget. The selection of the construction lot will merely impact the energy efficiency of the entire structure. Heating your place and cooling it down make a huge portion of energy consumption and reducing these costs makes a lot of sense. For instance, south-facing houses are the ones receiving the most light while reducing the cooling costs with east-to-west oriented windows. In addition, the solar panels integrated into your home should be facing south so that they can absorb maximum light.

Choose the Essentials

Once you have set your budget, it is time for you to put on the list all of the zero-energy home features that you would like to have in your home. You will most probably need to decide what your top priorities are and choose the ones that will benefit your goals, needs, and lifestyle. This can be anything like water-saving systems or on-site energy production, but the odds suggest that if you want to save some money, two or three items from the list would be eliminated.

Building a zero-energy home is quite a task that demands in-depth planning and a well-defined vision. It is the project that needs a properly set budget and a site that will suit the lifestyle you have chosen to live. Only like this will you be able to control your spending while reaching your ultimate goal—building your own home.

Bella Duckworth

Bella Duckworth

Total posts created: 2212
“Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space… On the one hand, it’s about shelter, but it’s also about pleasure.” – Zaha Hadid

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