Green home constructing and remodeling needs a different approach than the traditional, established way of constructing.
Usually the homeowner, you, approaches an designer who designs the home, based on your descriptions, ideas, dreams and wishes.
The finished plan is then dispersed to a number of general contractors for bid.
The general contractor in turn contacts his/her subcontractors to obtain bids from them for framing, roofing, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, excavating and foundation work, landscaping, interior finishes.
The bid costs are based on the interpretation of the drawings by each contractor. Hardly ever do the subcontractors talk to every other during the bid procedure. Hardly ever is the architect contacted with inquiries. Almost never is the homeowner, you, contacted.
The contractorrs’ final bids usually include a list of exceptions and/or a unforeseen event allowance, which might never be utilized, but is paid for by you anyway.
Homeowners most frequently accept the lowest bid. Why not? Unless you are familiar with and know the construction business, know the contractor’s quality of labor, what other criteria could you apply?
The procedure outlined above frequently results in substantial building fee increases, dissatisfied homeowners and sometimes lawsuits.
Huge resources are being neglected and missed when homes are remodeled and constructed the traditional way: Knowledge and trade-specific know-how, which could save you time, money and headaches.
The Green Process To Constructing A House
Constructing a green home must be a methodical approach and done as a team. The thing must be looked at as a system, in which each part is connected to and depends on the other components. For example:
– Location of the home on the property will determine the amount of soil disturbance, excavation and landscaping
– Destination, size and types of windows can impact the heating and cooling requirement
– Type of heating and cooling equipment can impact space requirements for furnace, heat pump, solar collectors, piping, ductwork, etc
– Option of outside wall can impact first cost versus installation cost versus insulation values versus look
You get the idea
Teamwork is required to make it all come together. The folks who design and put together your green house, will be working with you and with every other for weeks or months. These are some central questions to ask when assembling your green building team:
– Do all of the team members agree on the importance of constructing green and are they dedicated to it?
– Do designer and contractors have knowledge in green constructing and if not, are they caning to learn? The majority if the team should have some experience in designing or building green homes
– Do you like and respect them? Can you see yourself interacting with each of them frequently and maybe work through some difficulties?
– Do they like and respect every other?
– Do they take pride in high quality work?
– Can they accept input about their trade from other trades?
Don’t undervalue the importance of your team getting along and working well together. There will be times throughout the building when tempers flare, tensions are high, pressure is on. And this could be just when the insulator has to do some very meticulous work to seal all leaks, while the electrician is breathing down her neck to hurry up so he can get his labor completed.
It is important to incorporate as many of the trades as likely during the blueprint phase. Decisions about choices in materials or heating system or anything else can then be done by all concerned parties from a fully informed perspective.
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