Upgrades That Increase Value Pt. 2

Upgrades That Increase Value

Upgrades that increase value make up most of the choices faced by homeowners who are building their homes from scratch. In our last blog post, we covered some of the most common simple upgrades that increase both the value of a home, as well as its eco-friendliness (which also translates to wallet-friendliness)! In this post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the surprising pros and cons of such upgrades, and asking questions to see how well they work for us. For instance:

Is it Really an Upgrade?

There are some “upgrades” that, depending on your circumstances, may not be upgrades at all! Let’s see about a classic choice for home sustainability: Solar Panels. These are often the default when thinking about how to make your home more cost-effective and eco-friendly.

To ensure your home is ready for solar, you have much to consider. If a roof is too small, the panels won’t be able to absorb enough light. If your neighbors have tall trees or houses that shade your roof, they won’t get enough light. Perhaps your roof isn’t on an optimal angle (based on your location), they won’t get enough light. If your roof is angled the wrong direction relative to the sun, you guessed it! They won’t get enough light!

There is a structural aspect that is often overlooked, as well. It is important to determine if your roof is structurally engineered to handle the weight of the solar panels. If not, you may create a major problem without realizing it.

Provided you have the ability to accommodate all these needs, there’s one more important question: how long do you plan to stay in this house? Solar can be expensive, especially if you don’t qualify for the associated incentives and rebates. It can take years to achieve a return on the significant investment of solar panels the old-fashioned way!

However, let’s assume that money is no object. Your roof is ready for solar, and you have a great team standing by to install. According to a study by Zillow, solar panels increase home value by an average of 4.1 percent! Based on this information, you may well get your ROI (and then some) on closing day!

In Closing

As you can see, there are so many benefits to adding upgrades that increase value. From cutting down on costs for yourself, to making some extra money when selling, and even to providing future owners of your home the benefits of eco-friendly living as well! Make sure to assess your budget and the abilities of your builder when beginning a project. You might find that there’s even more in it for you that you think!

Home Orientation Pt. 2

Home Orientation Pt. 2 with Anderson Construction Group, Inc

Home Orientation Tips (Pt. 2)

Home orientation can have such an astounding effect on your heating and cooling bills, especially here in Central Texas where the summers get so blisteringly hot! Some natural assistance in cutting those costs is always helpful, and leaves more room in the budget for the fun stuff. Let’s jump back into some of the ways nature can help you out!

Take Cover!

Tree cover, that is! There are a number of ways that strategically placed trees can benefit your bottom line. Last month we talked about the sun’s differing summer and winter paths. To recap:

  • Summer Sun: rises north of true east, travels high in the sky, sets north of true west
  • Winter Sun: rises south of true east, travels nearer to the horizon, sets south of true west

So, where do the trees factor in? 

Imagine planting a row of deciduous trees (birch, crape myrtle, mesquite, oak, etc.) in your south-facing yard. In the summer, the canopy is full, and you have plenty of shade for playtime and yard work. In winter, the leaves have fallen, and that low-lying southerly sun can shine right through your windows! 

This helps provide some extra warmth to your living areas (see previous blog post for floor plan tips), and takes some strain off of your heating system.

More Home Orientation Tips

That’s not all though! 

Concrete, asphalt, and gravel driveways hold an immense amount of heat in the summers, and can easily overheat a house in these Central Texas summers. While this outdoor radiator effect can be reduced by laying the driveway east of your house where it will only be exposed to the gentler morning sun. Before cooling in the afternoon shade, you can once again employ some native foliage to mitigate your climate system use. A nicely shaded, east-laying driveway will save you some summer money, andkeeps a comfortable space for vehicles and chalk art!

There is a never-ending list of benefits to considering the orientation of your home! These principles make a great start, and hopefully serve as inspiration for how to get the most out of YOUR home. 

Contact the Anderson Construction Group, Inc. today to get started building your very own Custom Luxury Home with efficiency in mind!

We have more tips to share so check back next month!

Home Orientation

Home Orientation with Anderson Construction Group Inc

Home Orientation (Pt. 1)

Home orientation is one of the most important aspects to consider when looking at a home’s efficiency and comfort! By simply taking a few cues from your climate and surroundings, they’ll do much of the heating and cooling work for you, whether you’re building a new home, remodeling the one you have, or deciding which one is right to buy.

Sunny Side Out

First, let’s look at the sun: we all know it rises in the east and sets in the west. It also swings low through the sky in the winter, and shines down from a sharp angle in the summer.

Therefore, large south-facing windows will gather plenty of warming sunlight in the winter, and the high summer sun will be at too sharp an angle to overheat your home. To increase this effect, consider a roof with significant overhang, and orient your longest walls to the north and south. Just like that, you’re passively saving money year-round!

Thanks to that low sun path, the north sides of hills can find themselves shaded all winter long. If you get to choose, try setting up on the south side instead.

Floor Planning

The arrangement of rooms within your home can also have a dramatic impact on your energy use. Don’t waste the heat collected from those south-facing windows on a laundry room or staircase. Put those to the north, and they’ll act as a buffer from the northerly winter winds. You can take advantage of that southerly light and heat for your living room or kitchen instead.

Make sure the western end of your house is prepared for bright afternoon light. That could be a study that warms and brightens as the day goes on, or a dining room where the whole family can watch the sun set together!

The east, of course, gets sunrise. This is a great spot for bedrooms with large windows, so you can wake with the sun and take advantage of that early warmth. It will also cool quickly, ensuring you aren’t overheating as you head to bed in the evening.

In some places, it’s nearly impossible to orient your home to exact compass points. Luckily, all of these benefits can still be obtained with up to a 15-20 degree shift from true north!

This all makes a great start to the principles of home orientation. We still have more to share though, so check back next month for Part 2!

Infrastructure and Building Safety

Building Inspections by David Anderson

Infrastructure and Building Safety is such an important topic. In April of 2021 President Biden proclaimed the month to be “Building Safety Month”. 

The significance of maintaining and upgrading our building infrastructure was recognized. 

2021 brought on crisis after crisis. The catastrophic freeze in Texas, the condo collapse in Florida, and the devastating fires in California… the hits kept coming. 

These moments taught us all, as a nation, how very important our home and its safety is. We can no longer ignore our infrastructure and building safety.

Thus, it caused many rethink how and even where they live. 

Sustainable features saw record highs in sales including water collection systems, and solar power. Features that previously may have seemed extravagant or unneeded, suddenly became a way to stay alive. Some were previously prepared while others weren’t. 

We have long believed in and practiced sustainable building. Safety is of the utmost importance to us. Both of these items are at the very core of what we stand for. We pride ourselves on being comfortably elegant sustainable custom builders.

Our founder has an extensive background in building and construction safety. You can learn more about David Anderson by clicking here. Click Here

Lastly, you can read about Building Safety Month here. Click Here

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