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Tips to Make Your Custom Home Energy-Efficient

By / buying lumber, Custom Home Building, types of lumber / Comments Off on Tips to Make Your Custom Home Energy-Efficient

A few ways to make your home energy efficient.

Homeowners today value energy efficiency when building or buying homes. If you are currently designing a custom home, investing in energy-efficient upgrades to reduce your monthly energy bills pays off.

While buying energy-efficient appliances may seem like your only option, many do not realize that energy-efficient homes should start right from the structural foundation. To help you build a custom energy-efficient home, check out these tips and tricks to consider when planning out your home design.

Installing Wood Insulation

Insulation is one of the most important components of an energy-efficient home since it allows you to maximize your heating or cooling systems’ efforts. With adequate insulation, you can keep temperatures consistent across all areas and prevent air from going in and out of your home.

While you can choose from many types of insulation, wood insulation is a great choice since wood is a relatively good insulator and is renewable. You can use wood batts for your floors, ceilings, attics, and walls, then loose fibers for blown-in insulation in the smaller nooks and crevices. Insulation will be particularly important in your attic since this is where air can easily enter or escape.

Use Composite Lumber for Outdoor Projects

If you plan to make custom outdoor furniture or build a wood deck for your home, consider using composite lumber. This material is made with recycled wood fibers and plastics, with a lower carbon footprint than other home building materials. While it can be more expensive than treated lumber, it is more resistant to rot and decay.

Aside from this, composite lumber is also known to be durable despite requiring low maintenance. As a bonus, composites also come in many colors, so you can match them to your home’s overall design without painting or staining them anymore.

Use Cooling Wood

One of the more recent advancements made in the home-building space is cooling wood, which researchers have developed to help build a more energy-efficient home. Of course, wood on its own is already a renewable and eco-friendly material. However, taking it a step further, researchers removed the lignin in the wood to create a white wood consisting of cellulose nanofibers.

After compressing the wood and adding a compound to make it water-repellent, this resulted in a cooling wood that stayed cooler than the surrounding air temperature. It makes it an ideal material for roofs, which can push heat away and make your home more energy efficient. According to the researchers, US builds built from 2004 onwards can save around 20% of their cooling costs by using this wood for roofs and siding.

Build a Log Home

As you may have noticed in the previous tips, wood is a starring component in building an energy-efficient home. It should be no surprise that log homes and cabins are known to be energy-efficient—provided that you design them correctly. The R-value for wood is generally around 0.71 for hardwoods and 1.41 for softwoods.

However, the unique thing about logs is that they act like thermal batteries that can store heat during the day and release it at night. This property results in an increase in R-value of 0.1 per inch of thickness, which can make a significant difference down the line.

That said, it would be best to work with a reliable custom home builder if you plan to build a log home since there are many technical steps involved. For example, you need to dry the logs before shaping and installing them to prevent shrinkage. Specific types of wood are also better for minimizing air leaks, so that you can get professional input for these decisions.

Get High-Quality Lumber for Your Energy-Efficient Home

If you want to build an energy-efficient home, you should work with a reliable custom home builder and, more importantly, source high-quality lumber. Peninsular Lumber is your one-stop lumber shop for all your material needs, so we can supply you with everything you need for your project. In addition, we have the largest selection in the Tampa Bay area for your convenience and accessibility.

To get started, contact our lumber company in Tampa Bay today at 813-875-8805. Our team can give you professional recommendations on what lumber will best fit your home building project requirements.