The United Welsh Housing Association is running a competition to find people to live in and assess two homes built on the site of a former steel works at Ebbw Vale in Blaenau Gwent, south Wales. The homes, built to showcase the “Passivhaus” concept, are in a group of state-of-the-art homes built for the 2010 National Eisteddfod.
In our part of Maine, quiet and remote means off the electrical grid. Our summer rental cabin had no electricity except for a small generator to power the water pump and a 20-watt solar panel connected to a 12-volt battery powering our laptop and cellphone. The winter rental cabin where we are now has a diesel generator and a battery bank.
Having a diesel rumbling in the background is not the Maine woods experience I wanted. Too noisy. Too smelly. Too OPEC.
The White House hopes that someday soon everyone will be able to monitor and control their home energy usage, and lower their monthly utility bills, with a few swipes on a smartphone app. At least that’s the vision of the Green Button initiative, a recent White House effort to bring together the nation’s utilities, energy consumers and private industry to develop Internet and mobile phone-style technologies and business models aimed at reducing energy consumption.
‘Tis the season once again, readers – both for festive occasions and for rising heating bills in North Carolina. As temperatures drop across the area, homeowners across the area are battling with drafty rooms, cold upper floors, and gas bills that rise into the hundreds of dollars each month.
The average home in our area has over 2,000 ft of gaps, crack and voids that allow heated air to escape into the outside. When it comes to improving the value and comfort of your home, there is no safer bet than improving your home’s insulation.
The Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) will no longer give its blessing to projects incorporating spray polyurethane foam insulation (SPF) that uses blowing agents with high contribution to global warming, according to executive director Katrin Klingenberg.
The city known for expensive real estate has unveiled the smallest self-contained rental suites in the country — just 226 to 291 square feet — renting for about $850 per month, including cable and Internet. Location comes with a price tag, of course. These 30 “micro-lofts” are the result of a heritage project to renovate the century-old Burns Block building in Gastown, a trendy area for shops and restaurants. The contrasting backdrop to Gastown is the poverty, substance addiction and homelessness of the Downtown Eastside where Burns Block recently operated as a rundown hotel.
I receive about 50 inquires a month and the first thing most people want to know is: What does it costs to build a custom home?
Lot costs are typically 30% to 35% of your total budget for a home.
We find construction costs of $180 per sqft + or – 10%, plus a fixed cost of about $30k for site development costs. (Utilities, Driveway, Fencing, Landscaping, etc.) If you want a modern home with flat roofs and steel, you are looking $220 per sqft + or – 10%.
Architectural Fees / Engineering Fees typically are 7% of construction costs, + or – depending on the amount of detail you want designed.
Time to draw plans are 3 to 6 months. Time to permit is about 60 days. Time to construct a home depends on the size of the home, but typically we can do about $70K to $120k of work per month on a home; with a minimum of 6 months to construct a home.
In today’s market we are finding that in doing large renovations/additions to homes are saving 10% to 20% versus a new home.
Typically we see costs for new added space at $200 per sqft. Redoing existing space is about $120 per sqft.
Architectural Fees / Engineering Fees typically are 6% of construction costs, + or – depending on the amount of detail you want designed.
Time to draw plans are 1 to 3 months. Time to permit is about 30 days. Time to construct a home depends on the size of the home, but typically we can do about $60K to $100k of work per month on a home; with a minimum of 3 months to construct a home.