Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Golden Post

Hey how about that, we've hit 50 posts! Since June 26, 2007 we've been telling you all about our wacky ideas for building better houses. Can you believe we've been talking about 24" o.c. framing or adding exterior foam lo these 2 years now? Crazy! Ducts in the house? Ludicrous!

Not so crazy actually. All across the country, more and more builders are waking up and realizing that they are building the worst houses they possibly can without going to jail. This is called a code home. Much of this change comes from consumers realizing that there are better homes out there and that they don't have to settle for the Cheap Charlie, Get 'Em Up by Friday contractor 'specials'. Much of it has to do with the terrible housing market right now that has forced builders to either step up or go out of business. If Centex and Pulte are having issues, how are you doing Joe Q. Builder?

Just waking up? About to go out of business? Contact Istockhouseplans today and let us help you gain an edge. A razor sharp, honed, hair-splitting edge.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

His or HERS?

You may remember back in November that we mentioned our new partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon. This relationship allows us to have access to CAD details and other resources that will help any home you buy from us to be energy efficient and durable.

A new feature that we can offer due to this partnership is a HERS score or an Energy Performance Score (EPS). The HERS score is available nationally as an index of how well your home is built compared to the same home built to code. The EPS is available in Oregon only (for the time being) as a tool to show total consumption of your home compared to total consumption of other homes.

The difference? Both a 5000sf and a 1500sf house can have a HERS score of 80. This means that they are both built 20% better than code. For the Oregon EPS though, the 5000sf home is more likely to have a score of 170 whereas the 1500sf will be closer to 50. You can easily see that the 5000sf home uses more than 3x the energy (and costs over 3x to heat) than the 1500sf. This makes perfect sense given that the 5000sf home is more than 3x larger than the 1500sf home.

The upshot? If you order a plan through our website, we will work with you to create a HERS score if you wish for no extra charge. This will include giving you a preliminary score after a brief consultation on what options you would like to include in your home, customized for the area you will be building in. If you are interested in getting a final HERS certificate for the home, you will need to find a provider local to your area.

As usual, all of our plans on the istockhouseplans website are designed to be easy to build with material usage taken into consideration. Even if you aren't looking for a score of any sort, rest assured that our plans will be energy and material efficient on their own merits.