If you or one of your friends or family members are going to build a new home please make it energy efficient and use alternate energy. It is estimated that will only increase the price of the house by about 10% on average. Yes it sounds like a lot of money but think of it this way. If the house will cost you $200,000 to build without the energy efficiency, it will cost you only $20,000 extra to build it energy efficient. Now look at what the $20,000 will cost you with a 4.5% mortgage amortized over 15 years (I only recommend a mortgage no longer than 15 years). That is only $153 per month. On average you could easily save that much money each month.
Your home will be far more comfortable and you are going to do something good for the environment. You can also sell back your extra energy to your utility company. So your extra $153 per month on your mortgage could partially be offset with energy that you sell back to your utility company. After the 15 years of your mortgage this energy savings will no longer cost you anything.
If you do not want to spend $220,000 on a new home here are a few suggestions. First, do you really need a home as large as you envision? A smaller home will save you even more energy and it will take a lot less work to keep the home up. Of course it will cost you less to build. Second, how about a bale home made of straw? They are very inexpensive and very solid. You can also build a tire home. They will even pay you to take their old tires. Third, a dome home is much more energy efficient than a normal home. Even with the same square footage of livable living space, they save you about a third in energy costs. Why? Because of their shape the internal space is about a third less than a normal home. Forth, is something I am going to do. I am going to build an above ground, underground home. My present home is a 3,500 square foot underground home. It uses less energy than my former home that was 1,020 square foot and well insulated. The only problem with an underground home is if a pipe bursts, you will have a swimming pool. Since I am 69 I am starting to have trouble going up and down stairs so by building a home on one level it will help. I will build it above ground and then cover the home with dirt. So even though it will be above ground it will still be below ground. If it is still above ground the water will flow outside. It will be very energy efficient.
Right now I am looking for a dome that is strong enough to withstand being covered with dirt. If anyone knows of one please let me know. I want it to have 1,200 to 1,600 square feet of internal space. I would prefer a used dome but I would consider a new one. After I move into the house I will report on this blog what it is like. I will also report on any problems that I encounter.
Insert date: 2010-06-19 Last update: 2010-12-25