Custom homes are attractive options for those who can afford the upgrades because they allow people to customize their spaces the way they like them. And it’s not just about adding luxury upgrades or smart technology — one of the newest trends in Canada is Net-Zero housing. If you are in the market for a custom home, a Net-Zero house might just be your answer to curbing future costs and saving the planet.
The red-hot markets of Vancouver and Toronto are making the options for Canadian homebuyers very limited. With the average house now reaching well over one million dollars for anything detached, it is leaving many Canadians without proper housing. For those who are in the market to buy a home, however, a Net-Zero building might be a great way to cut their costs. While they may not see savings upfront, not having any energy bills to contend with will help the average homebuyer cut their monthly costs and maybe put a detached home within their price range.
What is a “Net-Zero” home?
The custom home builder in Winnipeg Association, recently launched what they have termed the “Net- Zero Labeling Program.” They hope to accelerate the construction of Net-Zero homes and incentivize developers and individual home builders alike to partake in houses that give off as much energy as they individually consume.
Net-Zero homes are built with the idea that they don’t “cost” energy. Instead, they are self-sufficient, producing enough energy to cover themselves on their own. If done correctly, these new energy-efficient homes should have zero monthly energy costs, meaning they are totally self-sufficient. When your mortgage totals well over $4000 a month, not having any additional energy or fuel costs can be a huge advantage and means that many more homebuyers can afford to buy detached homes.
Net-Zero home certification will require that custom homes have the right construction to accommodate the renewable energy sources that will allow them to be net-zero if the homeowner invests in the renewable sources themselves. Much like the Energy Star branding of the past, which allows homes to run as much as 20% more efficiently than they did previously, the homes that are built to net-zero specifications will be about 100% more efficient than has ever before been built.
In the past, custom homes have been all about the huge walk-in closets or the marble countertops, and although these features are still important in high-end luxury homes, many home builders are seeing the value of spending the additional money up front to increase a home’s energy efficiency. This investment means that once they have paid their home off, it is literally paid for. Making a mortgage payment is difficult enough; if a Net-Zero construction can eliminate a homeowner’s need to pay monthly charges, this seems like an excellent way to invest in the future.
Another consideration is the notion that these new Net-Zero homes are more environmentally friendly. No longer using outside fuel or energy sources, their self-sustained nature means leaving a much smaller carbon footprint, which most Canadians find highly valuable.
The good news is that building a Net-Zero home is not that much more expensive, especially considering the overall long-term benefits. The advances and availability of renewable energy sources has made this concept more realistic for the average homebuyer, not just the ones with millions of dollars to spend. The hope is that as more homes utilize Net-Zero industry materials, the prices will continue to decrease. That might sway more builders to offer Net-Zero construction options and lead to a complete overhaul in how custom homes are constructed across Canada.
Although high-end finishes and all those nice little extras are important for the custom homebuyer, not having to pay energy bills every month is a very attractive advantage for those who can afford it. Along with saving money in their monthly budget, those who invest in the newest renewable source technologies available are also helping to save the earth.