6 Reasons to Build a Weird Home in Grand Rapids

Oct 08, 2021 | Building a Custom Home in Grand Rapids, ICF Custom Homes, Energy Saving Homes, Insulated Concrete Forms

Modern construction trends, advanced materials, innovative building techniques, and even information technology have made it easier than ever to build energy-efficient homes.

Despite that; sustainable, green, concrete homes are not only uncommon; they are are thought of as weird. Why should you be weird? Read on:

6 Reasons You Should Build an Energy Efficient Custom Home in Grand Rapids

When considering building a custom home in the Grand Rapids area there are a variety of factors to take into account, with energy efficiency being high on the list. Whether you know nothing about the benefits of an environmentally friendly home or you simply want to ensure this kind of custom home is right for you, take a look at some of our top reasons why you should choose this route.

From our perspective, energy-efficient homes are where it is at! In particular, at R Value Homes we focus on Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) homes, a method of energy-efficient construction, that in our opinion is hands-down the best way to build a home. And maybe we’re a bit biased, but we know after reading just these 6 reasons for why ICF homes are our favorite, perhaps you too will decide this is what’s best for you and give us a call. Only one way to find out… read on.

Reasons to Build an Energy-Efficient Weird Custom Home

1. Durability & Resiliency

Insulated concrete form homes are more durable. Typical wear and tear, rot and decay,  environmental and other unforeseen hazards, take their toll on biodegradeable materials; but the concrete core of an ICF wall plus the EPS foam plastic lasts for centuries. With the numerous environmental disasters seen over the past ten years, it is wise to consider how your home can provide a significant measure of safety for you. ICF walls remain standing despite a fire, aren't destroyed when they get wet in a flood, retain heat and cold far better through a power outage, can easily be reinforced to withstand an earthquake, and stand up to 150 mph winds or higher. Though West Michigan might not be a hotbed of climate issues, being prepared for what the future holds by building a durable home is a significant asset in this day and age.

2. Low Maintenance & Operational Costs

In general, energy-efficient homes have better air and water management details, leading to lower maintenance costs. ICF walls in particular take this to the next level. Foam and concrete don’t rot and decay; even underwater. Try that with wood!

But by far the biggest savings is seen in your monthly energy bills. Some of our net-zero homeowners only pay a $7 “maintenance fee”! Energy-efficient homes in general give you lower monthly utilities. But with an airtight ICF home plus solar panels, we’ve taken that to the next level; giving our homeowners the lowest bills possible. And finally, because our sustainable homes are constructed using modern building science, you can rest easy knowing you have one of the greenest homes around.

3. Pest Protection

Grand Rapids, Michigan is no stranger to critters, especially when the seasons' change and bugs and rodents try to sneak indoors. Some locations in Michigan also house the infamous subterranean termite, which are known for the damage they can do to homes. Thankfully, an ICF home is  pest resistant because there are few, if any, gaps and cracks that allow pests and entrance, and there is no wood or other materials for them to feed on. Now to be fair, your home may not be entirely termite or pest-free (especially if your kids leave the door open like mine!), but ICF walls create a marked difference in the amount of unwanted guests.

4. Increase in Property Value

Studies have consistently shown buyers are willing to pay for efficiency. And, why wouldn’t they? Often the cost of the improvements adds less to a 30-year mortgage than what is saved each month! Buyers are becoming more energy and climate-conscious each year. Not to mention the health benefits (air quality!), and other reasons we mention here.

5. Air Quality

Due to the continuous concrete wall from footing to truss, sealed ceiling, and meticulous attention to sealing every window and door opening, ICF homes are “airtight.” Dust, pollen, and even your car exhaust are not going to find their way in.

Every one of our homes provides filtered fresh air while exhausting stale air, CO2, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), commonly known as “off-gassing”. Humidity and air pollution are also taken into account so that we can create the best air quality for our homeowners. The EPA reports indoor air quality is a significant factor in a person’s health, particularly as we spend so much time inside, and more in a Covid era! Whether it be simply dry skin, or more serious issues like environmental sensitivities, seasonal allergies, or even chronic conditions such as asthma; our homeowners report that many health issues are reduced in an ICF home.

6. Better for the Environment

We would be remiss if we did not mention the most obvious reason to build a sustainable home --- the environment. Whether you are choosing to build an energy-efficient home for the altruistic reasons of saving the planet or you simply are doing it for the personal benefits you will reap, building a truly green home allows you to leave a good mark on the world,  rather than harmful! 

Here at R-Value Homes, you get the benefit of more than 27 years of industry experience. Owner Jake Vierzen has developed deep insights into the overlapping benefits of energy efficiency and custom home design, becoming an expert in ICF home construction. With these insights, he has turned R-Value Homes into a local leader in matching custom designs with the high energy efficiency demands of modern families. Get in touch today to learn how R-Value Homes can build your sustainable dream home and enhance your life for generations to come.