The Kakareko House Project
Averaging far less energy consumption than anticipated, between 3,000 and 4,000 Kwh or energy use in a year. This is based on about five months of actual energy use recorded and forecasting higher energy use in winter. The onsite 3 Kwh solar array averages a little over 5,000 Kwh of energy production annually. If forecasts are accurate, The Kakareko Family will receive net payment from Dominion power. Better than net zero. Incredible!
The cost to build vs. the cost to live
On the surface it seems reasonable for people designing and building a new home to strive for the largest home their building site and budget can accommodate. Or is it?
It depends on whether your focus is on the cost to build OR the cost to live.
Homes that feature more square feet of conditioned space are subject to higher property taxes, and higher utility bills. Then there’s the cost of furnishing and maintaining square footage that may only get occasional use.
In the custom housing market today the trend is moving away from building bigger to building better. And as you build better houses -flexible living spaces that provide more comfortable, more energy efficient living conditions – the foot print of a new home tends to shrink.
So while your initial cost to build a 3000+ square foot house to code, vs. a higher performing 2500 square foot house may not decrease, your ongoing cost to live does.
Better built homes reward you with better health, lower taxes, reduced heating and cooling bills and reduced ongoing maintenance for the life of the home. These contribute to a higher quality of life.
So as you struggle to fit you dream home into a budget you can afford, remember that the challenge of funding the cost to build should be short lived. But the rewards of building better can last a lifetime.
More about The Kakareko House
“Home is the ultimate consumer product. It has to be. We spend nearly 70 percent of our lives in our homes. Home is where life happens.”
– Sam Rashkin
HOUSING 2.0 – A Disruption Survival Guide