Energy Efficiency vs. Comfort: Can You Have Both?

Design

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Buying a house is a considerable undertaking, especially with a family or a spouse to factor into the mix. On top of individual preferences regarding home design, there’s other elements to consider, from budgetary needs to storage requirements and ideal square footage. But perhaps the most important criteria to assess when buying a home can be boiled down to two components: comfort and energy efficiency.

Historically, energy-efficient housing (also called “green” homes) wasn’t nearly as prevalent or effective as it is today, so homebuilding was less about performance of insulation and utilities and much more focused on varying opinions regarding structural and interior design. That is to say, aesthetics and curb appeal were often regarded as more important in ultimate home-buying decisions than the energy efficiency of the property. Thanks to advances in both home design and technology, however, the division between these two components is becoming an increasingly blurred line.

In this article from McCall Homes, we take a look at the different benefits of a home built for comfort versus one built for energy efficiency, as well as the reasons that some people prefer one of these facets over the other. Then we’ll delve into an assessment of recent developments in homebuilding techniques and technologies in order to see how certain types of housing may afford owners the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds.

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Homes Designed for Comfort

When considering the purchase of a home, many people won’t settle for just any property — they have to find the build that perfectly suits their needs and desires. These personal factors regarding a home-buy or home-build may involve location, square footage, exterior aesthetics, yard space, windows, and — of course — the appeal of the interior design. If you don’t feel comfortable in your home, it’s not a home at all; at best, it’s a roof over your head. For this reason, it’s understandable that you may be a bit nitpicky about the finer details. 

Those with a passion or interest in current architectural and design trends tend to value craftsmanship above all else, even if that means sacrificing some functionality or paying a higher price. There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to live in a beautiful home, but when it comes at the cost of thermal insulation, performance of utilities, and ventilation or draining drawbacks, choosing a home for its comfort value alone may actually create more distress in the long run.

Homes Designed for Energy Efficiency

In contrast to those with an eye for design, some prospective homeowners prioritize practicality over curb appeal. Few home-builds are more practical than those designed with optimum energy efficiency in mind. When constructed with effective insulation, high-performance HVAC systems, and water-conserving plumbing fixtures, energy-efficient homes can save owners countless sums of money in monthly utility bills and repair work. 

Even if finances aren’t a primary concern, more and more homeowners prefer “green” housing because of its reduced environmental impact. While it’s important for everyone to strive to minimize contributions to emissions and pollution, not everyone is willing to sacrifice their ideal aesthetic vision in the process. This is where the divide emerges between purchasing habits: Should a home be bought because it is extremely fashionable, or because it is extremely functional? 

The ComfortBuilt Difference

Although homeowners have had to choose between energy efficiency and upgraded design elements in the past, at McCall Homes, we believe you shouldn’t have to choose. Believe it or not: a house crafted with style can still be a smart choice too! 

McCall Homes has spent decades refining our detail-oriented style of craftsmanship, and this is reflected in our family-friendly communities like Josephine Crossing and now Annafeld in Billings, MT. But craftsmanship on a visual level means little if it’s not sustainable or affordable. This is why McCall Homes partners with the experts in energy-efficient building materials like Owens Corning insulation, Andersen windows, Kohler fixtures, Whirlpool EnergyStar appliances, Rheem water heaters, and Rainbird sprinkler systems to name a few. In a ComfortBuilt home, carefully created design schemes and floorplans are seamlessly integrated with structural building techniques that maximize energy usage and reduce overall costs. 

The first house you own may not necessarily be the last, but you should design it as if you want it to be! That requires durability as well as design expertise, and that is exactly what we strive to provide with our ComfortBuilt units at McCall Homes. 

Yes—you can have both….affordably!

The struggle between aesthetic appeal and energy efficiency may never disappear entirely, but our team of designers and trade partners at McCall Homes are creating communities that vastly diminish the discrepancies. But for now, we’ll leave you to consider what you value in a home — and if you can’t decide between a stellar heating system and high-vaulted ceiling, that’s not a problem. When you live in a McCall home, there’s no need to choose between style and sensibility. Energy efficient materials and building techniques come standard with every home from a townhome to a single family home.

We thank you for reading and we encourage you to stay posted for more information from McCall Homes. You can also explore our past articles by visiting our blog, where you’ll learn about a variety of interesting topics including floor plan highlights, design tips, and home-buying guides.


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