What You Need to Know About Insulation When Remodeling Around Austin TX

Did you know that 40-60% of your home’s energy bill is wasted? That’s right! The US Department of Energy reports that about half of a home’s energy is wasted when it is under-insulated and improperly air sealed. You can save $500 to $1,000 per year on energy bills by having your home properly insulated and air sealed.

How do you know if your home has enough insulation? Most homes 10-years or older do not have enough insulation according to the International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC). Your NARI Remodeler can help you understand what needs to be done to meet the building codes. Plus, your NARI contractor can advise you on what options to consider for properly insulating your home for energy savings, comfort, and health.

The bigger question, is your home effectively air sealed? There are several components to proper air sealing. The biggest and most important aspect is insulation. While there are many different types of insulation, only one product is an excellent air sealing solution: spray foam. It is the only type of insulation that stops all 3 types of heat transfer. Here you can take a deep dive into learning about spray foam insulation.

Can your house be air sealed even if your home has fiberglass, cellulose, or rock wool insulation? Yes. People are using cans of spray foam to seal the around common air leak areas like: electric outlets, windows, doors, HVAC ducts, framing connections, and plumbing entries. Then they fill the rest of the area with another insulation material like fiberglass. It works.

Which area of your house is most important to upgrade? The attic is where the majority of your energy is lost. In the Austin Texas area, your attic is where most of the heat comes into your home during the long hot summer months.

There are two different building science methods used in attic insulation: vented versus sealed building envelope. If you have a vented envelope with insulation laying on the attic floor, your attic will be 130-150-degrees in the summer. However, with a sealed envelope, your attic should be 3-5 degrees warmer than the conditioned living space in your home.

What is the cost difference between the methods? A vented attic seems cheaper when only considering the cost of blowing in fiberglass. However, when you add in the cost of attic fans and radiant barrier to get a lower attic temperature, then you will be much closer to the cost of a sealed attic.

How do you know if it worth creating a sealed attic? If you are simply fixing up the house to sell it in the next 2-years, go cheap. If you are going to be paying the utility bills, and will own the home for 3-years or more, invest in a sealed envelope. Your return on investment (ROI) over a 3 year period should be positive, and a 30 year ROI is tremendous.

When is the best time to have your home properly insulated? During remodeling the sheetrock is removed from your walls. That is the only time you can remove rodent infested, damaged, improperly installed insulation. Then your NARI remodeler can have an insulation professional install the proper insulation correctly.

What is biggest problem with remodeling when it comes to insulation? Many times the homeowner is focused on the remodel finishes. It is easy to overlook the core factors that will make your home:

  • more comfortable to live in
  • healthier for your family
  • quieter from undesired noise
  • and put more money in your bank account over time

Your remodeler’s job is to give you what you want, while complying with the building codes. Your remodeler is only required to address the insulation on walls, ceilings, and floors that are opened up. That means that if only half of your home’s walls have the sheetrock removed, then only half of your home’s insulation is fixed.

Plus, in most cases, the contractor is not required by the municipality to bring the attic insulation up to code. Remember, your attic is the most important place to upgrade. If you are building an addition, the new space will have the proper insulation. The existing structure will not be upgraded unless you require the upgrade and put it in the budget.

Here is what to do next: If you want to have a healthy indoor environment that is comfortable, and saves you money on utilities, then talk to your NARI remodeler about proper insulation.

Ask you contractor to:

  • measure the R-value of your current insulation
  • determine what you need to meet current IECC
  • have your house properly air sealed
  • explore the option of creating a sealed envelope
  • have your entire house brought up to code on insulation
  • at a minimum have the attic brought up to code

About the Author

Shawn Mansur is the founder of Stellrr Insulation in Austin TX. Shawn is famous for his 200% Money-Back Guarantee. He is laser-focused on delighting every client while helping them achieve stellar performance in their homes. Plus, with every purchase, Shawn gives 10% of the profits to the cause of the client’s choice. Learn more at https://www.stellrr.com or call 512-520-0044 today.

NARI Member RisherMartin Wins Premier National Entrepreneurship Award for Innovation in their Industry

rishermartinlogoRisherMartin Fine Homes was presented the 2016 Fred Case Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Hanley Woods Remodeling Gala in Kansas City, Missouri. The most prestigious honor in the remodeling industry, the annual Fred Case Award is presented to the industry’s brightest and most innovative firm. Bruce Case, the President and CEO of Case Design stated, “RisherMartin Fine Homes was a clear choice because of their best in class operations that are driven by a suite of hardware, software, and cloud based applications that allow them to collaborate quickly and accurately, all within the complex operation of a renovation firm.”

With business and engineering backgrounds, Chris Risher and Jeremy Martin, of RisherMartin Fine Homes, have continuously harnessed the power of available technologies to run and operate a highly efficient organization. These systems have allowed RisherMartin to effectively communicate with hundreds of partners that help plan and build their homes. These same tools have allowed them to eliminate the age-old problem in the construction industry – projects taking longer and costing more than anticipated.

RisherMartin Fine Homes is an Austin based renovation and custom home building firm that focuses on architecturally significant projects in Central and West Austin. RisherMartin works collaboratively with some of Austin’s most prestigious architects to help plan and build residential projects with a fixed price guarantee. Their work was recently featured in the 2016 American Institute of Architects Austin Homes Tour, designed by Furman + Keil Architects.

Builder Confidence Jumps In September

HMI lands at highest level in almost a year.

By Hanley Wood Data Studio

The home builder association’s index of builder confidence moved up by six percentage points in September to a reading of 65, the highest it has been since last October, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released Monday. The August reading was downwardly revised to a reading of 59.

Read More At Metrostudy →

Constructive Demand, Shaky Supply

Call it “good news Friday,” for a mid-September splash of brighter hues on the demand side of housing’s still-healing supply-and-demand equation. What’s good about it?

For starters, what’s negative is less so. Here’s CoreLogic’s latest look at the portion of the nation’s 50 million homes with mortgage loans that are “under water,” or in negative equity. Homes with negative equity stood at 3.6 million, or 7.1% of all homes with a mortgage; that’s a better-than 13% improvement from the prior quarter, and almost 20% better than a year ago. The headline here is that there are 900,000 fewer of those mortgage holders now than a year earlier who owe a bank more money than their home would fetch if it were sold today.

Read More At Metrostudy →

New Home Sales Cooled In August

August posts biggest drop since Sept. ’15; still, year-over-year gains are impressive; weather in east could be a factor.

By Hanley Wood Data Studio

The numbers are in: Sales of new single-family houses in August 2016 came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 609,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rate was 7.6% below the revised July rate of 659,000 but 20.6% above the August 2015 estimate of 505,000. It also was above the consensus Wall Street estimate, per Bloomberg, of 598,000, and, per The Wall Street Journal, of 602,000.

Read more at Metrostudy →

Election Year’s Impact On Housing Uncertain

THE CONFIDENCE GAME
Metrostudy, September 12, 2016

Expect a roller-coaster ride for consumer sentiment as election-year trends weigh on housing’s still-fragile recovery trajectory.

By John McManus

Elections do a number on consumer sentiment and confidence. Especially the every-four-year kind that result in a chief executive for our country’s government, and hold out the potential, at least, for re-tipped balances among Congressional representatives and partisan power.

Probably the most significant force or factor sitting in the soup of uncertainty ahead that could impact abundantly-evident strong demand for homeownership’s spectrum of new and used house and community options is a blow to consumer confidence.

National Association of Home Builders senior economist Jung Fu watches the most widely accepted measures of consumer confidence, from The Conference Board and the University of Michigan. She’s tracked us to the present, noting that The Conference Board’s latest readings–for August–blipped up for the total Index as well as for component measures for the “present” and “expectations.”

Read more at Metrostudy →

2016 Tour of Remodeled Homes On CultureMap

Check out this article at CultureMap: Inside 4 stunning abodes on Austin’s Tour of Remodeled Homes

The Austin NARI Tour of Remodeled Homes is back for its 14th year, featuring renovations by seven of Austin’s top builders. The self-guided tour takes place Saturday, September 24, and Sunday, September 25, from 10 am to 6 pm. Nine beautiful homes are featured on the tour, but first, we take you inside four of the stunning remodels.

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Read and see more online →

In The News: Zilker-area home on remodeling tour now a place where kids can hang

The Austin American-Statesman recently ran a nice article about one of the homes on the 2016 Tour of Remodeled Homes:

Susan Terrell and Don Brode moved into their Zilker neighborhood house in 2003 with just a dog. Their family grew to two dogs and two kids, George, 9, and Lily, 11. Ten years after moving in, Terrell and Brode realized they needed more space than the 1,750-square-foot house.

They went on a search but realized how much they loved their neighborhood. Instead, they decided to remodel and build an expansion that would satisfy their criteria: to create a house that was true to the 1956 era in which the house was built and create a space for their children’s friends to congregate. “We decided to have the house where people would come to our house instead of the kids always wanting to go to Joey’s house,” Terrell says. She says she wanted her kids to grow up with her and her husband instead of growing apart.

And unlike many home remodeling projects where walls are torn down to open space, Terrell and Brode decided to define the space, much like the original 1956 home, but with a better flow. They worked with CG&S Design-Build and architects Stewart Davis and Gregory Thomas and project manager Jay Schaefer and interior designer Mark Evans.

Read more here and be sure to visit this house and all the rest on the 2016 Tour of Remodeled Homes!

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