Gordon James

Gordon James
Steps to Optimize Your Custom Home’s Footprint and Functionality

Envisioning your custom home or your home renovation is the first step. You may be considering textures, colors, and styles. Maybe you’re envisioning entertaining in a home with a design that’s modern, artesian, or country. As you’re dreaming of your custom home and looking for inspiration, you may also be wondering about some construction and design technicalities. For example, how do you optimize your home’s footprint and make it as functional as possible? You’ll need the help of experienced builders and designers who are educated on the most up-to-date, energy-efficient practices. In this article, renowned custom home builder, Gordon James, shares insight. 


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1. Smart Temperature Control 

This is first on the list because heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems account for a huge percentage of a home’s energy expenditure. Especially in a climate like Minnesota’s where summers are very hot and winters are exceptionally cold, you’ll need a heating and cooling system that is as efficient as possible. The best way to keep the temperature in your home steady through changing conditions is to use a smart thermostat. It adjusts the temperature of a room automatically. As the seasons change, it’s tempting to overcompensate for the temperature outside by overusing your thermostat. That’s why sometimes we’re too warm inside our homes in winter, and snuggled up in blankets and sweats during the heat of the summer. With automatic temperature control, your home can more seamlessly account for the air outside. Your smart thermostat can be set to keep each room a different temperature, and account for factors that create excess heat, such as additional people or cooking.


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2. Updated Windows

In the same vein as smart thermostats, energy-efficient windows have become a big deal in reducing a home’s energy footprint. They can save huge amounts of energy over time by helping to keep cool or hot air inside. According to energy.gov, “Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use.” Updated windows have a newer, stronger seal that leaks less air around the frames. Energy-efficient windows come with a new material called low e-glass, which stands for “low emissivity glass”. This special material limits the amount of ultraviolet light that can pass through, allowing homes to stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter. There are even more perks to these energy-efficient windows than helping our environment. Since low e-glass windows work by limiting the passage of harmful light, your carpet and upholstery will be safer from the sun and keep more of their color over time. For home renovations, contact custom home builders who are familiar with the best window options for your area. 


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3. Energy-Efficient Appliances 

Energy-efficient appliances continue to become more prominent as the understanding of their positive impact grows. For example, 80 percent of the energy needed to wash a load of laundry is used just to heat the water. This gives an idea of how small details make a huge difference in energy usage. The Environmental Protection Agency helps inform consumers on the most energy-efficient appliances by assigning it an ENERGY STAR rating. ENERGY STAR updates and publishes its criteria every year, and few appliances achieve the highest rating. Updating your home so that it uses only the most efficient dishwashers, washers, dryers, heating pumps, and more can save ten percent of your yearly energy usage. 


Turn to the Experts at Gordon James

When building your custom home or doing home renovations, turn to the experts at Gordon James. Our experienced builders and designers are educated on the most up-to-date construction materials and design ideas that keep your home energy efficient. The next step in seeing your vision realized is reaching out. Whether you already know what you want your custom home to look like or you’re starting with a blank slate, we’re here to help. We can meet you wherever you are on your path to owning a beautiful custom home. Project structure, meeting deadlines, and detailed responsive follow-ups are the foundation of Gordon James’ personal and professional approach. Contact us to talk about your project. We love meeting new clients.