Building a house may be the most expensive thing you ever do, so it’s tempting to cut corners to cut costs. As experienced building experts, we’ve spotted a whole range of odd decisions and false economies over the years. Below we’ve listed a few ways that you can easily make your new build home save you money down the years.
Insulation and double glazing
High levels of insulation, both in the roof and walls, as well as efficient modern windows and doors will keep both heat in (winter) and heat out (summer) making your home more pleasant and cheaper to maintain all year round. As a significant proportion of the cost of insulation and double glazing is the cost of installing it, choosing thinner, less effective options are usually a false economy. Insulation should be considered as part of a whole-building heat loss map, as heat can easily be lost through single glazing, especially on conservatories and sun rooms, air bricks, chimneys, doors, and walls as well as through the roof.
Insulation and ventilation often seem to be in opposition, but they actually need to work together. If a well-insulated building is too well-sealed, however, it can trap the moisture created by everyday life (cooking, washing, breathing…) and cause problems with mould and damp. Working together, the two create a pleasant atmosphere where your home is warm yet fresh. How does ventilation save you money? Well, apart from not having to pay to remove mould or redecorate due to damp, you’re likely to find that perishables, from bread and bananas to cut flowers, survive better. Laundry and towels will also dry better in a well ventilated area.
Heating and boiler systems
Take advantage of recent developments in heating technologies and new understanding of how homes can be heated most effectively to create a truly effective heating solution which will save you money in the long term. While older homes have been fitted out with radiators at a later date, new build houses can take advantage of other options, such as underfloor heating or forced air, which let you maintain the heat in your home rather than suddenly boosting it with a radiator surge.
Sun, wind and water
A new build house might last a hundred years or more – certainly one in 5 homes in the UK right now was built before 1918 – so if you’re considering investing in renewable energy systems or water reclamation it’s best to do it upfront as not only can the system be integrated with your home, you’ll get the full benefit straight away. Solar and wind are used for energy generation across the UK. Water reclamation, where grey water that’s been used to wash dishes, clothes or people is used to flush toilets or (typically after being filtered) water the garden, is increasingly popular in the regularly drought-stricken south of England. Rainwater harvesting is also popular, and this water can be used to flush toilets or water plants.