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Best Insulation for your Cape Cod Home

Posted by Matthew Teague on Wed, Oct 31, 2012

    The building code in Massachusetts has changed several times over the last few years.  One of the biggest changes has been in the area of energy efficiency.  The new building code requires barriers against both heat loss and air infiltration, which can be very hard to acheive with traditional fiberglass insulation. One of the best solutions we have found has been Closed Cell Foam insulation.  Closed Cell Foam has a very high R-value, and creates an almost impenetrable barrier against water, moisture, and air infiltration.  We began using closed cell foam about 4 years ago and the performance has been exceptional. 

    One of the drawbacks of this type of insulation is that it creates such a tight building envelope, that it can prevent fresh air exchange in a home.  To eliminate this problem, we always recommend a heat recovery ventilator, also known as an air exchange system, that mechanically removes stale air and replaces it with fresh air from outside. 

Here are some of the other benefits of Closed Cell Foam:

  1. Stiffens the structual frame of the home
  2. Only insulation approved by FEMA for flood-resistant construction
  3. Insect resistant
  4. Low permeability and moisture absorption rates.

So if you are thinking of Building, Remodeling, or Renovating on Cape Cod, you should definitely look into Closed Cell Foam Insulation for your next project. 

Here is a brief article  from coastalcontractor.net on the subject that talks further about the benefits:  Closed Cell Foam

Closed Cell Foam

Tags: green homes, energy efficiency, Insulation

Green Building - Sometimes Greener is not Better

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, Jun 19, 2012

    We came across this article on www.greenbuildingadvisor.com that discusses long term air quality issues resulting from a poorly designed and installed exterior envelope in a Green building in Belgium.  In reality, all of the individual components used in creating the high efficiency home design, worked in theory, but in practice, and under poor supervision these products did not work well together.   The most important thing we have learned over the years has been how critical proper ventilation is to a healthy home.  Indoor air must move, and needs to move enough to evacuate built-up moisture in the home.  Properly insulating a Custom Home, or a renovation  is always tricky, but we have found that proven materials, installed properly always work. 


Here is the full article from GreenBuildingAdvisor.com: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/belgian-passivhaus-rendered-uninhabitable-bad-indoor-airSheep Pond Brewster Front resized 600

Tags: green homes, energy efficiency, Green building

Energy Efficiency - Houses That Breathe

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, May 29, 2012

   So, with the new energy code looming, that basically makes new homes and major renovations more air tight than ever, people are asking us if houses need to breathe.  The answer is yes, and it is more important now than ever. Houses need a mechanism in place to allow warm moist air to move out of the house in a controlled and predicatable fashion. There are only two ways to do that, first is to have bath fans run continously when people are in the house.  The second is with a heat recovery ventilator, that brings fresh air into a house, and evacuates air at a set rate.  Our experience has been that the heat recovery ventilator, although more expensive than the bath fan solution, is a much better way of controlling fresh air exchange in a home.

Here is an article on the subject from housingzone.com : http://www.housingzone.com/green-energy-efficiency/building-science-do-houses-need-breathe

Tags: green homes, green construction, energy efficiency, energy

10 Home Trends to Kiss Goodbye

Posted by Matthew Teague on Wed, May 02, 2012

  In the past, REEF has always promoted new and exciting designs, products and features for new homes, renovation and remodeling.  So today, we thought we might try something different. We came across a very interesting article on MSN Real Estate that talks about 10 home trends that are quickly losing popularity.  Ranging from things like 2-story living rooms, to fancy jetted tubs, this article highlights the trends that builders and realtors are seeing across the country.  Custom homes often become a mix of features that customers have seen and liked elsewhere, but some of those choices don't make practical sense over the long term. 

Click below to see the article, you might be surprised: http://realestate.msn.com/kiss-these-10-once-popular-home-features-goodbye?#2

Tags: new homes, Custom Homes, renovation, green homes, Home Design, House Design

Green Homes - Giving Back to the Grid

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, Apr 10, 2012

    As a custom builder, we are often asked to examine green technologies as part of the design and construction process.  We have found that the "net-zero" home concept is not really a financially feasible option yet, but we have discovered several technologies that can significantly reduce the operating costs of the home with a reasonable initial investment. We here at REEF belive so strongly in this technology that we invested in 5 Kilowatt photovoltaic system for our own office building, and we can tell you first hand that the results have been great!.   Here is an interesting article from Inman News that points out some green technologies that you can use today to reduce the long term cost of operating your home...

Green Homes Give Back


If you would like to discuss the possibilities of green construction in your next custom home, remodeling or renovation project, click below to ask one of our experts!

Click me

Tags: green homes, energy efficiency, custom builder

2012 New American Home

Posted by Matthew Teague on Thu, Mar 15, 2012

  Here is an article about the 2012 New American Home, which is the featured home for the National Association of Home Builders.  This year's home displays new and innovative design trends, products and features that will become commonplace in the industry over the next few years.  Take a look at the article and video... and find inspiration for your next home or remodeling project.

2012 New American Home


If you have any questions about the products or techniques used in this home or others you may have seen, feel free to contact us.

Click me

Tags: new homes, Custom Homes, green homes

Before You Design, Build, or Renovate a Home

Posted by Matthew Teague on Mon, Jan 09, 2012

epa healthy home 300x226

The Design, Build and Renovation of a home requires an integrated systems approach.  Ideally the entire process, from design to construction, has been planned so as to maximize an efficient timetable for project completion.  Equally important is ensuring that the resulting home is a healthy environment for its occupants.

Systems Approach Can Save Money

"Applying the principles for a healthy home, to design, construction and renovation, does not have to result in significant cost increases.  By understanding interactions between building systems, we can identify cost saving trade-offs that improve building performance."

The link below directs you to a booklet which offers valuable insights into some key aspects and design criteria to consider prior to starting your project.  Some of the major design considerations are related to:

1. water

2. air

3. combustion

4. dust

5. creatures.http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/building_america/pdfs/db/32114.pdf

Although this pamphlet is intended for those in the construction industry, it's content is relevant and accessible to homeowners.

-Request Info


Tags: renovation, green homes, House Design, building on cape cod

Residential Green Construction

Posted by Matthew Teague on Wed, Nov 30, 2011

     Over the last several years, REEF has been asked to look into various "green" consruction materials, systems, and techniques.  Often times, after intense research, consultation with experts, and a common sense assessment, we have found that although many of these products and concepts are innovative, environmentally responsible, and efficient, many of them are still unproven, and the ultimate decision comes down to cost and return on investment.  See this article from Investopedia regarding assessing green residential construction http://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/10/green-home.asp#axzz1fC1HRKks


Tags: cape cod homes, new homes, renovation, remodeling, green homes

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