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A summer building project is providing a first home for a young Antigo couple and teaching a new mix of skills to local volunteers.
Steve Huff's 72,000-square-foot home isn't only impressive for its size -- it's being built to last thousands of years.
Hard-core building owners are testing materials and technology that could change home building for the rest of us.
The rise in Americans building new homes has been continually growing since the recession. With supply and demand always being of particular interest, the cost of wood used to build those homes has also risen. Along with the demand principle, much of the wood that America uses is imported from Canada and import duties on Canadian lumber will help those prices rise even higher now and into the future.
According to Wood Markets, the expected implementation of countervailing (CVD) and anti-dumping (ADD) duties on Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. will cause lumber prices to surge in 2017 and go even higher at various points over the next five years. The WOOD MARKETS 2017 Outlook has adopted a 25% combined export tax, but the final combined duty determination starting in Q2/2017 could be even higher. (To read the entire article by Wood Markets, click here.)
Although this news can be viewed as a negative, this allows people to do more research into building a better building and looking for building ideas that will be sustainable, green, and offset the cost of the building. This is where the ICF world steps forward and becomes a more viable solution for those that are only considering the initial price of their build.
Often in our ICF business, we hear potential customer’s concern about building with Insulated Concrete Forms due to a typical 5-7% higher upfront cost to build over a typical stick-built building. With the costs of lumber sky-rocketing, this is no longer an issue. An ICF home becomes a valuable solution for would be home owners. Not only will the consumer benefit from the initial cost of building the home, the monthly and yearly savings and benefits an ICF home provides will make this one of the best investments ever. In another blog post we did last year, we actually showed the breakdown of typical home ownership and how the monthly savings adds up with an ICF building.
These numbers are crucial to understand for those persons looking to build either a home, multi-family unit, or commercial building so that you can compare more apples to apples when building versus apples to oranges. We find that it is up to the home-owner/builder to really understand the difference between an ICF building and a conventional stick building. There are many builders who still do not understand these differences and that they can actually help their customers make a choice that will benefit the customer, the environment, the monthly savings in ownership of the building, and the safety to the client.
To make things a little easier, we’ve brought back the numbers from our blog post last year. Remember, these numbers do not account for the rise in lumber so the upfront or initial cost is now much less than the original 6-7% but we also know that it depends on where you live and the prices in your market.
Q. Building better always costs more money that may never be recouped.
A. Building a concrete home with TF Forming Systems, Insulated Concrete Forms is typically at an upfront cost of 6-7% more than a traditional home. If my mortgage would be $250,000 with a traditional home it would be $266,000 with a TF home. Using a 4.5% interest rate over 30 years you would add $81.00 per month to the mortgage for the Insulated Concrete Form home. A TF Forming Systems home will save you 50% on your energy bill every single month. If your average energy bill would be $150.00 per month you would save $75.00 per month. Most insurance companies offer a discount for a masonry home because they last much longer, increase the fire resistance, require less maintenance, do not support mold and mildew, hold up to natural disasters and much more. That discount is normally about 7-8%. In this example, if your homeowners’ insurance would be $1000 per year the savings would be $6 per month. With just those two benefits alone, you are already at a break-even payment but you are receiving all the benefits a concrete home offers such as a comfortable, secure, quiet, and healthy home. Now consider that you stay in your dream home after the home is paid for, the savings continue each month and year on your energy bill and on your insurance premiums thus putting money into your pocket.
As always, we’re sure you may have additional questions. Please call us at 1.800.360.4634 and one of our friendly TF Staff will be happy to help you.
3030C Holmgren Way
Green Bay, WI 54304