Prioritizing Home Improvements for Customers

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Separating yourself from the competition is something that all remodelers should be thinking about as we watch the significant building code changes that are coming down the pike.

Remodelers can bring tremendous value to their customers if they are able to provide reliable information about what energy related home improvements would deliver the quickest return on investment.  Here’s why:

  • They know how much improvements will cost for adding insulation to the attic or tightening up the duct work in a home, or changing out mechanical systems to more efficient ones or improving the overall tightness of the building envelop.
  • The energy modeling programs will inform the user how much each one of these actions will save on their monthly energy bill.
  • With these two fields of information, they will be able to advise based on a homeowner’s budget what improvements will give the biggest bang for the available buck.

In my last blog, I talked about the HERS program from RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) and why familiarity with rating programs can be a game changer for a Remodeler. All of these types of improvements are inputs into an energy rating or modeling program and can give you the data to help customers make informed decisions about energy focused improvements. REM Design and REM Rate  are two related computer programs that I have used with much success to this end.

On a related note, Energy Star runs a program called Rule You Attic to encourage homeowners to check the level of the insulation in their attic and increase it if needed. If you increase the insulation in the attic, you will see an immediate savings to the energy bill. CertainTeed Insulation has developed a tool to help both contractors and homeowners select the right insulation products for a project or a whole home http://app.mycertainteedinsulation.com/.

Today consumers are looking for good, reliable information.  They trust themselves to make good decisions if they have the right information.  A smart Remodeler will take advantage of these tools to take his business to a new level before someone else does.

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Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation

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