All Seasons Builders, Inc. specializes in building custom built energy efficient homes/ENERGY STAR/ZEHR (zero energy ready homes) homes. Our homes are built using the best products and procedures, if you are looking for a high-quality home that will save thousands on your energy bills then you have come to the right place. Along with energy efficiency our homes are comfortable, a home build air tight will not have drafts and added insulation in the right areas is like wrapping your home in a big blanket, making it a cozy and comfortable home. Healthier living, you control the air entering your home so less pollutants from outside will get to you. Even if you don’t know much about energy efficiency or what you are looking for in a new home, give us a call and we will talk to you about all your options and educate you on all the latest products. We keep up on the latest products and innovations, but if you are interested in a new product we do not know about yet, let us know, we are always eager to learn new products and skills.
Building an energy efficient home is not as simple as adding extra insulation or upgrading windows. It takes a lot of precise planning from predesign consultation all the way through the final punch list. Our custom built energy efficient homes are built around you, for little additional cost we can customize the homes insulation and design to achieve the optimal energy performance, based on what you want. Simple things like air sealing or moving some windows to the south wall and less windows on the north wall to more elaborate designs that can achieve net zero energy consumption.
Benefits of an Energy Efficient Home
- 30% to 100% lower utility costs – lower operating costs leads to less money spent on gas, water and electric
- Healthier indoor air quality – by controlling where and how much fresh air is let into a home and by exhausting air from the right areas
- Comfortable – with air tight construction and more insulation you feel more comfortable
- Lower environmental impact – by having lower utility bills you are contributing less to pollution from fossil fuels
- Better built – with close attention paid to many air and water sealing details your home will last longer and require less maintenance
- Quiet – with added insulation and high performance windows, less noise travels into the house
Features of an Energy Efficient Home
- Reddi-Wall Insulating Concrete Forms
- Structural Insulating Panels
- Air Tight Construction
- Insulated Foundations
- Value Engineered Framing
- LED Light Bulbs
- Passive Solar Design
- PV Solar Panels
- Higher Insulation in Walls and Ceiling
- Geothermal Heating and Cooling
- High Efficiency Air Conditioning
- Duct Sealing and Insulation
- Energy or Heat Recovery Ventilation (ERV, HRV)
- High Efficiency Furnace
- Programmable Thermostat
- High Performance Windows
- High Efficiency Water Heater
- Blower Door Tested
What does All Seasons Builders, Inc. to make a home energy efficient?
It involves careful planning and attention to minor and major details with the coordination of modern building supplies and procedures. In order to build a good quality high performing home a builder must have an understanding of how the products and equipment in a house work together and also the proper knowledge to install them.The first step is before the design stage, the home owners needs to decide how efficient they want their house to be. We can build your home 30% more efficient to 100% more efficient than the code requires, this depends on your needs and your budget.
The next step is the design phase, All Seasons Builders, Inc. can work with you directly or an architect of your choice to design your home. When designing an energy efficient home you want to keep some things in mind like keeping the house small, if you do not need a large master bedroom or living room then don’t build it. Orientation to the sun, keeping the long axis of the house facing south and put as many of the windows on it as the plans will allow. If the building lot does not allow this then try to put a few extra windows to the south and minimize the ones on the north side.
The next phase is the building envelope you want to build it air tight and add extra insulation. There are thousands of places a home can leak air, we seal them using construction glue or caulk during installation or use building paper and tape or expanding foam. Using more insulation than required by code is a good way to make a house more energy efficient. Its more complicated than adding more insulation in the attic. Insulation needs to be added where it can be the most effective, properly adding an inch of foam insulation to the outside of a home can greatly increase the R-value of a wall because it can eliminate thermal bridging of the studs in the wall. Insulating a foundation can cut heating cost down drastically, because 50% of a homes heat is lost through the basement, this can be achieved by using insulating concrete forms (ICF’s) or by adding XPS insulation to the outside of foundation from the footer to the framing leaving none of the foundation exposed. Next, we move onto the windows, the South facing windows should allow heat from the sun to enter the home while the other windows protect the house from the outside temperatures. A good quality window will not leak air, typically casement windows are the best to minimize air infiltration.
Now, you want to consider a high efficiency heating and cooling system. There are a lot of options from a high efficiency gas furnace to geothermal ground source heat pumps and even wood stoves. We will work with you to make a decision on the best system for your home. Some homes require ventilation, this can be done simply by using the bathroom exhaust fans with a fresh air inlet into a home or by the use of energy recovery ventilation (ERV) or heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems.
These are some of the basic things to consider when building an energy efficient (green) home, there are many other options to consider and many small details that must be done right in order to get the best performance out of your home. When building an energy efficient home, you want to go with a builder that specializes in this type of construction because missing certain details can end up in a potential great loss of savings. We can work with you along the way to design and build the home of your dreams.
The picture at the top is a ENERGY STAR home built deep in the woods, this is one of our proudest homes. Features include; large timbers, wide trim details using Plygem a rot free trim, Hardi Board Plank/Board and Batten siding, cultured stone around entire house, Therma-Tru craftsman stained fiberglass entry doors, Wayne Dalton carriage house style garage doors. From the front it looks like a one story home, when you walk around back you walk down a hill to an elaborate walk-out basement with a resort/lodge style back oasis including; large patio, pergola, fireplace, hot tub, sports pool, fish pond, screen porch, large deck with cable rail system overlooking a river and creek. What you cannot see about this house is its many energy efficient features starting with the foundation; 4in foam insulation below basement floor, basement and exterior walls are build using ICF’s (Insulated Concrete Forms), triple pane windows, spray foam insulation, heat recovery ventilation, and Geothermal heat. With these energy efficient upgrades this house surpasses the energy code and EnergyStar criteria.
We are building science nerds! We love to learn about how a home loses energy and how to prevent it and then taking that knowledge and applying it to home building techniques. ZEHR (zero energy ready homes) homes are like taking homebuilding to the highest level, there is a lot of strategizing and skills required and we love it!
ZEHR (zero energy ready homes) Homes are the homes we love to build the most. Why? Well, mostly because of you (the client). If you are interested in this type of home then you are someone that really cares about saving energy and building a home that is environmentally friendly. Most likely you are someone who drives an electric car and cares about recycling and we’d love to build a home for you.
“Mike has built several high performance homes that I have designed in northeast Ohio. He is one of the best builders I have had the opportunity to work with in my 30 years as an architect. Mike is organized, timely, and pays great attention to details. He is truly a craftsmen. In regards to high performance homes, he really understands the science and construction techniques necessary to create comfortable, energy efficient homes. He is one of a few builders that I would recommend to my clients to build a high performance home.
Lastly, Mike is really a pleasure with which to work. He understands the importance of communication and teamwork. He not only cares about building great homes, but building great relationships with his clients.”
~Joseph Ferut, Architect
The pictures above are one of our most energy efficient, green homes. In fact, the owner actually wrote a book about the journey of building this house titled Trail Magic. Features include standing seam steel roof (recyclable), Hardi plank concrete siding and trim (tough, made to last with little maintenance), wrought iron deck railing, permeable crushed limestone sidewalk held together with mountain grout and timbers, timbers made from trees on the property, recycled flagstone front porch. Some of the interior features are open living room, finished basement, recycled cobblestone hearth with soapstone wood burner, mixed species of ash, oak, mahogany local hard wood floor, open tread Douglass Fir stairs. 90% of the waste materials from construction were recycled, in fact there was no dumpster on site during construction.
The energy efficient aspects of this house start with the design. No wasted space, all rooms were kept to a minimal size, to be efficient you must not waste space. Large amount of the windows were placed on the south side for maximum passive solar heat gain during the winter months. Construction of basement, ICF foundation, 4inches of rigid insulation below basement floor. 1st floor construction, double wall framing with 1 inch foam insulation and 10 inches of dense pack cellulose insulation. Roof built using structural wood I-joists with 1 inch foam insulation and 15 inches of dense pack cellulose insulation. Other features include triple pane windows, geothermal heat, and heat recovery ventilation. This house also produces more than 100% of its electricity using a photovoltaic system (solar electric) making it a net zero energy consumption home.
“Mike Strehle built our home Trail Magic in 2008 that runs on free sunshine. See it’s a picture among the images on his web site. We have no energy bill and have a beautiful, well-constructed home that cost no more to build than a modest custom house in northeast Ohio. I wrote a book on the building of Trail Magic that highlights Mike’s excellent work and documents well the entire project (see my website: www.rpi.edu/~mcdan/ for details). Mike is among the best, if not the best home builder in the Lorain county area. He is calm, efficient, reliable, cost conscious, and has a solid character. Mike doesn’t say much when he works because he is laser focused on what he is doing. We truly enjoyed working with Mike.”
~Carl and Mary M.
This ZERH farm house is designed for passive solar energy and surpasses energy code and Energy Star criteria. A large amount of windows were placed on the south side for maximum passive solar heat gain during the winter months. Construction of basement; ICF Reddi-Wall foundation, 4inches of rigid insulation below basement floor. 1st floor construction; double wall framing with ECHOSEAL for air sealing and 10 inches of dense pack cellulose insulation. Roof built using structural dimensional framing with double ceiling framing using a suspended 2×4 to create 16 inches for dense pack cellulose insulation. Other features include triple pane windows, mini split heat pumps, wood stove, and heat recovery ventilation. Some cosmetic features include; reclaimed wood flooring, sliding barn doors, custom cabinets, custom wood work, banister from basement to second floor and along loft.
“My husband and I were very pleased with not only the outcome of our beautiful new home but the process. There are a lot of decisions to be made and of course they can be costly but Mike was very patient throughout the entire planning and building process. He provided valuable expertise and had a very good relationship with the architect which allowed for a seamless understanding of what we were looking for. Mike was involved in every part of the construction, very hands on, did not just send someone out with vague instructions. He is a perfectionist in the best way. The individuals we hired to put kitchen/bathroom cabinets and countertops both commented on how square and accurate building was. The major holdups had to do with me (homeowner) making final flooring choices etc. Throughout the entire process Mike was very patient…. Subcontractors were good people with a lot of experience and clear instructions. There were a few adjustments to original layout along the way and Mike just went with the flow…. very patient and the results were great! We would whole heartedly recommend Mike for any project.”
“It was wonderful to work with Mike and everyone at All Seasons Builders. I think All Seasons Builders has figured out how to build a better home! We wanted an attractive, affordable, super energy efficient home that met the needs of our family of four, and All Seasons Builders helped us to reach our goals. Mike Strehle is smart and organized. He helped to guide us through what was our first time building a home. Plus, we’re going on ten months now without a gas or electric bill!!!!”
~Ellen and Dennis M.
Here is a new ENERGY STAR home built by All Seasons Builders, Inc. in Amherst. Clients bought house plans off the internet and we took it from there. This home has many nice features like; first floor master suite, two-story living room, large eat-in kitchen, balcony walk-way with banister on second floor, 2 story stone veneer fireplace, 3 bedrooms on second floor, playroom above garage, patio doors open up to a covered porch, and a full basement with high ceilings. This home surpasses energy code with the following energy upgrades; air sealing techniques, thick exterior walls with thick insulation, 1in foam over entire exterior of home, insulated foundation walls and floor, additional attic insulation, and geothermal heat.
“Excellent builder! Mike is a gem of a find. He built our new home in 2013 and then completed a bonus space in 2015. He is our go to for all things construction. Mind you my father built homes for a living too.”
~Kate and Chuck R.
This modern new ZERH home is built on the shores of Lake Erie. Unlike no other! Along with looking different than any other home, it is also super energy efficient. The walls are built out of ICF’s (insulating concrete forms), the roof is built out of SIPS (structurally insulated panels), PV system (solar electric) sits perfectly on the south facing roof, triple pane windows, energy efficient boiler system, and third-party Energy Star certification.