2020 Boise Idaho Real Estate Blog
Well someone has finally crossed the marketing mistake threshold and companies like mine, or you high performance remodelers out there now will have a guaranteed amount of work for as long as you want it. I can't believe someone would advertise CHEAP homes, but if the first question we are asking a Realtor as we decide to purchase a home is "How much per square foot " I guess we as consumers are to blame. Would you buy a car if they advertised CHEAP cars for sale? why would you buy a home like this? Don't be surprised when I tell you that we FIX CHEAP HOMES, thats what we do. the cheaper the home, the more we usually have to fix for the homeowner. We can build quality affordable housing, it is being done all over the nation, and with the building science and technology that has come out, we can build high performance homes less than CHEAP in-efficient homes. Cheap homes are not durable homes.So what does it cost you to live in a cheap home? Energy star says %30 more than in an energy star home. Well here is a example of a CHEAP home that I just tested. A lady had a home built a couple years ago, she called me to have it performance tested because it was uncomfortable and she was concerned about some things she thought were wrong. when I showed up for the test, the owner had a wood stove going, the has gas forced air heat (but very expensive), an electric heater int he kitchen and office. She told me that when the wind blew she could feel a draft and it would blow out a match if the held it next to the wall on the inside of the home where the  window casing met the wall. Sure enough the building leaks BAD. I have hunting  tents tighter that this home. so the report showed her, that the roofing was coming off (CHEAP), she had vinyl siding installed with no drainage plane behind it-so water is entering the wall assembly, slab on grade floor with bad insulating details (cold floor), Very leaky ducts, and a very leaky house. This home has allot to fix, and unfortunately this is built to industry standards. My recommendations are expensive in a home like this, because  so much needs to be done, just to solve the durability problems with this house (read other blog on Weather resistant barriers) and then comes the energy part of it, which is not  cheap either. Durability goes hand in hand with energy efficiency. I tell people all the time, it you build with Health, safety, comfort, durability in mind, Energy Efficiency is a by product and a benefit. lets look for the builders who understand this and ask the right questions. educate yourself on what to look for in a home, proper grading, gutters, location of downspouts, roofing material meet the climate or micro climate resistance, drainage planes-does this  home shed the water, overhangs-are they there, low E windows and doors, proper flashing details, proper installation of insulation, is there  insulation, etc. Hire a good home inspector and pay him  what he is worth. if you are paying less that $300 dollars for home inspection you are wasting your time, get a thorough home  inspection by someone who understands what the home needs to be durable.It might cost you  $500 or $800 dollars, but it is worth it. my recommendations on this home run somewhere in the 10-20 thousand dollar range, just to correct the industry standard CHEAP home. And there is enough built now to do this all day long, SAD but True. I would also suggest a home performance test so you really know the performance. Check out the conference put on by the Idaho Energy department next week. you can find the link on the department of water resources website, right had side there is a link.
Posted by Tad Duby at 3/10/2007 2:27:00 PM
Comments (3)
This makes a lot of sense. I hear a lot of bad rumors regarding quality of new homes. It seems that with all the information available to consumers much less consumers the builders. Tad, you should sell your services to consumers before they buy a new home. I wonder how many builders would be intimidated by that.

Why is it that the government does not raise the bar? It would seem to be in everyone's best interest to have higher minimum quality homes and from everything I have read it would not drastically affect the cost of building yet the owner would save hundreds a year in energy savings.
Posted by on 3/10/2007 8:47 AM

Perhaps you'd prefer that companies used meaningless marketing words? To me, the word cheap just seems to come out and say it. It seems honest. And simply verbalizes what customers are already thinking.

As for the idea of creating a bunch of regulation, that will force builders to build homes only affordable by upper-income folks. Fact is, our current system allows people to become homeowners and build wealth. Thank goodness for cheap homes.
Posted by on 3/12/2007 10:07 AM
Unfortunately the owners don't realize the full extent of the costs of these cheap homes until a few years down the road. When builders put up a ton of cheap homes in a hot market, they get away with it. In a slower market, people might start to ask some questions, particularly about quality.
Posted by on 3/14/2007 7:29 AM
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