How Self-Building A New Home Can Reduce Your Bill Costs
Designing and constructing a completely unique self-build property is often viewed as more expensive than simply buying a pre-existing or new build home. Yes, the planning process can be more involved, and the upfront costs of some aspects of the project may be higher, but there are also extensive savings to be gained from self-building.
An important area of savings comes from permanently reduced energy bills, which can result in a lower lifetime cost of ownership than a pre-erected property. In this article, we look at how to lower energy bills with a new build property, and the ways in which you can incorporate cost-saving applications and materials into your design.
Energy efficiency is one of the big building trends of the 2020s, and for good reason. Fossil fuels are a dwindling resource and, at the time of writing, are also very expensive. In 2022, therefore, the Building Regulations were changed to set higher minimum standards for better sustainable homes – applying to all new builds, whether you build one yourself or purchase one from a developer.
Automatically, therefore, investing in a custom-designed new build home will save you money on energy bills long-term compared to properties built before 2022, because of the greater insulation, glazing standards, and efficient materials used throughout the construction.
Beyond these basic standards, there are several ways in which you can increase the energy efficiency of your home design:
- Insulation – High-quality loft, wall, and ceiling insulation will help keep your home warm in winter and cool in the summer, by trapping heat within the walls and stopping it escaping through the roof. With a self-build, you’ll have the freedom to choose a higher level and standard of insulation than many prebuilt properties, with the option of sustainable or recycled insulating materials for reduced environmental impact.
- Air sealing – Air seals at strategic points around your new build prevent drafts from entering your home through gaps and cracks around windows and doors, while also preventing heat leaching out through these vulnerable points. Through a strategic design approach to air sealing, you will avoid the issue that many properties have of having one or two cold rooms that are expensive to heat, and make it easier to keep your property uniformly comfortable throughout the year.
- Ventilation – Good ventilation is essential to reduce indoor air pollution and create a high-quality living environment, by allowing fresh air into your home while expelling stale air. Without purposefully designed ventilation, the only way to achieve this is by physically opening windows or doors, which isn’t always practical in the winter and is highly wasteful of energy. Through the installation of trickle vents and air bricks, you’ll have access to good fresh air without having to keep windows open.
- Windows and doors – A self-build property gives you the chance to step up the efficiency and sustainability of all your windows, doors and access points by, for instance, investing in energy-efficient composite materials and triple glazing.
- Lighting and appliances – In the average UK home, a lot of electricity and gas is wasted through inefficient appliances and lighting designs. With a self-build, you can start from scratch by selecting the most efficient lighting architecture and appliances to yield significant savings on electricity over time.
- Renewable power – Many new build homeowners equip their properties with a ground source or air source heat pump, to replace dependence on mains electricity and gas with renewable power drawn from the ambient environment. You may also wish to consider roof-based solar panels, or even a wind turbine in your garden to save even more money on energy bills.
Beautiful And Efficient New Build Properties By DS Squared Architects
Self-build homeowners have a unique opportunity to create an energy-efficient home environment from the ground up. By making smart decisions during the design, materials selection, and construction process, you can design a dream home that is more comfortable, healthier, and cheaper to live in. To find out more, please book a consultation with one of our architects today.