When it comes to our homes, where we live is important. We’re not talking about just the physical location, but the physical structure in which we live. Residential construction has come a long way over the years and the possibilities of what our homes can include seem to be almost endless! It can be hard to narrow down what the best choices for your home truly are, but we’re here to help! In 21st century home building, it’s easier than ever to equip your house with products that perform exceptionally well, meet your design needs, and are sustainable. Join us as we explore how you can build a home you love!
What’s on the Inside Counts
Many homeowners do not realize that one of the most important aspects of their house is their insulation. When building a home, it can be easy to overlook something you don’t see every day. But choosing to overlook this area of home building can be a serious mistake in the long run. Insulation is a crucial element of your home, and it impacts your home’s energy efficiency and ability to maintain internal temperature, as well as your home’s overall quietness, fire resistance, and moisture control.
Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation
So how do you get the most out of your insulation? You use Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation. Why? Because it’s the high-performing, sustainable, and safe insulation choice for your home!
Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation was founded in 1949 and is the longest standing and best performing cellulose insulation on the market! Cellulose is manufactured using recycled paper and cardboard, and Nu-Wool’s cellulose insulation is treated with all-natural borate, making the product completely natural, safe, and sustainable! Because of its makeup, cellulose insulation can be fully handled without any protective equipment and won’t cause irritation or other health issues during installation. When it comes to application, Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation is typically blown-in to the wall cavity using Nu-Wool’s WALLSEAL system. This creates a densely packed insulation, which is called “dense pack,” that fully covers and insulates the space. Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation can also be dry blown into attic spaces to insulate those areas of the home as well.
When it comes to thermal performance, Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation is one of the highest performing products on the market. It has an R-value performance of 3.8 R per inch, but R-value is just a snapshot at thermal performance. Insulation density and overall airtightness are also contributing factors when considering thermal performance. When dense-packed, Nu-Wool achieves a 3.5-pound density, compared to closed-cell foam’s 2-pound density or fiberglass and open-cell foam’s 0.5-pound density. Density matters because the denser a material is, the harder it is for air to pass through it. This means denser insulation materials have better thermal insulating properties by blocking the movement of air in and out of the structure. In addition, the more airtight an insulation material is, the less likely air will be able to pass through—which adds to overall thermal performance.
With this exceptional thermal insulating performance, your home will be able to achieve greater energy efficiency, saving you money on heating and cooling bills. In fact, Nu-Wool offers a 10-year energy guarantee on heating and cooling bills to homes insulated fully with Nu-Wool insulation products. No other insulation manufacturer offers a guarantee like this without additional fees. Nu-Wool gladly stands behind its product and its reliability, consistency, and performance as an insulation material!
Nu-Wool is also known for its soundproofing qualities that other insulations simply aren’t capable of! Density doesn’t just impact thermal performance, but it also impacts acoustical performance. When it comes to sound waves, the thinner and lighter something is, the easier it is for sound waves to pass through it. However, given Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation’s thick density, this helps prevent sound from passing through the material. Cellulose’s natural softness and flexibility also contributes to noise control by helping to absorb sound waves—keeping sound from transmitting room-to-room and blocking noise from the outside. Both of these properties work together in Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation to create noticeably quieter spaces.
Another factor to consider is an insulation’s fire resistance. Nobody wants to imagine the event of a housefire, but in case of such a tragedy, you can rest easy having Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation in your home. Nu-Wool is a Class A fire rated product designed to add crucial fire protection to a home. Most people might think of paper burning easily, but with dense-packed cellulose, the paper-based insulation is so tightly packed into each wall cavity that it won’t allow air to pass through it. The absence of oxygen makes it difficult for fire to spread, and instead Nu-Wool will slowly flake away when exposed to flames, rather than burn. Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation also has added natural borates that provide additional fire resistance, ensuring the product performs exceptionally well in slowing or stopping the spread of flames.
Finally, when it comes to mold resistance, Nu-Wool has you covered as it is treated with an EPA registered fungicide to help prevent mold growth created from uncontrolled moisture exposure. Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation is also equipped to control moisture better than fiberglass, as it absorbs and redistributes moisture so that the wall and insulation can dry in a controlled manner, further preventing the chances for mold growth.
When looking for a high performing insulation product that also doubles as being a sustainable building product, Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation is everything your home could need!
ECOCELL Cellulose Batts
If you’re looking for a more Do-It-Yourself (DIY) type of insulation product that’s easy to install, safe, and performs exceptionally well, you could also consider cellulose-based ECOCELL batts.
ECOCELL batts are an industry-first cellulose-based batt designed for an effortless friction-fit installation, making them the ideal insulation solution for DIY homeowners. Not only are they easy to handle and install, but they have all the same great performance properties as traditional blown-in cellulose insulation! From superior thermal performance, great sound absorbing properties, natural sustainability, product safety, and meeting or exceeding ASTM building code standards for residential and commercial insulation, ECOCELL is just as great an option as blown-in Premium Cellulose Insulation. The batts are also extremely helpful for insulating harder to reach areas in the home like rim joists and so forth.
Add some Exterior Essentials
Many people think love is mainly about what’s on the inside, but when it comes to your home, the exterior is just as important! Exterior home products play a pivotal role in enhancing not only the visual appeal but also the functionality and safety of your home. When thinking about their exterior, most homeowners will think of either siding or shingles, but there’s many more facets that go into not only protecting your home, but also enhancing its beauty. Here are a few commonly overlooked products for your home’s exterior that might not have crossed your mind:
Fascia plays a crucial role in completing the exterior trim, connecting the drip edge and soffit for added protection. Its key function is to close the gap between the roof and the building’s walls to keep moisture away from the home. To ensure its strength, Quality Edge’s fascia is manufactured from exceptionally durable, corrosion and scratch-resistant steel and aluminum, eliminating the need for maintenance. Beyond its structural support, fascia can become a versatile design element. Homeowners are utilizing fascia for extra design flair on their exterior, creating a timeless and finished look that stands out from other homes. Quality Edge offers a wide variety of colors and finishes such as smooth, ribbed, and woodgrain, providing you the opportunity to create stunning designs that match your style preferences. Metal fascia from Quality Edge not only ensures durability with no maintenance, but also contributes to a sophisticated aesthetic.
Designed to redirect water from the fascia, drip edge plays a vital role in protecting your roof’s structure from water damage. Drip edge is typically installed on top of the roof deck and hangs down on the face, working together with fascia to help prevent water and insects from getting under the roof by guarding its structure. This is why you need a durable and effective drip edge that will hold up to the elements such as the Infinity Drip Edge from Quality Edge. Available in steel or aluminum, the Infinity Drip Edge has patented snap lock technology making it easy to install while also reducing fish mouthing, providing a sleek and finished look. It’s also crafted with a top hem which adds strength and clean lines, while the 1.5″ enhanced face covers the existing fascia that may be discolored or have variations. To further protect your roof, Infinity Drip Edge is manufactured with dual wave bracing which directs water away from the home and adds strength to reduce any buckling, making it the perfect option for safeguarding your roof.
Having an effective soffit is critical to you and your home’s health. Did you know that even though people on average spend 90% of their time indoors, over 70% of homes don’t have proper soffit air ventilation? In most circumstances, a house requires a Net Free Air (NFA) of 18, which is essential for maintaining a healthy and comfortable environment for your home. Improper NFA can lead to roof damage, higher energy costs, and health concerns such as respiratory diseases, allergens, and asthma triggers. This is why all soffit products produced by Quality Edge meet or exceed the standard 18 NFA without compromising on design or durability. You can choose from a variety of style options like the refined woodgrain look of the Vesta plank soffit or the clean and polished appearance achieved by the TruVent Hidden Vent soffit which skillfully conceals the vents. It’s a perfect way to have a sleek look while ensuring proper ventilation for a safe and comfortable living space.
A Sustainable Future for Both You and Nature
Quality Edge aims to provide the best exterior products in the world, which means the best products for their customers and homes. That’s why sustainability is part of their social contract, and they incorporate sustainability into everything they do. Over 80% of all products manufactured by Quality Edge are produced from recycled steel or aluminum. Also, any excess material produced by Quality Edge gets recycled, leading to a cycle of sustainability. Not only are these products eco-friendly, but they also boast exceptional aesthetics, durability, and hassle-free maintenance, offering you the perfect blend of benefits.
Beautiful Siding Designed for You
First impressions matter when it comes to creating your dream home. That’s why it’s crucial to have siding that not only guarantees the safety of you and your loved ones but also has an eye-catching curb appeal. Faced with numerous siding options, homeowners often find themselves compromising on either durability, style, or maintenance. Quality Edge eliminates the need to make concessions with Vesta and TruCedar steel siding, engineered with a dual emphasis on both aesthetics and functionality. Let’s dive into this in more detail.
Ensuring the durability of your home requires a touch of “tough love,” and this holds particularly true for your home’s siding. Forged from steel, Quality Edge Vesta siding is engineered with a strong steel core, zinc coating for protection with CarbonTech90, and a Kynar paint finish to protect the longevity of the paint. This cutting-edge technology allows it to stand up to the harshest elements from scorching sun to heavy snowfall without cracking, fading, or peeling. Backed by a lifetime warranty, you’ll never need to replace it, repaint it, or invest in costly maintenance, allowing you to forever love the home you’re in.
It’s understandable that selecting the perfect color for siding can be a challenging decision. Especially given the multitude of options and the desire to find a hue that complements the aesthetic of your dream home. Quality Edge doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all. The siding color options span a spectrum from timeless neutrals to daring, statement-making hues. Whether you’re dreaming of a classic and subdued façade or envisioning a bold and contemporary exterior, Vesta and TruCedar siding has a color waiting to bring your vision to life. No matter the color, you can rest assured that it never loses its luster with its Kynar paint as it’s resistant to fading and will feel “brand new” for years to come. Express yourself, make a statement, and create a home you fall in love with.
Just like with color, Quality Edge Vesta and TruCedar have a diverse selection of timeless siding styles that enhance, add visual appeal, and personalize any home design. Embrace a natural aesthetic with woodgrains, where TruCedar boasts a rustic grainy texture and Vesta plank offers sleek, modern lines. Board and batten siding, suitable for both rustic and modern preferences, creates captivating patterns of light and shadow, introducing depth and unique character to your home’s exterior. For a more traditional touch, lap siding seamlessly integrates into and enhances various architectural designs. Regardless of your preference, Quality Edge has a resilient, elegant style to elevate the look of your exterior, allowing you to forever stay in love with your home.
Top to Bottom
Sustainable Roofing Options
When looking to the top of your home, your roofing system is important and a major part of your home’s overall construction. Using a sustainable roofing option that meets performance requirements and looks great is the way to go. Fortunately, there are several eco-friendly roofing options that provide exceptional performance and can add design flair to your home. But it’s important to understand criteria with which to base roofing material decisions on.
First, when looking for a sustainable roofing option, look at the overall recycled content used to make the roof, and evaluate if the roofing material is recyclable after its use. Secondly, it’s important to ensure the roofing material is not only durable, but also doesn’t require extensive maintenance, and that maintaining the roof doesn’t involve using toxic, non-sustainable products. In this same vein, it’s usually a good idea to look at roofing warranty, as materials with the longest warranties usually are indications of the material’s quality, performance, and overall durability. Third, it’s a good idea as a homeowner to consider the roof slope of your home, as certain materials perform better in certain applications than others. It’s also important to consider your home’s overall framing and structure, as different roofing products have different weights according to the materials used to make them, and it’s important to know the roof weight your home’s structure is capable of handling. Finally, consider the color and reflectivity of the product according to the climate in which you live. In warmer climates, lighter colored roofs and more reflective materials are beneficial for energy efficiency, while in colder climates, darker and more absorbent materials will benefit the energy efficiency of the home. It’s important to consider these various factors when selecting a roofing material for your home!
As for roofing material options that are considered sustainable, options like metal, clay and slate, synthetic slate, and wood exist to give your home a more sustainable facelift using materials that will last.
Let’s first explore metal roofing. Often, metal roofing is originally manufactured from recycled metal materials and the roof can be recycled after use as well. Metal roofs are most commonly steel- or aluminum-based, but there are other metal roofing options on the market as well. Metal roofs can last between 40-100 years and are rather durable depending on the type of metal used. Plus, metal is a naturally reflective material, and that property can help assist with your home’s energy efficiency. It’s important to make sure metal roofs are properly insulated though, as metal is very conductive of heat—and even the cold! They usually come in various colors and so you, as a homeowner, can easily choose a color that best matches your home’s overall design aesthetic.
Then there’s both clay and slate tile roofing options. Both of these options come from naturally occurring resources. Clay—also called terra cotta—roofing comes from clay found in the ground. Slate, on the other hand, comes from rock mined from the earth. It should be noted that both roofing materials are considerably heavy, with slate being the heaviest. But if your home’s structure is supported adequately, this can be a great roofing option. Clay roofs have an average lifespan of 100 years, and slate roofing can last anywhere between 125-200 years, depending on the slate’s hardness. Clay roofing does well in helping with energy efficiency in warm climates as it doesn’t trap hot air, and slate is extremely durable for all weather conditions and is naturally fire resistant. So, if your home has the structural support to handle these materials, they may be worth looking into. The higher upfront costs balance out when you consider the longevity of these roofing materials.
Synthetic slate shingles are a newer roofing material on the market. They’re created from recycled rubber and plastics, and especially utilize old car tires to create the roofing product. These shingles are made to look like traditional roofing, but are created from these recycled materials, helping keep those products out of our landfills. Synthetic roofing is definitely something to consider looking into, as it’s a new, sustainable roofing solution that performs well.
Finally, there’s all-natural wood roofing. It’s exactly what it sounds like: made entirely from wood and it’s all natural. With proper maintenance, wood shingled roofs can last over 30 years, which is longer than asphalt roofing. Plus, the wood can be recycled after use, and is even naturally biodegradable. You could stick the shingles through a woodchipper and create fresh mulch, even! The downside to wood is that it’s not entirely as durable as other options and it does require a bit of maintenance from time to time.
ECOCELL Basement Blankets
Moving down to the very bottom of your home, consider insulating your basement with ECOCELL blankets. These cellulose-based blankets are high-performing and easy to install, perfect for the DIY homeowner wanting an insulated basement space using safe and sustainable materials.
Like ECOCELL batts, the blanket system contains the same great properties. With great insulating performance, superior acoustical properties, and being sustainable, safe, and code compliant, ECOCELL blankets are a great option to insulating basements and other hard to insulate areas. They can be installed easily with eight simple steps and can be left exposed after installation, unlike other materials. The ECOCELL batt and blanket system is truly a game changer when it comes to insulating your home!
When it comes to building a home you love, the materials you use in creating it are a big deal! From insulation, to siding, to fascia, soffit, drip edge, roofing, and so much more, materials do matter. By using the following high-performing, sustainable building materials mentioned in this article, you can ensure that your home can stand the test of time, performing great and looking beautiful for years to come. It’s worth investing in products you can wholeheartedly count on to build a home you’ll absolutely love!