A “Green Home” is an ENERGY STAR energy-efficient home that incorporates multiple environmental, ecological and sustainability features that materially enhance the built environment.

A home that earns the ENERGY STAR is significantly more efficient than a standard home. By purchasing an ENERGY STAR qualified home, you can have all the features you desire in your new home, plus better performance and lower utility bills—all while helping prevent greenhouse gas emissions.

Advanced techniques for sealing holes and cracks in the home’s “envelope” and in heating/cooling ducts which help reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, pests and noise.

Properly installed and inspected insulation in floors, walls and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house, while using less energy.

An energy-efficient, properly installed heating and cooling system uses less energy to operate, which also reduces your utility bills.

Energy-efficient windows employ advanced technologies, such as protective coatings and improved frame assemblies, to help keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer. These windows also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furnishings.

Leading Edge Builders can equip your home with ENERGY STAR qualified products—light fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans, and appliances—that offer additional energy savings.

While it’s easy to claim that homes are energy efficient, Leading Edge Builders requires that all of their “Green” homes are inspected by an independent Home Energy Rater. This Rater conducts onsite inspections and testing to verify the performance of the energy efficiency features in your home.

When you make the decision to build “Green”, you have chosen to reduce the burden on the environment and add value to your home through a voluntary Florida Green Home designation as administered by the Florida Green Building Coalition.

Benefits Include:

Increased profitability at resale.
Enhanced affordability of operation and maintenance.
Improved indoor air quality of the home.
Increases the durability of the home.
Provides for greater access to mortgage money.

Traditional mortgages are calculated based on a person’s debt-to-income ratio. Financial advisors say that homebuyers should try to keep mortgage payments below 28 percent of gross income. Debt, which may include items such as student loans, car loans and credit cards should not exceed 36 percent of gross income. Some home buyers may not be able to qualify for their dream home based on their debt-to-income ratio. But “Green” mortgages are based on the premise that a more energy efficient home will result in lower monthly utility bills. Since a person will be paying less in utility bills, that savings translates into income, allowing a homebuyer to qualify for a more expensive home.

Questions to ask as you consider remodeling or modifying your home:

To age-in-place you will probably need to modify your house as you mature to increase access and maneuverability. These modifications range from the installation of bath and shower grab bars and adjustment of countertop heights to the creation of multifunctional first floor master suites and the installation of private elevators.

CAPS professionals have the answers to your questions. They have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically enriching, barrier-free living environments. The CAPS program goes beyond design to address the codes and standards, common remodeling expenditures and projects, product ideas, and resources needed to provide comprehensive and practical aging-in-place solutions. CAPS graduates pledge to uphold a code of ethics and are required to maintain their designation by attending continuing education programs and participating in community service.

A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) has been trained in:

• The unique needs of the older adult population
• Aging-in-place home modifications
• Common remodeling projects
• Solutions to common barriers

Keep in mind that when you hire a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, you are buying a service rather than a product. Each CAPS professional draws from a different knowledge base and will approach your project in a different way. No matter where you start in the process, you will eventually need to hire a professional remodeler to actually make the modifications to your home.

• Figure out how much money you have to spend on the home modification project.
• Seek referrals from friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and others who have had similar work done.
• Contact trade associations such as your area’s local home builders association or Remodelors™ Council.
• Check with your local or state office of consumer protection and the local Better Business Bureau.
• Verify the remodeler has the appropriate license(s) in your state.
• Look for professional designations such as CAPS, Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR), or Graduate Master Builder (GMB).
• Ask your professional remodeler for a written estimate of the work to be done based on a set of plans and specifications. Be prepared to pay for this package.
• Select a professional remodeler with plenty of experience with your type of project. Remember, lowest price does not ensure a successful remodeling project.

• Do I want to add a bathroom and possibly a bedroom to the main level?
• How can I make my kitchen more functional?
• Am I worried about preventing falls?
• How much money can I budget for this project?
• Will I need to get a home equity loan?
• Will other members of my family benefit from modifications?
• Will remodeling increase the energy efficiency of my home?

Homeowners want to stay in their homes for the duration. By instituting simple universal design techniques, Leading Edge Builders Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists can insure that you live in your home comfortable, safely and independently for as long as you want.

Leading Edge Builders is dedicated to further innovative and efficient building practices. We believe that building “Green” is not only good for the environment, but it provides immediate and long-term economic benefits for you as the home owner.

For More Information Regarding Leading Edge Builders Green Home Program

call (321) 436-3785.

Leading Edge Builder’s owner and license holder, Adam Edgington, is an NAHB certified

Green Building Professional and an experienced Green Home builder.

Certified Green Professional logo

APS INFO

(http://www.nahb.org)

Learn about aging in place and what a professional can do for you

A Safe, Accessible Home for All Abilities and Ages

If you’re like the majority of Americans over the age of 45, you want to continue living in a familiar environment throughout your maturing years. According to AARP, older home owners overwhelmingly prefer to age in place, which means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level.

The NAHB Remodelers of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in collaboration with Home Innovation Research Labs, NAHB 50+ Housing Council, and AARP developed the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) program to address the growing number of consumers that will soon require these modifications. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and health care consultants.