If you’ve ever built or remodeled a home before, you know it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the details. And it’s also difficult to know which decisions are the best, and which techniques, materials and products are the wisest options for a long happy future in your new home.
That’s why the Touchstone Energy® cooperatives have developed an option to help you out: the Touchstone Energy Home Program Standards Checklist.
This tried-and-true list of products and techniques can guide you to a better-built house with less second-guessing.
According to Bill McAnally, energy efficient home building consultant, working on a recently built Touchstone Energy home with Mike Geerdes, a Grundy County REC member services manager, was a positive experience for everyone involved. “It’s easy for builders to follow and homeowners can be assured that the guidelines are based on strong building science principles and our Iowa climate,” Bill says.
In addition, he notes that the list is based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, and is stricter than Iowa’s Code, so you’ll end up with a quality home. Specific materials, such as a forgivable vapor barrier that retards moisture, help builders rise to a new level for handling moisture levels in today’s more tightly built homes. “I was in two houses this week that had moisture issues, especially around windows and doors. If those houses had been built correctly to Touchstone Energy Standards, those homeowners wouldn’t be facing these problems,” Bill says.
Bill promotes other highlights of the standards:
- All electric (appliances and heating and cooling system)
- Advanced indoor air quality (also known as IAQ) for moisture control as well as comfort and durability
- Ventilation installed to standards
- Energy efficiency
And a caution: Not all builders follow directions, so be sure they don’t deviate and decide to make changes on their own. Some of these recommendations are updated from the past, and your builder needs to understand that standards have changed as new equipment and products come onto the market.
For more information
- Download the Touchstone Energy Home Program Standards Checklist
- Watch the Build It Right series of short video clips showing techniques used in building the Touchstone Energy Home in Grundy County, Iowa