You spend a lot of time in your home. You eat, sleep, and breathe in your home.
Shouldn’t it be a healthy place to be?
Although many people buy a new home in order to take advantage of the latest developments in design, style, and technology, few people are aware that new homes can also be a much healthier choice than an older model home.
What Does it Take?
According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), there are five essential elements to having a healthy house:
• The house is affordable to build, live in, and maintain.
• The house follows “green” principles to reduce its impact on the environment.
• The house was constructed to maximize the efficiency of resources.
• The house is energy-efficient.
• The air quality, lighting, and water quality in the home help keep its occupants healthy.
In all five of these categories, new homes can score significantly higher than older model homes.
New Homes Use Better Construction Materials
We’re all familiar with the fact that many homes built decades ago used asbestos for insulation, now recognized as a carcinogen. And we’re all painfully aware of the lingering devastation caused by lead paint. But asbestos and lead paint weren’t the only toxic material used to build older homes.
Until recently, many homes were built with materials that contained volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Essentially, these materials “leaked” toxic gases into the air. Materials like carpets, furniture, and plastics would “out-gas” VOCs, obliging homeowners to invest in expensive air filters in order to maintain good interior air quality.
Today, new homes are built with safe and highly-regulated construction materials in order to create a healthy indoor atmosphere.
New Homes Are Built More Efficiently
We often think of “efficiency” in constructing homes in terms of the time it takes or the financial cost, and many builders have, indeed, found ways to construct homes more quickly at a lower cost. But today’s builders are also more efficient in the way that they minimize waste during the construction process itself.
Even 20 years ago, builders would often create large amounts of waste during the home construction process, waste that was often indiscriminately dumped in a landfill. Today, many builders are able to use recycled materials to construct new homes. And modern builders also produce less total construction waste, much of it able to be safely recycled for other purposes instead of being thrown away.
New Homes Are More Energy Efficient
If there’s one place where new homes truly shine, it is in energy efficiency. Today’s new homes use more efficient insulation and often come with energy-saving appliances that can significantly reduce the consumption of water, electricity, and heat. Add in technologies like HRVs (heat recovery ventilation systems) that ensure fresh outdoor air is distributed throughout your home. They’re also far more efficient in keeping homes warm during the winter, and the long-term financial savings on utility bills for a new home can be quite substantial.
Not to mention, the energy-efficient advantage means it pays to go green!.
New Homes Have Better Indoor Air Quality
By using non-toxic building materials, more efficient insulation, and more advanced designs to keep out the weather, insects, and air pollution, new homes often have much better indoor air quality. Add in advanced heating and cooling systems that both filtrate the air as well as more efficiently circulate it, and it’s easy to see why people feel, sleep, and breathe better when they live in a new home.
New Homes Are More “People Friendly”
Many people never even consider that the overall design and layout of a home’s interior has a strong impact on their mental health. Yet homes that are cramped, poorly designed, or lacking in natural light can contribute to a depressing atmosphere.
Today’s builders, on the other hand, understand that people simply feel better when there’s lots of open space, fresh air, and natural light. You can match your square footage needs with the right floor plan. Open floor plans allow families to spend more time together, and the spaciousness of raised ceilings make the home feel warm and inviting instead of cramped and crowded.
Furthermore, most new homes are built in newer developments that add a lot of value beyond the four walls of the house itself. Nearby amenities such as parks, walking trails, green spaces, playgrounds, and recreational facilities transform a collection of houses into a true community.
New Homes Are Easier to Care For
When you buy an older home, you may be inheriting a hodge-podge of different systems. The refrigerator might be brand-new, but the furnace is 20 years old. When you buy a new home, everything is brand-new and in top condition. This makes it far easier to care for and maintain a new home.
Furthermore, advanced materials used in new home construction like LVT (luxury vinyl tiling)/LVP (luxury vinyl planks) and other fabulous flooring options are extremely easy to clean and maintain. Materials such as LVT/LVP are also very rugged, meaning that they’ll last for a very long time before needing to be replaced, providing you with peace of mind.
Although an older home might come with plenty of charm, you’ll never know quite what to expect or what’s behind the walls. With a brand-new house, you’ll be assured your home was built efficiently and responsibly, is likely cheaper to cool/heat, is easier to maintain, and can offer a lot more amenities. For all of these reasons, a new home can be a much healthier place to live.
A healthy home is often consequently a happy home, but here are some more ways to make your home a happier place!