AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT HOW ONE FAMILY BUILT THEIR FOREVER HOME AND EXCEEDED THEIR OWN EXPECTATIONS
Alex and Janet came to BrightLeaf with the hopes of building an eco-friendly home that was near downtown La Grange, and would work within their budget. The next Spring, they were settling into their Zero Energy Ready home, and have become good friends of the BrightLeaf team.
FINDING THE RIGHT LOCATION
GETTING STARTED WITH THE LOT + BUILD PACKAGE
“Rick assisted us in finding the perfect location for our build, only blocks away from downtown La Grange. We never thought we would find anything in that specific area at a reasonable price, but BrightLeaf made it happen for us.”
AREA OF LA GRANGE
TARGET LOT LOCATION
LOT WITH EXISTING STRUCTURE
Working within a limited geography, with limited lot options, we found six lots that would work for them. We toured the lots, discussed amenities, pros and cons of the land, and layout options for their home based on driveway access and other external features. We collaborated on the details until we decided on the lot shown.
Eco 3 Floor Plan Renderings with optional finished basement shown.
DEFINING THEIR STYLE
DESIGNING THE HOME
When the design process began, Alex and Janet started with the Eco 3 Model. Starting with this framework, they saved time and money by easily jumping into the customization of their home with the BrightLeaf team.
The Eco Model 3 Includes:
- 3200 square feet.
- 4 bedrooms. 3 full bathrooms.
- A full mudroom
- 1st floor flexroom
- 2nd floor laundry
“We went very custom across the boards in our home's selections ... and [BrightLeaf] even took several of our ideas further than what we even envisioned.”
CUSTOMIZING THE HOME
- Vast majority of the finishes in the home
- Custom master closet organizer
- Fully integrated sound system throughout the home
- Bonus space built above the garage
This design and planning process is part of the Pre-Construction phase we work on first. This gives us a solid plan to work toward and a clear price point to stay within. Once the design and price is set, the construction phase can begin.
Watch the time-lapse video of the Construction phase. From hole in the ground to complEtely framed in 35 seconds!
When doing a tear down, BrightLeaf recycles at least 85% of the job site material.
new home construction of the future
IT'S WHAT'S BENEATH THE SURFACE THAT REALLY MATTERS
In all our homes, we use a wood-framed wall with 2x6 top and bottom plates, with 2x4 studs installed every 12 inches but staggered so that alternating studs align with the inside or outside edge of the plates. This allows the dense-packed cellulose insulation to fill the spaces between the studs as well as wrapping around the edges of the studs to stop thermal bridging through the wall. The interior is surfaced with 5 ∕8 -inch drywall that is made airtight by applying sealant at the top and bottom plates and around all openings. The exterior is covered with an engineered sheathing with a plastic coating on the exterior side. The sheathing is then covered with a house wrap that was very carefully air sealed at the edges and seams to provide a continuous weather-resistant barrier under the siding.
EXPERIENCE COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY THROUGHOUT YOUR HOME BUILD AND WITNESS IT ALL TAKE SHAPE
We want our clients to come and see all the extraordinary things behind the walls that make these homes green and high performance. We want to show off the superior craftsmanship, level of attention to detail, and advanced technology and building tecnhiques utilized. Alex and Janet came by regularly to meet with Alex (Thompson) for personal tours so they could get a glimpse of the greatness built into their home at each and every phase.
THE TECHNOLOGY behind the walls OF THE HOME
- High-performance insulation system for enhanced quiet and comfort
- Comprehensive air sealing and draft protection
- Fresh air system and proper ventilation for cleaner, healthier indoor air
- High-efficiency comfort system
This high performance, energy-efficient green home has been designed and built to save almost $2,500 a year on their energy bills adding up to a savings of $75,000 over the life of a 30 year mortgage!
This home is more than twice as energy efficient as a new home built to code and the total annual utility bills are estimated to be 60-75% less than an average existing home. Building materials and finishes are locally sourced, contain recycled content, and are low or no VOC (volatile organic chemical) content where possible and practical for the scope of this project.
Alex and Janet's home came with a Zero Energy Ready Certification, is Certified By Energy Star, is built to LEED Gold Standards, and is EPA Indoor AirPlus Qualified - these all come standard with each home we build. This equates to a home that is better for the environment, better for their family's health, and better for their pocket book!
the final walkthrough
When the home was complete, we dropped by to visit Alex and Janet for a new home orientation. This is where we walked them through their home and discussed how their high-performance house works as a system, general maintenance upkeep, and answered any questions they had. After the orientation tour was wrapped up, it is our tradition to celebrate the completion of the home with pizza and beer with the homeowners. We then left behind a full binder complete with warranty info, product manuals, and any other pertinent information related to the home.
KEY FEATURES OF THE FINISHED HOME
- Energy Star Rated Windows and Doors
- Tankless Water Heater
- Fully Insulated Basement Walls and Slab
- Advanced Water Protection Around the Foundation
- High performance LED lighting throughout
- WaterSense Plumbing Fixtures Throughout the Home
When you build with BrightLeaf, you’re a customer for life. We provide a 10-year envelope warranty on all homes to provide an added layer of security and confidence. We’ll revisit you a month, six months, and one year after your move in to conduct a walk through and ensure that your home is performing as it should and answer any questions you have.