1. How to optimize the home to generate large savings?
When planning your home, you must pay attention to some very important elements. The awareness of their importance and price will lead you to a project much cheaper and no less attractive. Investors in the West have been using this kind of building philosophy for years.
- no dormers, bays, balconies - these kinds of architectural additions are usually to increase the visual attractiveness of the building and enhance the functionality of the rooms. Although the first goal can be implemented in this way, the functionality of a bay window or balcony is highly uncertain. Most often bay windows are designed with an area of less than 1.5 m2 and please believe that this space practically does not improve the usefulness of a room. With balconies this is worse. It is surprisingly expensive because to build balconies correctly in order to have peace of mind for years to come. Real life shows that in the best case scenario, you’ll use a balcony only a few times a year to dry bed linens.
- optimal shape of the building - the price of the building is mainly due to the number of partitions that are used to create it. It is known that complicated shapes of homes cause that the number of partitions increases without a significant change in cubic volume. A sphere has the best proportion of external walls to cubic volume but we know that it's practically impossible to live in a sphere. Another shape is a cylinder, and here one can find such house designs. However, we advise looking into areas more practical or consider rectangular shapes with flat or a gabled roof. It is also worth remembering that the tricky technical details multiply the number of hours workers spend on the construction site, which of course significantly increases the final costs of the home. It is good to use simple and effective solutions. Of course, we can help you design such elements in your dream home.
- gabled roof - this is the most economical solution. Although a flat roof has a smaller surface, it requires greater accuracy of sheathing and water drainage. Added to this are attics, which correct construction generates slightly higher costs.
- small amount of roof windows - roof windows are often the only solution to illuminate an attic. Roof windows are more than three times more expensive than façade windows because of the required sealing and the installation is more troublesome. Unfortunately, their price is not connected with the convenience of washing and the quality of lighting the attic - especially in winter when they are covered with snow. It is a good idea to simply avoid the use of roof windows.
2. How durable are Northouse homes?
The durability of our homes is comparable to brick homes. This is due to the fact that we only use very high-quality construction timber imported from Germany (Ladenburg). It is worth noting that wood is an excellent building material used since the beginning of construction.
The durability of wood that is not exposed to the elements is approximately 1,000 years according to research confirmed empirically. Nobody is surprised by the use of wood in building rafter framing for traditional homes.
You need to know that the most popular wood in Poland does not possess wood construction certification. It is usually untreated and moist wood. The quality of wood that we use to build our homes is many times higher than the standard wood used in Poland.
That is why the durability of NORTHOUSE homes is comparable to brick homes. The easiest way to be convinced about this is when you see one of our homes during construction.
We invite you to contact us.
3. Do we have Northouse standards certificates?
Our strategic objective is to build according to the German GDF standard, which is also on the Polish market. The GDF standard is a detailed description of a building's technical details and standards concerning the materials used.
We prefer to build no more than 24 houses per year, but only for conscious customers who are looking for high quality and durability of their building.
We offer a 30-year guarantee on the construction of our homes.
4. Why is a prefabricated energy efficient house an excellent investment?
An energy efficient house is an investment resulting from two facts. The first thing is the matter of increasing the building's value in the eyes of prospective future buyers and the second is the reduction of building maintenance costs that increase each year due to rising energy prices.
Few people realize how much of our budget result from energy costs. The typical family of 4 spends on heating the home, the preparation of hot water, lighting, water and sewerage approximately PLN 730 per month for the average isolated building. Annually, this amounts to PLN 8,760. These costs increase by at least the rate of inflation, on average 3% per year. Simply add the annual costs increased by 3% every year to realize that after 40 years we spend a total of PLN 660 515 to maintain the building, and after 50 years PLN 988,100!
Simultaneously, an energy efficient house generates heating costs by at least half. Using identical calculation, the sum of the costs amount to PLN 479,552 and PLN 717 388, which means up to PLN 270,000 in savings after 50 years of exploitation! (data based on prices in Poland)
Pytanie czy chcesz aby Twój dom oddał Ci w eksploatacji 270 000 zł po czasie, który i tak minie?
5. What trends are currently observed in construction?
- ECOLOGY - more often attention is drawn to materials from natural sources, free from harmful chemicals such as formaldehydes, glues and other things. There is a growing customer awareness which forces suppliers to introduce products that are increasingly environmentally friendly.
- ENERGY-EFFICIENCY - conscious people do not want to spend unreasonably large amounts of money on building maintenance in accordance with the principle - money saved is money earned.
- OPTIMIZATION - much more attention is placed on oversizing, which is cost-consuming and unnecessary. Appropriate building construction allows avoiding irrational spending on materials, which means lower costs of building a house.
- SIMPLE FORMS - this is the answer to the iconic slogan:
“Less is more”
Ludwik Mies van der Rohe
- NATURAL COLOURS - it has been known for a long time that people feel at home in the surroundings of natural colours. Red and purple are strong colours and even aggressive. They unconsciously build tension in our bodies, for we are simply programmed that way. You should surround yourself with bright colours that make the interior better illuminated. It’s been known for a long time that light has a very positive effect on our mood and well-being.
6. Why do warm window facing south means energy gains?
Warm window frames also installed in a warm manner are the reason for a building's energy gains. It is very important that large glazings are mainly facing south (a small deviation to the east and west is acceptable). Due to this, light can freely penetrate the building, heating it for free.
Even the warmest windows available on the market are still approximately seven times less isolated than a wall in a building passive. The difference is that windows let in the sun’s rays thanks to which the building is heated and heat obtained this way is stored inside the cubic volume. This is the greenhouse effect. This phenomenon causes the energy balance to be positive.
With large quantities of glazing, it is necessary to ensure that they are shaded in the summer, as you will read below.
7. Why do we install all windows using the warm method?
Warm window installation is necessary for a building to reach at least a low-energy standard.
Installing warm windows with a penetration coefficient at 0.8 W/m2K, their warm installation is the only appropriate closure of windows in the wall.
Due to three layers:
1. vapour permeable tape
2. high density mounting foam
3. vapour barrier tape
we obtain full sealing of the connection between the window frame and the wall. The most popular method of installing windows in Poland is only with mounting foam, which results in the creation of very serious thermal bridges due to air infiltration through unavoidable leaks appearing just after the first year of installation (capillary moisture absorption in the foam structure and its thawing).
8. How to protect from excess sun in the summer?
With large quantities of glazing, it is necessary to ensure that they are shaded in the summer. The purpose is to protect the building against overheating. When energy gains from the sun are cut off, it turns out that you do not need air conditioning in the building to maintain thermal comfort.
Here are some solutions available on the market:
- external roller shutters - a basic solution, the cheapest because of popularity, after closure the room is completely dark
- facade blinds - approximately twice as expensive than roller shutters, you can control the angles of the slats, thanks to which you keep the sun on the outside and the room is bright
- sunbreaker - permanent structures, sliding on the elevation they offer similar functionality as to facade blinds
- pergola - you obtain shaded windows and an original place on the terrace which is an extension of the living room
- awnings - sliding above the window offering horizontal shading, sensitive to wind
9. Why good insulation and sealing of the building are the cheapest?
Insulation is a fixed element that is not subject to depreciation. This means that you do not need to replace it over the years of using the building.
Insulation does not require servicing in contrast to heating and ventilation devices. An equally important element is the tightness of the building. Many people say that a home should breathe while at the same time a building's construction should be tight. The replacement of air should be done by ventilation. The tightness of a building prevents the infiltration of warm air, meaning energy losses. In traditional construction, it is very difficult to obtain a tightness seal similar to prefabricated homes, where the accuracy of construction is much higher.
If you care for the low energy consumption of your building, you will be able to use lower power heating equipment which is obviously cheaper.
That is why the most important step is the good insulation of your home.
10. How to confirm the energy standard of your building?
If you want to be certain of how much energy your home will consume, you can order a verification that will accurately show what energy standard your building will have. The calculations will include things like local climatic conditions, the amount of sunshine in a given location, the placement of the building on the plot, the blowing of the wind, etc.
11. What is sick building syndrome?
Sick Building (SBS) is a set of symptoms occurring in a specified place resulting mainly from poor air quality. The causes for poor air quality can be fungi and other micro-organisms developing in air humidity that is too high, construction materials and chemicals such as solvents, impregnates, chemical compounds emitted by the paint, poor ventilation and air pollution from outside the building.
The World Health Organization warns that up to 30% of buildings used in the world are affected by the sick building syndrome.
Symptoms of SBS include headaches, fainting, nausea, chronic fatigue, irritation of mucous membranes and difficult breathing.
The solution to the problem is mechanical ventilation, which you can read about below.
12. Why is it worth installing mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (recuperation) in your home?
Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery is a system which provides a controlled exchange of air in the building and energy recovery from the air that is removed from the home.
The most important benefits of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery are:
- up to 25% savings on heating costs - you recover a significant part of the heat that normally goes into the atmosphere
- air filtration - you breathe much cleaner air
- controlled air exchange - you ventilate the house only when you want, so you can turn off the ventilation when you are away from home
- the possibility of programming the air exchange - schedule ventilation of the home before you return from work
- remove excess moisture that causes the Sick Building Syndrome - forget about fungi and other micro-organisms that your family is allergic to
- reduction in the amount of dust in the building - will be appreciated by every housewife
Every Northouse house is equipped with mechanical ventilation with heat recovery!
13. Why are larger homes much cheaper than smaller homes per meter?
The price per square meter of the useable area is the denominator for many people when selecting a project. It is worth noting that according to the construction standard, the area of the garage and utility room are not included in the useable area. In addition, usable area of the attic is 50% of the area when the height is between 1.4 and 2.2 m. Floor area where the height is less than 1.4 m is not taken into consideration. That is why some projects are very different in the amount of useable area despite a high similarity.
When reliably comparing building costs, we advise referring to the total surface area (floor surface area).
When we then correctly compare the buildings, it appears that the larger ones have a lower price per square meter of the total surface area. This is due to the fixed costs in the building regardless of the number of rooms.
It should be mentioned here:
- water and sewage installation
- heating system
With large differences in the surface of the building, a slight price increase in the installation is noticeable in relation to the increasing size.
This is why small homes are clearly more expensive per square meter of the total surface area than bigger homes.