Green by Design


Now that you have settled on a piece of land to build on, who do you call next? An architect? Designer? Builder? Banker? Therapist? Yes, to all of the above and in that order. The important thing is you need to put your team together early in the process. Since the architect/designer is responsible for the look of your home and the builder has to construct it, wouldn't you want them working together as soon as possible for the best outcome. Also, very important to get a banker involved early to find out what you can really afford. I know at this time you don't know what it will cost, but you need to know what you are willing to spend. The therapist could come in handy after you have suffered sticker shock.

Here are some of the top items for design consideration:

  • Style - Modern, classic, mid-century, farm-house, ranch house, tiny home, tudor, etc.
  • Budget - You are the one in charge of the budget through the decisions you make.
  • Must haves vs nice to haves - Start making that list early as it will change.
  • Usage - Retirement home, move up home, second home, investment property.
  • Sustainability - Will your new home save you money or cost you more?
  • Future proofing - Will the design fit the needs of your growing family? Will you need to downsize in the future? Will your design work with future innovations?
  • Site orientation - The sun still rises in the east and sets in the west, so use that to your advantage.
  • Accessibility - Will you be able to age in place?

I could go on and on with many more items to consider about design and putting your team together. I would rather introduce you to a program put on by the Austin Energy Green Building division - Green by Design. I have had the pleasure of being a student, instructor and sponsor of this course of the years. Even if sustainable building is not that high on your list, the information about the building process will help you make better informed decisions. 

Learn how to build, remodel or buy green homes that improve energy and water efficiency, increase comfort, and reduce maintenance. The workshop is designed to provide a choice of topics based on your green building needs. Sessions are paired with Austin Energy Green Building team members who are available to provide insight and experience on sustainable building practices. Course materials and light snacks provided.

Interested? Sign up here.