GREEN SUSTAINABLE HOMES IN LANCASTER PA
Big model homes in Lancaster have been sitting unsold, building permits for new homes has slowed significantly, new home builders have very little work if any at all, employees and sub-contractors who have had years of steady work in fields related to new home construction are out of work. To top it all off, energy costs are out of control.
Could it be that we have gotten it all wrong? Most all new homes built in America over the past 15 years have been built with two main thoughts in mind: "Bigger is better" and "Will this impress"? Just two quick answers to those two questions.
Is Bigger Better?
The answer to that question will require much more thought and soul-searching than it initially appears. After all to live in a smaller space with one-another can be difficult. It certainly is much easier to 'build big' so each child can have their own bedroom, play and work areas. In this way, each can retreat to their own private space's to avoid conflicts and noisy arguments. So to avoid these conflicts? Solution, we 'build bigger', pay higher energy costs, property taxes and maintenance.
Focusing on interpersonal family life communications is one way to build smaller and live greener. Remember at the end of our lives a house will not be visiting our deathbed but the family with whom we have invested our valuable efforts.
The financial sustainability of a big house becomes more difficult as the average home-owner ages. Could this be why retirement homes are so popular? If you build a smaller, well laid out home, you should be able to stay in that home for years longer than a 'big' home and have sustainability in both the financial and long term personal accessibility areas. The small home will also be easier for your children to maintain if you were disabled or to sell if the need arises.
Will my house impress?
This is another soul-searching question. A 'big' house seems to scream 'I don't have many friends' or 'no one loves me the way I am'. If an impressive big house is the way to win true friends, then I don't want one. I have helped many people design homes and have heard often comments such as, "This will be much better than... ", or "won't... be impressed".
I would rather have a small efficient home with true friends, than a big house with lots of people visiting but not knowing if they are true friends. If a big house is needed for a big family then it certainly makes sense. If a big house is needed for entertaining, consider renting a local facility, it is much cheaper than paying taxes, energy costs and maintenance. Plus it will support a local business.
If a big house is needed to show-off wealth, it may be wise to get back to basic's, if even just to find out who are your 'real' friends and which ones just wish they had a lot of money.
The sustainability of a small non-impressive, efficient house will be simple and easy for almost all responsible people. It will be much easier on the environment. and last but not least, the small house will go a long way to help us concentrate on contentment and developing true friends.
Jonathan Owens owner of Brookline Builders Inc in Lancaster County Pa, is a Lancaster County native, started Brookline Builders 21 years ago when he was 19. Although Brookline Builders will complete all your residential and commercial construction needs in Lancaster as well as surrounding counties, Jonathan personally enjoys the challenge of building small homes and historic restoration.