Archive for July, 2009

Home Remodeling and Energy Tax Credits

Monday, July 27th, 2009 | Green Building, Home Remodeling | 3 Comments
Efficient replacement windows in a home remodel can earn energy tax credits.

Energy efficient replacement windows in a home remodel can earn energy tax credits.

Conserving energy through the use of “green” products might not have been at the top of your list a few years ago, but thanks to the 2009 economic stimulus bill the government has made it financially beneficial to homeowners to work toward energy efficiency. Tax credits are available unlike ever before to homeowners who are planning a home remodel with green appliances and practices.

The 2009 economic stimulus bill improves upon pre-existing credits in a big way:

  • 2009 tax credits are now in effect until 2010
  • The 10% tax credit is now 30%
  • Tax credits that were once a specific amount are now converted to 30% of the cost of materials
  • The maximum credit is now $1500 instead of $500 and is for all improvements combined for the 2009-2010 period
  • Certain home improvements, including geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, and panels are not subject to the $1500 maximum

Asheville remodeling contractors such as Brock Builders can perform a home energy audit to outline the areas that will benefit most from installing energy-efficient appliances and insulation systems. By installing a variety of energy-efficient items from the following categories, you may be eligible to claim a tax credit of 30 percent:

  • Biomass stoves
  • Exterior doors, skylights and windows
  • HVAC
  • Roofing (metal and asphalt)
  • Storm doors and windows
  • Water heaters (nonsolar)

Tax credits are also available at 30% of the cost, with no upper limit through 2016 (for existing homes and new construction) for the following categories:

  • Fuel cells
  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Solar panels
  • Solar water heaters
  • Small wind energy systems

The new tax credit does have a discrepancy, however, when it comes to windows. Energy Star windows purchased before June 1, 2009 are eligible for the tax credit of 30%, but not all Energy Star windows purchased after June 1 will qualify. To meet the requirements for the tax credit after June 1, the windows in your remodel must be super-efficient windows with a U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) less than or equal to .30. According to Energy Star’s website, most of their windows will not meet the requirements for the tax credit. These confusing standards are being reviewed by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), who are urging Congress to reconcile the stimulus bill standards with Energy Star criteria.

In order to qualify for the tax credit, all products must have a signed statement from the manufacturer certifying the product meets the standards for the tax credit. The Manufacturer Certification Statement isn’t required to send in with your tax return but must accompany your receipts and records. It is recommended by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to save all receipts with the contact information of each manufacturer, the make and model of the product, and the manufacturer’s statement that the product meets the tax credit standards.

Whether you plan to do a basement, bath or kitchen remodel, hiring a general contractor familiar with these tax credits ensures your home remodel is earning the highest credits possible, the proper appliances and products are purchased and installed, and the specific records you need are organized. When helping the environment while saving money, everybody wins.

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Green Building and the HealthyBuilt Homes Program

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 | Green Building | 1 Comment
Custom home by general contractor Brock Builders - Certified HealthyBuilt Home

Custom home by general contractor Brock Builders - Certified HealthyBuilt Home

While many homeowners strive to conserve energy with efficient light bulbs or low-flow shower heads, the real opportunities to make a home truly energy and cost efficient start with the design, planning and construction processes.

Asheville-area home builder Brock Builders is currently constructing HealthyBuilt Homes, the newest example of “green building” and sustainable living in North Carolina. Learn more about exciting new opportunities available to conserve energy and materials in your next home in our full-length article on green building and the HealthyBuilt Homes process.

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Custom Home in Asheville Video Slideshow

Monday, July 13th, 2009 | Custom Home Construction, Videos | No Comments

This is a custom home we built in the mountains of Asheville. Keep an eye out for the barrel vault ceiling in the large bar room that the homeowners use for entertaining. It’s one of my favorite details in this home. The building site was particularly challenging; you can see some photos of the foundation work in the portfolio area of our site. The outcome was fantastic, the homeowners are very happy, and we’re glad they chose Brock Builders to be their general contractor.

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