The Healthy Home: Why It Matters

  • Categories:

    Industry Trends

  • Date:

    August 08, 2016

The Healthy Home: Why It Matters



Industry Trends

According to a Dodge Data and Analytics study on green and healthier homes, about 80 percent of homebuyers are willing to pay more money for a healthier home. 

Components of a healthy home range from adequate sunlight and fresh air to less harmful chemicals used in the building materials. Which features are most popular, and why do they matter?

Natural Light

Consumers want spaces that will help them live a happier, healthier lifestyle, and natural lighting and sunlight can play a big role. In fact, 72 percent of all homebuilders and remodelers incorporate daylighting as a feature throughout the home. Getting adequate sunlight is important for Vitamin D production, deficiencies of which can lead to depression as well as a weaker immune system. Natural light can also contribute to fewer headaches and lower electricity costs. It is possible to have too much of a good thing, however; natural light should be carefully incorporated in order to keep spaces cool and minimize glare.

Fresh Air

Homeowners want their homes to breathe as easily as they do. Proper ventilation and sufficient fresh air in the home can help prevent and mitigate health issues such as allergies, asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Almost half of all builders and three-quarters of green builders use dedicated fresh air systems; 27 percent of remodelers also make this investment for their customers.

Water

Water quality is another significant building block for a healthy home. Built-in filters in both faucets and showerheads can ensure that homeowners are using water free of toxins and other filaments. However, water-related concerns don’t stop at faucets and showerheads:

  • Nearly half of all builders believe that healthy homes should have some form of humidity control system. This helps prevent mold in the air and promotes the general well being of the home’s structure.
  • Water-resistant backer boards are used by 77 percent of builders and 93 percent of remodelers.
  • Another growing trend among builders and remodelers is investing in bath fans and humidity controllers that run on timers. This healthy home feature doubles as an energy-saving device and is even more popular (70 percent) among green builders.

Eco-friendly building materials

The healthiest homes are built with safer and more eco-friendly building materials such as non-toxic paints and formaldehyde-free materials. The most common healthy building practice (observed by nearly 80 percent of all builders) is protecting on-site building materials from water and weather damage. Other construction practices, such as the use of non-toxic and low-VOC cleaning products and indoor contamination control, are used more often by green builders and remodelers.

Why do healthy homes matter? 

According to a Dodge Data and Analytics homeowner survey, homeowners who had purchased a home built with at least five healthy building products or practices said that:

  • They were able to sleep better. (39 percent)
  • Their mood was improved by living in the home. (31 percent)
  • They were more comfortable when at home. (31 percent)
  • They or their family members had fewer illnesses. (30 percent)

Healthy homes are on the rise, and with up to 70 percent of homebuyers ranking a home’s health imprint as equally or more important than other aspects including aesthetics, longevity and cost, these numbers should continue to grow. In fact, the greatest opportunity may lie in determining how to educate potential customers on the benefits of certain features, such as eco-friendly building materials, and how they help make a healthier home. From windows and water filters to sheathing and siding, capitalize on your investment in making homes healthier by ensuring buyers understand these features top to bottom, outside to inside.

With so many homebuyers willing to pay more for a healthy home, more builders are taking notice – and those that don’t might soon get left behind.

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