True Built Home News & Information

Solar Tiles for Roofing – Wave of the Future, or is the Price Higher Than The Sun?

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First, if you are reading this you likely have an interest in roof tile solar energy, or you just crave all things solar. I, on the other hand, often force myself to write blog posts because I want to learn all I can about a particular subject, or for that matter learn to intelligently pronounce certain words within an industry, like photo-voltaic! Although fascinated with solar generated power, I am always “on the job training” all the time within this space. My goal is always to attempt to take complicated things and simplify them for myself and others. Let’s see what we can learn.

True Built Home started getting requests several months ago when news of solar tiles from a company named Solar City was bought out or purchased by Elon Musk’s company Tesla. Interestingly my perspective was, “I like the way those big solar panels appear on rooftops”. However, much to my surprise others felt differently: unsightly, ugly, even dangerous if a gale force wind comes along.
In a statement in October 2016, Mr. Musk said this, “I think there’s quite a radical difference between having solar panels on your roof that actually make your house look better versus ones that do not, I think it’s going to be a night-and-day difference”. Well, that has been addressed and it appears to be the wave of the future for new roofs and roof replacements. But, here’s the rub: cost.

It has been written and repeated over the internet in news articles, company releases, blog posts, and more, that these new roof tiles will cost less than a typical 30 yr. architectural roof product. Let’s just say that typically a roof for a 2,100-2,500 square foot home with a standard two-car garage costs about 10k to install. From what we have likely all read, this seems to be repeated about the cost, “Our roof costs less than an equivalent roof, with projected savings from your utility bill.” It’s important to notice the “with” in that statement. The Tesla folks are projecting future savings into the cost equivalent of having the new tiles placed – based upon your monthly electric bill cost. That may present a problem for many of us here in the Pacific NW, because we often have the cheapest rates in the country. I am not sure what cost per KW that they are using for their projections, so costs will vary quite a bit. Now since I have done my research, perhaps you can help: I have not found an actual cost associated with those tiles. If I had to figure it out, it would take me some time to do so. Are the tiles 30 or 50-year life? What will be the cost of installation be? Will someone need to be certified by Tesla to guarantee the product against future failure or problems? Can we afford it, and does it make sense for our PNW customers?

We are eager to install this type of roof, but as of May 2017 we still do not have a cost that we can use to compare with what a traditional roof costs. I do know that a regular panel solar roof can run around 20-30k depending on what you want to accomplish in your home. From my perspective, that is at least 3 to 4-times the cost of our typical conventional roof tile. So, what typically might cost 5% of a new home, now we are looking at significantly more.

With an estimated 4-5 million new home roofs being installed annually, Mr. Musk and Tesla want to tap into that market in a big way. Will they? The wave of the future is here, but will the cost of buying, installing, etc. be too costly for us to ride?

Hear what Mr. Musk has to say about roof tiles

This is a link to a local company that covers both Washington and Oregon, but I don’t think anyone as of May 2017 knows the cost of these solar tiles yet.

38th Annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival

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What could be better than an evening of wine, food, and fun?

It’s that time of year again: the 38th Annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival is coming to Kennewick this Saturday, November 12! Reserve your tickets now for a night you won’t want to miss: http://www.tricitieswinesociety.com/tri-cities-wine-festival.html. There is never a dull day in the Tri-Cities area. If you’re looking to relocate to Kennewick, let us at True Built Home build you a home tailored to your needs: http://truebuilthome.com/.

11-10-16

Spokane Valley Heritage Museum

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Explore the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum!

11-8-16

If you’re ever in the Spokane area, you have to check out the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum! A treasure trove of fascinating historical artifacts, the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum is a must-see for any history lover. Stop by this Saturday, November 12, for the museum’s 12th annual Heritage Program and Luncheon focusing on electric transportation from the early 20th century. More information is available at: http://www.valleyheritagecenter.org/index.html. If you’re looking to move to the Spokane area, we at True Built Home have you covered. Contact us today and see how we can help you build your dream home at: http://truebuilthome.com/.

Best of Portland Walking Tour

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11-3-16Touring Portland

Portland is recognized as one of the best cities to live in nationwide, but what makes Portland so special? Find out for yourself on the Portland Walking Tour, held every day throughout November at 10am, 2pm, and 5pm:

http://www.portlandwalkingtours.com/tours/best-of-portland-city-tour/.

Tour Portland once and you’ll never want to leave! If you’re looking to move to the Portland area, at True Built Home we can help you move into a home custom tailored to your needs: http://truebuilthome.com/.

The Whisky Extravaganza

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11-1-16The 2016 Whisky Extravaganza is almost here!

On Friday, November 11, the Whisky Extravaganza will be coming to Seattle, Washington! Lovers of whisky won’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity to sample the finest whiskies from all over the world. Ticketing and other information is available at: http://www.thewhiskyextravaganza.com/. With events like this happening nearly every day, it’s no wonder that so many people are looking to relocate to Seattle. At True Built Home, we will work with you to help you build your dream home in the Seattle area: http://truebuilthome.com/.

America’s Largest Antique and Collectible Show

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10-27-16You never know what you’ll find at the antiques show!

Come out to the Portland Expo Center for America’s Largest Antique and Collectible show to discover all of the beautiful and historic items on display!  http://www.expocenter.org/events/america’s-largest-antique-and-collectible-show-3

Wanting to move to the Portland area? Visit True Built Home for help building your custom dream home! http://truebuilthome.com/.

Top 5 Reasons To Be Energy Efficient

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10-25-16Being energy efficient is a great thing for so many reasons, but these are among the best.

Being energy efficient is a great thing that can actually be more helpful than you might think. In addition to yourself, you are also helping your family, the environment, and your community! It requires some extra planning when building your own home. But, the benefits cannot be understated. Making sure your home is energy efficient could end up being one of the best decisions that you’ll ever make for yourself and others!

First of all, making your home energy efficient means there is a lot less wasted energy in your house. In other words, that means you are not paying for energy going through your home that nobody wanted or asked for! There are so many things you can do to reduce your cost of living by being energy efficient. Why not wash those clothes in cold water? Why not use light bulbs that only use as much energy as they need to create light? Why not buy a refrigerator that efficiently regulates its temperature, saving you money on keeping your food fresh? There aren’t many reasons not to, and making the changes could save you hundreds annually on energy bills.

Second of all, energy efficiency helps to make your community better! When homes are energy efficient, people have more money in their pockets. Therefore, it can help boost a community’s economy. Large-scale energy efficiency can help improve national security by allowing more and more homeowners to be less dependent on those who control the energy. Not to mention, the money and energy saved nationally can be allocated to other important areas.

Finally, your choice to be energy efficient can affect everyone around you by improving the environment and helping to improve overall quality of life. As we conserve natural resources, we deplete them from the Earth much slower and stop putting much of them into our air. Furthermore, increased energy efficiency can make things like public transportation and private business more useful. This creates a chain reaction that generally makes everyone happier and allows us to live a higher quality life.

You can read more reasons why becoming energy efficient is a good idea at: http://www.ase.org/resources/top-5-reasons-be-energy-efficient.

If you’re looking to build an energy efficient home in Washington State, visit True Built Home and let us help! http://truebuilthome.com/.