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Building new home: Recommendations on when to involve various experts?

Gwisejr | Posted in General Questions on

My wife and I are building a new home in the Ball Ground, GA area and currently we are working with a home designer. We talking ~2700sqft or so. Not sure if basement or crawlspace will be warranted.

My original plan is to get the design and then bid it out to a few builders. I d have a concern about the HVAC and from browsing this forum and others, I understand that most systems are not optimal. I’m really not looking to have a certified passivhaus or any other certification but I do want to have a home that is very tight and energy efficient. Nothing is set in stone yet but I’m really interested in installing a “magic box” system like the CERV or Minotaur along with a “booster” minisplit system.

My question is generic in nature. Since I’m not going to be building it myself or act as the general contractor, what trades should I involve and when to help in the design in order to make the build as cost effective as possible and also make sure that the efficiency of the home is maximized?

I’m thinking to contact a HVAC engineer now while the design is being fleshed out. Does that make sense? Even though we will have someone else build it, what other trades does it make sense to contact now to at least get some guidance in the design? Is it better to just rely on the builder and work with his trades?

I guess what I’m looking for is general advise on who to involve during the design and schedule.  I realize that it would probably be a good idea to have a builder picked out and work thru them with their trades to help wit h the design but I’m really concerned about being pidgeon holed to one builder and not getting the best pricing the for construction.


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  1. user-2310254 | | #1


    It is a good idea to partner with a builder and an architect/designer who specializes in energy-efficient construction. (What we often refer to as a "pretty good home" here on GBA.) There are a few professionals in the Atlanta metro area who can help you with this type of project. (I suggest calling Luis Imery.)

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    It sounds like you have already chosen an architect or designer. Does this person give you confidence? Have you chosen a designer who understands energy efficiency -- who has been involved in a construction project that (for instance) required the use of a blower door to verify the air leakage rate? If so, you have chosen a good designer.

    If not, you may want to keep looking. Your designer ends up setting the tone for the whole project.

    If you need an HVAC consultant in the Atlanta area, you might consider contacting Allison Bailes at Energy Vanguard.

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