I’m a builder in Austin, Texas. My company does four to six projects each year, split more or less evenly between new homes and whole-house remodels. Most are architect-driven, and we do a lot of high-end finish work, including making our own interior and exterior doors and staircases. An increasingly important selling point for us over the past few years has been the level of care we put into air-sealing our projects, which reduces heating and cooling costs and greatly improves homeowner comfort.
That’s helped us to stand out from our competitors, because few builders in our area gave much thought to air-sealing until recently. (We’re located in hot-humid climate zone 2a, with about 3,000 cooling degree days and 1,700 heating degree days annually.) Since 2008, the city building code has required a blower-door test for all new homes, with...
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