What Today’s Empty Nesters Want for Their New Homes
Fox Blocks Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) are a superior wall system for building an energy-efficient and low-maintenance empty-nester home.
Now that your last kid has moved out, and you plan to retire, what should you do with your big, expensive, and high-maintenance family home? Many empty-nesters want to downsize to a single-story, free-standing new home, with a simple and efficient floor plan that accommodates them as they age. They want an energy-efficient, healthy, low-maintenance, and durable home that will save them money and free up their valuable time.
Energy-Efficient Empty-Nester Home
Most empty-nesters fall into the baby boomer category (born between 1945 and 1965) and have specific requirements for their new home. Boomers want energy-efficiency more than any other feature. Specifically, they want a home that is Energy Star® rated for the whole house (including its appliances, and windows) and more insulation than is required by code.
Building an energy-efficient house for today's empty-nester requires a tight building envelope that minimizes heat gains and moisture intrusion. Critical design elements for a tight building envelope include continuous insulation (CI) and an air and moisture barrier. The building envelope also includes all the exterior components of the home: the walls, foundation, roofing, and glazings.
Why Build Your Energy-Efficient Empty Nester Home with Fox Blocks ICFs?
Fox Blocks ICFs provide a superior wall product for an empty-nesters new home. The high thermal mass of the Fox Blocks ICFs, with an R-value of 23, produces a tight building envelope that prevents thermal bridging and the transfer of heat by conduction. Fox Blocks surpasses ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code requirements for all climate zones.
Furthermore, Fox Blocks' solid monolithic concrete wall, with a perm rating less than1.0, controls moisture infiltration into the wall system. All these ICF elements provide an exception building envelope for better control and comfort of the indoor environment.
The Roof of a Tight Building Envelope
An energy-efficient home must include a cool roof. Cool roofs protect against solar heat and keep the home and attic cool. Suitable materials for cool roofs include low thermal mass materials, like tiles, that reflect the sunlight.
The Foundation of a Tight Building Envelope
A concrete slab foundation and a continuous layer of rigid foam insulation under the slab separates the ground from an energy-efficient home - a vital feature of a tight building envelope.
The Glazing System of a Tight Building Envelope
A tight building envelope of an empty-nester home must also include energy-efficient windows, skylights, and doors.
Building a Low-Maintenance and Durable Empty-Nester Home with Fox Blocks ICFs
Along with saving money, downsizing empty-nesters demand a home with minimal maintenance and long-term integrity. The Fox Blocks ICF wall system creates a low maintenance and durable house that will be a quality house for many years.
- Fox Blocks' solid continuous monolithic concrete wall stops moisture infiltration, which prevents the growth of mold. Mold degrades a home's integrity and leads to time-consuming maintenance and costly repairs.
- Fox Blocks lack organic material, which minimizes their susceptibility to termites and the expensive repairs associated with termite damage. However, for waterproofing and complete termite-resistance, Fox Blocks suggests applying Polyguard Products, Inc. 650 XTM, or 650 XTP membranes.
- Fox Blocks ICFs create disaster-resistant homes, which saves homeowners money and time on expensive repairs or rebuilding after a fire, earthquake, or severe wind event.
- Fox Blocks ICFs produce superior passive firewall protection. The 6-inch Fox Blocks achieve an ASTM E119 fire rating of four hours (twice the two-hour specification), andASTM E84 value for flame speed less than 25, and smoke development less than 450.
- Fox Blocks ICFs produce shear walls that extend the total height and all sides of the structure, which protects the home against earthquakes. When an earthquake happens, the Fox Blocks ICF design resists sideways (lateral) in-plane loads that force the top of the wall one way while the bottom of the wall stays stationary or pushes in the opposite direction (racking the wall).
- Homes constructed with Fox Blocks ICFs maintain their integrity during severe winds of over 200 mph and withstand projectile debris traveling greater than 100 mph.
Small and Efficient Empty-Nester House Plans
Downsizing empty-nesters want single-family, detached homes that are less than 1900 square feet, and often contain the following floor plan options for their new home.
- 50 percent of empty-nesters want three bedrooms and a full or partial basement.
- 75 percent of empty-nesters want a single-story house.
- 80 percent of empty-nesters want a walk-in pantry and table space in the kitchen for eating.
- 75 percent of empty-nesters want a linen closet in the master bath and two full bathrooms.
Empty nesters can simplify their lives, save money, and help the environment by downsizing to a single-story, energy-efficient, low-maintenance, and durable home. Fox Blocks offers a superior ICF wall product for building a new energy-efficient, low maintenance, and durable home for today's empty-nesters.