Those of us who have been in the new home building business for many years know that the materials and products we use are constantly changing so that they become more environmentally friendly. This is in large part due to the fact that there are more and more people in our industry that are concerned about the impact homebuilding has on the environment.

As products have changed over the years, so to have the homes we build. At BUILDER we have a tradition of delivering well built homes to our customers. That said, the homes we build today are more energy efficient, use less water and are safer to live in than homes we built just a few years ago. Today we incorporate dozens of green1 building practices into every home we build.

Because today’s BUILDER home is built tighter than previously built homes, things like indoor air quality are of much more concern to most. Levels of pollutants in indoor air can be from two to more than 100 times higher than outdoors, according to the U.S. EPA. That indoor pollution is due in large part to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that evaporate or off-gas, from products in the home. To help reduce this indoor pollution, we use low VOC paints, which cover the largest exposed area within the home.

A new home is no longer just the sum of its construction parts. Our homes today are a product of building professionals designing a series of systems that all work together to create a home that will be more comfortable and longer lasting than its predecessors. The heating system, for example, is designed with specific elements of the insulation system in mind; the insulation system is improved by advanced framing techniques2 utilized in the framing system. The Building Science3 term for this type of consideration in home design and construction is the Whole House approach.

1- Green building means incorporating environmental considerations and resource efficiency into our new homes and into the site development process to minimize its environmental impact. Energy and water efficiency, site development, resource efficient building design and materials, indoor environmental quality, maintenance, and the home’s overall impact on the environment are taken into account during the design, construction, and owner operation of the home.

2- Advanced framing is a collection of techniques to reduce construction waste and the lumber required for wood-framed houses, while increasing energy efficiency and simplifying framing layout.

3-Building science is the study of how all systems in a house function together to optimize home performance and prevent building failure. This includes the detailed analysis of building materials and building envelope systems.

Your House Needs Your Help!

This document is called an Operator’s Manual for a reason. The proper operation of your new home requires 24/7 consideration and implementation. Even with all we have done to deliver a safer and more efficient home, all of the benefits won’t be fully reached unless your home is operated properly.

Home Operation and Maintenance – We are proud of the homes we build and the neighborhoods in which we build them. We strive to create lasting value. This is best achieved when you, as the homeowner, are familiar with the operation of and maintenance requirements for the various systems inside and outside your home. Periodic maintenance is necessary keep these systems at peak performance which in turn, reduces your long term costs, increases the life and value of your home. Natural fluctuations in temperature and humidity and severe weather can also affect your home, resulting in additional homeowner maintenance items.

In addition to routine care, often minor maintenance provided immediately saves you a more serious, time-consuming, and sometimes costly repair later. Note also that neglecting routine maintenance can void limited warranty coverage on all or part of your home.

We recognize that it is impossible to anticipate and describe every attention needed for complete home operation and maintenance. We have focused on items that homeowners commonly ask about. The subjects are listed in alphabetical order (A – Z Operating Guide) to make finding answers to your questions convenient.

Each section includes a performance standard, operation and/or maintenance details and BUILDER’s limited warranty guidelines (more information in General Procedures). Many sections also contain general notes and/or greener living tips.

Because we offer home buyers a variety of home designs and optional features, this manual may discuss components that are not present in your home.

Checklists – You will find several checklists included in this manual. These cover trouble shooting guides for A/C, Electric, Heating, and Plumbing, appliance service information, home maintenance supplies list, and a maintenance schedule. Additional check lists are found in the Fire Prevention and Going To Be Away sections. Again we make no claim that we have included every detail. We do believe we have provided you with a good start.

Greener Living – We have included a special green section devoted to provided great tips and suggestions for living a greener life. We cover everything from lawn care to cleaning products; grocery shopping to recycling, energy and water conservation and a whole lot more.

Manufacturer Literature – Please take time to read the literature (warranties and care & use guides) provided by the manufacturers of consumer products and other items in your home. The information contained in this material is not repeated here. Although much of the information may be familiar to you, some points may differ significantly from homes or products you have had in the past.

We make every effort to keep the information in this manual current. However, if any detail in our discussion conflicts with the manufacturer’s recommendations, you should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Activate specific manufacturer’s warranties by completing and mailing any registration cards included with their materials. In some cases, manufacturer’s warranties may extend beyond the first year and it is in your best interests to know about such coverage.

This manual is not a substitute for your warranty! See the General Procedures section for more details and links to the HBR of CNY Limited Warranty.

The performance standards in this manual reflect the most recent version of the Limited Warranty. There may be slight differences between newer standards and previous versions. BUILDER will meet the performance standards in effect on the date the warranty signature page was signed.

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