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The 5 Hidden Benefits of Energy Efficiency


By: Ben Cook

It’s been said that a home should breathe; the problem being that if someone builds a leaky house, what comes in and out of the walls, ceiling and windows is entirely out of the homeowner’s control.


It is true that there should always be a pathway for water to dry outward, away from the house, and great care should be used to ensure that it does. However, here in Wichita, there is no required inspection for proper weather barrier installation or insulation—so, why do we care about it so much about it at Bob Cook Homes?


1) Money: Why would you go to the trouble of paying your gas and electric bill, ask your furnace/air conditioner to make it 40 degrees different inside than it is outside, and then let all of the air leak back out of your house 5-7 times an hour? Cutting that air leakage down to 1 time an hour or less will save a ton on utilities. The temperature-controlled air your house produces gets to stay in your home for people to enjoy it. With less air escaping your walls, less stress is also placed on your HVAC equipment, meaning that a house can easily have bills 50-60% lower than a standard house.


Bob Cook Homes cost: standard.


2) Air quality: It’s true that provisions have to be made to bring fresh air into a tight house, which is why we include an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) in all of our homes. Rather than letting a home “leak,” this brings in quality air that is worlds apart from a standard home, and in a different galaxy altogether from an older home. What that means is less allergens, no possibility for mold, and absolutely minimal dust and bug intrusion. 


Bob Cook Homes cost: standard.

Also, if air quality is particularly important, homes can be easily set up for climate control without any ductwork. 


3) Longevity: Homes can be built to last 200 years or more if the proper care is taken to ensure that water stays out and air stays in. Paint will fade, roofs will get hailed on, but the essential structure can keep itself dry. Water is the most destructive element to a home—causing rot and decay mildew, mold spores, warping and rust. Proper site drainage, air and water barrier installation, window details—it all adds up to a structure that lasts. Many bare-bones remodels and foundation repairs can be avoided by setting a home up properly to begin with. Since a home is often your most expensive lifetime purchase, it’s so important that you don’t have to keep sinking money into it to fix a problem that should have been avoided in the first place.


Bob Cook Homes cost: standard.


4) Strength: While even our standard home achieves all of the above benefits, we offer several additional methods of construction as upgrade options for additional insulation and strength, depending on overall project goals and budget. First, by using closed-cell foam, we effectively glue together walls, making them 80-200% more rigid than minimum builder code walls. Then, the most indestructible option on the market today, Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) provide 4 inches of total foam for interior and exterior insulation, filled with 4 inches of steel-reinforced concrete. At Bob Cook Homes, we have been building and installing ICF homes for over 20 years; in addition to a 200-mph wall rating, they make your home a fortress much less susceptible to earthquakes, fire, flood or wind noise. Lastly, we provide stagger framing as a mid-range option that includes 6-to 8-inch walls with offset studs and continuous insulation.


Bob Cook Homes cost: average 1-15% of total project cost upgrade


5) Sound: With each of the methods described above, as additional exterior insulation is added to increase strength, an added benefit you can expect is sound reduction. By interrupting the exterior surface of the house from noise vibrations, the house is no longer a transmission sounding board for unwanted sound. The end result? A 60 mph straight wind’s effects can be seen outside the windows, but not heard whatsoever. Neighbors stay up late throwing parties or mow at 6 a.m. on Sundays? No problem—all that will remain a blissful mystery.


Bob Cook Homes cost: average 2-10% of project cost upgrade


When it comes to custom home building, it’s easy to get excited and even distracted by the materials and finishes that are on the surface level. But, as styles come and go, the structural integrity of your home should withstand the tests of time. At Bob Cook Homes, we are proud to provide energy-efficient homes designed to lower ongoing costs and maintenance and provide a higher standard of living for the long-term.


Want to learn more about the home building process?

Contact our office at (316) 789-9932 or email to schedule a visit today!


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“Building a home requires a LOT of decisions! Building our home with Bob Cook Homes was one of the best decisions we made! The entire staff was unbelievable! Always professional, courteous and helpful, Bob, Ben, Cyndi, CK and Syd made a normally stressful process enjoyable! I would recommend Bob Cook Homes if you are looking to build a home!”

Chrissy and Darrin M.

“Let me say the words ‘thank you’ seem so little when we think of the heart felt thanks that goes out to you and your team for making a twenty-three-year dream become a reality. Bob Cook Homes is truly a first-rate company!”

Warren K.

“We are continually amazed at the fine quality and outstanding attention to detail in our Bob Cook Home. We appreciate the customer service we have received and being able to get answers to our questions quickly and without hesitation. We would recommend Bob Cook to anyone wanting a quality new home.”

Monte and Carol M.

“Building a home for the first time can be a daunting undertaking. Needless to say, we were very nervous about the building process. We soon learned, however, that our fears were unfounded. With his personal attentiveness and attention to detail, Bob showed us that home building is not a nerve wracking process, but rather a wonderful transition into a new residence for our growing family. Thank you for building us a gorgeous, well-constructed house that we are proud to call home!”

Brian and Mandy W.

“Bob Cook and his crew built us a nice wonderful home. It’s everything we expected. Subcontractors were really nice and helpful. Someone was working on our home on a regular basis. It was in built in a timely manner. We love showing off our home and would highly recommend Bob Cook to build your home.”

Virgil and Peggy H.


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