Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. Joins FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania Energy Efficient New Homes Program

Milford, PA builder Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. is excited to announce their acceptance as a participating builder in the Pennsylvania Energy Efficient New Homes Program. This program is offered by FirstEnergy Corporation’s Pennsylvania utility companies including Metropolitan Edison, Pennsylvania Electric, and Pennsylvania Power.

All homes built as part of this program must be at least 15% more efficient than required by building code. The average High-Performance Energy Star home designed and built by Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. is approximately 44% more efficient than required by code: a statistic that has earned them many awards, including the 2010 Green Home of the Year Award from the Pike County Builder’s Association.

The Pennsylvania Energy Efficient New Homes Program is intended to encourage builders and buyers of new homes within the utility companies’ Pennsylvania service territories to include energy efficiency as a design feature. Homes will receive a stringent evaluation conducted by an independent, certified home energy rater to determine whether they meet the program’s 15% minimum above code threshold requirement.

Energy efficient homes can save homebuyers thousands of dollars in energy costs throughout the life of the building. Investing in efficiency measures during construction can continue to provide payback for decades, like many of the homes built by Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. which save their owners, on average, approximately $2,000 a year in utility bills.

For more information on Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc., please call 1-570-296-9200 or visit them online at www.ednikles.com. For more information on FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania Energy Efficient New Homes Program, please visit www.energysavepa-newhomes.com.

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Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. Constructs High Performance Home Earning the Highest Energy Star Rating

Milford, PA – Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc., has certified another Gold Level Green Home under the National Green Building Guidelines with their newest custom built home. Built with many new high-performance, energy-efficient technologies, this beautiful home also scored a 5 star + rating under the Energy Star Program and is 46% more efficient than required by code (earning a HERS Rating of 54), despite its sprawling 4,800 square feet on three levels.

This new home, built in Pennsylvania, was constructed like all other Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. high performance homes – with energy-efficiency in mind. HERS (Home Energy Rating System) is an energy rating system that involves an analysis of a home’s construction plans and on-site inspections. The standard HERS rating homes, in order to become Energy Star certified is 85, or 15% more energy efficient than code. In other words, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. not only surpassed the minimum requirement, but more than tripled it by obtaining a HERS rating of 54 , which is 46% more efficient than a Code-Built home.

In order to create such an efficient home, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. installed a 3-zone hybrid multi-stage heat pump with a high efficiency propane gas back-up; 3 instant hot water heaters strategically located close to the plumbing sources; Pella Architect Series windows; an HRV (heat-recovery ventilator) system that exchanges the air in the house with fresh air; a built-in central dehumidification unit for the lower level of the house, and all Energy Star certified appliances.

It is the energy efficiency plus the proper site planning, use of sustainably materials, water saving plumbing fixtures, and the use of no or low V.O.C. products in the home that enabled them to certify this home as a Gold Level Green Home .

Ed Nikes Custom Builder, Inc. is dedicated to make every home energy-efficient, with “green” home advantages, high-performance technologies, and brand name products. Their unique building processes, including Smart Design (part of their Design/Build Process), make their homes truly unique and customized to fit not only their clients’ needs, but more importantly, their budgets.

For more information regarding Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc.’s energy-efficient homes , please call (570) 296-9200 or visit www.ednikles.com .


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Ed Nikles New Custom Home Triples the Threshold for Home Energy Efficiency !

Milford, PA – Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. has raised the bar for energy efficient homes once again. Their newest high performance home, a three bedroom, two bath ranch home in Dingman Township, not only has a Five Star Plus Energy Star rating (the highest possible), is 48% more energy efficient than code requires, and has a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating of 52; it also saves its owners an estimated $2,517 dollars a year in gas and electric bills.

HERS is an energy rating system that involves an analysis of a home’s construction plans and on-site inspections. The standard HERS rating for energy efficient homes, in order to become Energy Star certified is 85, or 15% more energy efficient. Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. has not only created a home that is 48% energy efficient, but their average HERS rating is 56 – which is 44% more efficient, or almost triple the efficiency threshold required by Energy Star. According to Peter Vargo, a third party verifier who tested the home’s efficiency with a blower-door test, the new home is, out of over 200 houses that he’s tested, “…in the top ten of the blower-door tests that I’ve ever tested for a fiberglass insulated home.” To clarify, a blower-door test determines a home’s efficiency by replacing the entry door with a canvas door, hooking up a fan to a computer, putting negative pressure on the house and determining the home’s efficiency with special energy software.

In order to accomplish this outstanding HERS rating, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. used a variety of building techniques to make the home more efficient. In the basement, they started with a Superior Wall Xi foundation, which comes with 2.5 inches of foam (R-12.5) installed on the walls and provides superior warmth. In the skylight tunnels, they installed 4 inches of rigid foam, which is much more efficient than the standard fiberglass used by other companies, and the home was insulated with upgraded Johns Mansville Formaldehyde-Free insulation, which eliminates off-gassing found in typical fiberglass insulation. In the attic, an R-40 EPS gasketed attic entry system was installed, which uses weather-stripped thick foam to keep heat from leaving through the attic access. In addition, all of the exterior sheathing joints and wall plates were foam caulked and sealed to prevent air infiltration, and a vent fan connected to an automatic timer was installed to exhaust both humid bath and stale air from the home, ensuring cleaner air throughout the house.

As for the mechanical equipment, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. installed a tank-less water heater, which heats on demand, eliminating standing heat loss from conventional tank units and providing virtually unlimited hot water. A 95.5% efficient furnace with 2 inch R-8 insulated ducts, sealed at all joints and seams, was instituted to minimize air leakage. An Energy Star Advanced Lighting Package was installed with 100% compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), as were all Energy Star appliances, including refrigerator, dishwasher, and frontloading washing machine and Energy Star certified Pella windows.

After easily surpassing the standard required by Energy Star, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. has applied for the Builder’s Challenge Certification, administered by the Department of Energy, whose minimum threshold for energy efficiency must be 30% better than code. The Builder’s Challenge Certification recognizes the outstanding home efficiency achieved by Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc., whose goal is to build houses with typical construction methods that are 30-50% higher than code, not just the 15% Energy Star threshold. Their expertise on energy efficiency can save homeowners thousands of dollars per year and their company is dedicated to educating their clients on the many benefits of energy efficient homes.

For more information on this home or any other built by Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc., please call (570) 296-9200 or visit www.ednikles.com or www.greencountryhomes.com . Keepin’ it Green !


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Ed Nikles Custom Builder , Inc. wins 2010 Pocono Choice Award !

Ed Nikles, Sr.

MILFORD – In 2008, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. was recognized by the National Association of Home Builders ( NAHB ) for its custom home building expertise. Now, in 2010, the company’s outstanding reputation has caught the eye of local consumers in Monroe, Wayne, and Pike Counties. As 2010 Winner of the Pocono’s Choice Award in the Home Builders Category, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. is honored as the best and most well-known custom home-building company in the area.

The Pocono’s Choice Competition, conducted by the Polk-Lepson Research Group, is a statistically accurate survey of consumer preference in the Poconos. After surveying hundreds of local consumers in Monroe, Wayne, and Pike Counties, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. was determined the best business in the Home Builders category, breaking the eight-year winning streak of last year’s recipient.

With over forty six years of experience in the construction business, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. has built numerous custom homes in and throughout Pike County. Located in Milford, Pennsylvania, they have received many awards for their state of the art approach to custom building, including their line of “Green Country Homes”. Their Green homes are ecologically friendly and save their homeowners thousands of dollars (up to 50%) in energy savings every year.

Recently, Nikles completed building a 4,600-square-foot custom home that scored silver under the NAHB program and has a 5-Star Plus Energy Star rating.  In 2008, he became the first custom builder in Pike County to build a Gold Certified Green home, and Ed Nikles Sr. , Ed Nikles Jr. & Jim Weber are all Certified Green Professionals.

In 2009, Nikles introduced another new line of construction called Smart Design, in which a plethora of options are incorporated into the home building and operation process for highly sustainable living. These options include choices in price, size, energy efficiency, green options, universal design, products, and land. The goal of Smart Design is to create homes that enable families to live more comfortably, with lower maintenance and utility bills, while still reducing the impact the home has on the environment. Energy, water consumption, building design and materials, and indoor air quality are all taken into consideration during the design, construction and operation of a smartly designed home.

As a full-service Home Construction and Design Company, Ed Nikles has won various local, state, and national awards including the Pennsylvania Builders Association’s “Distinguished Builders” award in 2004, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce “Business of the Year” award in 2006, the National Association of Home Builders “Custom Homebuilder of the Year” award in 2008, and most recently the Pocono’s Choice Award as the “Leader in Home Building” in 2010.

For more information, call Ed Nikles Custom Builder Inc. at (570) 296-9200 or

web : http://www.ednikles.com
Blog: http://ednikles.com/blog

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Advanced Green Building : Building Science

I’m heading out to Las Vegas , NV. to take a brand new 2 day course in Advanced Green Building : Building Science for my Master Green Builder Remodeler designation ( MGBR ) at the 66th annual International Builder’s Show ( IBS )  . This 2 day course instructs builders & remodelers on proper building science techniques for constructing and remodeling high-performance homes . The high-performance ideal encompasses more than just energy efficiency–it’s about potentially creating a more durable , environmentally responsible and sustainable living environment . By using case studies , detailed construction drawings and other resources found on http://greenbuildingadvisor.com/ , NAHB , and BuildingGreen , LLC have developed this course to provide builders & remodelers with the highest-level of information available .

As a graduate of this course , I will be able to :

  • Apply building physics to building performance
  • Translate building science into elements of design & construction
  • Dovetail all features of high performance : energy efficiency , water efficiency , materials efficiency & indoor environmental quality
  • Describe the high-performance home & its benefits to both my team & clients
  • Use all aspects of GreenBuildingAdvisor.com , including “My GBA”, the site’s project management tool , on individual projects & with my project team

As this is only the second time this course is being offered , I look forward to being one of the 1st builders & remodelers in the country to take Green Building to the next level !

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Economic Stimulus Through Home Weatherization and Saving Energy & Lowering Utility Bills

My friend & Green Guru , Michael Chandler ( www.Chandlerdesignbuild.com ) from Mebane N.C. , asked me to pass the word on his latest idea to fix America’s Energy Future and put people back to work without increasing the National Debt !
He’s been pitching the idea to secure small Home Energy Weatherization Loans using the electrical grid connection on the premise that 60% of the existing homes & commercial buildings in America could reduce their annual Energy Bills by approx. $600.00 , if they received a weatherization package that cost $5,000.00 or less ! If the banks made small loans , marketed and collected the payments through the homes electrical provider’s bills , and the work was provided by home insulation companies working with Energy Star HERS Raters , we could jump into fixing our Energy problems quickly ! The loans could be paid back by the homeowners through their monthly electrical bill , saving the taxpayers the cost of the work ! This would mean more work could be done and more jobs created , over a longer period of time without increasing our National Debt !
The government could work through existing State Energy Agencies to implement the project by facilitating low interest rate loans & filtering out the inappropriate houses where $5,000.00 wouldn’t yield enough savings to payback the $600.00 per year in order to maintain customer satisfaction . Since the loans would be secured by electric grid connection & would not result in an increased cost to the electric consumer , the Bank’s Risk would be low. The program would be available to people with bad credit , renters , small businesses , even homes with no equity or in foreclosure ! Once the loan was paid back , the savings would go to the consumer & the homeowners would benefit with lower utility costs & be insulated against future increases !
To see more on Michael’s idea & feedback go to the link in Fine Homebuilding magazine below & please spread the word !


I think Michael’s proposal with the addition of Energy Star Appliances makes a lot of sense ! What do you think ?? Keepin’ It Green ! Ed Nikles Jr.

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Watching Your $ Go Through The Roof Or Keeping It Inside !

We’ve been building custom homes for over 45 years & are always looking for ways to improve our overall quality without stretching the budget . The Green Building Revolution is rapidly bringing new products to the market to make our houses better & save energy costs. I’ve always hated looking up & seeing those ugly attic access panels and kneewall access doors in the 1/2 walls . The other problem is that no matter how much weatherstripping you put around the casing & how carefully you put the insulation on top of ths sheetrock panel – it leaks heat ! I know we’re also constantly repainting the sheetrock panel from all the Plumber’s , HVAC Installer’s & Electrician’s fingerprints . At the 2008 IBS Homeshow , we finally found a product that solves these problems ! Skuttle Tight ( www.skuttle-tight.com ) is an all-in-one attic entry system . The ceiling access ( Model ST-100 ) door & frames are made out of high impact plastic , which is paintable , comes with internal weatherstripping & the EPS foam gives you an R-40 insulating value ! The kneewall panel ( Model ST200-SW ) is similar but has 2 built-in latches & the EPS foam gives you an R-19 ! The other nice feature is that you can install them with the drywall so you can spackle them right in with no ugly casing ! I used Skuttle Tight for the 1st time last summer in my 1st Certified Energy Star / Green Home (which scored GOLD ) & watched with amasement as the thermal imaging camera went over the access panel & it barely looked any different from the R-50 Fiberglass insulation next to it . The Green Verifier / Energy Star Rater , Pete Vargo , said he was “so impressed he was going to put one in his own new house” ! Last Saturday , I replaced my own 2 sheetrock attic access panels with 2 Skuttle Tight units . I ordered a whole skid of ceiling & wall accesses & I’m now using them as standard in all my new homes ! Please let me know what new Green Products you’re seeing out there ! Keepin’ it Green !

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2009 The New American Home ( TNAH ) Las Vegas — Certified Gold Level Green Home by NAHB Guidelines

Today , I toured this Desert Contemporary Architectural Style Home featuring 8,816 Sq. Ft. of Living Space , a subterranean courtyard at the basement level , sky deck (closed due to the rainy weather ) , & wine cellar. It was well worth the 1 hour wait to see TNAH ! Equal parts laboratory , education tool , & product showcase , TNAH incorporates , elements such as builders’ best practices , energy efficiency , indoor air quality , safety , convenience & aesthetics . It demonstrates that excellence in housing performance can be built into any home — large or small , simple or complex . The design , construction , & amenities which showcased the latest in innovative products for the future of home building were driven by consumer preferences & expectations . I would recommend seeing it on line at www.TNAH.com , if you can’t visit it in person ! TNAH incorporated all the key GREEN elements into the design including Resource Efficiency & Water Efficiency as well as the aforementioned Energy Efficiency & Indoor Environmental Air Quality . TNAH achieves 55% whole house energy savings without on-site electrical generation & 76% with the on-site electrical generation via solar panels . The total utility costs for TNAH , which include natural gas & electric usage , are estimated to be approx. $2500.00 per year !  Congradulations to all involved in the 26TH ANNUAL TNAH ! Keepin’ it Green ! Ed Nikles Jr.

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65th Annual National Association of Home Builders IBS Home Show In Las Vegas

Hello everyone , I just arrived in Las Vegas well ahead of next Tuesday’s Opening Ceremonies with Featured Speaker Lou Holtz ( Notre Dame) . For the next 3 days , I’m taking the 3 required courses for my Certified Active Adult Specialist in Housing (CAASH) Designation . I’m especially looking forward to the IBS Courses in Green Building & Sustainability . I also hope to visit The New American Home 2009 which is a net-zero energy home that includes active solar design (photovoltaic cells) , passive solar design (orientation &shading)  , an insulated concrete wall system and a revolutionary gas-powered mechanical HVAC system . I’ll be adding more shortly ! Keepin’  it Green ! Ed Nikles Jr.

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We are starting a new Green blog at Ed Nikles Custom Builder , Inc. in order to keep in touch with our Customers , Trade Contractors , Suppliers & Friends with information regarding Green Building ! We will be adding more shortly ! Happy New Year ! Keepin’ it Green ! Ed Nikles Jr.

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