UNLESS THEY'RE WAY AHEAD of the curve, most builders don't know much about making homes healthier. A new Web site, www.saferbuilding.com, hopes to change that.
Aimed at builders, Realtors, and consumers, the site is a clearinghouse for information and education on the safest and healthiest building methods possible.
“Many of our competitors discuss materials,” says Safer-Building founder Michelle Miller, “but we are the only ones to discuss methods, have a certification program, [and] have environmental disclosures, all to make the properties safer overall.”
So how does it work? For $4 each, the site offers 24 how-to guides that give contractors better ways of doing things. Each guide contains a materials list, directions, and common mistakes, among other things. A builder can buy all 24 guides for $50.
The site also offers a certification program—for $80 a house—that lets builders show home buyers that the house meets certain health standards. Builders fill out an extensive questionnaire about various areas of the house and receive a certificate once all the requirements are met.
Building a safer, healthier house does cost a little more, Miller admits, but it could also increase property value and make a home more marketable.