Ball Homes has been making dreams come true since 1959. Incorporated by Don and Mira Ball more than sixty years ago, this family-owned and operated business is now operated by Mira and the second generation of Ball management. In the 1990’s the company expanded its strong Lexington base into the surrounding communities of Central Kentucky. The company began building in the Louisville area, starting with nine lots in one neighborhood and growing rapidly to be one of Louisville’s best-selling builders. Since 2011, Ball Homes has established a presence in Knoxville, Tennessee, and currently offers homes in ten communities, including a Maryville location.
In this month’s feature, we asked Fran Stadelman of Ball Homes to share some insight on building HERS homes for their customers.
Q: What is special about a HERS Rated home?
A: Fran: A HERS rated home allows a homebuyer to have a tangible, measurable indication of a home’s energy performance before they buy, which in turn helps them to compare options among both new and existing homes.
Q: Why should consumers ask for the HERS Index Score on homes they are shopping for?
A: Fran: To help them compare options among different homes and to think about how the long-term energy performance of the home is important to them from a value, budgetary, and environmental perspective.
Q: Why does Ball Homes choose to have their homes HERS Rated?
A: Fran: It goes hand in hand with our participation as an Energy Smart Builder. The program and the ratings help us to communicate to homebuyers the value of all the efficiency measures we take in constructing new homes, and to help them understand the advantages of today’s new construction homes in energy performance compared to existing homes that are relatively new, but 5, 10, or 20 years older in terms of design and performance.
Q: Why consumers should expect energy-efficient homes?
A: Fran: People are drawn to new construction and brand new homes because they typically represent the best design, products and methods that are available at the time, so it is a way to remain at the leading edge of the home product available to consumers.
Q: How many homes does Ball Homes build with HERS per year?
A: Fran: All of our homes are HERS rated. Ball Homes closed 652 houses last year – that is in Lexington, Louisville and Knoxville combined.
Q: How do you market HERS Rated homes?
A: Fran: Our website has information about the Energy Smart program and ratings that is an integral part of our messaging about product quality and value. We explain it to customers who are concerned about their energy bills and it seems to help. We let them know that an independent testing and grading company will check to be sure our homes’ energy efficiency far exceeds the average house.
Q: How do your customers feel about HERS Rated homes?
A: Fran: The appeal and value is easy for all consumers to appreciate, and those who come from an engineering or science background are often especially interested in the quantitative approach of the HERS rating. The best tool, if they are energy conscious as they should be, is to explain to them how the HERS scale works, that blower door tests are conducted and that we always achieve favorable scores for Ball Homes. It’s just another opportunity to educate the public.