In 2004, Jan and Kim Hibbs took a leap of faith and jumped into the custom home building business with both feet. A former news anchor with KSDK in St. Louis, Kim had long had an interest in changing careers and building homes in partnership with his wife, a local real estate agent. After years of fixing and flipping homes as a family, they shifted into whole home building. Today, Hibbs Homes is known as one of the top custom home builders in the St. Louis region – and has expanded into Salt Lake City, Utah. The success of Hibbs Homes is directly tied to the superior quality of the homes that are being built. Every home is certifiably better, built above code, and held to a higher standard.
In this month’s feature, we asked Danni Eickenhorst, Director of Sales and Marketing at Hibbs Homes to share some insight on building HERS homes for their customers.
Q: What is special about a HERS Rated home?
A: Danni: We believe in building a better home. We educate our clients on how small choices can add up to a big impact in their final home design – but it can all seem a bit abstract when you’re the client. We love handing our clients their HERS Rating Report and showing them the true impact of the choices that we’ve made along the way – and the savings that they can look forward to enjoying for years to come.
Q: Why should consumers ask for the HERS Index Score on homes they are shopping for?
A: Danni: A home without a HERS score is untested and unproven. The potential utility bills and maintenance costs are unknown that may impact your family’s budget. When you have a home with a proven HERS rating, it is likely to be a better-built high-performance home that will serve its occupants in ways that other homes simply cannot. During the course of their ownership, the homeowners will enjoy better indoor air quality, lower maintenance, and reduced utility bills thanks to the higher quality of construction.
Q: Why does Hibbs Homes choose to have their homes HERS Rated?
A: Danni: We love delivering on the promises that we make to our clients. The HERS Rating is one way that we can show them that we’ve delivered on our promise.
Q: Why consumers should expect energy-efficient homes?
A: Danni: Every client has a budget that they need to stick within – both for construction costs and the monthly operation of their home. When budget matters, energy efficiency should be top of mind. By investing a little more into the materials and craftsmanship of your home, you’re protecting the environment and realizing savings for the life of your home.
Q: How many homes does Hibbs Homes build with HERS per year?
A: Danni: Every home we build is high-performance. We’ve started incorporating the HERS rating system more consistently in our build process, because of the peace of mind it provides our clients. Our goal in 2020 is to provide a HERS Rating on every home we build.
Q: How do you market HERS Rated homes?
A: Danni: In the custom home building process, we believe education is everything. We have a podcast where we educate potential clients on what they can expect. In a recent episode, we focused solely on HERS ratings and high-performance building methods. Consumers need to know that they can have a better-built home and that there’s no reason to settle for anything less. We have a brochure that we use that shows the HERS scale, where other builders come in and how we consistently rate. We also write about the ratings system and our home building process regularly on our blog. We also showcase each home, their ratings, and what they mean on social media. Click here to see a recent post on Instagram.
Q: How do your customers feel about HERS Rated homes?
A: Danni: They take pride in their scores. Those that really “get it” often end up texting us copies of their utility bills as they settle into the home in pure disbelief at the performance of their home. We often find that the HERS Ratings and reports even slightly underestimate the true performance of the home – which makes for a very pleasant surprise for our homeowners.