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R-Value Homes

R-Value Homes builds net-zero-ready homes in West Michigan featuring uncompromising comfort, health, and durability.


Locations: Michigan
Jake Vierzen founded R-Value Homes in 2004, after 10 years at a Michigan-based commercial concrete contractor, starting as a laborer, and quickly moving into the position of a poured wall foreman.

In this month’s feature, we asked R-Value Homes owner Jake Vierzen to share some insight on building HERS® homes for their customers.

Q: What is special about a HERS Rated home?

A: Jake: A HERS-rated home has been inspected and tested by an unbiased third-party to verify important durability and energy performance details. In a world where claims can easily be made, but are rarely backed up. a HERS rating proves the builder’s claims; and is a great way to compare one home to another, or one builder to another.

Q: Why should consumers ask for the HERS® Index Score on homes they are shopping for?

A: Jake: Asking for a HERS score is like asking for the JD quality report and the EPA mileage estimate when purchasing a new vehicle. We think it is important to know what we are actually purchasing when it comes to a car, how much more does it matter on a home that we intend to maintain for decades, needs to provide shelter and security, ought to promote our health (or at least not harm it), and should be comfortable to live in.

Q: Why does RValue Homes choose to have their homes HERS® Rated?

A: Jake: We want to know we are building the best home, and it helps us understand how to improve each design to get the maximum performance.

Q: Why consumers should expect energy-efficient homes?

A: Jake: Homeowners should demand energy-efficient homes because of the impact these homes have on their pocketbooks, health, quality of life, and the environment.

Q: How many homes does RValue Homes build with HERS® per year?

A: Jake: Every home we build has a HERS rating. We build 3-5 homes per year.

Q: How do you market HERS® Rated homes?

A: Jake: We spend a great deal of effort marketing our homes since most people have no idea how much better their homes can be. Blogging and the creation of videos are a major part of that, as well as utilizing social media, speaking and exhibiting at local trade shows, and educating local home designers.

Q: How do your customers feel about HERS® Rated homes?

A: Jake: For the most part people are skeptical the performance will be as good as the initial HERS projection. But when their bills pretty well match the predictions, they become believers, and some even like to brag about their score. One of my architects likes to share the scores of his homes that we build too.