What are the Different Climate Zones and How Does That Change How My Home is Built?
Texas is home to a wide variety of climate conditions. From the arid desert of the panhandle to the humid coastal plains of the gulf, few other states can boast such ecological diversity. Drive long enough across the expanse and you’ll encounter rolling hills, prairie grasslands, lakes, forests, and much more.
Nearly everything under the open Texas sky falls within three climate zones –specifically, zones two, three, and four. These zones are mapped by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and are based on the long-term patterns of temperature and moisture in a geographical area. Local counties and communities sometimes have their own unique subclimates and weather patterns that vary from the overall zone in which they are situated.
Why Climate Zones Matters
If you think about it, climate influences every part of the home design and build process. Building in a hot-humid region? Your HVAC system will need to have higher cooling and dehumidifying capacity. Building in a storm prone area? Your new home must be able to withstand intense windspeeds. Building in a place with both hot and cold seasons? Insulation type and thickness need to be considered, as well as air and vapor permeability concerns. The climate can also impact design choices of a house’s size, shape, foundation type, plumbing and electrical systems, interior and exterior finish materials, etc.
That’s why Texas’ building code accounts for the climate zone where a home will stand. It’s a critical detail to how the home should be constructed and which materials are best suited for the location.
What Not to Do
In our modern world, we’ve somewhat divorced ourselves from the importance of place and climate in the homebuilding process. It’s easy to do. With a few keystrokes you can quickly find house plans for sale online. Websites that sell these plans provide search filters, allowing their nationwide customers to browse through blueprints based on a range of criteria: house style, square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage size, and more. Sounds like a good thing, right?
Here’s the kicker though.
Often, there is no filter option for climate zone. Meaning, a customer in Texas can buy and build the same house plans as a customer in Vermont. Why would a Texan build a home designed for Vermont’s winter cold and heavy snow loads? Wouldn’t it be better to build something designed for local conditions? This example is absurd, but it illustrates the point well – climate is central to everything about home building.
Texas Home Builders for Nearly a Century
It’s best to work with a local builder that knows the climate like the back of their own hand. That’s us. When you work with Tilson Homes, you get the benefit of our long experience. Today we build quality, energy-efficient homes across Texas’ climate zones two and three. That covers the majority of the state.
Our attractive floor plans are fully code compliant to meet today’s energy conservation requirements. And the best part? Every floor plan can be further customized to match the specifics of your local climate and build preferences.
To learn more about how we optimize every home for energy efficiency and climate conditions, check out our energy efficiency video and articles for details.
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