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Bright Lights, Big Savings with Melbourne's Lifestyle Homes

By David Boegaard

Melbourne, Florida stands facing the rising sun on the Atlantic coast, palms and balmy warmth. It's hard to imagine a better place to take advantage of solar power, and to do it in style. That's why LifeStyle Homes has founded their company in the Melbourne area to construct energy-efficient homes with customizable designs.

Started by two former teachers, John Luhn and Larry Hufford, LifeStyle Homes has been building homes in Brevard and Indian River Counties for more than 30 years. They not only build homes here in Melbourne, they call the area home. So from the beginning they focused on doing a great job and building a sterling reputation. As the founders grew older, their children took over the helm of the business, and it is now owned and run by John's son, Jordan Luhn, and Larry's daughter, Karen Kicinski.

In the early days there was no real talk of energy-efficient homes. So LifeStyle Homes began as an affordable contractor who did reliably excellent work creating custom homes in the area. Over the years, though, they have developed increasingly ambitious designs and homes. As affordable solar panels and insulation materials have become available, LifeStyle has been at the cutting edge of new technology.

Today, LifeStyle remains at the forefront, building beautiful, custom homes. "We have many modern plans to select from, however we do allow homebuyers to customize our plans to complement their tastes and lifestyles," says owner Karen Kicinski. "We also have a full custom home division for buyers who want a truly unique home."

But while there are many beautiful homes in the area, few have the sort of with outstanding, convenient energy saving construction that is LifeStyles specialty. "Each home we build adheres to our LifeStyle SunSmart energy-saving building envelope, which was developed in partnership with the scientists at the Florida Solar Energy Center," notes Kicinski.

LifeStyle Homes even built the first solar-powered, zero-energy home on Florida's Atlantic coast in 2010. And that was just the start. "Since that time," Kicinski says with pride, "we've built about 75 more solar homes for residents of Central Florida."

LifeStyle's new homes are so energy efficient that they can nearly cut energy costs in half! "In fact, each home we construct meets such high energy-efficient standards that each one is guaranteed to save each homeowner at least 40% on their energy bills when compared to typical new homes built today," says Kicinski. It may sound like magic, but the secret is good science put to use by the skilled, knowledgeable people at LifeStyle.

Although LifeStyle only works on new construction, Kicinski has some recommendations for people seeking to renovate an existing home for greater energy-efficiency. "Homeowners can make certain energy-efficient renovations to their existing homes by replacing windows and sliding-glass doors with double-pane Lo-E glass," she recommends. "They can also choose to invest in efficient hot water heaters, as well as energy-efficient heating and cooling systems."

Not everyone can afford to build a new custom home, even at the great prices that LifeStyle Homes offers. But Melbourne is fortunate to have the families that have run LifeStyle for the last 30 years. Such honest business people and good neighbors make the world a better place, and are always welcome.

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