Celebrating 25 years & the cooler fall temperatures

Happy Birthday to our October Employees
Erica Morrison – Office & Field Assistant: 10 years ago a young woman from Northern Arizona with little work experience accepted our phone reception job.  Today Erica is a key employee, expert in navigating our computer programs while being the focal point for communications and reporting on ½ of Merlin Custom Home Builders’s large projects worth millions of dollars.   Erica manages our web presence and organizes the best company parties.   She is a bright light to those in the office and out in the field.  Our homeowners think the world of her and we look forward to 10 more years!

Gil Ogles – Project Manager:  What a find!  When one of our best project managers retired at the beginning of this year, we found Gil.   A Merlin Custom Home Builders project manager can build the most complex structures, understand the most cutting edge finishes, converse with architects, engineers, designers, inspectors, and get the best out of his tradesmen while providing the office with schedules, budgets and more.  All of that while fitting in with Merlin Custom Home Builders’s core values and culture.  It’s been less than a year but it feels like Gil has been a part of the Merlin Custom Home Builders Team for a long time!

Merlin Custom Home Builders October Employee Anniversary
Erica Morrison:  Happy 10th Anniversary with Merlin Custom Home Builders.

Building Success 101 

Q: Should You Consider Installing an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

A: Merlin Custom Home Builders installed our first Energy Recovery Ventilator in The 2004 New American Home®.  This show home for the International Builders Show was designed to highlight best building practices, the latest designs and newest systems.  Then as now for homeowners who want to improve indoor air quality, Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) and heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) provide a supply of fresh, outdoor air to the house while exhausting stale indoor air. They also help save energy because the supply and exhaust streams pass through a heat exchanger inside the unit, where energy is transferred from one air stream to the other. This heats the incoming air during winter and cools it in summer, reducing the load on the heating or cooling system. The most efficient models use less than 25 watts of electricity while supplying 40 to 50 cubic feet per minute of fresh,
tempered air to the home.

Many of our buyers are less interested in “green” construction than they are in homes that offer health, comfort, and low ownership costs.

The Merlin Custom Home Builders Team has been building custom homes with the “green” concept in mind for 25 years.  From the early days when we recommended additional insulation, better performing windows and tighter homes, Merlin Custom Home Builders’s homes were and are built for generations of families.  Both Steve and Bart are Certified Green Builders by the NAHB.  Robert Brown (our estimator) has completed the 40 hour HERS training course.  Merlin Custom Home Builders installed Southern Nevada’s first two large custom energy saving “gas fired chillers”, set up numerous solar systems throughout the valley and built two homes completely off the grid.  Merlin Custom Home Builders appreciates that “green” is different for each of our custom homes and works with our homeowners, presenting options, associated costs and, when possible, payback timelines.

The good news is that homes built with attention to energy and durability have many “green” benefits, and are far better for the environment than many older homes. And their owners reap a harvest of concrete benefits.

That point is echoed by no less an authority than the U.S. Green Building Council, which defines a green home as “healthier, more comfortable, more durable, and more energy efficient, with a much smaller environmental footprint than conventional homes.”

Matt Power, editor-in-chief of Green Builder magazine, agrees that the term “green” doesn’t connect with a lot of buyers—even though builders who embrace the term do a great job meeting those buyers’ needs. “What we have come to understand as green is really just good building practice. It’s a high-performance home that’s healthy, safe, and comfortable, with predictable expenses.”

Of course even a conventional new home will be better on all these counts than one built as recently as 10 years ago, thanks to more stringent energy codes. But high-performance professional custom home builders are raising the bar even higher.

These builders prioritize health, comfort, and energy efficiency with top-shelf doors and windows, high R-value insulation, careful air sealing, and ventilation systems that provide a steady supply of fresh air. By doing so they reduce heating and cooling bills, eliminate uncomfortable drafts, and ensure that the homeowners enjoy a healthy environment. These techniques also keep the home quieter by helping to muffle street noise. The result is a home that’s a sanctuary—a retreat where the family can relax.

When it comes to heating, cooling, and electric bills, the savings can add up fast. A savings of just $120 per month is $1,440 per year, or a five-year savings of $7,200.  Merlin Custom Home Builders’s Las Vegas 2004 New American Home® was monitored for one year by the Department of Energy and they found it required 48% less energy to heat and cool than the conventionally built homes.

High-performance custom home builders also use quality products and careful construction detailing to reduce costly repairs over time. These details include good moisture management to keep water out of the structure, eliminating worries about mold and rot, as well as top-end mechanical equipment that will last for years without the need for replacement or repair. For instance, with today’s variable speed furnaces the fan runs at low speed much of the time. Besides requiring less fuel to operate, the fan will last longer than one in an older furnace, which runs only at high speed and is constantly switching on and off.

Which features the builder prioritizes will depend on the design, climate, local utility rates, and construction budget. A better insulation package might offer the best return on investment in one case, while upgraded windows might be the first choice in another. The professional custom home builder will be familiar with the local market and able to choose the best options for the particular feature.

The ultimate benefit offered by the high-performance custom home is peace of mind. “What we’re really talking about is making the home more resilient,” says Power. “Because the home has a lower cost of ownership over time, the homeowners are better able to plan for, and weather, economic ups and downs.”

Warm Regards,



Steve Jones & Bart Jones
Merlin Custom Home Builders
6408 S. Arville Street
Las Vegas, NV 89118

702.257.8102 – Phone