Using eco-friendly or green materials and methods in home remodeling is growing in popularity. While it may not be feasible to create a completely green home when you’re remodeling rather than building new, there are many ways to make your plans more earth-friendly.
Choose environmentally friendly materials.
Research products that are certified as having a low environmental impact. Look for paint, flooring and carpeting products that contain low volatile organic compounds. Low-VOC paint is available from most major paint manufacturers. Why choose low-VOC? Paint products are among the worst environmental offenders, producing VOC emissions second only to cars and trucks. For floors, sustainable materials such as bamboo or cork are just as easy to install as higher VOC products.
Another solid environmentally friendly option is recycled products. Consider reclaimed wood for use on floors and walls. If your home remodeling plan includes the addition of a fireplace, there are great alternatives to wood-burning types.
Focus on energy savings.
Saving energy is one of the easiest ways to be green, and keep some green in your wallet, too. Look for Energy Star-rated appliances for your kitchen and laundry room. Another smart energy and money saving choice: flow reducers on bathroom faucets and showerheads, and low-flow toilets, to save on water and heating.
And what about heating and cooling your home? A smart home thermostat system is simple to install and controls temperature settings by weather, occupancy, or time of day.
You can also keep your home temperate regardless of the season — and save on energy use — with low-E glass windows. Low-E glass has a thin, transparent coating that works like a thermos, keeping things cool in summer and warm in winter. Also consider increasing the amount of insulation in your remodeling plans when you can.
Another eco-friendly idea for remodeling or building a new home are solar panels and solar-powered outdoor lighting. Electric lighting is a large energy consumer, whatever your power source. Using programmable lighting to turn indoor lights off during the day or if no one is in the room, and establishing settings that create 90% rather than 100% of a room’s illumination, can result in substantial energy savings and a greener home.
Plan for green cleanup, too.
Don’t forget waste disposal. When you’re planning your home remodeling project, include a strategy for demolition and removal of old materials. Some may be recyclable, reusable or salvaged.
Think green for your contractor search.
Many home remodeling contractors specialize in green building methods and can offer a great deal of guidance in how to maximize the environmental friendliness of your remodeling plans. When it’s time to choose a contractor, Contractor Connection can help. Every contractor in our network has been pre-qualified and stand behind their work with a five-year workmanship warranty. We’ve made it easy to find a contractor — simply enter your ZIP code above and you’ll hear from an experienced contractor in your area. Get your free estimate now!Categories: General Contractors, Home Remodeling Renovation