A Guide to Green Renovation and Why it Matters
Posted by Amelia Frank on Jul 15th 2020
Rather than building a new home or buying a new home, many homeowners decide to green renovate their existing homes. The first step in this process is having a home building that is sustainable. The purpose of this is to make the home energy efficient while minimizing construction waste, which is becoming ever-increasingly popular all across the country. Some builders and homeowners are being rewarded handsomely for sustainable home renovations and sustainable construction.
How to Accomplish a Sustainable Home Renovation
Developing a more sustainable or greener home can be as easy as installing a low-flush toilet. This can only cost no more than $100. If the homeowner wants to take on embarking on a massive green remodeling project the cost can be some $20,000 more than a non-sustainable one. However, in time, the homeowner can recoup some of the costs with a reduced electricity bill. A green approach to remodeling should be considered an investment rather than an expense. Homeowners will also see an increase in the value of the home as well as a reduction in the energy bills, and a cleaner lifestyle as the result of using non-toxic materials. That entails considering a bathroom remodeling strategy that is efficient and contributes to your home’s sustainability.
A great place to begin a green renovation project is to get in touch with an energy auditor. This will result in a sustainable home as well as an efficient home renovation. An assessment of energy can involve thermal imaging with infrared as well as a visual inspection to detect energy loss. Unwanted airflow will be picked up one a blower, which will also detect unwanted airflow through cracks on the surrounding entry points such as roofs and windows.
A home’s floor plan includes such things airtight windows and insulation. These items have an enormous impact on how easily the homeowner will live a sustainable and modern life. It can also eliminate some 30% of household energy bills. Here are some of the sustainable building options that should be considered
The physical orientation of the home as well as the way that interacts with the seasons are considerable parts of a passive design. If the homeowner intends to embark on a considerable renovation or add a ‘greener’ home addition, this might give the homeowner an opportunity to consider where each living space goes. For instance, the homeowner might want to reconfigure the living room, where the homeowners spend the majority of the daytime hours. This will provide the maximum heat and sun during the wintertime, which will reduce the home heating costs.
Lighting, Cooling and Heating
Another thing to consider is the addition of natural light with skylights. In order to prevent a black hole where the skylight is at night, homeowners should consider installing LED lights in the shaft. Using an opaque filter to cover the opening will create some soft lighting. Another thing that will also make a big difference is the outdoor color of the home. If the homeowner lives in a warm climate, use lighter colors for a cooling effect. In colder climates, black or dark colors are used on the outside of a home because the exterior of the home will hold heat.
Renovation Materials for Green Living
It is important to purchase materials for an ecological home renovation. There are some ways to find new materials and reusing what has already been used while mixing some special creativity. There are guides available for consumers and the most sustainable cabinets. These programs rate options on five different categories that include air quality and environmental stewardship. One of the primary reasons that home builders or renovators should select a specific cabinet company.
There are numerous websites that offer consumers a lot of information about sustainable building materials, including everything from bathroom fixtures to roofing to plumbing. Each section offers a detailed list of what to look for in order to make sure the materials are sustainable.
Reuse and Reclaim Materials from Home Renovation
Over 400 million tons of solid waste pollution in landfills across the world comes from constructions and demolitions. We have a role to play in saving our planet, which means that we have to minimize the amount of home renovation materials that end up in landfills. You can reduce your renovation’s carbon footprint by reusing and reclaiming materials.
Reusing: Instead of buying new kitchen cabinets, it would be more budget and environmentally conscious to repaint existing cabinets for as long as they are functional. If your door frames, knobs, or hinges are in good shape but the door itself is not, you can replace the door but reuse the hinges, for example. You just need to ensure that the items are removed carefully from their original location to avoid breakages. And even if some materials are not in the best condition, perhaps because they indicate some decomposition or they got a little damaged during the remodeling, you can still use them to renovate low-traffic, not-so-visible locations in your home. Minimal decomposition can be cured by a fresh coat of paint.
Reclaiming: This means using local renovation materials that were previously used by another homeowner but are still in good condition, as opposed to shipping materials across the country. These reclaimed materials could actually be hand-carved wood or other antique fixtures that can make a huge difference between your home’s elegance and other homes in the neighborhood. Others could be uniquely crafted moldings that don’t exist anymore, and that will give your home a unique blend of vintage and modern design.
Reusing and reclaiming reduces the need to buy new items, which consequently reduces your reliance on raw material. Trees don’t have to be stripped from the earth for humans to build houses when already-existing wood is being thrown into landfills. Besides, when it comes down to it, remodeling using recyclable materials has no known negative effects. It helps you save money, and save the planet while at it, without compromising on quality.
A Summary of the Benefits of Green Renovations
The obvious benefit of green renovation is that it improves and reduces energy use in your home. That makes your life comfortable and efficient. Others include:
- Increase home value. New homeowners are now more environmentally conscious than homeowners of the early 2000s and before, all thanks to consistent environmental conservation programs by green movements across the world. Potential home buyers want more energy efficient homes that have beautiful green lawns, and that are built of non-toxic building materials. If your home fits that bill, it will most likely command a higher price than other homes in the neighborhood.
- Even if you don’t want to resell your home, green renovations precipitate better air quality and consistent moderate temperatures, which is good for your health. Green renovations also minimize the challenges of moisture and mold growth.
- Reduced carbon dioxide emissions. It is our religious duty to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions and slow down (if not reverse) climate change for the benefit of future generations.
Green renovations are more feasible today than ever before thanks to the ever-improving green technology. If you are unsure about sustainable remodeling, please liaise with a green home professional in discovering sustainable materials and techniques for your planned renovations. You have no excuse for not saving the planet.