A shift is taking place in the home building and remodeling industry. Green home renovations, long thought of as too expensive or complex, are more affordable and achievable than ever.
At the same time, homeowners are increasingly concerned with their impact on the environment. That’s why words like energy-efficient, sustainable and recyclable are becoming central to the homebuilding process. On top of that, increasing labor and material costs have a new generation of homebuyers rethinking the entire building and renovation process.
So how do you make a green home happen? Well, Lets Ask John Leksander and find out.
10 Green Remodeling Tips for the Home
Perform an Energy Audit
Before digging into any major green home renovations, it’s important to know how your home is performing currently. Window and door leaks, outdated appliances and inefficient HVAC systems don’t exactly equate to an efficient, eco-friendly home. Knowing the root of the problem is the first step in completing a green remodel.
“Green remodels should start with an energy audit consultation, these are incredibly helpful in-home check ups determining how your house uses energy and ways that it wastes it. John Leksander | www.leksiii.com
Many homeowners end up shocked at how much energy (and money) their home is wasting. Trained professionals can show you exactly where your house is leaking energy or air and provide solutions for those areas.
You can call a professional or perform a basic check on your own. If you need help please feel free to contact Leksiii Construction to set up a consultation.
Below are some starting suggestions and ideas for you to look into.
Upgrade to Eco-Friendly Windows
Drafty windows are the biggest problem in eco-friendly homes. Yours may taking a toll on your heating and air usage, it may be time to upgrade to more modern, energy-efficient windows.
Using materials that are sustainably sourced is also important for a successful green home remodeling job. For instance, cellular PVC is a popular, energy-efficient window material, but it is produced using a process that releases toxins into the earth’s atmosphere. Here are a few green remodeling tips for purchasing responsibly produced windows.
Tips for Buying Eco-Friendly Windows:
Aluminum and steel are recyclable but offer little insulation, making them inefficient.
Vinyl, like PVC, is made using a toxic, highly inefficient production process.
Double and triple-pane glass cost more, but will insulate your home better.
Sustainably-harvested wooden frames are a good choice for eco-friendly windows.
Fiberglass window frames are made from sand, a virtually limitless resource.
Choose Locally Sourced Materials
Choosing an eco-friendly product is great, but if it has to be shipped across the country, it’s hard to say it’s truly green. Buying locally sourced materials requires far less energy to get the products to your door. (You will Also be supporting your local community.)
Beyond supporting small businesses, going local also helps you to choose climate-appropriate materials, making your home more energy-efficient overall.
Switch to Low VOC Paints
Volatile organic compounds, or “VOCs,” are chemicals that evaporate and enter the air at ordinary room temperatures, and they are common in many paints. The VOCs in interior paint come from petroleum-based solvents used in their production.
Low VOC interior paints use water in place of these solvents. Using no or low VOC interior paints lowers the amount of harmful emissions in your home, while also minimizing your consumption of petroleum, a non-renewable resource, making this a great project to add to your list of eco-friendly home improvements.
Check with your local supply companies or lumber yards to find Low VOC paints
Insulate Your Home
Wall cavities – the insulated spaces between an inner and outer wall of your home – are often overlooked during green home remodeling projects. However, they can make or break your home’s efficiency. Luckily, there are green solutions that are both inexpensive and effective.
Blowing cellulose is a quick fix since it can often be blown over insulation that’s already there. On top of that, many states offer rebate programs for completing this eco-friendly renovation project.
Go for a Passive Solar Home Design
Going solar is a great green remodeling project, but you can harness the power of the sun without dropping your entire budget on new solar panels. Passive solar home design is the art of using the sun to your advantage, allowing it to warm your home in the winter while blocking it out in the summer. You’ll be surprised at what a difference some simple changes can make.
Green Home Renovations for Passive Solar Home Design:
Focus renovations on the sides of your home that receive the most sun.
Plant seasonal trees that block sunlight in the summer, but allow it in during the winter.
Choose smart blinds that open and close with light and temperature changes.
Install a solar chimney to improve your home’s heating and ventilation.
Add overhangs or awnings to block direct sunlight from reaching your windows.
Replace Old Appliances
Spending thousands on a new fridge may not be the most cost-effective green remodeling tip, so this tip really depends on your budget and how important new appliances are to you. Either way, it’s important to keep in mind that older appliances were built without efficiency in mind. That means your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and washer/dryer could be sucking up excess energy by the minute.
Install a Smart Home Thermostat
Another one of the best and most popular green remodeling tips today is to install a smart home thermostat. Smart home thermostats can be connected to most electronic devices and controlled from afar, which allows you to adjust your home’s heating and cooling even when you aren’t there.
Some thermostats can even detect when you’ve left the house and adjust the temperature on their own. Installing a smart home thermostat is a great way to cut down your energy bill and increase your home’s efficiency.
A few brands for Smart Thermostats
Add Skylights to Increase Natural Light
If you hate the idea of using lamps in the middle of the day, try adding skylights to light your home naturally. While it might not be cost-effective to install them in every room, you can strategically place skylights in the most commonly used areas during the day, such as the kitchen, living room. Used correctly, skylights can be a great eco-friendly remodeling project for your home and help cut down on your overall electricity use.
The list goes on and there are many ways to go green. You may not have it in the budget to do a complete green home make over. You can start with a little project and continue doing one every season or year.
Going green will pay for itself in the long run while you are saving the earth in the process.
If you have any questions about going green, Leksiii Construction will happily set up a time to help you understand the benefits to you and your home from doing so. Contact us today and let your green journey begin.