Green Home Renovation Trends For 2014

Green Home Renovation Trends For 2014
  • Opening Intro -

    The home remodeling industry may have taken a slight dip at the time of recession, but the housing market has recovered since then and homeowners have been making new additions since the last few years.

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The survey from Hanley Wood reveals that there was a 10 percent increase in remodeling sales in 2013 compared to the previous year and further increases are expected in 2014.

And among the renovation options, homeowners are jumping in on the ‘green bandwagon’ because not only are they able to decrease their utility bills and increase the aesthetic appeal of the home, they can make themselves eligible for green renovation tax credits from the federal government.

For example, California offers over $200 for trading a traditional air conditioner for an EnergyStar model. Also, some local governments along with Southern California Edison offer up to $4,500 for efficient renovations in savings. Moreover, some groups like Healthy Planet and American Lung Association are also encouraging green renovations as they help in improving indoor air quality and decrease the negative effects of indoor air pollution.

Green renovations will be seen in large numbers during this year, but among the various renovations that can be carried out, these are the top trends expected:

1. Eco-friendly kitchen remodels

Remodeling Magazine and Hanley Wood together surveyed remodelers and found out that kitchen remodels were expected by 61% of the participants in 2014, and this is a higher number compared to any other rooms inside the home.

It’s quite easy to make eco-friendly additions to the kitchen. Homeowners can start off with coated glass panes that prevent the heat from going out of the kitchen during winters, and choose natural linoleum in a custom design when it comes to flooring instead of the typical vinyl. Eco-friendly appliances are the preferred choice over traditional kitchen appliances.

Homeowners can virtually draw the new window placement or floor design and make revisions to it in real time to get the remodeling done quickly. This is available through drawing management tools, such as the ones described at www.procore.com. Also, the availability of mobile apps with such tools ensures updates can be made to the initial design at any time and from any place.

2. Smart thermostat installations

This is one installation that will increase the energy efficiency of the home as well as increase its resale value. In fact, installing a smart thermostat can decrease energy bills by as much as 20 percent per month.

Apart from the benefit of reduced energy bills, it provides the convenience of controling the temperature inside the house: it can be configured at a particular temperature in advance from a remote location.
Most of the latest models are equipped with smart learning habits, meaning they learn to auto-program themselves after analyzing the desired settings homeowners usually configure. Also, they include smartphone apps for remote configuration and management.

3. Net Zero energy

Net Zero Energy is a relatively new term but it is possible for homeowners to claim zero energy status for their properties with green remodeling. What is basically required is that a property must produce as much energy as it requires on a net annual basis.

So this can be done through solar energy, geothermal energy or wind energy to power certain sections or the entire home. The concept has gained so much popularity in recent times that different states are giving it serious thought.

For example, California now has a new building code, which states that new home constructions will be keeping the zero energy status in mind starting in 2020.

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