Renovating Your Home? Think About Making It More Eco-Friendly

Renovating Your Home? Think About Making It More Eco-Friendly
  • Opening Intro -

    If you're a homeowner contemplating a renovation of your house, you're probably feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choices out there.

    More often than not you should opt for a little bit more green-friendly upgrades to make your home expend less energy over time.

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Here are some tips for making your renovation more eco-friendly in areas that also benefit your bottom line.

Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen makeovers, when not over-the-top crazy can recoup a large portion of their cost, which is great for both resale value and building equity. When looking at places to make eco-friendly choices, flooring is a great place to start. Sustainable flooring is gaining in popularity, with woods like bamboo and cork topping the list. Bamboo grows extremely fast and cork doesn’t need the tree to be killed in order to be harvested. Another eco-friendly option is to use reclaimed lumber, such as old barn planks, which work great in both country-style and more industrial kitchens.

Reusing materials is a big part of sustainability in home renovation, and a way to significantly cut costs too. If your kitchen cabinets look dated but are still in great shape, consider saving a big chunk of cash by refinishing them with new paint or stain. Instead of purchasing all new hardware, re-use the existing hinges and pulls by having them professionally re-plated in a more up-to-date finish.

Take a good look at your appliances from an environmental perspective. They may look okay, but are they energy efficient? If not, think about replacing them with Energy Star versions that will also save you money in the long run. Be sure to dispose of your old appliances responsibly, according to your municipal rules.

Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms are another place to recoup renovation expenses, when done properly and in a somewhat neutral manner. The average American home uses 100 gallons of water per person per day. Water consumption is the first place to make more eco-friendly changes. Install low-flow toilet tanks to reduce the amount of water used with every flush.

Showers use quite a bit less water than baths, so to make yours more inviting, think about adding features like a rain shower head, side jets or a steam function. Round out your bathroom renovation with an on-demand hot water heater, and put all your lights and heating elements on timers to reduce unnecessary use.

Exterior Renovations

You can save quite a bit of money and energy resources by doing a thorough assessment of your home’s exterior and replacing inefficient elements. Some examples include:

  • Adding storm doors.
  • Replacing windows with vinyl low-E coated windows and drop-down storm windows.
  • Installing retractable awnings for summer cooling.
  • Building a sun porch to collect heat in the winter and radiate it back into the house after sundown.
  • Checking the roof and attic for heat escaping and insulating accordingly.
  • Eliminating thirsty grass lawns in lieu of native perennials and xeriscaping.

Making the exterior of your home either produce power or reduce energy waste can really you’re your home green and energy friendly. Getting help to install Energy Star rated products can drastically reduce energy consumption.

Once you get started on your renovation, you’ll likely find tons of other places where you can make eco-friendly changes. And once you see how your utility bills drop and your home value climbs, you’ll be more motivated than ever.

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