When you choose to remodel, you open yourself up to new opportunities when it comes to your home design and style. With recent trends pointing towards sustainable home building, why not take this time to consider all the ways you can turn your house into one that is more earth-friendly?
According to the Dodge Data & Analytics 2015 report on Residential Green Building and Remodeling, 60% of home projects are environmentally-friendly, so it’s easy to see that demand is growing. Most homeowners see a good ROI when it comes to their monthly utility bills, as they see a decrease in costs. In addition, the report also says 80% of homebuyers are willing to pay more for an eco-friendly home. So why wait? See what eco-friendly changes you can make to your home during your remodel.
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If you’re remodeling your kitchen or bath, one of the easiest steps you can take during your remodel is to see what ways you can conserve water. There are many high quality faucets available for both kitchen and bath, in a variety of styles to match your new look. Legally, new faucets can’t exceed 2.2 gallons per minute. Faucets that earn a WaterSense label on them are guaranteed not to go past the federal standard, staying at a water flow of 1.5 gpm. According to WaterSense, this scan save homeowners more than 500 gallons per year!
Another update that conserves water is changing your showerhead. Similarly, to a faucet, you’ll want to look for a WaterSense label, ensuring that the product meets the Environmental Protection Agency standard of only using 2.0 gpm, saving up to 2,900 gallons of water per year.
Another green plumbing upgrade for your bathroom could be replacing your toilet to a low-flush model. Toilets tend to be one of the biggest water-wasters in your home. Low-flush toilets use about half the amount of water the average household toilet uses. If you’re concerned about cost, some cities offer rebates for water-efficient upgrades. Do a little research to see if your area has any available.
If you’re remodeling a small basement or an entire house, there are plenty of energy-efficient upgrades you can include in your plans. One of the best benefits to installing energy-efficient initiatives in your home is the amount of money saved on utilities like gas and electric. From large to small, here are a few ways to save.
If you’re undergoing a large remodel, consider a solar panel installation in your plans. While the average cost of solar panel installation is about $18,168, you have just provided yourself with a free energy source. In addition, homeowners receive a renewable energy tax credit. If the costs are a concern, there are local and nationwide rebates and incentives, so be sure to research what your city may offer.
Green Window Upgrade
New windows are a great upgrade during a remodel. There’s nothing better than bringing in natural light to a room. However, many older buildings have windows not built for temperature control. According to the department of energy, up to 25% of your heating bill is your heater working harder due to the warm air leaving through the windows. If you’re adding new windows during your remodel, now is the time to replace them with double-pane windows and other green options. This will help make you and your wallet more comfortable around the house.
Light fixtures come in a variety to match your new room décor. Thankfully, you can find plenty of lightbulbs that will reduce your carbon-footprint and provide you with the appropriate lighting you need to enjoy your new room. LED lights are a great choice because they last 10 times longer than fluorescent bulbs and are the most efficient on the market right now.
Dimmer switches also help to conserve energy while providing the right lighting for the room. In comparison to the standard flip switch, this helps you only use the light you need at the time. Turn it down for small, cozy gatherings or keep it bright for a dinner party. Because this is an electrical installation, contact a pro to help.
If you’re completely overhauling a room, it’s likely you’ll be using many materials to create the features you want. When it comes to the features of a room, they’re often forgotten about when it comes to eco-friendly remodeling. Here are a few to remember:
If you’re taking steps to improve your home’s sustainability efforts, you’re in luck because eco-friendly flooring is very trendy right now. Reclaimed hardwood or bamboo flooring options will give your room a traditional look that never goes out of style. For a more contemporary look, try sealed concrete or cork, which also help create a healthy home with allergy-reducing properties.
Countertops & Cabinets
Countertops are a beautiful focal point in the kitchen and plenty of thought is put into the look during a kitchen remodel. Similar to flooring, reclaimed or salvage wood is a very trendy and beautiful addition to any kitchen. Recycled paper countertops come in a variety of styles and is sure to be the talking point of the room.
Whatever you decide, make sure it compliments your cabinetry, which also has plenty of sustainable options available. Look for an option that is formaldehyde-free, which is what many wood glues are made of.
Going green in your remodel does not have to be as restrictive as you may think. After all is said and done, you can enjoy your newly remodeled room with a clear conscious that you’re not only saving money, but also saving the earth. Additionally, homes that have a renovation decreasing their energy by 15% and water consumption by 20% may qualify for a National Green Building Standard certification. There are various levels of certification, but this represents that your home remodel has met very specific standards of sustainability. Meaning, not only are you benefitting your wallet now, but will see a good ROI when it comes time to sell.
Looking for more ideas to create a sustainable home? Read Going Green At Home for more ideas on easy changes you can make.