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Five Eco-Friendly Principles to Remodel By

April 22nd is Earth day, making this month a good time to reflect upon how we can be better stewards of our environment, including the making of a house to be better than you found it!  When doing home remodeling, besides including your wants and must-haves, consider long range needs in the design, and select quality materials and craftmanship that will last. Since utility cost increases can outpace income increases, being efficient more quickly brings a return on investment, and making your home be inclusive for all can help the value when it is time to sell. Here are four facets to consider including in your home remodeling project to keep your update current for many years.

  • Energy Efficiency The greatest loss of maintaining desired indoor temperature comes from missing or inadequate wall or ceiling insulation, poor quality windows & doors, and leaks around outlets, switches, and plumbing. One can have an audit with a thermal imaging to see areas of loss to make a plan of remediation. Minimizing direct sunlight with roof overhangs and landscaping helps to create a microclimate with shading. When it is time to buy appliances, seek out the highest efficiency ratings available to reduce energy load. There are hybrid water heaters that uses warm air and exhausts cold air, a perfect application for “free air conditioning” for a garage! Harness the power of the sun with solar water heaters, or even for electricity. Do forget to choose water efficient appliances as well.
  • Indoor Air Quality A study of a sampling of homes found that most had worse air quality than the outdoors! With a better insulating seal of the home, a fresh air exchange becomes very important. Climates such as Phoenix do better with an energy recovery ventilation system. Specify no VOCs for your paint, cabinetry, flooring (including glue), and insulation. Award winning Pure Genius Hardwood floor by Lauzon boasts the nanotechnology in their floor will remove 85% of the toxins in the air.
  • Universal Design/Aging in Place Universal design answers, Yes to could you negotiate your house in a wheelchair, and have a usable bathroom? People want a walk in shower with a shower bench and a hand held shower in their master bathroom. For a list of ten elements to include when remodeling to make your home more accessible, click here. People want to remain in their homes and live as independently as long as they can.
  • Multi-Generational Living Having a second master bedroom designed as a mother-in-law suite offers many options that a family may need through life’s stages. It could be used for an aging parent, later for an adult child, for a spouse who is a light sleeper, for an added income, or for a caretaker.

Green Remodeling used to be about what products were made from, how they were made and shipped. Now it is also about systems and design as well as product selection to conserve resources and increase healthier living.

Happy Home Remodeling!

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