Ten Ways to Have An Eco Savvy Home Remodeling Project
When doing home remodeling, it is easy to design what changes you want now, but it is also important to keep the future in mind. Utility costs could increase greater than income, and new homes will be more green and eco-friendly. You want to make yours an attractive choice when it is time to sell. Here are ten facets to consider including in your home remodeling project to be more futuristic.
- Energy Efficiency The greater the home’s insulating envelope, including doors and windows along with the walls, the more stable the interior temperatures will be. Outlets and switches on an exterior wall can compromise the layer of protection from outdoor elements, and may require spray insulation treatment. Use roofing overhangs, and landscaping to shade the home and create a micro climate. When it is time to buy appliances, seek out the highest efficiency ratings available to reduce energy load.
- Indoor Air Quality With a better insulating seal of the home, a fresh air exchange becomes very important. The Intelli-Balance 100 exchanges indoor air with outdoor air without bringing in humidity or heat. Specify no VOC paint, cabinetry, flooring (including glue), and insulation to reduce the production of indoor pollution. Award winning Pure Genius Hardwood floor by Lauzon boasts the nanotechnology in their floor will remove 85% of the toxins in the air.
- Renewable Energy Consider the feasibility of harvesting the sun and wind to provide power for your home. They work well together, when it is cloudy, it tends to be windy, and a wind turbine can generate power at night. (Phoenix is not a good area for wind harvesting though). Solar system harvesting can start as small as heating the water for your home, to generating power to offset daytime usage, or to store in batteries for use during peak electrical cost. There are even solar roof tiles on the market, and depending where you live (see examples), can help reap a profit.
- Water Conservation Install low flow fixtures and a gray water system such as The Greyter Home Water System to recycle shower water for use in toilets. You may want to consider a closed system rainwater harvesting to water your yard (and not breed mosquitoes).
- Durability Current building codes should make a home ready to withstand extreme weather that could occur in your area. Make sure your home is up to code. Communicate that you want well made, quality products with a long-lifespan. Try to reuse or repurpose salvageable materials.
- Smart Technology It is getting easier to monitor and control your home from electronic devices. From home security, to back up lighting when the power goes out, from activating the air conditioner/heater, or washing machine to be running before you arrive. Some appliances will interact with each other (an oven telling the thermostat to be cooler), or interact with you, sending you a text when their cycle is finished. Others can follow rules, e.g. if the garage door is activated after 6 PM, turn on the “coming home at night” light program. (For more in depth capabilities of a smart, connected home, click here).
- Universal Design and Aging in Place Ask these simple questions. If you were in a wheelchair, could you get in your home on your own? Is there an accessible bathroom? People want to remain in their homes and live as independently as they can for as long as they can. For a list of ten elements to include when remodeling to make your home more accessible, click here.
- Multifunctional Living Spaces What can be more versatile and functional than a bonus room can be having a second master bedroom suite. Ideally it should be on the first floor with a universally designed bathroom if the other master bedroom is not accessible. It can be used for visitors, for a returning adult child, for the caring of parents, as a home-based business, for a care taker, or for a roommate/additional income.
- Outdoor Living Increase the home’s livable space by designing for outdoor use. It is a waste to not make functional use of most of your property! It can be as simple as an outdoor living room with a focal feature, lighting and furnishings, to outdoor dining, or an outdoor kitchen and wet bar. We were made to get sunshine, and to be out in nature.
- Urban Gardening There is an increasing trend of returning to growing one’s own food to have and share. With water becoming more of a precious resource, rather than use it for green grass, there is a movement to make landscape be edible as well as decorative. Plan irrigation and water access for raised beds for roots, melons, and sprawling plants, and space and time saving vertical gardening system for herbs, greens, lettuces and fruits.
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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