Green Home Renovation Techniques

Some people avoid renovation or remodeling because of the initial cost or because they don’t feel they can justify the expense. However, there are some projects that make the cost worth it in the long run. Editors of The Environmental Magazine said, “Despite the up front costs [of renovation], by choosing materials and strategies that will lower utility bills and reduce maintenance and replacement costs [they can save money] moving forward.”

Sustainable Harvesting

One idea for green renovation is to select building materials constructed from post-industrial or post-consumer recycled content. These materials are easy to recycle. You can also look for supplies that are harvested or collected sustainably. The Forest Stewardship Council offers a certification for wood that is sustainably harvested. Look for your materials close to home to decrease transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Reorganize Before You Add-On

If you are renovating a specific area of your house and will be using or living in the rest of the building in the meantime, save yourself some money on utilities by plugging holes or draping tarps over wall or roof openings when work isn’t in progress. If you replace doors or windows, improve or add weather-stripping to increase insulation. Whenever possible, try to use old materials or walls rather than tearing them down and building new ones. Sustainably building means reusing and recycling whenever possible. Think carefully before adding extra square footage. You may find you have enough space in your existing household if you rearrange your furnishings or de-clutter a room.

Choose A Green Pro

When you want to practice green renovation, look for a like-minded contractor. Some contractors specialize in the use of sustainable materials or have experience with best practices for saving homeowners money on utilities. The U.S. Green Building Council has established an accreditation known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) which certifies builders and architects as experts in their fields on green renovation. Whether you hire one of these pros or not, do your research on current green design so you can understand what they’re talking about when they discuss various options with you.

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