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Eco-Home Remodeling Tips
Eco-Home Remodeling Tips. The recent economic depression resulted in a major decline in home renovations, additions, and customization, but that is all changing. Studies are showing that home remodeling is now on the rise and there is a surprising new trend known as eco-friendly construction. Whether it is done to help preserve the environment or to cut back on monthly energy bills, there are now countless options to make any addition to a home greener than ever.
Here are some eco-home remodeling tips and a few of the new gadgets and materials that will help homeowners cut back on their expenses:
Two of the most important components of eco-home remodeling is to find materials that are not only harvested or manufactured with care, but also safe for residents of the home. Luckily, most of the common and unhealthy materials that are found in the home do have a green alternative such as using linoleum instead of vinyl for flooring.
Avoid Remodeling with Toxic Chemicals
When chemical products must be used, such as paint and sealants, it is important to go with options that have no VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Common and toxic chemicals to avoid include:
- Chromated Copper Arsenic(CCA)
- Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs)
Use Organic Products
For base materials such as wood, all organic products should be produced in a completely sustainable manner.
- Some of the most popular options include bamboo, cork, and reclaimed woods as an alternative to hardwood floors or carpeting.
- If homeowners do decide on a carpet they should look for the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label which ensures little or no VOCs are trapped within the fibers of the fabric.
Similar oversight organizations outline their own criteria for safe and sustainable materials and each should be researched before any construction materials or finishing materials are used.
Energy Efficient Designs
The overall design of a room can make a big difference when it comes to energy consumption and sustainability.
- While smaller additions, such as counter tops may not have a huge effect on the climate of the home, green designs should be considered when adding rooms, knocking down walls, or even creating an enclosed patio.
- Eco-friendly construction specialists can help a homeowner decide on the correct materials and orientation of the room to maximize temperature control.
One of the most important steps in this process is the placement and use of high-efficiency windows that have been designed to collect and redistribute warmth from the sun during the cold winter months.
- These specialists may also suggest the use of thermal window shades over each of the newly-installed windows.
- The materials used in these shades have been designed to block out all UV rays produced by the sun in order to reduce variations to the temperature within a room.
Green Construction Techniques
The manner in which the remodeling is carried out is often just as important as the supplies that are being used.
- The number one goal is to minimize any waste byproducts around the home that could affect the local environment.
- This includes giving further thought to the waste materials that are sure to be produced during these projects. Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity claim that more than 75 percent of all waste produced from construction is in fact reusable.
- In addition to this, these types of organizations may pick up the byproducts completely free of charge which will save on hauling and dumping costs.
No matter how carefully designed a new remodeling project may be, daily habits can quickly negate all of the hard work that went into making a house green.
- With today’s technology, many families will find themselves with dozens or even hundreds of items throughout the home constantly using energy, but there are a few simple tricks and gadgets that can be used to minimize this waste.
- This begins with replacing appliances with Energy Star certified products.
- For kitchen or bathroom remodeling, one of the most popular trends is to change to high-efficiency faucets, toilets, dishwashers, ovens, and refrigerators.
- Other new gadgets such as the U-Socket will automatically charge any mobile devices and conserve energy once they have a full battery.
Over time, it is small additions like these and other eco-home remodeling tips that will have a very large impact on energy savings.
Customizing one’s home is a great way to move forward feeling refreshed and excited. While the past few years have been precarious for many homeowners, it is small additions like the ones discussed above that will not only add value to your home, but will also help you save on bills while doing it. Along with helping to protect the environment, homeowners can’t go wrong with these eco-home remodeling tips.
This article is courtesy of Richard Campen. He has more than 30 years of experience helping people create their dream homes. At Archway Press, Inc. you’ll find a premium collection of house plans and custom made garage plans created by country’s leading designers.