The Most Important Things to Consider When Designing an Eco-Friendly Home RemodelBy: Paul Denikin
When you’re planning a green home remodel, there are several things to take into consideration before jumping in. Designing an eco-friendly home can consist of many different areas, and even the smallest change can have a big effect on future needs, costs, and your home’s value.
If you aren’t too familiar with green architecture and building materials, it’s important to not only do your research, but also find help in someone who is well-versed in how to make a home as environmentally sound as possible. Starting out as knowledgeable as possible about the process can save you headaches and worry down the road and can give you a great head start when it’s time to start building.
Here are the best tips for beginning an eco-friendly home remodel.
Research and plan
It’s important to begin by sitting down with your spouse or partner to plan out what you want, what you don’t want, and what your budget and needs are. If your main concern is having an energy-efficient home, start by researching the methods to achieve it and what sort of costs you can expect to incur. Don’t forget to look up alternative--but similar--methods to achieve the same goal in case the original exceeds your budget. For instance, if you really want solar panels to heat your water but can’t afford them, consider buying an energy-efficient water heater instead. These can lower your utility costs per year and conserve water by heating it up super fast, so you aren’t wasting it while waiting for it to get warm.
Be realistic about your needs
Many people can be tempted during a home remodel to plan a huge living room space or a den that will hardly ever be used “just in case” they need the room for a particular event. It’s just not practical in a green remodel, where everything from building materials to square footage has to be taken into consideration.
Instead, plan for the rooms you need and try to incorporate them into the home’s existing space, such as adding on to an attic room. This will help you in the long run, when it comes time to think about using heat, air conditioning, water, and electricity in the space.
You may need to be flexible when it comes to finding materials to build with. While you might not be able to find everything you need locally, there’s a chance you can use something similar to your initial plan, and doing so will eliminate the need to have it shipped. This needs to be a factor in every part of the remodel, since shipping uses fuel and has an impact on the environment.
Plan Outside The Box
Take into consideration not only your family’s needs now, but future needs as well, and try to merge those with one another. For instance, remodeling spaces for kids should include lighting and furniture that does double-duty; think about which rooms gain the most natural sunlight during the afternoon hours and how that can be used rather than electricity. Furniture items should also serve as storage whenever possible to give the space maximum benefits.