There are a few reasons a homeowner might decide to remodel their home. An ever-dwindling supply of homes not only drives prices up, but makes it hard to find a home that checks all the boxes. Or, even though the homeowner doesn’t want to move, the style needs an update or the home could be crumbling down around them. It can even come down to a financial decision or planning for the future.
No matter the reason, thinking environmentally can be just as important as thinking about the finances, style, and design of the remodel. Not only can being earth friendly help the environment, it can also help the pocketbook as well.
Recycle what you remodel
When planning a remodel, consider anything in your current home that can be reused in the new design. The kitchen cabinets have to go, but can they be reused in a laundry room, workshop, or garage? Reusing these cabinets will keep it from going to the landfill. Depending on the design, anything old can be new again.
Older homes may have hardwood flooring underneath carpeting or even tiling. If you have a corner of the room that is out of the way or hidden by furniture, pull up a small portion of the existing flooring. Having existing hardwood, even if it has to be refinished, will save money and cut down on the need for new flooring completely.
Not just appliances
It’s easy to find appliances that are energy efficient – there are websites devoted to Energy Star appliances. Dishwashers, water heaters, laundry machines, even air purifiers now come with ratings. Beyond that, however, are building materials themselves that can save on energy costs.
For example, if building an addition, insulated concrete forms are more energy efficient than wood frames. Even if you aren’t undergoing a remodel that big, windows, skylights, insulation, and even roofing materials are all being designed to save you money by reducing heating and cooling costs.
Wrap It Up
The most important thing to do when remodeling a home to make it more energy efficient, and more environmentally friendly, is to seal up all those drafty areas around the home. The spaces around windows, doors, and skylights can make all other remodeling efforts moot.
Whether it be for financial reasons, to age in place, or your home just needs an update, when thinking about a remodel, don’t forget about taking environmentally friendly steps along the way.