Some renovations are necessary to create more suitable living spaces, while others are needed to enhance the overall appeal of your home. Whatever your reno reason, consider these five tips for an environmentally friendly home renovation.
1. Invest in eco-friendly paint
If part of your renovation project involves painting, make sure you look for low-VOC or no-VOC paint. This will let you know that you’re using paint that does not include chemicals that evaporate into the atmosphere when it’s drying. The best part of these alternatives is that they provide just as much hue and durability as paint that includes VOCs.
2. Go with LED lighting
LED lighting can help you reduce the amount of energy you use throughout the renovation project, especially if you’ll be working late into the night on a regular basis. LED lights use 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs and last 25 times longer than incandescent lights. As you renovate certain rooms of your home, consider installing LED bulbs to receive the benefits of these alternatives long after you finish your project.
3. Conduct an energy audit before starting
As you look to begin your renovation project, it may be worth having a professional conduct an energy audit beforehand. He or she can let you know where you’re losing energy on a regular basis (e.g., windows, doorways, outlets) in the space you want to alter. Afterward, you can use this information to improve the insulation and energy efficiency of your renovated space.
4. Be mindful of your trash
There are several services now available that pick up unwanted furnishings to ensure that they are discarded in an eco-friendly manner. Consider using these services to make sure that you’re being as green as possible, or donate unwanted furnishings that are in good condition to a local charity or thrift shop. Additionally, see if your town or city has any waste management programs for the recyclable items you wish to discard.
5. Think about your floors
Whether you’re going with hardwood or carpet in your renovated space, think green. Similar to paint, there are carpet options on the market that are “low-VOC,” which can help you reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re opting for hardwood flooring, consider using repurposed wood throughout your space.
While it may be easy enough to hire a contractor and begin reinventing your house, it takes a little more effort to make sure you aren’t negatively impacting the environment. By taking these tips into consideration, you can be as green as possible as you enhance the look and feel of your home.
6. Consider Certification Checklists
When push comes to shove, using an organizations checklist like the Lead in Energy and Environmental Design organization can give you a full scale scope of everything you need to make your home environmentally friendly. From a roof to windows to floors, making your home a full certified building will definitely give you the most green renovation…
…And possibly some green in return. Many homes that become certified get certain tax benefits, and being able to add a certification on a sale flyer adds some major equity to your home. In places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York, this little certification can definitely make a difference.
Whether you want to take one or all of these tips, it’s obvious that we are in a time of environmental consciousness. Take the extra steps and ask your contractor if you can add some of the points from our green checklist into your project.