It’s becoming more apparent that humans are impacting our earth through their actions. Hence, many people are trying to be the solution by changing their behaviours. One of the many ways people are more eco-conscious is choosing greener ways to build or remodel their homes. So, if you are thinking about doing a home remodel and want to make your home more green, or if you hadn’t thought about taking a green construction approach until now, these ideas would have you thinking about saving the environment and saving money in the long run.
10 Green Construction Tips for Your Home Renovation
Use Recycled Materials
One of the most basic green construction strategies, you can reuse materials, whether they are from your existing home or somewhere else. There are many examples of recycled materials. A few ideas to start are using reclaimed wood for flooring or countertops and recycled insulation to insulate your house.
Use Renewable Materials
Recycled materials are fantastic, but they are not always available, and sometimes they don’t have the look you want. If this is the case, look toward renewable materials that don’t require too many environmental resources. There have been significant strides in using products like bamboo and hemp to make beautiful and sustainable building products in the past few decades.
Choose a Contractor with Green Building Experience
A general contractor with experience in eco-friendly renovation may have more resources than contractors without the same experience. These contractors will know about green products. They may also have strategies to make the whole renovation process greener. More importantly, if you hire a contractor with green construction experience, they will likely care more about being eco-friendly than a traditional contractor might.
Sometimes the best way to go green is not through the material you use, but how you use resources now and in the future. Windows and doors are continuously improving in the way they are sealed to prevent air exchange from inside and out. A whole-home renovation is a great excuse to replace windows and doors with new energy-efficient options. But if that is not part of the plan, ensure that these products are all sealed as best they can.
Ditch Gas and Go Solar
Houses often need renovation because they are outdated and need an aesthetic upgrade. However, this is also the perfect time for a functional upgrade. Remove all appliances that still use natural gas, like stoves, water heaters, clothes dryers, and furnaces, and replace them with energy-efficient alternatives. Upgrading to all-electric? Opt to install solar panels on your roof to ensure that you will always have the power to run your house even if the grid goes down.
Upgrade Your Appliances
It’s not only your gas appliances that could use an upgrade while you’re renovating; if you have older appliances that are sucking up energy, now is the time to trade them in for high-efficiency options.
Use Less Water / Collect Rain Water
One may question how to use less water without hindering their daily lives. But it all comes down to how it is delivered. Bath renovations will see the installation of low-flow showerheads and water-efficient toilets that help reduce the amount of water used. Even some innovative products allow you to reuse sink water for the toilet. In addition, high-efficiency dishwashers and washing machines tend to use less water. They may also give you the option to use even less if you are doing smaller loads.
If your whole-home renovation requires some pipework, it is the perfect time to install a rainwater collection unit that captures and purifies rainwater for use in the house, cutting down on your need for city water and allowing you to reuse what mother nature has provided.
Make Your Home Smart
One of the reasons why many homeowners haven’t yet switched to smart products like smart thermostats is because their existing home wiring doesn’t support it. If you are renovating and already have your wiring exposed or are replacing your gas furnace with an electric one, it is time to add any additional wiring required for a smart thermostat to work.
Other smart products that you can add to your house during renovation? Try smart blinds that open and close to allow in light or keep the sun out to conserve energy throughout the day. You can also try smart outlets that measure your energy consumption from each outlet and report the data, so you can see how much energy you are using and adjust your behaviour accordingly.
Upgrade Your Lighting
While you have an electrician around, it may be time to upgrade your old home lighting as well. Most homes are equipped with fixtures that allow for more eco-friendly LED lights. However, some older homes may have old light fixtures that need to be brought into the 21st century.
Sometimes upgrading your lighting isn’t about what you add, but what you can take away. If your home is a candidate for a skylight, you can install one to allow natural light into common areas of your house and reduce the need for electricity. Some skylight tubes also have solar-powered lights installed inside them. These allow natural light throughout the day and automatically switch on the solar-powered lights at night.
Major home renovations often require stripping the walls down to their studs. This is the perfect time to add some recycled insulation inside the walls. Insulation helps regulate the home’s temperature, leading to less require for energy to heat or cool.
As awareness of green construction grows, so do the possibilities. A contractor with experience in green remodels can give you some ideas about what products are available to you. The contractor can provide innovative remodelling ideas to make your house as eco-friendly as possible.
Do you have questions about the products we use or how we can help to minimize your footprint during your whole home remodel? Contact us today, so a representative can schedule a consultation. Choosing a greener way forward will not only make for a more sustainable future for our environment, but it will make for a more sustainable home in the future as well.