6 Tips for a More Sustainable Remodel or Home Addition
Use these tips to reduce the environmental impact of your home project.
Whether you’re remodeling or building from scratch, you can make your home eco-friendly by incorporating sustainable materials, choosing the right architect, and using energy-efficient technology. Here are six tips to make your project more sustainable:
1. Prioritize Durability and Quality over Price
When building or renovating on a budget, it can be tempting to opt for the cheapest products. However, this can lead to waste and repairs in the long run. It’s better to choose durable, high-quality products, even if they cost more.
2. Work With a Sustainable Architect or Designer
To ensure your build or remodel is sustainable, it’s important to work with an architect or designer who specializes in this area. For example, find a professional who understands passive solar design principles, which can save energy and materials while making your home more comfortable and beautiful.
Professional directories are available online that can be searched for home pros knowledgeable about sustainability.
3. Incorporate Materials that are Sustainable and Recycled
As you plan your home renovation or new build, avoid thinking that you need the newest and brightest products. Using recycled materials, such as recycled wood, bricks, and roof tiles, can add character to your home while being environmentally friendly. When choosing wood, consider opting for responsibly sourced, renewable plantation timber — preferably locally sourced — as it is known as the most sustainable building material.
Also, look for industry-recognized certifications, such as ones provided by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Global GreenTag, to ensure products are sustainable.
4. Ask Deeper Questions
In addition to the initial selections you choose, sustainable design also involves asking deeper questions about the production and origin of products, as well as where and how they should be used.
5. Update to Energy-Efficient Technology
Lessen your dependence on the grid (and lower your energy bills) by identifying and implementing energy-saving heating and cooling technology, such as solar panels, heat pumps, and geothermal heating and cooling. Also, choose energy-efficient appliances that consume less water and power.
6. Choose Easy-to-Clean Products and Finishes
Create a safe and healthy interior by selecting finishes that can be cleaned easily without toxic chemicals, such as tiles and wood floorboards, as well as appliances that can be wiped down effortlessly.
In the kitchen, consider opting for non-porous stone or glass countertops and backsplashes, and cabinet finishes that hide stains and fingerprints. Also, include as much storage space as possible so that countertops stay clutter-free and easy to clean.
In the bathroom, consider wall-hung vanities and toilets for easy cleaning, and large tiles with less grout lines to keep clean. In addition, recessed or partially recessed sinks where the joint between the countertop and sink is minimal make for a long-lasting fixture that is easy to clean.