Remodeling a home does not just have to be about looks. Remodeling is also a chance to change the way your home works on a day-to-day basis. More specifically, you can take this opportunity to make your home greener and more sustainable. Here are some more specific tips for a sustainable home remodeling experience.
Do an energy audit first.
Chances are, you're going to make some changes to your home in order to reduce its energy consumption. However, it's good to know which changes have the biggest payoff. Conducting a home energy audit before you do too much remodeling planning is a good idea. The audit will reveal where your home is wasting the most energy. You can then use this information to decide which changes you want to make. For instance, if the audit reveals that you're losing a lot of energy through your windows, then you know that replacing the windows is important. If the audit reveals that your ductwork is losing a lot of energy, then you can consider running new ducts while you remodel.
Choose your materials wisely.
Sustainable remodeling is not just about reducing energy consumption. It is also about choosing materials that were made sustainably and that are good for the planet overall. When possible, choose building materials that are made from recycled goods. Look for finishes and paints that are low-VOC. Your contractors should have some good recommendations for green materials, as this is a common request among customers these days.
Save what you can.
Another way to remodel in a greener way is to leave more materials in place. As tempting as it might be to rip everything out and start over, leaving some materials in place will reduce waste and make for a greener project. For example, if a hardwood floor is in decent shape, you may just want to have it refinished rather than pulling it out to replace it with tile. If your kitchen cabinets are functional but are chipped, having them refinished and refaced is greener than completely replacing them. It's amazing how much better a space can look with a few new features; you don't always have to replace it all.
If you save what you can, use sustainable materials, and use a home energy audit to guide you, it is possible to remodel your house in a more sustainable way. Talk to a home remodeling team like ST Evans, Inc for more ideas.