Are you in the beginning stages of planning a home renovation? Are you curious about what an “Eco Friendly” home remodel would entail? You most likely want your home to be stylish, yet not break your bank account. Beautiful, yet not wasteful. The “shelter in place” order due to the pandemic has allowed everyone to see how impactful humans are on the environment. As we’ve spent months working from home, there’s been fewer cars burning fuel, less ships spilling waste into the oceans, and a clear decline of deforestation!
Nature is once again thriving and the skies are blue. It’s obvious that being more eco friendly and less wasteful has been positive for our planet. Have you been inspired to learn new ways of reducing your waste fingerprint on the world, beyond COVID-19? Learn how to ensure the health & safety of your loved ones by renovating your home with eco friendly materials! But where to start?
Before you begin your eco friendly home remodel, there’s a few key steps to take…
- Read this blog: Learn the most important steps for preparing your environmentally friendly renovations, view helpful checklists, and informative links with ideas to help you go green!
- Conduct a home energy audit: There are two types of home energy audits (HEA). The first is a professional HEA. These can give a thorough breakdown of your home’s energy use. They can also offer a room by room examination of your home. We recommend a do-it-yourself HEA to save money. How? By being diligent with your research and planning. This will require studying your energy bills, tracking spending, and learn just how much waste your home omits into the environment.
- Consult with a professional: Seek the advice of a trusted home builder and architect versed in eco friendly builds. Learn what Michael Gould can do for you!
“Although more than 70% of the million tons of garbage we produce on a yearly basis can be recycled, it’s easy to underestimate just how much you could recycle in your home. Metal, porcelain, ceramics, fabrics, tile, brick, concrete, asphalt, and more can all be sent to the recycling plant to be turned into new materials. In California, builders actually have to recycle 90% of their inert materials. One California family recycled a whopping 80% of their entire home (and earned a $100,000 tax write-off in the process).” Design Blendz
Common questions with eco friendly home remodels:
Is it possible to make your home look modern and classy with recycled material?
Can tile and polished wood floors still pop with color and glam without harsh chemicals?
Is it even possible to reduce the amount of waste during your renovation?
Is going green affordable?
The answer to all of these questions: YES!
Over the past few decades, recycled materials have come a long way! Home building professionals such as Michael Gould have invested years into developing greener, healthier ways to help build & renovate clients’ homes “dream homes” – without losing their renowned architectural charm and style!
“While it’s true that some green products are more expensive than their conventional counterparts, when you consider the project as a whole, there are often opportunities to actually cut costs. Remember the three “R’s” at the heart of green living – reduce, reuse, recycle. In an effort to reduce construction and demolition waste, building salvage supply stores are popping up all over the country.” Elemental Green
The Countless Benefits of a “Green” Home Remodel:
While on this path of “going Green” you will discover that there are many benefits to this decision. Not only helping the environment, but also improving the mental and physical health of your family.
- Reduce the stress or guilt of harming your planet. As stated earlier, many families are learning just how harmful we’ve been to our beautiful planet. This newfound knowledge can make us feel guilty for the daily luxuries that are harmful to our environment. The guilt of personal impact on the planet’s health will decrease greatly once you start replacing parts of your home with green materials! A peace of mind is truly priceless. Not to mention teaching your children the importance of protecting mother nature through your own actions This renovation can be an awesome tool in educating your children and neighborhood on eco friendly practices.
- Reduce the possibility of future health issues. Science has had significant breakthroughs in the past 70 years on how different materials affect the human body. One major finding from the late 70’s was lead based paints had very unhealthy effects on children and pregnant women. Lead from paint, including lead contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning. Lead issues can even make their way into your plumbing! There are a wide range of materials that can be replaced to reduce the health risk your current home might be putting you in. That’s why home renovations can serve as more than purely an aesthetic-focused project. These renovations can literally improve the longevity of your life!
- Other health concerns with harsh chemicals and materials include the following:
Asbestos: Asbestos is a type of mineral fiber that was used frequently during the 20th century, especially during World War II. It was used mostly in roofing and construction since it effectively provided fireproofing and insulation, but was also used in caulking, wall compounds, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, pipes and ducts, furnaces, and boilers.
Outdated Wiring: Outdated wiring puts your home at risk for fires! These dated little wires can cause BIG problems! According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are about 46,000 fires involving home electrical systems each year, and the majority of those could be prevented with a routine inspection. The CPSC says that in many cases, homes that were built between 40 and 100 years ago hadn’t been inspected since they were built.
Polybutylene Pipes: Between 1978 and 1995, plastic manufacturers produced an inexpensive alternative to lead called polybutylene (PB). Pipes made from PB were installed in up to 10 million homes in the United States, but production shut down when people began reporting ruptured pipes resulting in property damage. Even though companies stopped making and installing PB pipes, many homes still contain them. These harmful plastics can be removed during a renovation and replaced with sturdy dependable products that won’t cause your home or family harm.
How can eco friendly products help reduce my pollution imprint on the planet?
You won’t be hurting the environment with newly harvested and wasted materials. If you use some of the following materials listed, you are decreasing the use of new lumber, stone/mineral mining, and supply demand for products that require the use of harsh chemicals.
Paint with low-VOC or VOC-free paint
Install a low-flow toilet
Choose bamboo flooring
Using salvaged wood or discarded metal
Focus on energy-efficient appliances
Re-face your home rather than replace
Buy pre-owned household items
Did you know that by deciding to do a home remodel instead of a full home tear-down and re-build, you are already helping the environment? By choosing not to build a new home from scratch, and instead renovating an existing space, you are decreasing demolition waste and debris. Well done!
“All major remodeling projects hinge on a budget, and most homeowners facing a major renovation of multiple rooms are rightfully concerned with how much going green might increase project costs. The truth is that it’s hard to pin an exact figure on the price of going green. The level of green that each homeowner is willing to commit to varies, as do the individual specifications of a project as wide open as a multiple room renovation. What we can tell you is this:
- Green remodeling doesn’t always mean higher initial costs. Most green building materials are cost-competitive, and in many instances, they’re even cheaper than traditional materials.
- Green building practices often result in quicker build times, which translates to cheaper labor costs.
- Green remodeling is guaranteed to reduce energy costs— now and in the long term. With the price of energy on the rise, a more energy-efficient home will save you money over the long haul.
- Determining the true value of a green remodel means shifting your focus beyond dollars and cents.”
The Importance of Choosing a Home Builder Willing to Help You “Go Green”
Working with a home building expert like Michael Gould is an sure way to choose an alternative to a full demolition. There are ways to deconstruct rather than demolish. Refresh rather than replace. Architect Michael Gould will create a comprehensive strategy for saving as much viable materials (original structure) as possible. This will reduce the element of waste AND save you money when it comes to recycling materials you already have!
Small Eco Friendly Weatherization
Eco friendly weatherization can help reduce energy waste, as well as save your family a large sum of money each year. Which rooms in your home are in need of these simple weaterizations?
- Increased wall, floor, attic and basement or crawlspace insulation to meet minimum recommended values. Learn how to creatively renovate your attic space, while increasing the value of your home.
- Increased air sealing in key locations
- Roof repairs to improve the performance of the building’s envelope
- Replacement of incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, utilizing window and well insulated areas to maintain natural heat during cold seasons. Read about the benefits of adding a sunroom to your home!
- Use your space wisely! Instead of spreading everyone throughout the house and turning on all the electronics on different floors, maximize your space by building dual functioning rooms. Get inspired by our multifunctional room ideas!
- Tune-up of heating, cooling and/or water heating systems, or replacement
- Weather-stripping doors and windows
- Redesigning backyards and patio areas to enjoy the outdoors more often and use less home energy. See how we can help you design the perfect backyard!
“If you love the idea of renovating your home to be more energy-efficient, but can’t take on a full house remodel, think about remodeling on a room-by-room basis. It may feel more realistic to take on the upgrading of kitchen appliances to be more sustainable, instead of picturing all of the things in your home that need to be addressed.” Green Home Guide