So you just bought a new home and can’t wait to renovate it, or you’re getting ready to sell your current home and are looking for ways to add to its value. Going green and saving green should be at the forefront of your mind because there are a number of green renovation ideas you can incorporate into your remodel.
People are becoming more interested in homes with eco-friendly and sustainable elements, making them worthy investments. In fact, more than half of homebuilders say that at least 16 percent of new homes they are building are green, and nearly 40 percent of remodelers say that at least 16 percent of their projects are green, according to a study by Dodge Data & Analytics. Making your home green can help it stand out in a competitive market, so here are five green home renovations to get you started:
In terms of making your home more energy efficient, the top investments include air sealing and insulating. When air leaks through windows, doors, outer walls and other openings in your home, your energy efficiency drops and your energy costs rise. By plugging these common air leaks with weather stripping and caulk, you can save about $100 a year or more, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Adding insulation can help maintain comfortable indoor temperatures, which can also help you save money. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that “homeowners can save an average of 15 percent of heating and cooling costs (or an average of 11 percent of all energy costs) by air sealing their homes and adding insulation.”
The perfect paint color can liven up any room, but a lot of paint on the market contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that aren’t good for your health. These VOCs can cause problems such as headaches, nausea and respiratory, eye and skin irritations. Formaldehyde, a common VOC, is a known carcinogen, meaning that it’s capable of causing cancer. Some studies show that VOC levels are two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, according to the EPA. So give your home a fresh start with a coat of zero-VOC or low-VOC paint. These options come in an assortment of paint colors and finishes, are much better for you and your family, and will appeal to potential buyers.
Whether you’re replacing your wood cabinetry or flooring, consider the source. Reclaimed wood is a sustainable and attractive choice that can give you a nice return on investment (ROI). Salvaged from old barns, warehouses and homes, reclaimed wood is a material choice that saves virgin trees from being harvested. Not to mention, the timeworn beauty of reclaimed wood is highly coveted among homebuyers. For an extra green touch, opt for nontoxic backing, glues and finishes, as well as reclaimed wood that’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which proves that the wood was sustainably harvested.
4. Kitchen Finishes
A minor kitchen remodel can provide you a better ROI than a major renovation (79 percent compared with 67 percent), reports Remodeling Magazine. The kitchen is also one of the most important deciding factors for homebuyers, and easy updates, such as new counters or flooring, can instantly transform the space. Look for eco-friendly countertops, such as concrete or stone, and go with a flooring material that won’t need to be replaced for a long time, such as ceramic tile. In addition to withstanding a lot of wear and tear, ceramic contains no VOCs and acts as a passive heat sink to reduce heating costs.
5. Front Door
Try enhancing your home’s modern appeal with a new front door. This is a home improvement that’s often overlooked, and it provides a good ROI. You can expect a $1,252 resale value on a $1,230 investment on a steel entry door replacement, says Remodeling Magazine. Steel doors provide better insulation than wood doors, and Energy Star-qualified steel doors are even more energy efficient.
There are more ways than ever to make homes healthier and greener, and the initial investment will pay off in more ways than one. Consider implementing one — or all — of these green renovation ideas in order to improve your health, save money, and make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
People are also reading