Embracing green remodeling practices has never been more of a priority for energy- and environment-conscious homeowners. There’s also never been so many options available. Whether you’re embarking on a whole-house renovation or a single-room upgrade, you’ll need to decide how green you want to go.
Although green remodeling creates a more energy-efficient household, certain eco-friendly ideas may be more costly upfront than their traditional counterparts. Thus, it’s important to weigh your options before determining the green standards you hope to incorporate into your home. When you’re ready to get started, Valley Home Builders can detail the pros and cons of each option, so you’ll have all the information you need to make the decision that’s best for you and your property. But first, let’s consider some of the most impactful elements of green remodeling.
Green Remodeling Ideas
Upgrading your appliances is perhaps the most obvious, and arguably, the easiest, green-friendly update you can make to your home. Check out EnergyStar.gov to discover just how many certified energy-efficient products abound. We’re talking water heaters, dishwashers, smart thermostats, fans, and way more. Even fireplaces come in more energy-efficient forms these days. Confused about which products make the most sense for your home? The experts at Valley Home Builders will help you narrow down the possibilities.
For a whole-house renovation, proper insulation will be a given. But if you’re not building from the ground up, you may still want to consider insulating and sealing unheated areas, including the garage, attic, or basement. In either case, there are multiple insulation materials on the market today, some more green than others. Cotton, for example, made from recycled denim and rolled into batts, contains few chemicals but can be pricey. Polystyrene, a plastic foam, acts as an extremely effective insulator, and although the material itself isn’t natural, it can be recycled. These are just two of many choices, so be sure to talk details with your build team.
In addition to using eco-friendly insulation, some homeowners may also want to consider other sustainable building materials. Reclaimed products like salvaged wood or upcycled light fixtures magnify your home’s character and prevent these appealing materials from going to waste in a landfill. If you decide to use reclaimed products and hope to sell your home one day, avoid updates that might have limited appeal. Work with a professional designer to see how your ideas will best come to life in your property.
Solar Panels, Windows & Skylights:
In California, it just makes sense to consider solar panels if you hope to establish a style of living that relies on more renewable natural resources. Any property with daily bouts of direct sunlight is a possible candidate for solar panels and will likely reap financial rewards over time.
Energy-efficient, multi-pane windows with proper caulking and low-e coating—which helps regulate your home’s temperature no matter the weather outside—are another great way to save money on utility bills. Likewise, skylights can also help cool your home in warm weather and heat things up on cold days. In both cases, location is key. When you work with Valley Home Builders, we are happy to prioritize window and skylight placement to create the most energy-efficient design for your home.
Low VOC Paint:
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are chemical compounds released into the air when paint dries. VOCs, some of which are considered carcinogenic, can reduce indoor air quality. As such, low- or no-VOC paint have become a common hallmark of green homes. Although not necessarily odorless, low-VOC paints are particularly relevant for individuals with chemical sensitivities and households with small children. A good designer should be able to help you choose an appropriate manufacturer or brand.
Green standards apply to your home’s exterior, too. A sustainable landscape design will help you conserve water, and in turn, save big on your water bill. Scrapping lawns for native plants, decorative mulch, and stone pathways, is an eco-friendly choice that’s pretty, too. If you’re a green thumb, consider composting so you can nurture your plants with natural fertilizers and avoid dangerous pesticides.
It’s natural that when it comes to building and remodeling, our first inclination is to build out and up. Bigger is better, right? But not all the time. Great design can apply to even the smallest spaces. And smaller spaces require less to update and are easier to maintain over time, proving that square footage does not determine efficiency.
Whatever your eco-conscious expectations, Valley Home Builders can help you design and execute your dream green remodel. Connect with one our expert representatives today for a commitment-free consultation.