When it comes time to renovate your home, there are a lot of decisions to make. Designing your space with your personal style in mind is just the beginning. Cost, DIY vs. hiring a contractor, and schedule all come into play. But what if you also want to incorporate sustainable home designs into your remodel? Considering the environmental impact when making design choices doesn’t have to be difficult at all. Check out some simple ways to remodel sustainability below.
Home design trends have moved toward sustainability and eco-friendly — recycled materials, low-energy lighting and appliances, organic fabrics and materials, and high-quality indoor air. Katherine Cohen, associate creative director at Interface and FLOR says this means many people are now selecting products from companies and brands that prioritize sustainability and offer environmentally friendly products. And while this may mean paying a higher price for specific products, many people now consider this extra cost a built-in expense of living responsibly.
If you’re worried about cost or remodeling on a budget, don’t worry — you can still remodel sustainably without breaking the bank. Repurpose, reuse, recycle, salvage, and reimagine your way into environmentally conscious home design. Use reclaimed wood for floors or a bed frame, reuse cabinets and light fixtures when possible, and buy pre-owned decor from garage sales or local secondhand shops.
If you’re concerned with the environment, one way to do your part is to cut down on the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) you’re responsible for. VOCs harm the environment by creating smog and also pollute indoor air. Check for brands that have options with no VOCs, or at least go with a brand that has less than 5g/L of VOCs. You can also look into buying appliances that are better for the environment, such as a tankless water heater.
Adding insulation to your home is one of the most straightforward ways to conserve energy, and if you’re already remodeling, there is no better time. Extra insulation keeps your house warm in the winter and cooler in the summer, so your HVAC system doesn’t have to work so hard. Everyone knows fewer appliances running is best for the environment. Running your furnace and AC less also saves you money in the long run, which everyone likes.
New windows are also a great investment when it comes to conserving energy. Much like insulation, new windows keep the elements out of your home and help maintain a more consistent temperature. Though new windows may be a pricey investment up front, they save you money in the long run and help your carbon footprint.
Considering the impact on the environment is another thing to add to the list when it comes time to think about remodeling your home. Though it may seem like a lot of trouble, environmentally conscious choices when remodeling make you feel good about the work you’ve done in more ways than one. Not only will you be doing your part for future generations, but you’ll also save some money along the way, too.
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