You want to enhance the appearance of your home, but not at the expense of the environment. Fortunately, you have access to a diverse variety of materials that can easily be substituted for the standard selection. With today’s options, sustainable home remodeling is more practical than ever.
At the same time, it isn’t as simple as politely asking your contractor to remain mindful of sustainability. You need an informed understanding of the subject, as well as a knowledge of which materials can and can’t work within the context of your current project. In other words, research is highly important.
What should you keep in mind when browsing sustainable materials? How do you pick the right supplies for your project? There’s a range of green materials at your disposal, helping you make eco-friendly choices as you move forward with your work.
1. Select the Right Type of Timber
Cedar, maple, cherry, pine, ash wood — you have no shortage of attractive options when choosing timber. Which of those species are best for sustainable remodeling, though? As it so happens, they’re all environmentally friendly, and your final decision will depend more on the project itself.
Each wood has unique aspects, like the moisture-resistant nature of cedar or the stability of maple. Cherry has visual appeal, while pine is easy to carve and ash wood is durable. If you’re planning a timber structure, give thought to the individual benefits of each species and the limitations of your budget.
2. Choose Wood Shakes or Shingles
If you have plans to renovate your roof, you have sustainable alternatives to conventional materials. Wood shakes and shingles are particularly appealing, as they’re biodegradable. However, it’s essential to check for synthetic additives or preservatives in the roofing material, as well as the source of the wood itself.
On the subject of roofing, you should also consider an investment in solar panels. They allow you to harness clean energy, decreasing your dependence on the grid as you minimize your carbon footprint. You can expect the value of your home to increase by approximately $20 for every dollar saved on your energy bills.
3. Avoid UPVC for Window Frames
Wood is one of the most prevalent materials for sustainable remodels. It has value in structures, roofing and your window frames as well. You can choose it over unplasticized polyvinyl chloride, or UPVC, which is a common material for domestic windows with the potential to release toxins.
This suggestion is especially relevant, as replacement windows are among the best improvements for increasing the value of a home. The boost to energy efficiency is a significant selling point, and homeowners recoup up to 74% of their investment. Just remember to choose wood over UPVC.
4. Browse for Water-Based Paint
When searching for eco-friendly paint, always prioritize water-based products over oil-based ones. The production of oil-based paint is less energy efficient, and when the paint itself starts to dry, it can contribute to indoor air pollution with volatile organic compounds. Water-based paint is far less dangerous.
As context, water-based paint contains low levels of VOCs, or none at all in certain cases. This type of paint is also as durable and effective as conventional paint, so you don’t have to worry about its performance or longevity. Water-based paint with natural pigments is the most environmentally friendly option.
5. Repurpose Existing Materials
You’ve likely heard the slogan, “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.” It’s fundamental to green living, and it applies to your current project. Instead of replacing the materials in your home, it’s better to reuse materials where possible, eliminating the emissions from the manufacturing and transportation of new supplies.
Beyond the environmental benefits, you also prevent any additional, unnecessary purchases for your home upgrades. When you repurpose items and materials, you save a substantial sum of money and conserve the planet’s finite resources. It may take a little creativity, of course, but it’s a fun challenge.
Move Forward With Confidence
As you continue with your project, you’ll see that sustainable home remodeling is easier than you might have thought. Just browse for materials and research the available selection. Soon enough, you’ll have finished your improvements, enhancing your home without harming the planet.