Your family is growing, new ideas are coming and you don’t want to wait anymore. You’re ready for your home to grow with you but you don’t want to waste money or natural resources along the way. Plus, you want to make sure you’re being efficient and environmentally respectful day to day. You want to do a green remodel. And you’re not alone. Green home remodeling is the most popular path right now and for good reasons. You cut down on waste, you keep more ancient forests in tact and are able to be environmentally conscious without sacrificing your dreams and ideas.
But there are some important tips we’d like to share with you today to make sure the process is easy and just the way you want it. We at Unique Home Building have worked with so many families and individuals over the years wanting the same thing. So enjoy these been-there-done-that tips for your home improvement projects and ideas!
Start by inserting fireplaces for better heating. Fireplaces inserts, rather than a traditional fireplace that can burn logs and paper trash, has intake and outflow vents at the bottom and top (you shouldn’t need a circulating blower), has an easily operable damper, and sports large glass doors so you can enjoy the dancing flames. A fireplace insert is 50–75 per cent efficient and easier to operate. Another option would be a gas fireplace or dutch oven.
Make sure you go with energy efficient windows. They allow for better heat capturing in the winter and better eat filtering in the summer. The general differentiation of windows beyond style (double-hung, casement, sliding, etc.) is the glass or glazing and the framing material. There are three main types of frame materials, each addressing several lifespan aspects of the windows; wood, vinyl and aluminum.
Get more room and create more storage in the home without having to buy more furniture by removing useless corners, unused crannies, gun barrel hallways, seas of circulation around islands of furniture, and other chubby cubic footage indoors. Not only will you be more comfortable in less space, you may have enough room in your home to install an office, have an exercise area (instead of driving to a dues-paying health club), and store more belongings (rather than rent a storage unit miles away). One of my favorite ideas is to convert the usual wasted space between a row of studs into a hallway library or similar shelving. This can be done almost anywhere indoors.
Solar panels are another great way to conserve energy and utilize natural electricity. To see if your home is a candidate for solar panels, go out on your roof on a sunny day mid-morning and see if the sun shines on it. Do this again mid-afternoon. If the sun shines through on the shingles for most of those in between hours, and your home isn't blocked by nearby buildings or hills, then you could be a great candidate for natural energy in your home!
Other ideas for you to look into, depending on your location, is to go with a living roof, to install skylights or to get your materials from a recycled resource. There are so many non-profits and businesses that have the same dedication to clean living and sustainability as you and will have even more ideas to share. Just ask!
Lastly, make sure you hire a contractor that knows what they’re talking about. You’ll have a better chance of negotiating successfully with builders if you know about the details that make for a green home. One good way to learn is to get a book on construction and decide what it is that's important to you and to communicate that to your contractor. Some options to consider are green roofs, rain storage collection and low voc paints.
Unique Home Building is dedicated to making your home the finest quality living space you can imagine. Call us today to see how we can make your home a place you love!