Eco-Friendly Ways to Renovate your Home

by Tanya Mayer

After living in your home for a while, it’s quite normal to feel like it  could  benefit  from some changes and updates. Once some time  passes,  homes  tend  to seem a bit tired, dull, and in dire need  of  some refreshing. It might be ideal to simply move to a newer,    bigger,    and    better   home,   but  economically  and practically  speaking,  that could be financially unwise and quite possibly, entirely unnecessary. 

Why?   Because  with  the  right  renovation  plan,   you  can  update  your home in a way that will accommodate all your needs and desires.   Plus,   you   can  incorporate  different  eco-friendly  upgrades  that  will  also  make  it  environmentally friendly and more appealing for any future buyers down the line.

Think energy-efficient

If    you’ve    decided   that   your  old    appliances   need  to  be replaced,    start   shopping   with   energy- efficiency   in   mind. The    products with the Energy Star logo   will  give  you  all  the information  you  need  regarding  their electrical efficiency and environmental   impact. Old  models  of large  appliances, such  as    refrigerators,    consume   a   lot   of  electricity  and in  the  long  run,  they end up costing even more. Investing in  energy-efficient   appliances  will  cut  your  power  bills  and  save  you money in the long-term.

Another aspect of energy efficiency to consider is proper home insulation. The better your home is insulated, the better protection you will have against the weather. Your home will be cooler in the summer and warmer in winter, without raising the cost.

Reclaim, reuse and repurpose

It’s  easy  to  get  caught  up  in  buying  all  the newest and shiniest things for your renovated home but it would be much wiser to  think    about   turning   to   more   environmentally sound options such as reclaimed and repurposed  materials,  especially  wood. Reclaimed   wood   is   a   fantastic   choice   for  many  projects  in   your   home – flooring,   walls,   kitchen   cabinets, countertops, and even as decorative covering on kitchen hoods. Using reclaimed wood saves the time, money, and energy that might otherwise be spent on the production of a similar, brand new product.

Many   retailers   around   the  country specialize in producing items made from reclaimed and repurposed materials, which offers  a  very  cost-effective  way  to  remodel  your  home.  Kitchen  cabinets  are  often  the   largest  expense  of  a  kitchen  renovation,  but  at salvage shops, you’ll be able to find high-quality cabinets in excellent condition. So, instead  of  replacing  them   altogether,  consider  refacing  them  and  repainting  them using low VOC paints in a trendy color of your choosing.   Your  cabinets  are  most likely in great conditions already so with some fresh paint and new hardware, they can be given a whole new life!

Antique  and  consignment  shops  are  also  great  places  to  look  for  decorative  items such as doorknobs, light fixtures, shelves, coffee tables,  and  even  mantels.  Not  only  does  this  help  with  the budget, but these repurposed products can add charm and character to your home that simply cannot be achieved with shiny new elements.

Deconstruct – don’t demolish 

Following    on   the   theme   from   the   previous    passage,  if you’re     planning   on   tearing   down   walls,   reconsider   this decision – take    a  tour around your home  to see what can be salvaged    and     reused.      This     is     a     truly    eco-friendly approach   that   also   saves   money!   As  the  saying goes: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 

You’ll  very  likely  be  able to salvage and reuse a ton of material and it can be anything from light fixtures to flooring, tiles, molding, bricks,  and  cabinets.  An  item  you  want  to  remove  from  one  room  might  fit perfectly in another. If you lack DIY ideas, there’s so much inspiration to be found online - just watch a few YouTube tutorials or read through some blogs for guidance and advice.   You  might  come  across  some  really  helpful  tips  that  will  save  you  both time and money and help you build the home of your dreams!

Donate – don’t throw away

Those things that you’ve decided to definitely remove from your home, don’t toss them in the bin right away, donate them to charities! Or, you might have a crafty and resourceful friend who would enjoy repurposing it. 

Another  great  option  for  your  old  chandeliers,  appliances,  and  cabinets  is  to  rehome  them  through organizations like Habitat for Humanity.   They  take  all your  unwanted materials and sell those donated items with 100% of the proceeds  being  used  thereafter  to build new homes for the underprivileged. Knowing this, you’re not only being environmentally friendly, but you are truly making a big contribution to the community.

Go solar

Going  solar  when  remodeling  a  home  has  been  a  very popular  trend  lately,   as  this  is  the  cleanest  energy  we currently  have  access  to.   Using solar energy lowers both your  carbon  footprint  and  your  heating  bill.  Building  in skylights  and installing solar panels are proven ways to cut energy  costs.   They  can  be  used  to heat your home, but often   give   enough  power  to  run  small  appliances  and items like fountains and outdoor lighting.

Going  green  in  the 21st century is, quite simply, a no brainer. The decision to go for an eco-friendly home renovation will not only help the environment, but it will allow you to give back to your community and make some serious cash savings in the process.

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