Thinking of updating your kitchen or bathroom, adding an addition, or re-purposing an existing space in your home? If so, have you considered any green features? Adding green features to your remodeling project has many potential benefits including saving you money, improving the quality of materials in your home, and even helping the planet. Green is becoming an important part of modern building practices, but it’s not something that ends up on every homeowner’s wish list. Green features are simply another option for homeowners to consider in their remodeling projects.
First, we should dispel the three common myths surrounding building “green.” The first myth is that it involves a lot of sacrifice and extra effort on the part of the homeowner. Second, is that adding green features means breaking the bank. And third, is that green remodeling is an all or nothing thing. Let’s quickly address these myths:
Going green doesn’t mean giving up modern conveniences or luxuries. For all practical purposes, your lifestyle in a green home is the same as in any other. A project with green features also doesn’t have to be more expensive. There are many green features which can be added to a remodeling project that don’t add significantly to the upfront cost and begin paying for themselves very quickly. These include modern insulation systems, programmable thermostats, A/C duct sealing, compact fluorescent bulbs, and more. Finally, green remodeling is not an all or nothing endeavor. Going green is kind of like getting into a pool. Some people only dip their toes, others go to their waist, while others dive all the way into the deep end. How you choose to do your remodeling project depends entirely on what features and benefits are most important to you and your family.
Some homeowners concentrate their green investment in areas that reduce monthly utility bills, such as on low-flow fixtures, solar hot water, efficient A/C systems, and quality insulation. Others – especially those with children – choose paints, flooring, and other products low in toxic chemicals to improve indoor air quality. Some are more focused on their “footprint” on the environment and select sustainable, recycled content, and recyclable products. Finally, for some, the sky is the limit. They add everything including high performance windows, full photovoltaic solar systems, geothermal, greywater recovery, rainwater harvesting, and more!
So, is there a shade of green right for you?