San Diego Green Remodeling
From reducing water usage, to electric cars, to plain recycling, we’re all finding ways to minimize our carbon footprint. When it comes to our home, however, this can be tough to do. If we live in areas with extreme weather, which necessitate the operation of heating and cooling systems for long hours at a time, or a home that was built a number of years ago, reducing our impact on the environment is difficult.
“Leave only your footprints” is a phrase a lot of us have heard, but when it comes to the environmental impact of your home, it can be a tough one to live by. Fortunately, there are ways you can “green” your home without planting so much as a single flower. This is especially true when it comes to remodeling your home. Choosing a certified San Diego green remodeler, like Kaminskiy Design & Remodeling, can help you make a big impact on your home’s aesthetic, value, AND environmental footprint.
What Does It Mean To Green Your Home?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a very thorough definition of what it means to do a green remodel of your home. It notes in part that, “Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible.” There are many areas of your home that you can remodel in order to fit this description.
Being green involves more than installing energy efficient appliances in your kitchen remodel. The physical parts of a home, such as siding and even the paint you choose, do have an effect on the environment. For example, choosing non-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint instead of regular paint will decrease the toxicity.
While a remodel in some form would definitely help reduce your home’s environmental impact, there are a few tweaks you can make to accomplish this same goal. Think about your water usage, what you do with your garbage, how often and for how long you leave lights on, and where rain water drains; these are all things that can help the environment if applied properly.
San Diego Green Remodeling Tips
The most important step you can take to green your home is to hire a green savvy remodeling company. Kaminskiy Design & Remodeling is a Certified GreenProfessional, meaning we incorporate green building principles into our projects without driving up the cost.
If there are essential repairs that need to be made, such as a leaky roof or a cracking foundation, then those always come first. There’s no point in buying a new hot water heater if the basement in which it resides floods every time it rains. You should also do an energy audit on your home to assess how much you are using, and how much you could decrease that usage with a remodel. If you have an older home, replacing windows and doors can make a huge difference.
When you remodel your home, equal attention should be paid to the materials which you are removing as well as the one’s you’re adding. Rather than putting in hardwood floors, consider using bamboo or reclaimed wood. Bamboo replenishes at an exponentially quicker rate than normal wood, it’s easy to install and, even though you may pay more for it than you would normal wood, it is incredibly durable. So you’ll save money further down the road by not having to replace or refurbish flooring as often.
Another way you could save money is by “upcycling” old materials, by repurposing old materials into completely new furniture and decor. However, be careful what you upcycle, as some construction and other materials are not suitable for some furniture uses. One such popular example has been repurposing old wood pallets for everything from tables to bed frames. Many pallets are old and have been used for multiple things, so it’s important to check and ensure its safety. There are more problems than splinters that could arise from repurposing a pallet.
Mostly, it’s important to pay attention to how the wood was treated before you came in contact with it. The letters and numbers on the side can tell you a great deal about whether the pallet is safe, such as chemicals used, wood origin and whether it was inspected. Some woods can carry dangerous mold, insects or plant diseases that will make you never want to repurpose again. So in the effort of safety, really examine the pallet before using it as the foundation for your couch.
When one thinks of an area of their home they would most like to give a makeover, “bathroom remodel” is often the first thought that comes to mind. Many people hate the thought of low-flow anything, but there is a lot more you can do to your bathroom to make it energy efficient. Countertops and sink fixtures can be made with sustainable materials that are not only good for the environment, but good for your well-being too. You can include a window if possible, as natural lighting will decrease the need for artificial throughout most of the day.
Why Is Green Construction Important?
Reducing your impact on the environment can have a tremendously positive effect on it as a whole. People have been paying attention for quite some time, as energy consumption per home has been falling steadily over the last 30 years. Studies also show that how homes use energy has shifted in the past few decades. Heating and cooling used to be the primary consumer, but appliances now spend a vast majority of a home’s energy. So having efficient and updated appliances is key.
Homes these days are larger, and yet consume 30 percent less energy than a home built a decade or two ago. Energy efficient washers use 35 percent less water, efficient water heaters could save a family $3,000 and if all homes had an efficient furnace, a total of $171 million could be saved. The products and remodels aren’t just about saving the environment; in the long run, they could lighten the load on all of our wallets.