The time comes, sooner or later, when we can’t postpone some works on improving the living conditions in our homes. Many people put such project off for as long as possible, while some embrace the challenge with great enthusiasm. While it’s always better to feel passionate about what you’re doing, even if you dread house renovation projects, you have to approach them with care and shrewdness.
One of the most important challenges is staying within the budget, while improving the living conditions. Apart from taking into account the cost of works and new elements, you really need to think about any possibility that would allow you to save some money in the long run or at least stop wasting it. That’s when you can seriously consider these tips that can help you renovate your home in the most eco-friendly and efficient way.
Choice of material
You don’t need to be a genius to understand that local materials are cheaper. That’s the case since they cost less to be transported to your home. Also, you might want to consider engineered wood products, such as joists, trusses and other structural elements made from smaller stock. They are strong enough to provide the needed stability. Also, using materials made of recycled wood and plastic will also help you go greener and save some money along the way.
With so many options available, you are really spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing your new flooring. Remember that indoor air contamination can be caused by volatile organic compounds found in some types of flooring. That’s why you need to focus on durable materials that come from renewable sources, such as linoleum, natural-fibre carpets or cork. Also, there is reclaimed hardwood, bamboo, stone and ceramic tiles, which can all provide excellent insulation and comfort and allow you to remain reasonably frugal.
One of the major factors contributing to how eco-friendly your house is must be insulation. If your home is not properly insulated from the basement to the roof, you’re probably wasting much more money on bills than you would need to if your house was properly insulated. Apart from doors and windows, pay special attention to your roof, since that’s commonly the place where most energy is wasted. Remember that the less energy is wasted, the more money you save. Finally, by adding some nice floor rugs made of natural materials, you’ll improve both the look of your rooms and insulation.
Let the sunshine in
If, for some reason, you can’t install solar panels which would provide you with extra energy free of charge, you can at least check if you can make more use of passive solar heating. How successful you are will depend on the proper solar orientation, window placement and ventilation, but you can really make a big impact on the atmosphere in your house by using sunshine to heat your home in winter and reducing exposure to the sun in the summer, thus reducing the need to cool it down.
Most of us wait until an appliance stops working and is beyond repair to replace it. Since those moments eventually come, it’s good to know what kind of new appliances you should get. Luckily, most manufacturers nowadays have a wide range of energy-efficient products on offer. A rule of thumb suggests that you should get the most economical appliances you can afford, so that you see them pay off most quickly.
Traditional incandescent lights waste too much energy because they produce a great amount of heat. If you replace your old bulbs with some more energy-efficient ones, such as LED or fluorescent lights, you’ll be able to reduce your electricity bill and you can also count on them lasting much longer than incandescent light, which means you won’t have to take out your wallet that often.
Remodelling your home is never a simple task, but if you remember that it’s something that will allow you to live in a much better, eco-friendly environment, you shouldn’t have any problems finding the motivation to see such a project through. Finally, if you choose well, you’ll be able to lower your maintenance costs and perhaps pay off the whole investment relatively quickly. Basically, it’s a win-win situation.