When it comes to creating a greener environment, starting at home is a great option for most people.
When renovating your home or building a new home, choosing the greener options may mean a greater capital outlay but future savings will more than make up for that.
You will need to do some research and proper planning if you want the greener option to work for you. It is worthwhile to consult experts in energy efficiency and green design from the beginning to make everything work smoothly and to save money in the long run.
It is also a good idea to ask friends and colleagues for advice – their experiences can save you much frustration.
Magazines are also a great way to get ideas and to see the latest in green living.
If you are renovating your home, it is a good idea to have its sustainability assessment done – schedule this at the same time as your annual building inspection to kill two birds with one stone. Many building inspectors will offer this service as well.
Learn the Rules
You will need to check the regulations pertaining to building in your specific area – you can check with the local council. There may be specific energy efficiency and water saving rules that apply to your suburb.
The Position of your Home
When you are building a new home, you need to take note of the orientation so that you can take full advantage of the sun in winter and so that you get maximum protection from the heat in summer. The layout is also important when it comes to heating or cooling your home.
Remember that the larger the space, the more energy is needed to heat or cool it. With a clever design, you can take full advantage of a smaller space and make it look much larger.
Also, consider the placement of windows and make sure that they are on opposite sides of the living area in order to facilitate the flow of air. You might even consider a skylight to allow even more hot air to flow out of the room.
Choose the Right Materials
You should not just look at materials in terms of what they are like now. In addition, consider future maintenance as well. It is better to use materials that are long lasting and that are relatively maintenance free as these have the lowest impact environmentally.
Consider the type of windows you install – as much as 40% of energy is wasted in the home during heating or cooling because it escapes through the windows. The best option is a window with double glazing and an insulated frame.
You also need to ensure that all windows close properly and tightly to keep your home as efficient as possible.
Should you be using timber for the windows, et cetera, you need to ensure that it is sourced from sustainably managed forests if you want to keep it green.
Look for paint that has low emissions or completely natural products.
Consider the wall colours carefully as they will affect how light rooms appear – darker coloured rooms will need more lighting than lighter ones.
Of course, recycling is about the greenest option when it comes to renovating or building a home.
Doors, old windows and even roofing tiles and bricks can be recycled and can be used to create great features in the home and to lend it charm.
Overall, planning is more important than anything else. Plan thoroughly and your renovations will be a smooth process.