The notion of remodelling is usually half excitement and half stress — and with good reason. While the end-product of a remodelled home can be extremely fulfilling, the manual labour, living inconveniences, and unexpected expenses along the way can be frustrating. Remodelling can, however, become all parts fun if you do it with a goal in mind. And though you might not have heard the best things about building a sustainable home, it can actually be a wise decision.
Today, sustainable living is the need of the hour — and the sooner everyone jumps on the bandwagon, the longer we can retain our quality of lives. As climate change continues to become more real every day, a focus on preservation is the way to go. And what better place to begin that journey than your own home? Not only do environmentally sustainable homes bring with them the satisfaction and joy of doing your bit for the environment; but they can also turn out to be easier on the pocket in terms of living expenses.
If you’re starting to think about remodelling, let’s take a look at some of the simple things you can do to make your remodel environment-friendly:
Look For The Energy Star
Saving energy is a key factor in making a home sustainable. The most straightforward way to do this is to opt for renewable energy. A relatively simple solution for renewable energy could be to harness the power of the sun. Solar energy panels are easier to set up than most other forms of renewable energy and are growing in popularity, and in turn, can be quite affordable to install.
A renewable energy-powered home is ideal, but unfortunately, not all places have the resources needed for implementing renewable energy into home design. In these cases, you can still save energy by purchasing energy-efficient appliances. Energy-efficient appliances are usually marked with the Energy Star, which symbolizes the energy you’ll be saving by using that appliance as opposed to a less energy-efficient version. Not only does this help the environment, but energy-efficient appliances can also reduce your electricity bills.
Find The Right Materials
Using natural and sustainable materials for remodelling is a great way to minimize your environmental impact. Some popular natural materials include rock, granite, natural linoleum, and stone. For your remodel, try to find materials that have the Greenguard Certification. Greenguard certified materials don’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), thus also decreasing the health risks of long-term exposure to VOCs during construction.
These materials are also known to last longer which roughly translates to lesser repair charges over the years and a longer time gap to the next remodel. Additionally, the lack of harmful chemical compounds in these materials can also benefit your health, by improving the air quality in your house.
Declutter and Deconstruct Before You Demolish
If you plan to completely transform your house by bringing down walls and pillars, think again. First consider whether there are areas that can be salvaged, and saved from complete demolition. Is there a room that could look as good as new with a simple furniture change? Could you use furniture from one room to decorate another? A complete overhaul of your current space will cost you way more than what a deconstruction would.
Not to mention decluttering and deconstructing is much kinder to the environment than a full demolition. It is worth considering these before you demolish your current space. For instance, incorporating multifunctional furniture is a great idea if you have a space crunch and are looking to maximize storage space. If you do have to demolish, try to use as much of the original materials as possible. Look to incorporate them into your new design in unique and exciting ways! A word of warning: If your house was built before 1975, you might run into asbestos during your demolition. It’s absolutely imperative you have a professional check your home for asbestos before you start any remodelling or demolition.
Implement a Waste Management System
While any commercial undertaking would have to be much more vigilant towards sustainable waste management policies, a home setup affords you the freedom to choose the waste management systems you want to implement. Inside a home, the most substantial waste generated is food. This is where one must apply the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” mantra every day. Remember, a sustainable home can only be truly effective when paired with a sustainable lifestyle and habits. With this in mind, use the process of your sustainable remodel to inculcate general habits that contribute to the long-term sustainability of your home. Reduce your food waste as much as you can, share leftovers instead of storing them till they become waste, and try to reuse your kitchen waste in different ways rather than throwing it away. If we collectively consume less and recycle, the waste generated will consequently be much lesser too.
Buy Pre-owned Furniture
Some materials such as wood are gaining popularity as second-hand materials. Not only does a pre-loved wooden cabinet look great, but good-quality wood is also expensive to buy new. Buying second-hand allows you to get quality items at cheaper rates while also saving the environment!
Remodelling your home is not something you will do often, but it is something that will impact your life every single day. So make the right long-term choice about what you want from your newly remodelled home. Whether it’s a small section you’re changing or a complete transformation, make sure you look at eco-friendly options. While you might not be able to make every aspect of your living quarters eco-friendly, it is worth trying to incorporate as many sustainable options as possible.
Sustainability might appear to be a daunting concept, but in reality, it can be a fun way to show your creativity. In the long-term, prioritizing sustainability has also proven to be a more affordable and fulfilling option. No doubt, building a sustainable and beautiful home that will last you not just for years, but for generations to come, will be worth every bit of effort!