The trend of green home building isn’t going anywhere soon – green or eco-friendly homes not only offer home owners lower costs while they’re living in them, but they present a higher resale value when they go back on the market. Add that to rising trends in environmental consciousness, and many people are turning towards building the greenest home they can.
Here are five things to consider when designing and building your green home.
A great method of building a green home is to reach first for reclaimed, salvage, or restored building materials. This can mean using reclaimed wood from older homes, salvaged brick from old warehouses, or building materials that have been recycled from previous construction sites. Additionally, there are entire lines of new building products that have been produced with sustainability in mind, including plastic lumber and recycled drywall, insulation, and tiles. The EPA has a webpage dedicated to discussing various recycled building materials, and which ones may be the right choice for your job.
Design for Durability
A large part of green design is thinking into the future – sometimes well into it. When you start picking out your plot, your home design, and your materials, think about the longevity of your home. A green home is not a home that lasts for a few decades. Because you want think in terms of minimizing your home’s impact on the planet, you want to decrease the need for expensive demolition that would send parts of your home out into landfills, reduce the need for replacing materials earlier than they need to be replaced, and designing in such a way that you won’t be striving for a full renovation in 5 years.
Take in the Taxes
The federal government as well as many state governments offer homeowners tax deductions on their green-ification of their homes. The IRS provides some information about this process, and you can look up further information from the Department of Energy about your home state. Keep in mind that these deductions aren’t just for building – they’re for the energy conscious appliances that you put into your home as well!
Engage Your Energy Options
There are only a few renewable energy options open to homeowners, and they reduce as you live in a more populated area. Home builders in more rural areas can harness the power of the sun as well as the wind, and may be able to even use water to power their home.
For those who live in more urban areas – especially those that are governed by HOAs – the limits are even more harsh. Fortunately, solar panels are becoming sleeker and more discreet, all while staying affordable for the energy conscious. In many cities, home owners even have the option to feed their electricity back into the grid, effectively rolling their meter backwards, a process known as Aggregated Net Metering.
Design to the Last Dime
For many people designing their home, the interior design work may come as a second thought – after the framing has been accomplished, the drywall installed, the roofing completed, and the flooring put door, there’s just not enough time to think about the work required to then fill out the interior of a home. But when you’re talking about having a green house, that’s just not an option. Energy Star ratings extend to appliances, and even the bulbs you’ll put in every light in your house. Your budget should extend to cover your energy efficient appliances, just as it will cover your building materials.
As always, we welcome you to contact us if you have any questions about your home renovations, or your interest in going green!