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.

Materials Matters

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!

historical renovations rhode islandYou’ve found a beautiful old home-as picture-perfect as if you’ve plucked it straight out of an old photograph. Well, you know it will be picture-perfect once it’s renovated… You might think renovations are a job you can tackle yourself-after all, isn’t everyone always telling you how crafty and creative you are? Before you get in over your head, slow down. Even the craftiest and ingeniously creative among us would have trouble handling historical renovations on their own. Historical renovations in Rhode Island should always be handled by a professional to maintain the integrity and authenticity of the home. Here are just a few reasons why a professional is needed for successful historical renovations:

1. Windows. Windows are often the first place new homeowners want to begin when renovating a historic house. This is an extremely tricky task, because many historic houses have the original windows which are very unique and quite different from modern windows. If care is not taken to replace or fix these windows properly, it ruins the style of the home and can lead to practical problems as well.

2. Roofing. Replacing or repairing roofing on a historical home is a challenge because materials used when the house was built are vastly different from current roofing material. The colors, textures, and style of most current roofing materials would detract from the authenticity of the historic home. A professional with expertise in historic renovations can help you choose current roofing materials in colors and styles that resemble the original materials, while still passing building codes.

3. Paint. While changing paint colors in a historic home doesn’t sound like a difficult task, it does require the attention of a professional. Many older homes used lead paint and stripping/sanding paint from walls, railings, and trim can be a dangerous task if not performed properly. A professional understands the safety measures that must be taken when working with old paint, and can properly dispose of the residue. If your home belongs to a historic preservation organization, there are rules and guidelines to follow when repainting. Specific colors appropriate to the time period of your home must be used.

4. Decks and porches. It is imperative that one has a vast knowledge of the time period of your home before renovating decks and porches. Modern decks and porches would look sadly out of place on a historic home.

5. Pools, decorations, landscapes. The outer elements of your home must also adhere to strict guidelines if you are part of a historical organization. The correct plants, garden styles, pools, and structures (gazebos, sheds) will enhance your home’s historical authenticity and value while adhering to committee guidelines.

Professionals with an extensive background in historical renovations are the key to achieving a beautiful home that adheres to any guidelines you may need to follow. Trying to attempt a job like this on your own can waste valuable time and money. Please feel free to contact us for more information regarding historical renovations.

Building green in Rhode Islandbuilding green in Rhode Island is great for the environment, locally and nationally. It reduces electricity consumption, water consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, and landfill waste, but do you know it can also save you money?

According to the US Department of Energy, the average family spends $2,150 on energy bills. That’s almost $200 per month. By employing a number of energy saving techniques, a green home reduces that bill by anywhere from 30-60%. Well-insulated windows, energy star appliances, and environmentally friendly light fixtures all contribute to lower energy bills. In fact, using LED light bulbs can reduce a fixture’s energy consumption by 90%.

Water consumption in green homes is greatly reduced by such innovative products as tank-less water heaters and dual flush toilets.  High efficiency showerheads and faucets further assist in reducing water usage. The average washing machine uses 41 gallons of water per load. However, choosing a high-efficiency model reduces water use by 35-50%. Outside, rainwater collection systems work to conserve water for efficient irrigation systems.

Investing as little as $4 per square foot in building green in Rhode Island can amount to a savings of $58 per square foot over the course of 20 years. For a 2,000 square foot residential home that’s a savings of $116,000! If you find yourself in the market to sell your home before that 20 year mark, don’t despair. You’re still likely to see a large return on your green investment. Green homes not only have a higher resale value, but they also tend to spend significantly less time on the market than conventional homes. New green homes typically sell for 8-10% more than non-certified green homes. Resale of an existing green home is valued even higher. On average, an existing green home sells for 30% more than a conventional home.

To learn more about building green in Rhode Island, contact us. Our friendly and experienced staff is ready to answer all questions and is happy to share the massive benefits of going green.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 1.40.40 PMWe are very proud to be featured in RI Monthly Home Design once again. The 2015 issue is a great featured packed magazine. Be sure to pick your copy today. You can also read our featured online. Click the photo at right to be taken to the digital issue.









No other Home Show comes anywhere near this! March 5-8, 2015.
As the biggest and best Home Show experience in Southern New England, the 65th RI Home Show is sure to please you. In addition to touring the Interior Design Showcase, The Tiny House, Learning at the Energy Expo and Walking THREE amazing landscapes, at the 2015 RI Home Show you will also find 100’s of contractors and product exhibits, educational seminars, cooking demonstrations by Chef Terranova and some really cool kid’s activities.

Learn more here:

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