5 Green Remodeling Ideas for Your Home

By Guest Author Matt Lee. This post is sponsored.

Creating a greener home can mean many things for many people. Some may put a bigger focus on their home’s energy efficiency, while others may want to include more green building materials in their home’s design. One thing that most people can agree on, though, is that green building and remodeling is a trend that’s here to stay. Green homes are not only more energy efficient and better for the environment, they are also more comfortable to live in. Up your home’s green status with any of these five remodeling ideas.

G R E E N   R O O F I N G

Your roof plays a huge role not only in your home’s curb appeal, but in its energy efficiency as well. So while many people like the look of architectural shingle roof for their homes from an aesthetic standpoint, it’s important to consider green roofing options as well. A green roof can help keep your home cooler in the summer, particularly if you live in a warmer climate.

Green roofs help to reflect the sun’s UV rays, which in turn helps prevent your attic from becoming superheated and transferring that heat down to the rest of your home. A green roof may also include solar shingles, which can help offset your energy costs at the same time.

R E C L A I M E D   F L O O R I N G

One of the greenest options you can find for your home’s interior is reclaimed flooring. Reclaimed floors are made of materials that have already had another use, so no new material was produced or claimed to make them.

Reclaimed flooring options include stone and terracotta tiles that have been in use in French farmhouses for more than 100 years, which can give you floors a lot of character and personality. Another option is reclaimed wood flooring, which gives you the same beautiful wood as a newer floor, but with the added benefit of not having additional trees cut down.

To make your floor even greener, make sure that your adhesives and backing don’t contain any formaldehyde or other additives that can give off VOCs.

I N S U L A T I O N

The vast majority of homes are under-insulated for the climate they’re in. And many of those homes that were properly insulated at the time of construction now have insulation that has degraded or that has been moved or disturbed due to pests or workman needing access to the space. Therefore, adding additional insulation to your attic, the underside of your roof deck, and your walls can have a big impact on the energy efficiency and green status of your home.

With proper insulation, your home has less of a heat transfer between the interior and the exterior of your home. This means that in colder climates, less of the energy that you use to heat your home is leaving. So your home is more comfortable all year long, while at the same time you need to use less energy to keep warm.

Insulation is just as important in warmer climates as it is in cold. In a warmer climate, insulation helps keep the energy you use to cool your home where it belongs, while preventing heat transfer from the outdoors in. This ensures that your home stays cool while your energy bills stay lower. So while many people believe that you can get by with less insulation in a warmer climate, the opposite is really true.

D I R E C T   V E N T   G A S   F I R E P L A C E

Many people enjoy the look of a wood burning fire during the colder months. And while burning wood in a fireplace or a wood stove can help heat your home, this isn’t the most efficient way to do so. A direct vent gas fireplace can produce a lot more heat, and does so in a much greener and more sustainable way.

Direct vent fireplaces bring in outside air to aid in combustion. This converts up to 80% of the fuel used to power the fireplace into heat. In contrast, a wood burning fireplace or stove only converts about 10% of the fuel into heat. Best of all, a direct vent fireplace doesn’t need a traditional chimney to work; you can easily vent either straight up and out the roof or horizontally through a wall, so it’s much less expensive to retrofit this type of fireplace into your home to get usable, energy efficient heat and a romantic fire all at the same time.

F I B E R   C E M E N T   S I D I N G

If you’re remodeling and canvassing for exterior home designs, consider durable, low maintenance fiber cement siding as a greener alternative to wood or vinyl. Fiber cement siding uses a high percentage of recycled glass content, and gives off far fewer VOCs than vinyl or painted wood.

Best of all, fiber cement doesn’t peel, chip, fade, or crack over time so there’s less maintenance or replacement costs. Because you don’t need to repaint and worry about VOCs or worry about disposal of the product, you can feel more secure in your home’s green status.

Fiber cement is also easier to insulate during installation than either wood or vinyl, making fiber cement installation a great time to insulate and improve your home’s energy efficiency as well.

W H Y   B U I L D   A   G R E E N E R   H O M E

Greener homes are associated with fewer health problems and lower energy bills for residents. They’re also better for the environment both now and long term. Consider these green remodeling ideas for your home to help build a more sustainable home for tomorrow.

This is a sponsored post. 

About Starre Vartan
Starre Vartan is editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life.

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