If you’re looking at renovating with the environment in mind then there are a host of great options. You’ll be pleased to hear that these options are not only kind to the environment but also kind to the hip pocket. Eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean expensive. In fact often it’s about working with what you have or can reclaim. So here are five tips for an eco-friendly renovation.
Much of our energy consumption is dedicated to heating and cooling our homes, so turn your attention to insulation. If you’re having your roof redone as part of a reno, consider insulation sheeting directly below the roof, or if you’re retro-fitting insulation it’s a great idea to invest in high quality insulation above the ceiling, which can be easily fitted. Specialist roofing companies such as Roofmasters have some great tips on insulation for new or existing roofing.
On the subject of heating and cooling, turn your attention to your renovation design and embrace passive solar principles. This involves using sunlight to heat your home in the appropriate areas by positioning living areas with a northern aspect to allow in winter sunlight. North-facing windows provide twice the winter sunlight as east or west-facing windows do, while south-facing windows receive no direct sunlight at all. Where possible, minimise south-facing windows and shade western windows through external foliage or window treatments.
Harness The Sun
In the past couple of years there’s been a real push to utilize solar power within the home. There are still some great financial incentives for people looking to go solar. As a minimum, you can power your own home for a lot of the time, cutting power bills and energy consumption from the grid. At the other end of the spectrum you can be paid to feed your solar energy back into the grid.
Renovate Using Reclaimed Materials
Why pay for new when existing can be just as good, if not better? Why not give old building materials a new lease on life by either purchasing reclaimed materials or reworking what you already have? There are hundreds of building yards selling reclaimed building items, from gorgeous French doors to bathtubs, leadlight windows and even floor and wall tiles. Often they are also available at a fraction of the price of new products – all that’s required is a little extra hunting to find the things you need that suit your project.
Donate Your Debris
A great way of minimizing your environmental footprint is by donating your unwanted building items. These may include windows, doors, old wood, roofing or even bricks. You can take comfort in the fact that although to you they are now rubbish they might be reincarnated elsewhere and save the environment just a little bit of landfill.
It’s easy to reduce our carbon footprint just a little through some small acts that add up over time. Any renovator should also be assured that by renovating they are already embracing a more sustainable alternative as they are not building from scratch.
From time to time we publish original guest articles. The above article was written by Tara Kingi.
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