4 tips for a green remodel

4 tips for a green remodelMany contractors are now meeting with homeowners about spring and summer renovation jobs, and one trend that is likely coming up a lot in those discussions is a focus on "going green."

Increasingly, people want to know that they're reducing their footprint and can save a little money on their energy or water consumption as well. Contractors would be wise to discuss a number of ways they can meet those goals in a way that makes sense.

1) Think about power consumption – and flexibility

Even if people are going to the trouble and expense of installing solar arrays on their homes, they may use more power than they think, according to HouseLogic. When many appliances – from TVs and computers to smart accessories – are turned off, they still consume electricity. To that end, it may be smart for contractors to install wall-mounted switches that turn off the power to entire outlets so that when any device is off, it no longer consumes electricity at all.

From simple to complicated, a green remodel has lots of moving parts.From simple to complicated, a green remodel has lots of moving parts.

2) Understand how it's all connected

One aspect of resource consumption in the home is that even renovating one room can have an impact on other parts of the home, according to Mother Earth News. For instance, when installing a new shower head in the master bathroom, homeowners and contractors alike need to think about issues like whether they also need to upgrade the hot water heater so that it's more efficient.

3) Make sure it's insulated

Finally, when green changes are part of a larger renovation project – that is, if people are redoing the master bedroom but want to make sure they're improving home efficiency – there are some aspects of that effort that are easy to overlook, according to Elemental Green. For example, when installing recessed lighting into a ceiling, homeowners may prefer to go with low-cost, long-lasting LED lights, and that's a smart move.

However, contractors also have to make sure that, when installing that recessed lighting, they are not doing so into a part of the home that isn't properly insulated. If even small parts of the ceiling don't have the right level of insulation, a green remodel isn't going to be as effective as it could have been. Put another way, heated or cooled air escaping through these little areas will make a home less efficient and more costly to live in, even if the intention was the right one.

4) Talk them through it

There are many small things like these that contractors know about through years of experience, but homeowners may not. Taking the time to talk them through a holistic renovation process that takes every aspect of the goal into account will help ensure owners know what they're getting out of the deal and have a positive experience overall.