Every now and again our homes need a bit of a makeover, some attention, and TLC. It could be a little makeover in the bathroom, a touch up on some furniture, or a lick of paint to give a bit of new life in a room. Instead of thinking you need to move when these little issues occur, you can spend your money wisely and renovate your own home all by yourself to perk it up a bit and to suit your needs. If you want to be smart and save even more money, as well as avoid having to repeat the renovations, then you should think about going green and eco-friendly when you renovate.
It is the windows that play the most significant part in how natural elements enter and exit your home. One of the best eco-friendly home improvements you can make is replacing your old windows with not just new windows, but those with double-glazing. Double glazing can look great and provide some significant benefits such as insulating your home better than you ever imagined. Another advantage to double glazed windows is that they are more secure, less prone to breakage by thieves or a ball or bat. You may even notice that the noise pollution in your home is reduced as well.
Many people don’t think about it, but curtains are another critical factor when it comes to sorting out your windows. Curtains not only look cute and cozy but provide an extra barrier and reduce the amount of cold (or hot) air coming in. Investing in high-quality, thick curtains is a good idea and will help to keep heat in (or out) far better than blinds or ordinary thin curtains. If you love to sleep in on the weekends or work a night shift, you’ll find that these types of curtains will provide an extra measure of protection against the bright outdoors. Just make sure that the kind of curtains you choose can be pushed aside and held out of the way of the window easily so that you can maximize light when needed or wanted. We upgraded our curtains midway through the winter and I was amazed at the difference it made in the room temperature.
For all those new trinkets and new accessories that could make up your home, visit antique shops and consignment shops as they are great places for unique items. You will find light fixtures, doorknobs, and mantels that will not look like all the others sold at the big-box store. Not only does this help with your costs, but these repurposed items will add charm and warmth to your home that just cannot be replicated by their newer counterparts.
For that fresh coat of paint your room is desperate for, use low VOC paints which are earth-friendly and better for you and your family. This kind of paint is practically odorless, 100% acrylic and splatter resistant. Use light colors to add more light to the room; it will make it appear fresher and cleaner.
Having the shiniest and newest things in your house is not essential. Just because they are shiny and new does not mean they are the best quality nor does newer mean that it will last longer. In fact, it almost seems as though many goods are produced in a way to require replacement more frequently than in years past. Reclaimed wood, for example, is an excellent choice for countertops, flooring, and walls and it will save you time, money and energy that would be required to produce a similar and newer product. There are many beautiful options using reclaimed wood in furniture as well. These pieces will suit a variety of styles and designs.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” If you’re going to rip out a room in your house completely, then have a look and see what you can re-use beforehand. It is an eco-friendly way of doing things and will also save you some money. There will likely be a lot of material which can be salvaged that you can reuse or resell. Flooring, light fixtures, tiles, bricks, and cabinets can all be used again, in another room – or even sold to make you some money.
But, if you really cannot reuse or resell the materials, don’t throw them away – donate them. Someone else will surely be able to make use of them – as is or improved. Upcycling is really trendy today, repainting and re-purposing something that you might no longer want. There are companies such as Habitat for Humanity who welcome all unwanted materials and sell all their donations giving 100% of the proceeds to build new homes for the underprivileged.
Maybe you don’t think of replacing worn or outdated appliances as an eco-issue, but it is. When you’re looking to buy a new appliance, look for the most energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and washers & dryers. Opting for these will save you money in the long run at the same time as being better for the environment, so it’s a win-win! Our thirty-year-old washer and dryer were sturdy and running great. But, they not only used a lot more water, but their energy consumption was also very high. With a family our size, we do laundry every day. These costs really add up and are not a good use of resources.
You can also look at using solar energy when remodeling your home. Solar energy impacts your heating bill as well as keeping other energy costs down. Small, easy to install solar roof venting units can be used to help with heat in a home. Pair this with high-quality insulation. The better insulated your home is, the warmer it will stay in the wintertime (which will allow you to keep your thermostat at a lower setting), and cooler during those hot summer months. Other solar units often give enough power for small items like fountains or outdoor cameras or lights to run. If a fully off-grid set up is not in your plans, these smaller, point-of-use units are a great alternative.
Choose companies that consider the environment when you’re looking for expert services. What does this look like? Companies who are committed to achieving the highest standards of environmental performance and aim to prevent pollution and minimize the impact of its operations. For example, go with green environmentally friendly carpet cleaners such as Chem-Dry who work to reduce any adverse effects of their products on people, pets, and the environment and clean with a green, safe, non-toxic solution called The Natural, that uses 80% less water than typical steam cleaners.
Choosing to renovate your house in an eco-friendly way is beneficial for everyone. It is not only helpful to the environment but saves you some money and allows you to give back. It’s hard to argue about being environmentally savvy when it comes to your home; it’s a no brainer.