The right home improvement products, techniques, and services:
Contractors, home improvement stores, and specialty shops in your area may not yet have a complete familiarity with the ‘green’ opportunities, products, system integration, and overall savings potential. So, you may get some resistance, since people in general are typically more comfortable recommending something that they are already familiar with rather than something new. To help break the inertia, use the information across this website like our Return on Investment Master ROI Table. Also feel free to post a question in our forum on the message board about a particular need for your home relative to your area. Our team has spent multiple years aggregating research from public and private sector performance reports and from manufacturers and homeowners across the country in order to provide you with the perspective you may need to see the initial payback and long term advantages. Environmental enthusiasts and leading institutions like the American Institute of Architects and the National Association of Realtors, see the value and link into our resources to support their members.
The Green Home:
For your overall home improvement, you can save money, improve your family’s health, and save the planet. Find out for free how much it will cost to do different types of home improvement in your home from a qualified and member approved contractor in your area. Get a FREE Quote . Plus, regardless of the size and scope of your home improvement project, save money and keep your home clean with the top rated chemical free and concentrated Green Home Cleaning Products .
Make sure to consider the latest Home Improvement products and services. If you are doing the work yourself or planning on working with a home improvement contractor use this checklist below as a guide to review and ask questions about the preferred products, details, and installation techniques related to:
- House Framing for Additions: Roof Framing, Metal Stud Framing, Framing DIY, Sustainable Framing Materials, Wall Framing, Timber Framing, Advanced Framing, and Double Insulated Wall Framing.
- New Room Additions: Sunroom Additions, Bed Room Additions, Mud Room Additions, Kitchen Additions, Combination Rooms and Additions, Family Room Additions, Garage Additions, Play Room Additions, Home Office Additions, and Second Story Additions.
- Building Codes and Zoning: Residential Building Codes, Zoning and Variances, Storm Water Management, Building Code Requirements, and Property Set-backs.
- Budget Worksheets for Additions: Staying on Budget, Project Supervision, Project Timelines, and Key Benchmarks.
- Product Specifications: Selecting Home Construction Products, Selecting the Right Finishes, and Selecting Home Systems.
- Home Conversions: Converting a Ranch into Cape or Colonial, Converting a Cape into a Colonial, Split Level Home Additions and Conversions, and Other Types of Conversions.
- Passive Solar for Additions: Passive Solar Homes, Passive Solar Design, Passive Solar House Plans, Passive Solar Heating, and Passive Solar Cooling.
Tips on Additions: Significantly less than 1% of the homes in America are deemed ‘green’. If you are considering expanding your home with an addition, you have an excellent opportunity to take several highly cost-effective steps to build your addition with green techniques that save energy, money, and the environment. Plus you will have a healthier home for you and your family. A green home or addition is designed and built to use less water and energy and is constructed using recycled materials. To be ‘certified’ as a green home, the home usually needs to be less than 2,500 sq. ft. in total living area, but there are now techniques to make larger homes that are high performance and energy efficient. There are a number of organizations around the US that specify what qualifies as a green home or green material. Some of the organizations include the Green Building Council LEED program, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) EPA’s Energy Star program, Environments for Living, and Healthy Built Homes. These organizations rate homes on a point or star system.
To qualify as a ‘green’, a home needs to incorporate several key features. First, it must be a tight house so that there is little to no air leakage inside or out. Second the home needs to be insulated with green insulation material that also has a high insulation value, such as insulation that does not outgas. Third, heating and air conditioning and air duct work needs to be sized properly for the house. Basically the HVAC system needs to have highly efficient so that it does not do more work than what the home really needs. Fourth, the home has to employ water and electricity conservation techniques. Green homes and additions can cost at least 3% to 5% more than traditional building costs, but the payback in energy savings is often recouped in the first few years. Take the initiative with your addition to make at least a few decisions that move your home and family toward a greener future. Given the increasing trends toward energy Independence, the marketplace will also reward you when it is time to sell!
Home Improvement Basics:
When it comes to home improvement basics, look for interior home improvements like creating a clean, safe, and healthy home through sustainable ‘green’ furniture, home décor, zero VOC and Interior Paint, plus ENERGY STAR Appliances and Electronics. For energy and utility savings you can focus on insulation and air sealing, windows, doors, lighting and skylights, water saving plumbing opportunities, and high efficiency heating and air conditioning systems. On the outside of your house, look for exterior home improvement opportunities through landscape design and gardening plus solar energy, wind and other power sources. If you are undertaking a major home renovation, an additions, or building a new home, then take the lead to ‘go green’ in as many ways as possible to save money and the environment.