Remodeling an Old Home with Green Materials
Are you thinking about renovating your home with green materials and want to know why it is so great?
Whether you start at the top and work down, or at the basement and go up, there are green alternatives to
consider in this project.
A few major points to consider are the overall benefits of a better insulated, energy efficient and water use
The project will invariably mean that some of the existing materials and structures will need to be disposed of,
and one real problem is where there is the existence of insulation or construction features containing
As well as the very real hazard of inhaling this material, its removal and disposal is covered by regulation in
Consult professional companies who have approved methods of dealing with this product, and wear masks at all
times when dust is present.
Other fixtures and fittings such as windows and wooden floors, if they are in good condition, may also be
supplied to a recycling center. Old timber in particular can be used for furniture and household goods so don't
burn or dump!
Let's look at the materials you use in this project as the green approach is to use only products from renewable
resources or energy efficient manufacture.
Insulation product made from recycled plastic is available, and when remodeling an old home this may be the
biggest change you can make to increase your home's
Wall paneling that uses recycled plastic as a sandwich filling can be energy neutral for the energy you will
save in heating, but at least will use less timber in the overall construction. Old houses need not be made to look
like the 21st century, and there are savings to be made in incorporating building materials from recycling centers
in the make-over.
Wooden doors and window frames can still be energy efficient if fitted properly to avoid heat losses, and double
glazing as a retro-fit is an option to consider. Paints and fabrics to create the interior design should all be
chosen for their eco friendly manufacture and are often cheaper than the synthetic products on the market.
Look around and see what is available and these fabrics may also be from fair trade sources giving real returns
to workers in other countries.
Furniture to complement the new decor can be obtained from stores specializing in recycled material or renewable
timbers. The biggest green energy initiative that can be considered is your own source of renewable energy -
whether it be solar or wind power.
If you are rewiring an old home and making major construction changes in roof design, then incorporating a wind
power system or solar panels may be one way to recover the cost of remodeling in the meantime and add extra value
to the home.
The next feature to ensure a truly green home is to install the very best of energy efficient appliances and
light fittings. This is very important in the two smallest areas of the house, the laundry and the kitchen.
Hot water heating at home uses in excess of electricity
in most homes, so properly installed insulated fittings and lagged
hot water piping can save you heaps in utility bills as well.
Water recycling from laundry and kitchen for use in the garden or on lawns should be a simple feature to
incorporate in you new green home.
Essentially, without going to extremes such as thatched roofing or mud construction, there are many green
alternatives when remodeling and old home.
The extent to which you incorporate all or some of these features will depend on your philosophy and wallet, but
there are savings to be made if you look carefully.