DIY Green Energy For Homes
 

Use Healthy Paints And Other Green Alternatives

When you are considering a makeover for your home there are many options you can take that will save you money and be green at the same time.

The use of organic paint is one area where few people seem aware that they are a safer option than the alternatives.

Breathing fumes from some paints will have lasting effects that can be carcinogenic, so extra care in ventilation is essential.

Organic paint may seem to be a little more expensive but is healthier for you and the environment.

Some types of paint may also contribute to breathing problems long after drying and result in symptoms akin to sick building syndrome. This is just one area where a green approach may benefit the environment, as recycling of building materials into your new design may be much better than just sending them to a landfill.

Using reclaimed product such as bricks in the design and other fittings from salvage yards will reduce the carbon footprint of any new construction.

Slow growing timber products that are obtained from areas where tree felling contributes to erosion should be avoided, and instead only those products from certified renewable forestry be utilized.

This applies not just to structural framing but also to the furniture choices you select to complete the refurbishment. Structural Integrated Panels [SIP's] with built in insulation and a light weight may save up to 30 per cent on the demand for framing timber, and are available with recycled material as part of their manufacture. Their light weight makes assembly easier and faster, speeding up the building process and reducing the chance of water damage to timber during construction.

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Proper insulation at home now comes with many green options - from recycled paper to wool and flax materials offering even better fire retardant qualities than the older foams and fiberglass materials.

It has to be pointed out that lighting plans should include not just energy efficient light bulbs but also time switches and dimmers to reduce electricity demand.

Make sure that all bathroom fittings are the most efficient on the market, and one idea is to shy away from pristine white fittings that demand continual chemical applications to keep them looking that way. When it comes to exterior plumbing, avoid PVC guttering and choose longer lasting metal flashing instead.

Wooden windows that are fully double glazed are a green option, especially if they fit the original look of your home.You can use solar tiles in roofing, any extensions, and look at rainwater collection to be incorporated into garden designs to keep it flourishing in summer.

Any appliances should be rated for efficiency and purchased to meet the actual needs of the family, not as status symbols.

For many people, refurbishment may not be justified at all if they really look at what they need in the next few years. A move to a smaller home or some partitioning of large interior spaces may give you all the features required at a fraction of the cost to your wallet and the environment.

Major restructuring will always take much longer than originally allowed for, so a thorough examination of why the process is needed may even change the whole emphasis and scale of the project.

Green thinking is often just thinking carefully about all the options and weighing up the consequences of our actions.

Just because the neighbor has made some changes isn't necessarily the best reason for rushing into your own refurbishment.

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