Twila E. Palmer's Blog
If you are planning a home renovation you may be considering going green. By planning your design you can add sustainability features to your home, many at no extra cost. There are many benefits to a green renovation. A green renovation will make your home better for the environment, save on energy costs and boost the resale value. When planning a green renovation you will want to find a contractor experienced in green projects. To find a green contractor choose someone who has been designated a Master Builder by the Energy and Environmental Building Association, or has been certified by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry as a Certified Remodeler. Look for reclaimed materials like pine timbers and salvaged doors and cabinets. Reclaimed pieces are usually more affordable and they save on energy, materials, and resources. Make sure to avoid products that contain hazardous materials, such as formaldehyde or creosote from railroad ties and other wood-based goods. It is almost impossible to avoid using new materials in your renovation. When selecting new materials look for products that are durable, easy to maintain, and if possible contain a high percentage of recycled content. Try to avoid disposable products and products that contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are commonly found in paints and finishes. Look for products that are green friendly. Watch for Grean Seal products on for paints coatings and doors. Check for Energy Star, for appliances, windows and heating and cooling products; Forest Stewardship Council, for wood-based products; and Cradle to Cradle, for carpet, sheet goods and other products. For more information read Green Building: A Primer for Builders, Consumers, and Realtors, and the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Green Home Guide.