As the weather warms, the itch for spring cleaning and summer renovations begins. Maybe you have big plans to build that add on you’ve had in mind for years, or maybe you just want to add a fresh coat of paint to the living room. Regardless, it’s always nice to be kind to your wallet and even kinder to the environment.
Although it’s becoming easier and more accessible to “go green” in your home, there’s still a lot of information out there about everything from changing out your bathroom fixtures to using bamboo flooring. When making eco-friendly choices in your renovations, you’re not only making a conscious effort to use more sustainable materials and ways of living, but you can save a significant amount of money in the long term. Here are a few suggestions for your next economical and eco-friendly renovation.
Budget correctly the first time. So often, when planning a renovation, we end up underestimating the cost of materials, professional help, or the cost of our personal time. It’s helpful to plan ahead. As a matter of fact, there’s no such thing as overplanning your next project. Plan for it all by creating:
It may already be obvious where and how you’d like to spend your budget, but sometimes we underestimate the cost of our own time. If your renovation is significant and you’re trying to save money by doing the work yourself, make sure you’re willing and able to do a proper job. If you’ve ever heard horror stories—or experienced one yourself—of a large scale renovation gone wrong, you likely understand that mishaps will cost you far more than your budget. Having to do a major job more than once is a waste of time, and resources. Manage your time and energy as best as possible. And of course, plan for the unexpected!
Plan for the season. Being able to schedule out your renovations perfectly around the seasons is a dream, but sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you’d like. Although you might not be able to work in the perfect seasonal conditions, there are certain portions of your renovations that you can schedule for specific conditions and should make those a priority on your calendar. Try and surround plans around the ones that are far less movable.
Paint with light in mind. When painting, it’s a good idea to wait until the weather is clear, and the sun is out. It’s a pain to repaint a whole room after you realize that the natural light completely changes the perfect color into something unexpected. Also, remember this applies to all artificial light as well. The color of the bulb on your wall, or ceiling will drastically affect the paint color on your walls. Take everything into account. If you’re on a tight budget, but also want to keep things friendly to the environment, keep this in mind:
When making plans, often the simplest, or most economic also happen to be the most sustainable and eco-friendly. Any natural overlap of these two things is something to be celebrated, but if you remodel with certain things in mind, you can extend your savings in the long term and use your home as a source of sustainability.
Recycle and upcycle whenever possible. Ever heard of the expression, “the eyes are the windows to the soul”? Well, if you think about it, the windows of your home are like the eyes of a friendly face. They’re not only the drawing points of your home’s exterior, but they’re also one of the most energy efficient renovations you can make. If you are already thinking about sprucing up outdated features, you may want to start with your windows. Not only can this give you control over the look and feel of your home’s exterior, but upgraded, airtight windows will provide greater insulation, lessen noise pollution, and help keep your energy bills down.
Consider giving your current fixtures an upcycle before destroying, or tossing materials. Repainting your cabinets, or use salvaged wood, metal for fixtures, countertops, and doors. Not only does this help be lessening material waste, but it can add a unique quality to any room.
Solar panels are a great investment. The sun is a powerful, renewable source of energy. Might as well harness that power! This is more than just a guilt-free way to use electricity in your home, it can noticeably lower your electricity bills. So much of renovating comes down to not only falling more in love with your home, but renovating in a way that provides long-lasting benefits to your future. Solar panels are a little investment that can have a significant payoff.
Get energy efficient appliances. If you’re planning to replace your major appliances, focus on replacing them with ones that will help you save both the environment and energy. If you’re remodeling on a budget, and want to save on your appliances straightaway versus over the long run, scour your area for gently used appliances, or showroom appliances that might be older models.
You can have the best of both worlds during your next renovation. Now more than ever before, green and economical renovating are attainable for everyone. Whether you’re planning a full-blown remodel, or just sprucing up a room; there’s always a way to be sustainable and uniquely you throughout the process.