Reduce, Reuse, Renovate

This is a great blog post from Calgary Realtors Michele and Shawn Duce:

You may not have purchased a green home, but every time you undertake a remodeling project, you have the opportunity to make your living environment more environmentally friendly. Here are some tips for turning your next renovation into a more eco-friendly one.

  • If you plan to hire help, speak with professionals who specialize in eco-friendly renovations. From interior designers who can oversee your whole project with an eye toward minimizing impact on the environment and maximizing your energy efficiency, to contractors who can carry out one aspect of the job, such as painting, using eco-friendly materials and practices, you can put together a “green team” to help you with your reno.
  • Instead of buying brand new materials for your project, see what you can reuse, or repurpose, wherever possible. For instance, if you’re giving your bathroom a makeover, consider refacing the cabinets, instead of buying new ones, while still outfitting them with new hardware. This way, you’ll have less to throw out when the job’s done, and you won’t be encourageing the manufacture of new products, which are often made using eco-unfriendly processes.
  • Where you have to buy new, think green. Compare products made from recycled and/or recyclable materials such as glass. When it comes to forestry products like flooring, opt for products made from wood that’s reclaimed or from sustainable resources like bamboo (look for the Forest Stewardship Council’s logo). Chose low-or no-VOC alternatives to products such as paint and carpeting. Other ways to buy green include buying local and buying second-hand-check yard sales, flea markets, estate auctions, newspaper classifieds and websites like eBay and Craigslist to find what you need.
  • Minimizing your energy consumption is a great way to lessen your negative impact on the environment. So as you plan and execute your renovation, think about how you could make your home more energy efficient in the process. Remodeling your kitchen? Incorporate ENERGY STAR® rated appliances. Redoing a bathroom? Consider installing a low-flow showerhead and toilet. Installing new light fixtures? Outfit them with CFL bulbs.

Depending on what you do, greening your project might make for a more pricey-or less costly-renovation, but there are a few things you can usually count on. You’ll lessen your negative environmental impact, make your home a less toxic place to live, lower the costs associated with running it, and make your property more appealing to buyers when the time comes for you to sell. (end of article)

Depending on the extent of your renovations, you may require drawings to obtain a building permit. You or your builder can contact Drummond House Plans for renovation plan services.

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