home remodel

Planning a Remodel? Think About Using These 10 Greener Options

Home remodel more sustainable

Credit: LightFieldStudios via iStock by Getty Images

Renovating your home to make it more eco-friendly requires a different approach than traditional remodeling work. You’ll need to know how brands source their materials, how they create their products and what kind of environmental impact the process has. 

Make your upcoming remodel easier by considering these greener options for your home. You’ll have a quick list of options for your dream home to support your sustainable lifestyle during every step of your project.

1. Stone

Removing natural resources from the environment might sound like the opposite of what you’re trying to do with your renovations. While destroying natural resources is bad for the planet, it also depends on which materials you use.

Stone is a surprisingly sustainable resource people can use without worrying about the environment. It needs no chemicals to exist, there’s usually no chemical runoff around quarries and it slowly regenerates through natural processes.

Before ordering stone countertops or panels, verify the quarrying methods used by your preferred brand. If the company has an eco-friendly mission, it will have minimal impact on the environment and biodiversity around its quarries.

2. Bamboo

Trees take years or decades to fully mature, so deforestation is a significant environmental problem. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common materials in homes.

If you’re planning a remodel with wood materials, like cabinets or doorways, consider swapping it for bamboo. It’s more sustainable because it grows 100 cm daily, replenishing its forests in weeks. No matter how much you need for your renovation, the bamboo will grow back faster than any tree.

3. Hardwood Flooring

Getting new floors makes any old home look better. It can also add value to your property, but won’t hardwood clash with your sustainable values? It depends on which flooring you select. 

Traditional hardwood requires thick planks of fresh wood, but engineered hardwood is a modern upgrade. It has a layer of hardwood for the top of your flooring and attaches layers of plywood underneath for durability. The double layers match the thick, sturdy measurements of traditional hardwood floors so homeowners get the same quality without relying on as many trees.

4. Solar Tiles

Sustainable remodeling projects often involve solar panels. They’re great at producing green electricity but also take up a significant amount of roof space and may not be your idea of curb appeal. 

Switch your home to renewable energy by choosing solar tiles instead. They’re small enough to blend in with your existing roof shingles without compromising how much electricity they produce. You’ll find them available with numerous solar companies for various quotes, as they’ll likely remain popular while solar concrete gains momentum as a future building material.

5. Reclaimed Lumber

Look for reclaimed products if your renovation can’t happen without authentic lumber. Many companies collect wood and resell it to prevent deforestation. You could find nearly-new lumber from places like:

  • Salvage yards
  • Demolition sites
  • Reclaimed lumber dealers

Any woodworking business can take what you find and make it into the specific product you need for your renovations. This is an excellent option when you need a custom piece anyway and don’t want to participate in destroying natural resources.

6. Cork

There are numerous benefits to using cork for a home remodeling project. It’s gentle on the earth due to how it grows. Cork is the bark of Quercus suber trees, so people peel it off when harvesting the material for things like floor padding, bottle stoppers or other products.

The bark regrows quickly without damaging or removing the tree itself. It’s also excellent padding beneath any home flooring you have or want. The material is naturally springy, so it softens the impact of footsteps on your knees and joints. Your home could become a better house to age in place with this simple, sustainable upgrade.

7. Used Appliances

Many homeowners spend years saving for a remodeling project to include new appliances. Although the latest refrigerator or dishwasher could look great, you’ll fund the usage of natural resources needed to produce them.

Instead of shopping for new appliances, look for used versions of the models you want. You’ll likely find certified eco-friendly models for sale on apps or in used appliance stores at better prices. It’s an excellent way to save money and make your home greener.

8. Eco-Friendly Paint

A remodel often involves a new coat of paint on the walls. It’s an excellent way to tie up your new interior decorating or layout visually, but traditional paint hurts the planet. It includes volatile organic compound (VOC) solvents, which turn into indoor air pollution as the paint dries. VOCs also pollute the soil and local waterways when people throw out unused paint.

You can still refresh your home’s style with eco-friendly paint, if it’s an essential part of your renovations. Look for brands with sustainable pledges or certifications to select better paint for your home and the environment.

9. Hemp Materials

Hemp is a natural fiber drawn from plants. It turns into materials many homeowners use during renovations. It’s an efficient insulation source because it maintains your house’s interior temperature without the chemical additives in fiberglass or foam insulation.

It can also become material for new furniture, like backboards or outdoor furniture. Investigate which brands have hemp alternatives to avoid using cotton products made with excess water.

10. Linen Fabrics

No home would look complete without well-planned fabric. The patterns in your curtains, bedspreads and furniture define your home’s appearance, but the fabrics can also use chemicals to look or feel a specific way.

Homeowners can opt for linen fabrics if their remodeling project requires it. Linen comes from flax plants, which grow quickly without chemical additives or constant watering. It also remains biodegradable after turning into consumer goods. If you need to throw it out in the coming years, it’ll break down quickly in your local landfill.

Start Planning Your Remodel

Anyone planning a sustainable remodel can use these options to make their homes greener. You may need to look in new places to find the supplies and materials your renovation project requires, but every effort will be worth it because your home won’t compromise your sustainable values.

1 Comment

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of eco-friendly materials, we also should mention steel. Steel is a good material option for windows. It’s durable and highly energy-efficient. Unlike standard windows, steel doors have non-conductive frame material in addition to double glazing.

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