Home renovations can be expensive projects. What if there were a way they could help pay for themselves? With green additions and an attention to energy efficiency, this may just be the case.
Increasing the energy efficiency of your home not only helps the environment, can also decrease costs associated with excessive energy use. In fact, the right home renovations and upgrades can make such a substantial difference that they essentially pay for themselves over time.
Integrating an efficiency overhaul into a separate home renovation plan is typically easier and far more convenient for homeowners than a separate retrofitting project, so if you’re considering a renovation, this may be the perfect time to start considering the best ways of increasing your home’s efficiency.
Upgrades and Additions for Home Energy Efficiency
While there are a wide variety of upgraded materials you can use and changes you can make to your home over the course of home renovation projects, some have a greater impact than others. Replacing older insulation with higher rated materials is one high-impact upgrade, as is the addition of double-glazed windows in place of existing single-glazed choices. These two changes alone can mitigate the loss of heated or cooled air, so units are able to run less frequently and for shorter periods of time. Upgrading an aging hot water heater is another way of conserving energy and increasing overall home efficiency. Work with your builder to find other areas where your home could benefit from an upgrade or changes, and you may be surprised by just how much of a difference these additions can make.
Depending on the type of home renovations you have planned, you may actually be required by law to make use of energy-efficient building materials. To obtain a building permit for extensions which will increase the floor space of your property, you’ll have to comply with six-star energy ratings. Even if compliance with such legislation is not a requirement for your project, though, it’s almost always a worthwhile investment to choose better and more efficient options as part of your project.
Working with Contractors and Builders
All but the smallest and most basic upgrades will require the attention of appropriately licensed building trades professionals. To ensure all work is up to standard and making use of materials rated for energy efficiency, it may be in your best interest to work with a professional building inspector to schedule stage construction inspections. A professional inspector can also evaluate your property before construction begins to find areas where the need for upgrades are most pressing.
Taking advantage of scheduled home renovations to create a greener, more efficient home can translate to savings over time, but you may also be able to realize even quicker returns on your investment. Work with your builder and explore the potential for government rebate programs designed to offset the costs of a green home renovation. With the right professionals on the job an a commitment to greener living, you can start saving money while doing your part to protect the planet.
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