Whether you’re thinking about building a new house for you and your family or looking to update your current one, a big way to increase the resale value, lower your utility costs, and make it an overall healthier place to live is to go green. No doubt you’ve heard that before, but what does it really mean? What are some specific things that you can do to make your house more environmentally – and economically – friendly?
A green home is about two things: behavior, and materials and design. In terms of behavior, you can do things like take shorter showers, adjust your thermostat to keep it higher in the summer and lower in the winter, and recycle more. But if you’re looking to make physical changes to your home, talk to a Sacramento green home contractor. There are many kinds of surprisingly affordable things that you can do – much of it comes down to knowing what kinds of materials and features to buy and use.
What to learn specifics? Watch this video:
SACRAMENTO HOME CONTRACTOR VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:
TITLE: The Green Home Guide – Part 1
KATY CARKUFF: What’s a world without color? How about we add some green? Seems to be the color of choice these days, huh? I know you’ve heard a lot about green and the other buzzwords like “energy efficiency,” “conservation,” and “eco-friendly living.” But what does it all mean to you?
Maybe you’re thinking of building a home or remodeling your home with efficient features, but you’re not quite sure where to start. Well, keep watching, and let me help you connect the green dots. We’ll start with the basics. Simple and affordable ways you can embrace a greener lifestyle.
What do you see here? An attractive, well-appointed house, right? Look closer. What you might not see are the features that can help make a home a healthy place to live. Like flooring, wall coverings, and cabinetry – and even air vents that work double-time. Looking good and being green.
Your floors and walls cover the largest areas in your home. So what you put on them can affect the air you breathe. What can you do? Lots.
JENNIFER PIPPIN: There are many ways you can improve the indoor air quality of your home. You want to really think about the materials that are going to be placed inside the home. There are many options for floor coverings that you can choose today.
KATY KARKUFF: Like bamboo. Sleek and sophisticated, with a fine grain, more durable than traditional hardwood. How about quartz? Naturally hypo-allergenic, anti-microbal and anti-fungal, it’s texture makes it a good choice for high traffic areas in the home. Or natural linoleum. Look at those colors. Something for everybody.
Don’t want to give up wall-to-wall carpeting? You don’t have to. If you want to get around that new carpet smell created by chemicals found in some carpet types, look at the carpet labels to find a brand that has low-emitting VOC content on the pile, padding, and adhesives. Another option? Recycled carpeting. It looks and feels like regular carpeting, but it’s made with post-consumer products.
JENNIFER PIPPIN: You could also use some reclaimed lumber, or you could use something like a forest stewardship certified lumber, which is FSC certified, meaning that it’s forest grown. And these things are durable and long lasting and very economical to purchase.
KATY KARKUFF: And when covering walls, whatever your décor, choose paint and paper with low- or no-VOC content. Remember, it’s the invisible VOCs that leave the unpleasant odor behind long after the paint and glue have dried.
Okay. Now that you’ve made some green choices, you want to keep all that fresh air circulating throughout your home.
JENNIFER PIPPIN: You really want to make sure that the air is filtered, and you want to ventilate it properly as well. And one of the ways you can do that is be sure and ask your builder for a good quality ventilation system, especially in your bathrooms.
KATY KARKUFF: In the kitchen, you want a range hood that ventilates to the outside. For the family room, forego a wood-burning fireplace. Instead, opt for a gas-burning firebox insert. Well-ventilated, with no ash pollutants floating in the room and into your lungs.
JENNIFER PIPPIN: Another way to keep your indoor air quality clean and healthy is to bring in fresh air from the outside. You want to bring that in through fresh air intakes that are connected to your heating and air system. They’re called whole-house ventilation systems.
KATY KARKUFF: One other way to keep toxic air at a distance – keep the garage detached. Don’t have the space? Then insist on a tightly sealed barrier between the space where your car parks and you live. No need to inhale gas fumes and other garage-type toxins.
Well, this is a good start, but let’s keep going. I have more great ideas for you and your home. Keep watching.