With environmental issues continuously destroying the earth, the least we can do is to stop being a part of the problem. As homeowners, one way to do that is renovating our homes to turn it into an eco-friendly haven.
If the finishes on your facade are dated and broken, consider eco-friendly materials to replace them with. You should also design your outdoor spaces with sustainability in mind.
Here are some ideas and recommendations for a green home facade:
If your roofs are often plagued with leaks and other issues, call a roof repair expert to mend the problem, and consider a replacement while you’re at it. Chances are the repairman will recommend new roofing if yours is already beyond saving. And of course, it’s best to replace it with a green roofing type.
Recycled shingles would be your greenest option; they’re made from recycled plastic, rubber, wood fibers, and others. Some types are made from home waste, a.k.a. clean post-consumer waste, or factory waste, a.k.a. post-industrial waste.
They don’t look like “waste” at all; hence, aesthetics are guaranteed. You may also consider wood shingles and shakes that are made from reclaimed lumber, salvaged slate and clay tiles, recycled metal roofing, or recycled rubber roofing. Your choice should depend on the style of your home and budget.
2. Exterior Walls
Structural insulated panels (SIP) and insulated concrete blocks are the best and eco-friendliest exterior wall materials. SIPs offer high thermal performance and a high R-value, allowing you to reduce HVAC costs because they prevent heat loss. As a result, your energy bills can decrease by 12% to 14%.
On the other hand, insulated concrete blocks have recycled cementitious material in them, making them eco-friendly. They also offer excellent thermal efficiency and better indoor air quality. Like SIPs, you can also reduce your energy bills with this material.
Your siding options are pretty generous. You may use wood, particularly cypress, Douglas-fir, redwood, pine, and cedar. They’re all renewable, sustainable, and recyclable. Cedar is the most popular, as it has moisture- and insect-repellant properties.
Steel siding is also a good option. But the drawback is that it requires more manufacturing power, and isn’t the most energy-efficient.
If you have more budget, stucco is a worthy option as well. It is a blend of Portland cement, sand, water, and lime, making it durable and less-prone to chemical-related issues. The only downside is that it’s labor-intensive. Fiber cement is the same, being made of natural materials but labor-intensive.
Your last two options are brick and rock. The former is a popular choice due to its longevity and energy-efficiency, albeit also labor-intensive. Rock, on the other hand, is nonrenewable but doesn’t require chemical- and synthetic-based treatments and finishes (in most cases), making them eco-friendly. Just ensure with your contractor that it’s locally sourced.
4. Lighting, Decor, and Accessories
The easiest part of a home to turn eco-friendly is your lights. Replace everything with LED bulbs, and enjoy a brighter home with lowered energy bills.
If you have outdoor hangout areas like a patio, consider repurposing old household items to use them as decor. You can also buy repurposed home decor from local yard sales.
Change your lawn’s water system as well to save costs and the environment. Talk to your landscape architect about installing a reclaimed water solution.
And to further save on energy bills, incorporate smart technology inside and outside of your home. Install motion detectors in certain areas so their lights will only turn on when someone is using the space. You can switch the lights on and off from any mobile device, allowing you to monitor your home even when you’re out.
These eco-friendly solutions are all easy to apply on your home, so list them down your home renovation goals, and make a world of difference in your carbon footprints and maintenance costs.