Eco-Living Magazine

It is Easier Than Ever to Use Green Building Materials

Posted on the 22 December 2011 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

If you’re seriously considering redecorating or remodeling your home, you’re probably in the process of choosing materials and pricing out contractors for the job. And if you try to keep your home eco-friendly, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s become easier than ever to use green building materials for your remodeling project.

What was once rare and pricy has become surprisingly common and affordable: DIY’ers can now walk into any home improvement store and find products that are energy-efficient, made from recycled materials and eco-friendly. Whether you’re planning to take on a remodeling project yourself or you’re hiring a contractor, here are just a few ways you can ensure that you’re building and thinking green.

Planning and research
Of course, no one begins a remodeling project by simply tearing up carpet and knocking down walls without a plan. But if you’re going green, you’ll want to be sure that you don’t just have a workable idea, but that you can find the eco-friendly materials you need for the job. If it’s a small job, you can probably find everything you need with a rigorous Google search; but if you’re working with a contractor, he or she can point you in the right direction when it comes to green materials. Your contractor may even be able to incorporate elements of energy efficiency into the design of a new room: low-pressure showers and low-flow toilets for a new bathroom; skylights for natural light in a redone kitchen; or energy-efficient electrical work.

Let nature do the work for you
Instead of adding a room to your home, consider using your back yard as another living space. In areas with agreeable climates, outdoor kitchens and living spaces are becoming a popular alternative to add-ons to a home. Not only does an outdoor kitchen or living room encourage you and your family to spend more time together, but you’ll have some of the most beautiful décor without spending a dime for it.

Use old materials for recycled chic
There’s nothing wrong with using recycled and salvaged materials to remodel your home—in fact, it’s a trendy material that’s being used in everything from furniture to art. Salvaged materials can come from the refuse of older homes, or materials that have been removed from your own home. Consider hitting a few thrift shops and estate sales for cheap chic decorations for your home as well—the more recycled materials and items you use for your new room, the smaller your new room’s carbon footprint will be.

It’s possible to build an addition to your home without sucking up a large amount of resources to do it. Get creative with your green remodeling project, and you’ll be able to enjoy a room that’s both relaxing to you and kind to the environment.

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