Your Guide to a Sustainable Home

Constructing a homeBy Aurora McCausland

 

Building a home is a lot of work. You have to select a contractor, the entire building team, and then get to work on the blueprints and floorplans for the home. The work goes beyond that, and you have to select the materials as well as ensure that your home looks exactly as you want it to. And all of that is before you even begin building the home. Despite all of the work and effort that goes into building your home, it is so worth it. You get to ensure that your home is exactly as you’ve always wanted. Always wanted a kitchen island? You can have it. Do you want two separate walk in closets in the master bedroom? You can make that happen. Have you always wanted a real wood burning fireplace in your home? The good news is, yes, you can make that happen. But most of all, you can make eco-friendly choices that will (1) ensure that you use sustainable materials that don’t harm the atmosphere in production or disposal, and (2) keep your home running efficiently in order to reduce waste. Here are some ideas to make it happen:

Selecting building materials

A big part of building your dream home is selecting what materials you’ll use. There are a lot of options out there, and it can seem entirely too overwhelming to select. Building a sustainable home may be slightly more expensive, but it should leave you feeling good about the materials that you’ve used and the quality of your home. Building a sustainable home starts with picking your building materials. When you select a contractor, let them know that you want to use as many sustainable building materials as possible, and let them help you find the right resources to do the job right. Great materials include things such as repurposed wood(lumber leftover from other projects that would just be discarded), recycled plastics and even recycled metals. If you are careful and select a contractor that cares about making you happy, they should be able to help you find the best possible sustainable building materials available.
Eco home concept
Roofing options

Among all of the options you have while building your home, the roof is the one most often overlooked. There are a few different great sustainable roofing options for you to decide between. A great option is sustainable wood shingles. These are aesthetically pleasing, and are generally made from cedar. Eco-friendly metal shingles is another great roofing option. Most metal roofs are made from a mixture of different recycled metals, making it a great choice. If you’re wanting to make your home really eco friendly, you could even have a living roof, covered in green plants. If you live in an area with poor air quality, this can help you to purify the air immediately surrounding you and your family.

Landscaping

If a living roof isn’t quite what you’re wanting, but you’re still wanting to incorporate plants into the exterior of your home, you have plenty of opportunities with your landscaping. Having plants, as long as you’re able to adequately maintain them, will improve the overall appearance of your home as well as help the environment, while you’re at it. Think about adding a few trees, strategically placed throughout your yard. As long as you take care of them properly when they’re planted, they become pretty low maintenance plants and will provide shade and beauty to your home for decades.

While you’re planning your landscaping, you’ll have to consider fencing options. Among the sustainable options available, you can select something that’s made from recycled materials. Often, you can find something that gives you the same benefits as vinyl, without the harmful environmental impact that vinyl has. Often, people shy away from wooden options because it can wear down. However, with proper care, wooden fences can be a great option for your yard.
home with solar panels
Solar

When someone thinks about a sustainable home, one of the first things they think of is solar power. Having solar panels means that your electric bill will decrease dramatically. Not only is this great for your wallet, but it’s great for the environment, as well. You can set up solar panels on your roof, or you can opt to have panels set up in your backyard. Really it just depends on what fits better in your particular space. But having solar panels is a great way to make your home more sustainable.

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