How to Think Green When Building a House

Think Green

While a lot of homeowners are spending time and effort making green renovations to their existing homes, have you ever thought about starting from scratch and building a “green” house from the foundation up to the roof? It’s a lot of work and effort – both creatively and logistically – but it’s also extremely rewarding.

How to Think Green

While there’s no official definition, a green home is one that uses sustainable building supplies and eco-friendly building practices through its construction that requires less energy and has less impact on the local environment. If that’s something that interests you, here are some topics and tidbits that you’ll want to spend more time thinking about.

1.   Hire a Likeminded Contractor

professional contractor

While you may have some contractors in your area who specifically work on green construction, this isn’t something most builders talk a ton about. Green Residential suggests, “If you want green building processes to be used, you need to explicitly discuss it prior to hiring.”

2.   Think About Location

Most people only think about the house itself when it comes to building, but the specific property you choose  and the part of the property you build on matters just as much.

If possible, you want to avoid building a west-facing home. This will keep your home cooler and minimize sun exposure. You also want to stay out of sensitive locations like flood-prone areas. Furthermore, think about the proximity to public transportation, grocery stores, and work. The less you have to travel, the better.

3.   Build Smaller

Does your family of three really need 5,000 square feet? Does a family of six or seven even need that much space? While American society says bigger is better, the reality is that smaller is greener. For best results, focus on less square footage and more outdoor living.

4.   Go Solar

woman with a solar panel

When it comes to powering your home, take a good look at solar power – which is finally becoming practical and cost-effective.

5.  Use Natural and Recycled Materials

While it’s not yet practical to build a house entirely of eco-friendly materials, you can make major strides in this area by using recycled materials wherever possible. You’d be surprised how many options are out there. Aside from eccentric things like shipping containers, rubber tires, and wood pallets, there are plenty of practical options like bamboo and cork flooring.

Build for the Future

One of the major downsides of green home building is that it can be more expensive than traditional forms of construction. As a result, a lot of people choose to go with industry standards because they’re cheaper. While the choice is ultimately yours, try to think about your home as a long-term investment, not just your next resting place.

When you picture yourself living in your home for the next 15, 20, or 50 years, you start to view it a little differently. Suddenly, the cost is only part of the equation. Sure, you want to keep things reasonable, but the bigger goal is comfort and efficiency. The result is a better, more sustainable home.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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