Before you start knocking down walls to remodel your home, why not plan out your renovation so it’s sustainable for the future? After all, green homes tend to sell faster and for a higher price, plus they create a safer and cleaner home – all while being eco-friendly.
The great news is that you have a resource to assist you throughout your home makeover. In March of 2008, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) created the ReGreen program as a guide to help with planning eco-friendly home renovations. Though similar, ReGreen is different from the LEED program, which certifies newly constructed homes as environmentally friendly.
From the basement to the yard, the ReGreen program can give you suggestions on how to make your next home improvement project an eco-friendly one.
Starting the ReGreen Process
The first step of the ReGreen program is to pick a particular project you want to work on. For example, let’s say you wanted to renovate your bathroom.
Start by visiting the official ReGreen website. On the home page, you’ll see the “Green My Project” tool. Clicking on this will direct you to another page with three drop-down menus. Under “Any Projects,” select bathroom, and you’ll see about 20 ways that you can incorporate energy efficiency into your bathroom renovation. For each project, they’ll give you info on issues you might face, along with other resources to consult for more information.
Once you have the information you need, you can print a checklist to help you research resources for your project. This list provides questions to think about when looking at sustainable building materials and choosing an eco-friendly builder. They also have links to other sites that can help you find sustainable builders and materials.
You don’t have to have a particular remodeling project in mind to research projects. You can also search for holistic projects to increase water or energy efficiency in your home, get info on energy-efficient equipment to use, or learn more about eco-friendly furniture options.
For more details and to learn more about ReGreen projects, visit their comprehensive PDF document available on their website.
What Are the Benefits of ReGreen?
Like many other energy-efficient upgrades, you can expect several immediate and long-term benefits:
- Save money on energy bills.
- Potentially sell your home faster and for a higher price in the future.
- Improve indoor environmental air quality.
- Reduce dependency on non-renewable energy and resources.
- Receive incentives and tax credits from the federal and state government.
- Reduce your environmental impact.
- Rid your home of dangerous materials, like lead paint or asbestos.
The bottom line is whether you’re goal is saving money over time or decreasing your carbon footprint – you will.
Why Bother with ReGreen?
I look at it this way: If you plan to spend the money to remodel your home or replace old, inefficient appliances, why not spend the few extra dollars toward making your home more eco-friendly?
Sure, it may cost a bit more initially to make sustainable home upgrades. However, researching the tax incentives and credits you could receive for a project might offset the extra money you’ll spend on your project. And, in recent years, the popularity and demand for green building materials has risen, making eco-friendly home upgrades more affordable.
Turn your next home improvement project into an energy-efficient home upgrade. You’ll save money, reduce your environmental impact, plus make your home more attractive for future buyers when you plan to sell.
Are you planning any eco-friendly home upgrades in the new year? Share your ideas with other Zing readers below!