With increased attention to sustainability across all facets of our lives, home construction is no exception. Building more sustainably not only benefits the environment, but also makes the home more appealing for home buyers.
Energy-Efficient Exterior Doors
Replacing an existing door with an energy star certified exterior door can bring serious savings when it comes to your heating and cooling bill. Fiberglass and steel are the most energy-efficient options, and double or triple-pane insulating glass will reduce heat flow. Newer door frames will also incorporate a magnetic strip that reduces air leakage by creating a tight seal.
A Tankless Water Heater
This is an emerging trend in eco-friendly home design. A tankless heater produces water only when you are using it directly, leading to major savings compared to tank heaters.
Use Local Building Materials
Using environmentally friendly or local materials greatly reduces the footprint of your project. Composite materials made of recycled wood or plastic are great options, as are engineered wood products. When it comes to paints and finishes, water-based products are preferable.
Replace Light Fixtures
LED lighting can save you a ton of money in the long run, as they last longer than traditional fluorescent lighting. When you are installing light fixtures, you can also opt for dimmers or timers that’ll ensure that lights aren’t left on when nobody’s home, leading to wasted energy and money.
Choose Flooring Carefully
Some flooring options that are made with VOCs in production lead to indoor air contamination. Opting for linoleum, natural fiber carpets, hardwood, or bamboo flooring will be your best bet.
A Sustainable Driveway
An eco-friendly driveway doesn’t blow the natural flow of water or lead to erosion or obstruction. A crushed slate or gravel driveway made from 100% recycled plastic will give you a level driveway that has had as minimal of an environmental impact as possible. A proper driveway drainage system will also save you money by preventing flooding, erosion, and damage to the foundation of your home.
Opt for Eco-Friendly Siding
Choosing an environmentally friendly siding is a great way to improve your home’s environmental impact. Wood, metal, and steel siding are all popular options that can be made from repurposed materials or locally sourced natural materials.
There are an abundance of ways to make the exterior of your home more eco-friendly. Whether you undertake a larger product such as replacing the siding or opt to replace all of your appliances, you can both reduce your environmental footprint and save money while doing so!
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.
Cover photo by Drew Semmel, courtesy Twin Buttes of Durango