Category: Guest posts

Making Sustainable Renovations In Your House

Making Sustainable Renovations In Your House

Making Sustainable Renovations In Your House

Guest blogger Anita Franco

Renovating and remodelling are far greener choices than rebuilding a home from scratch. Renovation work provides the opportunity for home owners to reuse and repurpose materials already found in the property, creating a positive impact on energy consumption and overall sustainability.

Choosing to remodel your home with the aim of embracing a sustainable lifestyle will help you sidestep the environmentally damaging elements common to renovation projects. It will also serve to change your quality of life in many unexpected and beneficial ways.

Even if you aren’t undergoing major renovations, making small changes can have a big impact. For example, switching from a gas powered to electric lawn mower can help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and will also save you money in the long-run.

Additionally, local, state, and federal agencies offer a number of different incentives for making sustainable lifestyle choices. Some fittings used in sustainable remodelling work such as windows, insulation, and doors, or even donating the materials you are not going to reuse, can garner tax benefits.

Where To Begin

Before you begin remodelling, think about what can be reused or repurposed. Planning ahead before deconstruction work begins will help you to make the most of all the materials you have on hand. It will also allow you to reduce waste as well as help you to preserve items for reuse, donation, or repurposing for another area of your home.

The three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – are core elements of a sustainable lifestyle. Repurposing items and giving careful thought to how each part of the soon-to-be-renovated area will be dealt with can prevent unnecessary purchases and ensure everything is managed in the greenest way possible. This will save you money and reduce the impacts of emissions, transportation, and manufacturing on the environment.

One Step At A Time

Choosing to remodel your entire home for a more sustainable lifestyle can seem like a daunting, if not impossible, task. Rather than tackling everything at once, approach the work in stages. Take one step at a time toward a greener way of living.

If you want to cut your energy consumption, begin with replacing high-consumption items with more efficient options. This could include energy efficient appliances, on-demand water heating or heat pumps, and solar equipment.

When it comes to changing the layout of your home or creating dual-use rooms to increase sustainability and move toward greener living, try working on a room-by-room basis. This is often more manageable than tackling your bathrooms, kitchen, and living spaces at once. It will also allow you to continue living in your home as the changes are being made.

Choosing Green Materials

Deciding which materials to purchase for sustainable remodelling can be difficult. Knowing what to look for and why can be challenging, not least of all because there are no EPA regulations for terms such as ‘organic,’ ‘sustainable,’ or ‘natural.’ On top of this, not all environmentally friendly building materials are created equal.

Certifications like Energy Star and Greenguard can give home renovators an idea of the level of sustainability. But other considerations, such as the climate you are in, toxic emissions, and which way the property faces, should all be factored in so a truly green choice can be made for your circumstances.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) should be avoided wherever possible in sustainable renovation works. VOCs can be found in all manner of items, from paints to pesticides, wood preservatives and adhesives. They can have long term health risks such as eye, nose, and throat irritations, or damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous systems. In most cases, natural products and green materials are far more durable and effective than non-sustainable, man made compounds could ever be.

Making Sustainable Renovations In Your House

Renovating a home for increased sustainability does not need to be an expensive proposition. Thoughtful deconstruction of areas that will be remodelled can produce savings in terms of reduced need for material purchases, tax rebates, and other financial incentives.

Choosing to purchase necessary items locally, or from second-hand dealers, can cut costs further. With a little thought and planning, a sustainable renovation can be rewarding in both savings and providing a healthier and greener lifestyle.

Thinking of Downsizing? | Everything You Need to Know

Thinking of Downsizing? | Everything You Need to Know

Guest post by Michael Longsdon

Thinking of Downsizing Everything You Need to Know

Sometimes, the best place to live is where the heart takes us. That may be nearer to family, to our friends, or to the location spot of our dreams. However, it’s necessary to think about all aspects of a potential retirement area. What are you looking for specifically? Walkability? Great hiking trails? A great senior community? You need to also consider how much this area costs, beyond just the price of your potential home. Research the state you choose as well. Some have better benefits for seniors than others, such as good Medicaid or Medicare doctors, financial incentives and more. You always want to live somewhere you enjoy that also provides activities you might wish to be involved in. It’s important to stay within your budget, of course, and not buy something as or more expensive than the home you wish to sell.

Planning Your Move

 One of the best things to do to prepare for a move is to make a list. How will you be moving? Will you hire a truck, or a whole crew? What will your budget be? Get estimates before you hire a company, and make sure you shop around. They should come to your home and give an estimation based on what you will be moving, and they should provide proof of liability insurance. The months May through September are the busiest moving times of the year, so avoid them if possible. Whatever month you decide upon, try to move in the middle, as most relocate at the beginning or end. Also, if you’re moving long distance, be sure to research what the weather will be like. Trying to move a household in the rain or snow is difficult at best, and dangerous at worst.

Moving Day Tips

 Start early in the morning, as this is the coolest part of the day and allows you the most time to get things done. Keep your movers as informed as possible, as open communication will only make things run more smoothly. Have an overnight kit ready with a pair of clothes, toiletries, even sheets and money for takeout or ingredients for dinner. This way, you won’t have to sort through hundreds of boxes before going to bed. If you have a dog, it’s best to keep them away from the chaos if possible. Seeing movers about may cause them stress, and constant open doors provide escape opportunities. Instead, board them for the day to keep them safe, happy and stress-free.

With the right planning, you may be able to find the home of your dreams for your retirement. When you do, make sure that you’re moving at the right time of year, and use reputable companies. Most importantly, ensure that Spot is well-looked after on moving day so that everything goes smoothly.


Thinking of Downsizing? | Everything You Need to Know

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