Many people choose to purchase an existing home and remodel it. The benefits are many, including enjoying a location that's closer to one's workplace, potentially having a larger yard, and living in an area with more character than a new development. If you are also striving to live a greener lifestyle, you can still perform remodeling jobs and minimize their impact on the environment using just a few simple steps.
One area you should focus on is wood. If you want wood cabinets, flooring, an outside deck or anything else made of the material, look for recycled or reclaimed options first. The variety is virtually limitless and oftentimes such wood has a unique look to it you cannot get elsewhere, giving your home an even more customized feeling. You can also consider composite wood for different areas of your home, which is a material that is made of wood chips and recycled plastic bits that are glued together. The material is naturally water resistant and resists fading in direct sunlight. Also, don't forget to look for furniture made of recycled or reclaimed wood.
Speaking of wood, consider using bamboo. While hardwood floors add a dramatic and high-end feel to homes, they can be expensive and harmful to the environment. An affordable alternative is bamboo, which grows faster and does not impact the environment nearly as much. Bamboo is also incredibly durable, which is an excellent feature to have for any room.
When you decide to remodel a bathroom or kitchen, you have the perfect opportunity to use low flow plumbing fixtures. Today they are offered in a huge variety of styles, shapes and sizes that will fit in perfectly with the look of any room. Not only will they lessen your water usage, but new low flow fixtures provide excellent water pressure, unlike some older models. There are also toilets with dual flush modes, one for liquid waste and one for solid, that also help cut down how much water your house needs.
Shop for carpeting that is made of recycled plastic. Manufacturers use old plastic bottles to make fibers that look and feel like regular carpeting. The bottle caps are recycled to make the base for the carpet. Recycled plastic carpeting is available in a wide array of colors and styles, making it so you can still have excellent style in your home without sacrificing the environment.
When you are remodeling, don't neglect the thermostat. Many old homes have a completely analog setup, but today programmable electronic thermostats are commonplace. You can set the thermostat to raise and lower the temperature automatically in the house, keeping the furnace or air conditioning running at a minimum when the house is usually empty, which in turn saves money on utility bills. Even better, opt for a WiFi thermostat that allows you the ability to change settings remotely through your smartphone. You can monitor what is going on with the house's HVAC system at any time, day or night, and change the temperature presets in case you left town suddenly and don't want to leave the air conditioning running at night.