Eco-friendly Tips Can Make a Difference

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: ImproveTips

What your home is worth to you is one thing; what it’s worth to someone else may be totally different. If you want to boost the value of your home for yourself and in the eyes of others, one of the best ways to do that in today’s real estate market is to make green home improvements.

Going green can mean a lot of things, and it’s easy to start with small changes like switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs and unplugging appliances when they’re not in use. Not only will you be doing good for the environment, you might end up saving on utility bills and, ultimately, increasing your home’s value when the time comes to sell.

Green projects aren’t all necessarily in the do-it-yourself category, and making an investment to have the bigger jobs done right will pay off in the long run.

“It’s important for homeowners to consider cost-saving efficiency projects as part of their overall home renovation plans,” said RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly. “And a trained real estate agent will be able to identify the projects that cut current expenses and pay potential dividends when you’re ready to sell.”

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Getting started now — even if that just means planning — is a good idea, particularly if you’re thinking about selling in a few months’ time. Talk to a real estate agent about what improvements are popular among potential homebuyers, and consider these ideas:

Windows

Caulking and putting up energy-saving window film is a great start, but a more dramatic change might make a world of difference if you want to make a sale. Replacing your existing windows with high-efficiency versions can be an expensive proposition, but the return on your investment can be dramatic, particularly if you’re hoping to attract buyers.

Landscaping

While planting isn’t always possible in the coldest months of the year, putting together a plan for energy-conscious plantings is a great idea. Consider adding trees that will bring shade to the sunniest spots, like the west side of your home, to cut summertime electric bills. Trees that lose their leaves in the fall will let light in during the winter, as opposed to evergreens which will block it throughout the year.

Water

Take the first step by turning down the temperature setting on your water heater. For more savings, consider replacing older heaters with energy-efficient models or even solar water heaters. Adding insulation to your pipes can also make a difference in how much energy is used to heat water.

Most homeowners put a lot of effort into making their homes attractive, welcoming spaces. With green updates, you can make your home not only more comfortable and more energy-efficient, but also more appealing to buyers. Add the potential energy savings and the possible boost in home value and you have even more reasons to bring your home into the green age.

For recommendations about making your home green, talk to a knowledgeable real estate agent. Green agents at RE/MAX have a commitment to sustainability and specialized knowledge that you can tap into when making improvements. Visit www.remax.com.

This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.

Come clean from a bath that’s green

Your bathroom may not be the first place you think of to make a positive impact on the environment, but maybe you should. You can make a significant difference especially when planning a bathroom remodel. So where do you begin? By making smart material choices and using creative conservation design elements, you can take pride in having a fashionable, eco-friendly bathroom with surprisingly little effort.

Start at the Surface

Bathroom designs that really stand out often do so thanks to the use of unexpected countertop and flooring materials. For example, recycled glass tiles are ultra-decorative, inexpensive and help to reduce waste. Consider revamping your bathroom with a new Vetrazzo countertop. Made from 80 percent to 90 percent recycled glass, this newcomer to the bathroom countertop scene features varied colors and patterns and makes a smart alternative to granite.

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If you love the look of wood flooring but want to incorporate a more environmentally sound option, use bamboo flooring. In nature, bamboo can thrive in a variety of climate zones, and has the potential for rapid growth, making it much more sustainable than traditional wood alternatives. Another out-of-the-ordinary flooring option is recycled school chalkboards. Most are available in a square or rectangle shape, and dry easily, making them ideal for bathrooms.

Waste Paper Be Gone

It’s easy to fashion your bathroom in ways that let you be continuously responsible to the environment, day after day. Why not eliminate the need for paper towels by making a rolling hand towel? Just sew the ends of two decorative linen towels together and hang it on a Moen pivoting paper holder.

Less Down the Drain

A great way to conserve water is by installing stylish and eco-friendly faucets in your bathroom. Available in a variety of finishes, Moen’s eco-performance Caldwell™ faucet is a member of the Spot Resist™ family, which reduces visible water spots and fingerprints. That means you’ll do less cleaning, so less household cleaner will go down the drain.

Take your water conservation efforts to the next level by monitoring your water use. Suggestions include turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth, using food color in your toilet tank as a leak indicator and taking a shower instead of a bath.

This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.