You’ve been thinking about a home renovation for ages. Maybe it’s a new kitchen, or a new master bedroom suite. Whatever the case, the time has finally arrived. You’re ready to hire a Pro, start picking out materials, and get started. And while you’re doing your research on the latest flooring, counters, and paint colors, you may also see a lot of information on green building and sustainable design. Considering the impact that the building industry has on the environment, as well as personal energy usage in the home, it makes sense to include some sustainable elements in the design itself. But when do you start adding in those elements? Waiting until you’re choosing finishing materials may be too late to get the best results for your new home.
When you’re just beginning the initial planning stages of a home renovation or remodel, you need to start thinking about what type of sustainable or green building elements you want to include. The best way to go about this is to have an energy audit done on your home.
An energy audit takes a look at your current energy usage and uncovers the ways that you can improve this. You basically receive a blueprint for how you can increase your sustainability and how much you’ll save. This will help you make the best decisions for your home in terms of efficiency.
At the same time, you may want to take a look at what products out there are low VOC, sustainable, or better for the environment in general. You may not like any of them, but you may also find that there are several that will fit your home and aesthetic. Knowing this upfront lets you make better decisions when the time comes.
You want the best Pro for the job, right? Well, if that’s the case then you need to know what you’re having done to hire the best Pro. In other words, if you’re incorporating green design into your home, then you need to hire a Pro that understands what this means, specializes in it, and can make recommendations to help you achieve your goals. Hiring a Pro that happens to be the cheapest or first available, but who has no idea how to work with bamboo lumber, will mean that you need to let go of your green aspirations or start the hiring process over again in the middle of the job. Make sure that you include your green building plans or questions during the hiring process to find a Pro who can best assist you in this job.
During the Initial Phases
Things can change quickly during a home renovation project. Your Pro finds mold, the product you picked out is back-ordered, or things are simply costing more than you had planned. Now is the time to really think about what’s most important to you in your design, and to focus on getting those parts done. Your initial planning and research should tell you where you should be putting your focus in terms of sustainable design. It’s during this phase of the project that you need to decide where your emphasis should be in case things move in a direction that you weren’t planning.
Sustainable design is not something you can choose to add to the end of the project without also adding a lot of time and money to the job as well. Plan early and continue this planning right through to the first stages of the project to make sure that you get the results you want.
When you’re ready to begin, be sure to sign up with BEYREP to be matched with a Pro who specializes in green building and sustainable design. Sign up today and build a greener home with BEYREP.