Real Estate Articles - Eco-Friendly Homes
There is lots of talk concerning global warming and how we are treating the very globe we live on recently. Sure there are a number of products out there that are less than desirable for the atmosphere, but your home does not need to be one of them. Some specialty companies have made great strides in developing products for your home that do not hurt our environment. The best way to create a "green," or environmentally friendly, home is to build from scratch with approved green materials. For homeowners that do not plan to build there is plenty of improvements that can be added to your home which do not hurt the environment. Some information on making your home environmentally friendly is listed below.
Making Your Home Environmentally Friendly
Homeowners who contemplate renovation jobs are increasingly considering a more eco-friendly way of getting the job done. The amounts of toxic chemicals in paints, thinners, and treated wood make environmentally friendly choices a necessity for some and an option for others. Going "green" may be a bit more expensive in the short term, but niche markets of safer products are capitalizing on the long-term benefits and variety for supplies are on the rise.
The number of companies that specialize in selling renovation materials that are good for the environment is increasing. The best place to look for a company that focuses their production on green materials is either online or by asking at your local construction supply store's information desk. A green company tends to sell products that are not treated with chemicals as well as being environmentally-minded when harvesting or producing these goods. Paint has long been an item of environmental controversy, and now it can be found with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the mixture. Another example is that some companies now make insulation made from recycled goods like cotton or cork or even bamboo. There are hundreds if not thousands of other great environmentally friendly materials that are sure to suit your needs, whatever they are.
Wood is an important material whether you are building new or renovating your home. Green companies make sure to not disturb the environment, particularly fragile communities, when harvesting trees for lumber production. Generally any wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Counsel should be safe to use. Other companies are using recycled goods, like plastics and some types of woods, to create household construction items. It is even possible to have kitchen counters that are made with recycled paper, imagine that! Not only do green materials help the environment in one way or another, they are often very durable and demand less maintenance compared to traditional construction materials.
The foothills of the Sierra Nevada provide a fabulous place for an environmentally home. Get started in the El Dorado Hills real estate market or find homes in Cameron Park. I have also found that equestrian estate communities are the ideal place to build an eco-friendly home.
When choosing your renovation materials, you'll discover an over-abundance of traditional materials. You'll have to look a little harder to find "green" materials. Since the market for natural materials is considerably less than for traditional materials, you'll see less big-money advertising for "green" materials. You might have to do some extra internet searches, make some phone calls to merchants, and search out appropriate building supply companies to find what you're looking for. Persistence will win out, and you'll delight in ecologically safe and hypoallergenic "green" materials for all your renovation needs.
Other than using green materials there are a number of ways to make your home more environmentally sound. Skylights are a great way to use natural sunlight to brighten up a room, versus traditional lighting that sucks energy. Solar energy is another smart way to fit into the environment a bit more. For years homeowners have used solar to heat their outdoor pools, but what about inside energy? Some companies have come up with a way to integrate solar panels into the roof so that they look just like normal roofing tiles. Imagine the long term payoff of solar panels versus reduced monthly electric bills.
Using natural insulation, replacing existing windows with energy-efficient wood or dual-paned glass and using flooring options from recycled glass will go a long way in making your home environmentally friendly. Recycling materials and being able to reuse them for building materials is changing the way some of us are renovating our homes.
In decades past, before we understood how we were contributing to the slow but steady erosion of our ecosphere, "green" materials were largely unheard of. In the 1960's, for example, modern meant chic, hip, and synthetic. Plastic, nylon, polyester - all were symbols of being "tuned in" and anti-establishment. As always, we're now paying for the folly of the past. It's not too late, however. We can still make the choice to protect our environment in many ways, including home renovations.